Professor Jianming Jin receives award from the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society


Lauren D. Quinn

During its annual conference in March, the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society (ACES) honored ECE Professor Jianming Jin with its highest award, recognizing his career-long contributions to the field of computational electromagnetics.

Jianming Jin
Jianming Jin

“I felt very honored to receive the highest award from ACES. I consider it a recognition from my peers and colleagues, which is always very special,” said Jin.

Jin has worked in the field of computational electromagnetics for 34 years, since he was introduced to the finite element method as a graduate student in China. He literally wrote the book on the finite element method in 1993, helping generations of engineering graduate students understand abstract concepts in electromagnetics.

The finite element method takes complicated physical problems in mechanical, civil, aerospace, and electrical engineering and breaks them into many small problems for which mathematical solutions become simple, with the help of today’s powerful computers.

“With the finite element method, we can model engineering problems and simulate electromagnetic fields/waves and analyze and visualize them,” Jin explained. “For example, we can simulate how electromagnetic waves are reflected and scattered by an airplane and use this simulation capability to design a stealth airplane.”

The method can also simulate how electromagnetic waves are radiated by a cellphone antenna, or how electromagnetic waves propagate in a computer chip. Engineers can then use this information to address a variety of technical issues encountered in the design of computer chips and many other electronic devices.

Jin says that research and applications related to the finite element method have grown tremendously over the course of his career. For example, the application of computational electromagnetics has expanded from scattering and radiation analyses to wireless communication, integrated circuits, optoelectronics, photonics, biomedical engineering, advanced material design, and many other fields.

“Right now I'm witnessing and contributing to research that extends modeling of pure electromagnetic problems to problems involving multiphysics phenomena such as thermal, structural, plasma, and quantum physics, besides electromagnetics. The field of computational electromagnetics is getting more and more interesting, although the problems to be dealt with are getting more challenging,” Jin noted. “I feel very fortunate to have witnessed and contributed to the phenomenal growth of this important field.”

Jin is quick to point out that his professional contributions were not made alone.

“This award not only recognizes my contributions. More importantly, it recognizes the contributions of my graduate students and postdocs, both former and current ones. So, I share the award with them.”

Su Yan
Su Yan
Tianjian Lu
Tianjian Lu

Two of Jin’s students have also won ACES awards. Su Yan won the ACES Best Student Paper Award at the conference both in 2016 and in 2011, and Tianjian Lu won in 2015. Professor Weng Chew, also of ECE, won the Computational Electromagnetics Award in 2015.

“This is testimony to the strength and reputation of ECE Illinois in the field of computational electromagnetics,” Jin said.