Cunningham: Intel Alumni Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Chair: Intel Alumni Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Intel Alumni Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering was established by dedicated alumni working at Intel, including Mark Bohr (MSEE ’78), an Intel Senior Fellow and Director of Process Architecture and Integration. Mark joined Intel in 1978 and has been responsible for process integration and device design on a variety of logic technologies for microprocessor products, including Intel’s 45 nm high-k metal gate transistor technology in 2007 and 22 nm tri-gate transistor technology in 2011.

Mark continues to be a corporate champion for Illinois ECE at Intel. He received the Illinois ECE Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998 and the Marcia Peterman ECE Award in 2016, and he served on the ECE alumni board from 2003-06.

In addition to Mark and his wife Jean, other major contributors included Jerry Marcyk (BSEE ‘73, MSEE ‘76, PhD ‘78), Carl (BSEE ‘74) and Patricia Simonsen, Alan (MS-physics ‘75, PhD ‘79) and Carole Stivers, Leo (PhD ‘69) and Bella Yau, and Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife Betty.

This endowed chair arose from the partnership between the department and Intel. The chair was created to recruit or retain a top researcher in integrated circuit technology within the department.


Faculty: Brian T. Cunningham

Brian Cunningham
Brian T. Cunningham

Brian T. Cunningham is a professor in the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Bioengineering at Illinois. Research in his Nano Sensors Group is focused on the application of sub-wavelength optical phenomena and fabrication methods to the development of novel devices and instrumentation for the life sciences. By constructing nanostructure surfaces — such as photonic crystals that can capture light from an LED, a laser, or a light bulb, and to concentrate its energy on the surface — researchers can attach biomolecules like antibodies or proteins, and selectively look for, and grab, something specific out of a test sample. One recent breakthrough by the group is the first biosensing laser, with a number of applications for their research, including HIV viral load and early-stage cancer detection.

Cunningham is the founder of Exalt Diagnostics, a company established in 2012 to commercialize Photonic Crystal Enhanced Fluorescence technology for applications in early disease diagnostics, allergy characterization, and life science research. Exalt Diagnostics has also licensed Cunningham’s patents in the field of mobile device diagnostics for point-of-care, point-of-use, manufacturing quality control, food safety, and environmental monitoring applications. Cunningham is the author of 78 issued U.S. patents, and is considered as one of the world’s leading authorities in the field of biosensors.