SINA Award in Engineering

Iranians are well known for their engineering works from the earliest days of human civilization. Massive historical structures such as glorious bridges, canals, palaces and roadways, indicate the pioneering skills of engineers in ancient Iran. Moreover, the invention of the Qanat water management system is among the leading engineering achievements of Iranian engineers in the ancient world. Today, numerous engineers from Iran continue to design, develop and invent new systems for the well being of human kind. The SINA Award in Engineering is presented to an Iranian who has an outstanding achievement in any field of engineering, including, but not limited to: Architecture, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Environmental and Industrial Engineering.

SINA 2013 Awardee

Selected by Scientific American Magazine as one of the 50 Leaders in Science and Technology in 2006, Nader Engheta is a visionary innovator and an internationally renowned pioneer in the fields of optics and electrodynamics. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, he was driven by his curiosity about how things work, and he set out to find answers to his questions. He got his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Tehran’s School of Engineering (Fanni) with highest rank in 1978, and then came to the United States for his higher education at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He pursued his love of science and engineering at Caltech and received his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering and Physics in 1982. After spending one year as a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech and four years as a senior scientist at Kaman Sciences Corporation in California, he moved with his wife eastward and joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He has developed an active research program working on diverse research topics at the forefront of optics and microwaves, ranging from the cloak of invisibility, to the eyes of fish, to the nanometer-scale circuits—all fueled by his creativity and passion for science. He went through the professorial ranks swiftly and he currently holds the endowed H. Nedwill Ramsey Professorship at the University of Pennsylvania, with affiliation in departments of electrical and systems engineering, bioengineering, materials science and engineering, and physics and astronomy.

He has a broad spectrum of research activities in the fields of metamaterials, nanophotonics, graphene optics, imaging and sensing inspired by eyes of animal species, optical nanoengineering, microwave and optical antennas, and engineering and physics of fields and waves. A creative and influential scientist/engineer, Nader’s trailblazing work in the development and advancement of these fields has opened up unchartered territories and disciplines, and new vistas and application areas. One of his most innovative contributions has been the introduction and development of the new field of “optical metatronics”, as a new circuit paradigm for information processing at the nanometer scale. As collections of tiny structures, these “circuits with light” may lead to miniaturization of systems with unprecedented possibilities for nanoscale computers and processors.

For his discoveries and innovations, Nader has received many prestigious awards, among which are 2013 Benjamin Franklin Key Award, 2012 IEEE Electromagnetics Award, 2008 George H. Heilmeier Award for Excellence in Research, IEEE Millennium Medal, Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Chair Award for Naples, US NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, and UPS Distinguished Educator Term Chair. He has also received the distinction of being elected the Fellow of several world-wide technical organizations such as the Fellow of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Optical Society of America (OSA), American Physical Society (APS), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering. He is also an inspiring educator and has received awards for his teaching activities including Christian F. and Mary R. Lindback Foundation Award, S. Reid Warren, Jr. Award, and the W. M. Keck Foundation Award.

He is married to Susanne H. Engheta whom he met in Pasadena, California, and married in 1986. They have a son, Alex, 24, working at the Center for Creative Arts, and a daughter, Sarah, 21, studying Finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. They live in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. In his spare time, Nader enjoys classical music, ballroom dancing lessons, and historical nonfiction books and movies.

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