Alumnus honored for excellence in semiconductor research


Victoria Halewicz, ECE ILLINOIS

Sanjay Banerjee, photo credit: University of Texas at Austin
Sanjay Banerjee, photo credit: University of Texas at Austin
ECE ILLINOIS alumnus Sanjay Banerjee (MSEE '81, PhD '83) has been selected as a recipient of the 2017 University Researcher Award for his excellence in semiconductor research. This award is presented by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) in consultation with the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC).

While a student at Illinois, Banerjee was advised by Professor Ben Streetman. Now professor emeritus of The University of Texas at Austin, Streetman was an ECE ILLINOIS faculty member for 16 years (1966-82). During that time, he supervised 19 PhD students, the last of which was Banerjee, who went on to join Dr. Streetman at the University of Texas at Austin. “He was an amazing student, with a flair for research in semiconductor materials and devices,” said Streetman.

Banerjee has fond memories of Illinois, including taking a course on semiconductors taught by Nick Holonyak, Jr. “Not only did I learn the essentials of our field from that class, [but] Nick would share human interest stories about the giants in our area that Nick had worked with - Bardeen, Shockley, Hall, and many others,” Banerjee said. “I found grad school to be very challenging, and I remember once, when my experiments weren’t going well–which was most of the time–I despondently went to Ben and asked him about my future prospects. Ben grinned wickedly, and asked 'What future?'"

Banerjee had advice for current PhD students who might be struggling with their research. “Your advisors were probably equally disheartened during their PhD, but it gets better. You will get 90% of your results in the last 10% of your grad student life.”

After Illinois, Banerjee worked on polysilicon transistors and dynamic random access trench memory cells at Texas Instruments. This work was used in the world's first 4 megabit DRAM. He is currently a professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Microelectronics Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been recognized for his contributions to MOS and nanostructure device modeling, Si-Ge-C heterostructure devices, and ultra-shallow junction technology.

“His successful career makes me proud and brings added distinction to the University of Illinois,” said Streetman.

For more information, read the news release on Cision.