Jain elected to the National Academy of Engineering


James E. Kloeppel, U of I News Bureau, and Tom Moone, ECE Illinois

Kanti Jain
Kanti Jain

ECE Professor Kanti Jain has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering. He was among 65 engineers selected for membership in the NAE, which was established in 1964 under a charter from the National Academy of Sciences as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers.

Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions in engineering.  The current NAE membership includes 2,246 U.S. engineers and 197 foreign associates.

Jain was cited “for contributions to the development of high-resolution, deep-ultraviolet excimer lithography for microelectronic fabrication.”

“This is really a great honor,” said Jain. “I feel that being recognized by your peers who are so eminent in their fields is really great. And it is also rewarding because this recognition is for my work that has had a broad impact in the industry.”

Richard Herman, the chancellor of the Urbana campus, said, “This prestigious honor is an indication of professor Jain’s pioneering contributions to the field of optical engineering. We are extremely proud of his accomplishments, which are emblematic of the continuing legacy of excellence of our university.”

Jain’s research focuses on developing novel micro- and nanofabrication technologies that enable the patterning and microstructuring of a variety of organic and inorganic materials (including new polymers, semiconductors, metals, and biological materials) and producing structures, devices and systems previously not deemed possible.

His broad research objectives include advancing the state-of-the-art in microelectronic, optoelectronic and microsystem devices using novel large-area, high-resolution fabrication techniques.

A reception was held in Jain’s honor in Everitt Lab on February 6. There, College of Engineering Dean Ilesanmi Adesida said, “For the college, for the department, and for the University, this is a big honor. We are very happy to congratulate you, Kanti. We value your work. We value you as a colleague. And we value your contributions to society.”

Jain earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1970, and his doctorate in electrical engineering and physics in 1975, both from Illinois.“I sat in some of these classrooms where I teach now. This department is a part of my heart,” he said. Jain joined the Illinois faculty in 2006.

Jain’s many honors and recognitions include the David Richardson Medal of the Optical Society of America (2008) and Outstanding Innovation Awards by IBM (1985 and 1988). He is a Fellow of the IEEE, the Optical Society of America, and the International Society for Optical Engineering. He holds 68 patents, including inventions of core lithography technologies for the production of integrated circuits and displays.

Also receiving election to the NAE this year was ECE alumnus Gurindar Sohi (MSEE ’83, PhD ’85). Recognized by NAE "for contributions to the design of high-performance, superscalar computer architectures," Sohi holds the the John P. Morgridge Professor and E. David Cronon Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He teaches in the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering.