Michael L. VanBlaricum

Michael L. VanBlaricum
Michael L. VanBlaricum - BSEE '72, MSEE '74, PhD '76

Michael L. VanBlaricum is chief scientist at Toyon Research Corporation, a California-based firm that designs and analyzes advanced sensor systems for aerospace and defense applications. He has led breakthrough research efforts on compact, electronically steerable antennas that employ reconfigurable design paradigms. These are used for communications, navigation, and radar. VanBlaricum joined Toyon in 1989 and served as president and chief financial officer from 2001 to 2005. 

As a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher at Illinois, VanBlaricum studied the scattering and interactions of electromagnetic waves in the time domain. He was the first to demonstrate Prony’s method as an algorithm for extracting natural resonances from measured transient fields or currents. In 1972, he served as the general co-chair for Engineering Open House. 

“The education and the leadership experience I received at Illinois contributed substantially to my professional success,” VanBlaricum said of his time at Illinois.

Beyond his professional activities, VanBlaricum is a co-founder of The Ian Fleming Foundation (IFF), a nonprofit California corporation. The IFF is dedicated to the study and preservation of the history of Ian Fleming’s literary works, the James Bond phenomenon, and their impact on popular culture. 

VanBlaricum is a member of Illinois’s Spurlock Museum Board of Directors. He also initiated the Illinois Distributed Museum, a project that showcases the history of engineering and technological innovations at the University of Illinois. In 2006, he received the ECE Distinguished Alumni Award.