Popescu: William L. Everitt Distinguished Prof in ECE

Professorship: William L. Everitt Distinguished Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The William L. Everitt Distinguished Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering was established to honor the memory of the former head of the electrical engineering department from 1944-49 as well as the dean of the College of Engineering from 1949-68. The former home of the ECE department, Everitt Laboratory, bears his name.

Dr. Everitt came to the University of Illinois in 1945 after a stint as an assistant professor and professor at Ohio State University. While at Ohio State, he published “Communication Engineering,” which became one of the most widely used textbooks in the field of electronics. He also wrote “Fundamentals of Radio” and edited a 96 book series for Prentice Hall.

He held ten honorary doctorate degrees, receiving nearly every award the profession of electrical engineering and engineering education could bestow. He also received the War Department’s Exceptionally Meritorious Civilian Award in 1946 in recognition of his work as director of the operation research staff for the US Army’s office of the chief signal officer during WWII. In WWI he served in the Marines.

Faculty: Gabriel Popescu

Gabriel Popescu is a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He joined Illinois in August 2007 where he directs the Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory (QLI Lab) at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. 

Dr. Popescu authored the seminal textbook, Quantitative phase imaging of cells and tissues.    He served as an Associate Editor of Optics Express and Biomedical Optics Express, Editorial Board Member for Journal of Biomedical Optics, and Scientific Reports.   Dr. Popescu founded Phi Optics, Inc., a start-up company that commercializes quantitative phase imaging technology.   He is a Fellow of SPIE (The International Society of Optics and Photonics),  OSA (the Optical Society of America), AIMBE (American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering), and a Senior Member of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

Popescu’s scholarly work focuses on transforming biomedicine into a quantitative science through advances and innovations in optics and microscopy. Historically, advances in the fundamental biological and medical sciences have followed innovations in instrumentation and measurement technologies, and this is exactly what Popescu has done. More specifically, he has enabled quantitative measurements of the phase of light as it passes through biological structures, providing previously inaccessible biological information without the use of any dyes or stains that would inevitably perturb the dynamic biological processes one is trying to measure.

Popescu received the B.S. and M.S. in Physics from the University of Bucharest, in 1995 and 1996, respectively, obtained his M.S. in Optics in 1999, and the Ph.D. in Optics in 2002 from the School of Optics/ CREOL (now the College of Optics and Photonics), University of Central Florida. Dr. Popescu continued his training with the G. R. Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory at M.I.T., working as a postdoctoral associate.