M.E. Van Valkenburg Graduate Research Award

Established 1990

M.E. Van Valkenburg

Mac Van Valkenburg earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in 1943, a master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1946, and a doctorate from Stanford University in 1952, all in electrical engineering.

Dr. Van Valkenburg joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1955. From 1966 to 1974, he served as professor and head of electrical engineering at Princeton University before returning to the U of I. In 1982, Van Valkenburg was named to the college's first endowed chair known as the W. W. Grainger Professorship. In 1984, he was appointed Dean of the College of Engineering. During the 1980's, Mac helped steer the institution to national prominence during a "renaissance in engineering."

He was author of seven textbooks. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Van Valkenburg received the Lamme Medal, the highest honor of the American Society for Engineering Education; the George Westinghouse Award from the same organization; the Education Medal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; and the Halliburton Engineering Education Leadership Award of the UI engineering college.

Mac Van Valkenburg died in Orem, Utah on March 13, 1997.


In 1986 a fund was established on the occasion of the 65th birthday of Mac Van Valkenburg, with income from the fund to be used to provide a fellowship in his honor. Mac Van Valkenburg symbolizes the highest quality of engineering education in Illinois and, indeed, in the country. The award, which is given annually to one or two outstanding PhD candidates, carries a minimum $5,000 stipend.


  1. The award recipient shall be enrolled in the PhD program of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  2. The award recipient shall have successfully passed his or her qualifying exam.
  3. The award recipient shall have demonstrated excellence in research in the areas of circuits, systems, or computers.
  4. Applicants must not be graduating before May of the next calendar year.


The online application form will be advertised on My.ECE. A complete application should consist of the student’s resume, his/her list of publications, and 2 letters of recommendation (one from the research adviser). Applications will be due in November.


All applications for the Award will be judged by the ECE Graduate Fellowship Committee based on the above criteria.


The recipient(s) will be recognized during an annual Student Awards Banquet. All student recipients are featured on the second floor of the ECE Building's Student Honors Wall.

Past Recipients of the Award

Year Recipients
2020-2021 Ameya Patil
2019-2020 Sheng Shen, Karim Moataz Mohamed Mahmoud Ali Megawer, Suraj Sanjay Jog, Jonathan Edward Hoff, Sujan Kumar Gonugondla
2018-2019 Mostafa Ahmed, Chuchu Fan, Jonathan Hoff
2017-2018 Junheng Zhu
2016-2017 Ahmed Elkholy, Xun "Stevo" Jian
2015-2016 Tejasvi Anand, Nirupam Roy
2014-2015 Stanton Cady, Kuo-Hsuan Meng
2013-2014 Javad Ghaderi Dehkordi, Sreeram Kannan
2011-2012 Justin Haldar, Prateek Mittal
2010-2011 Diego Hernando, Wenbo Liu
2009-2010 Shreyas Sundaram
2008-2009 Ali Davoudi, Yun Fu
2007-2008 Hua Wang
2006-2007 Tie Liu, Ming Zhang
2005-2006 Yingbin Liang, Byonghyo Shim, Lingxiao Zhang
2004-2005 Jean-Francois Chamberland, Sami R. Hyvonen
2003-2004 Rong Rong Chen
2002-2003 Dror Baron
2001-2002 Rakesh Dugad, Xiang Zhou
2000-2001 Jia Ru Li
1999-2000 Samit Basu, Daniel L. Marks
1998-1999 Songwu Lu
1995-1996 Vamsi Boppana
1992-1993 Zigang Pan
1991-1992 Daniel Noneaker