Prof. Yurii Vlasov elected to National Academy of Engineering


Illinois ECE

Yurii A Vlasov, Founder Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He is recognized for his contributions to the development and commercialization of silicon photonics for optical data communications.

Yurii Vlasov, Founder Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Yurii Vlasov, Founder Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Vlasov is among a class of 106 engineers and 23 foreign associates announced by the academy on February 9, 2021. Election to the NAE is one of the highest professional honors an engineer can garner. Its total of 2,355 members and 298 foreign associates are an elite group distinguished by their outstanding contributions to the fields of technology and engineering.

Vlasov joined Illinois in 2016; previously, he held research and managerial positions at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. While at IBM, Vlasov pioneered and developed integrated silicon nanophotonics. The technology integrated electrical and optical devices on the same silicon chip, which enabled the chips to communicate using pulses of light as opposed to electrical signals. This innovation, which is deployed for commercial production through GlobalFoundries, is enabling high-performance optical connectivity in supercomputers, cloud data centers, and telecommunications, while significantly reducing cost and maximizing energy efficiency.

At Illinois, his research has pivoted to integrated neuro technologies. He established the Integrated Neurotechnology lab devoted to the development of advanced engineering approaches aimed at reverse engineering of the brain circuits, with the goal of getting insights on how our brain works to enable novel clinical treatments of neurological disorders.

Illinois ECE department head Bruce Hajek lauded the selection. “Dr. Vlasov is internationally recognized both as a highly accomplished scholar with major scientific discoveries in the area of nanophotonics, as well as an industrial engineer who has led the successful transition of this basic scientific knowledge into a real-world technology.”

The following are other engineers associated with Illinois ECE honored in this year's class:

Shelley K. Lavender (BS CompE '86, 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award) senior vice president, Strike, Surveillance, and Mobility, Boeing Defense, Space, and Security, Program Management, The Boeing Co., St. Louis, for contributions to technological advances of military aircraft platforms and systems.

Donald R. Wilton (BSEE '64, MS '66, PhD '70), professor emeritus, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston, for contributions to computational electromagnetics of highly complex structures.

Ilic, Marija D., senior research scientist, Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. For contributions to electric power system analysis and control. Ilic was a tenured Associate Professor at Illinois ECE before joining the faculty at MIT.