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  • Biographical Sketch: Alan Willner Alan Willner received a Ph.D. (1988) in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University and a B.A. (1982) in Physics and an Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa, 2012) from Yeshiva University. Prof. Willner was a Postdoctoral Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Labs and a Member of Technical Staff at Bellcore. He is currently the Steven & Kathryn Sample Chaired Professor of Eng. in the Ming Hsieh Dept. of Electrical Eng. of the Viterbi School of Eng. at the Univ. of Southern California. Prof. Willner has been a Visiting Professor at Columbia Univ., Univ. College London, and Weizmann Institute of Science. He has been a Member of the U.S. Army Science Board, a Member of the Defense Sciences Research Council (16-member body that provided reports to DARPA Director & Office Directors), and a member on many advisory boards. He was also Founder & CTO of Phaethon Communications, a company whose technology was acquired by Teraxion, that created the ClearSpectrum® dispersion compensator product line which is presently deployed in many commercial 40-Gbit/s systems worldwide. Prof. Willner has received the following honors: Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, International Fellow of the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering, Presidential Faculty Fellows Award from the White House, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, IEEE Eric Sumner Technical Field Award, Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science & Engineering, John Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, U.S. Dept. of Defense Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, Fellow of National Academy of Inventors, Institution of Eng. & Tech. (IET) J.J. Thomson Medal, Thomas Egleston Medal for Distinguished Engineering Achievement (highest eng. award from Columbia Eng. Alumni Association), Optical Society (OSA) Paul Forman Engineering Excellence Award, IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award, National Science Foundation National Young Investigator Award, Fulbright Foundation Senior Scholar Lecture & Research Fellowship, Honorary Professor of Huazhong Univ. of Science & Technology, IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer Award, SPIE President’s Award, IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Service Award, USC Associates Award for University-Wide Creativity in Research (highest USC research award), USC Associates Award for University-Wide Excellence in Teaching (highest USC teaching award), OSA Robert Hopkins Leadership Award, USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award (for significant scholarly work), USC Senior Engineering Research Award, USC Best Engineering Teacher Award, 2001 Eddy Paper Award from Pennwell Publications for Best Contributed Technical Article (across all 30 magazines in Pennwell's Advanced Technology Division), IEEE Globecom Best Paper Award, and Edwin Howard Armstrong Foundation Memorial Award for highest- ranked EE Masters student at Columbia University. He is a Fellow of AAAS, IEEE, IET, OSA and SPIE, and he was a Fellow of the Semiconductor Research Corporation. Prof. Willner was an invited foreign dignitary representing the sciences for the 2009 Nobel Prize Ceremonies in Stockholm. Prof. Willner’s activities include: Co-Chair of U.S. National Academies’ Study on Optics & Photonics, President of the OSA, President of the IEEE Photonics Society (formerly LEOS), Co-Chair of OSA Science & Engineering Council, Vice-President for Technical Affairs of IEEE Photonics Society, Editor- in-Chief of OSA Optics Letters, Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology (JLT), Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Communications Series on Optical Networks, Photonics Division Chair of OSA, Chair of IEEE TAB Ethics and Member Conduct Committee, Chair of the National Photonics Initiative, General Co-Chair of the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Program Co-Chair of OSA Annual Meeting, General Chair of IEEE Photonics Society Annual Meeting, Program Chair of Telecommunications Engineering at SPIE’s Photonics West, Chair of the Unclassified Technical Program for IEEE MILCOM, and Member of US Advisory Committee for Int’l Commission for Optics (activity of the National Academies/IEEE/OSA/SPIE). Prof. Willner has ~1450 publications (h-index=>73, >29,000 citations, Google Scholar), including 1 book, 10 edited books, ~38 U.S. patents, ~45 keynotes/plenaries, ~23 book chapters, >400 refereed journal papers, and >300 invited papers/presentations. His research is in optical technologies (e.g., communications, signal processing, networks, and subsystems).

  • Alan Willner, CV, p. 1


    ADDRESS: EEB 538, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering, USC, LA, CA 90089-2565, 213-740-4664, F: 213-740-8729, [email protected]

    EDUCATION: Columbia University - Ph.D. - Electrical Engineering - Aug. 1988 (defended). Thesis Advisor - Prof. Richard Osgood, Jr., Thesis Title: Laser-Controlled Photochemical Etching of Semiconductors for Electro-optical Devices

    Columbia University - M.S. - Electrical Engineering (1984) Overall Columbia grade index - 4.11 (A = 4.0)

    Yeshiva University - B.A.- Physics (1982). Grade index - 3.96 (A = 4.0) WORK EXPERIENCE:

    Fall '10 - present Steven and Kathryn Sample Chaired Professor in Engineering, Ming Hsieh Dept. of Electrical Eng., Viterbi School of Eng., University of Southern California, Communications Sciences Institute . Optical Communication Systems and Networks Mar. '15 - present Visiting Professor (Adj. Senior Res. Scientist), Elec. Eng Dept., Columbia Univ. Sept. '17 - present Visting Scholar, Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women, Yeshiva Univ. Fall '98 – Spring '10 Professor, Ming Hsieh Dept. of Electrical Eng., USC Sept. '09 –June '14 Member, Defense Sciences Research Council, Consultant to Booz Allen . Council performs studies that are presented to DARPA Director & Office Directors

    Fall '07 - Summer '12 Co-Director, Communications Sciences Institute, EEDept. Exec. Comm., USC Fall '07 -Summer '17 Visiting Professor, Dept. of Electronic & Electrical Eng, Univ. College London Nov. '99 - Nov. '02 Founder & CTO, Phaethon Communications (technology acquired by Teraxion) . Created the ClearSpectrum®dispersion compensator product line . ClearSpectrum®presently deployed in many commercial 40-Gbit/s systems Aug. '94 - Sept. '98 Associate Professor, Dept. of EE - Systems, USC April '96 - June '04 Associate Director, Student Affairs, NSF-Sponsored Engineering Research Center in Integrated Media Systems, USC Spring '98 Visiting Fulbright Prof., Physics Dept., Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel Apr. '94 – Present Associate Director, Center for Photonic Technology (CPT), USC Jan. '92 - Present Director, Optical Communications Laboratory, USC Jan. '92 - July '94 Assistant Professor, Dept. of EE - Systems, USC Nov. '90 - Jan. '92 Member of Technical Staff, Bell Comm. Research, Photonics Research Dept. . Fiber Optic Wavelength-Division-Multiplexed Communication Systems Oct. '88 - Oct. '90 Postdoctoral Member of the Technical Staff, Crawford Hill Lab AT&T Bell Laboratories, Photonics Networks and Components Research Department, Postdoctoral Supervisor: Dr. Ivan Kaminow . Fiber Optic Wavelength-Division-Multiplexed Communication Systems Sept. '84 - Aug. '88 Graduate Research Assistant, Columbia University, Microelectronics Science Lab & NSF Center for Telecommunications Research . Laser-Fabricated Integrated Optical Components Fall '87 Instructor, Columbia Univ., “Fundamentals of Circuits and Systems” June '87 Visiting Scientist, Naval Research Laboratory - Modulation Spectroscopy Summers '83, '84 Summer Technical Staff, David Sarnoff Research Center, RCA Labs Fall '83 Teaching Assistant, Columbia Univ., Solid State Devices

  • Alan Willner, CV, p. 2

    HONORS: Member, U.S. National Academy of Engineering ('16) International Fellow of the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering ('10)

    Of the 4 Int'l Fellows elected from the US in '10, the other 3 were Drs. Howard Bruschi (former Westinghouse CTO), Robert Langer (MIT Institute Professor) and Charles Vest (former MIT President and NAE President).

    Ellis Island Medal of Honor ('20) Awarded annually to a group of distinguished American citizens who exemplify a life dedicated to their community and the world at large.

    IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award ('14) One “Technical Field Award” in Communications from the entire IEEE.

    Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship (U.S. DoD) ('16) Formerly Defense Security Science & Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF)

    J. J. Thomson Medal for Achievement in Electronics, Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) ('16)

    Steven and Kathryn Sample Endowed Chair in Engineering ('10) Inaugural holder of endowed chair named after the former USC president.

    Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors ('15) ‘09 Nobel Prize Ceremonies, “invited foreign dignitary representing sciences”

    Thomas Egleston Medal for Distinguished Engineering Achievement ('17) Highest honor given to a Columbia engineering graduate for a lifetime of achievement in the engineering profession by the Columbia University Enignering Alumni Association. Notable winners include Edwin H. Armstrong, Harvey S. Mudd, Hyman G. Rickover.

    Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who Publications Board ('17) Viterbi School of Engineering Senior Research Award ('19) Honorary Professor, Huazhong Univ. of Science &