George Anner Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award
George Anner was a pioneer in creating undergraduate semiconductor fabrication laboratory courses, the first of their kind in the United States, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Anner’s push for the department to move into solid-state electronics was seen as visionary.
Anner received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the College of William and Mary in 1938, and then completed a master’s in electrical engineering at Harvard. He taught at New York University in 1940, but was called to active duty in the Marine Corps in 1941. During his years of service, Anner established and served as officer in charge of the Marine Corps Radar School, then served two tours of duty in the Pacific Theatre. He returned to teaching at NYU in 1946. In 1952, Anner was chosen to represent the University of Illinois in a two-year appointment as visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India. He served as director for the undergraduate semiconductor fabrication laboratory from 1968-1982.
Anner’s influence on the department has been far-reaching. He developed ECE 344, Theory and Fabrication of Integrated Circuit Devices. This class and the lab where students take it have been recognized as one of the best undergraduate instructional facilities in the country, and remains a staple of the ECE curriculum. That pioneering legacy is being continued as Illinois ECE offers the first undergraduate laboratory to teach nanofabrication in the new ECE Building. Anner died in 2004 at age 86, and is remembered by Illinois ECE alumni as a superlative teacher.
Illinois ECE expanding George Anner Endowed Fund
“George’s vision and commitment allowed undergraduates at Illinois a unique learning opportunity. The Fab Lab continues today to provide hands-on semiconductor experience for Engineering at Illinois students,” Marcyk said. “Through the EE 344 class (now ECE 444) in the Fab Lab, George had an incredible impact on me. I know the same is true for many others whose interest in semiconductors was sparked or fed by George and his lab.”To honor legendary Professor George Anner, Illinois ECE is expanding the George Anner Endowed Fund in ECE to establish the George Anner Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, with the support of alumnus Gerald T. Marcyk (BSEE ’73, MS ’76, PhD ’78).
“By supporting this initiative, you can both honor Professor Anner and help celebrate outstanding Illinois ECE faculty members who are following in his footsteps by mentoring, teaching, and inspiring a new generation of students,” he said.