Cangellaris named recipient of IEEE MTT-S Distinguished Educator Award



Andreas C Cangellaris
Andreas C Cangellaris

ECE Department Head Andreas C Cangellaris was named the 2012 recipient of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Distinguished Educator Award.

For Cangellaris, the M.E. Van Valkenburg Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, being an educator goes beyond work in the classroom. He has presented numerous short courses and tutorials at symposia and conferences to bring the cutting-edge research developed at Illinois on methodologies and tools for the computer-aided design of high-frequency electromagnetic devices and circuits to the individuals who are working in the field.

“As academics is, we not only advance the state of the art, but we educate the community, not only in terms of what these tools are and how tool developers can implement them into computational frameworks used for computer-aided design (CAD), but also training the users of these tools to understand how these new tools enhance their design capabilities. This is the broader service that I believe is recognized,” said Cangellaris.

Among his efforts to help educate those in the field, Cangellaris points to a book he wrote in 2006 with one of his graduate students, Yu Zhu (PhD ’02). Multigrid Finite Element Methods for Electromagnetic Field Modeling (Wiley-IEEE Press) presented “a new set of methodologies that can be used for improving both the computational efficiency—solving difficult problems faster—and the accuracy of numerical electromagnetic field solvers, with primary applications in the area of microwave component and circuit design,” said Cangellaris.

Cangellaris said that several of the algorithms described in the book have been implemented in the CAD tools offered by electronic design automation companies.

Cangellaris noted that receiving this award has reminded him of how important teaching others can be. “Things like this remind me of how important is sharing knowledge with people,” he said. “How important it is to present things with clarity, while being able to accommodate diverse backgrounds of readers, from people who are very comfortable with complex mathematics to people who are more interested in the end result and what they can do with it.”

This is not the first award Cangellaris has received for his efforts in education. In 2001, he received the ECE Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award. In teaching, he sees a similar need to reach students at their level of interest and ability. “I am always challenged by teaching,” he said. “If you want to be effective as a teacher, you have to be able to connect with your students and try to make what you teach relevant to a diverse set of expectations and interests.”

In addition to this recognition, Cangellaris received the Army Research Laboratory Director’s Coin in 2011 and the Humboldt Research Award in 2004. He served as MTT-S Distinguished Lecturer for the period 2008-2010. He is a Fellow of IEEE.

Established in 1993, the MTT-S Distinguished Educator Award has recognized several others with ECE connections. ECE Professor Emeritus Paul Coleman received this award in 1994, and the 2000 recipient was ECE alumnus Tatsuo Itoh (PhD ’69). Cangellaris will receive his award at the 2012 International Microwave Symposium held in Montreal in June.