Week Technology of the Year Award in 1998 for the invention of a quantum tunneling transistor and was appointed a fellow of the APS in 2002. He was organizer and chair of the 16th International Conference on the Electronic Properties of Two-Dimensional Systems, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in July 2005.
Edwin Thomas currently serves as the department head for materials science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He and others from MIT cofounded OmniGuide Communications, Inc., in Cambridge. He has served as associate head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, as director of MIT’s Program in Polymer Science and Technology, and as founding director of the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. Before going to MIT, he founded and served as codirector of the Institute for Interface Science and was head of the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Thomas is the recipient of the 1991 High Polymer Physics Prize of the APS and the 1985 American Chemical Society Creative Polymer Chemist Award. He was elected a fellow of the APS in 1986 and a fellow of the AAAS in 2003. Dr. Thomas has been a visiting professor and senior scientist at the Institut Charles Sadron at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique for Macromolecules in Strasbourg, France; visiting professor at the Chemistry Department of the University of Florida; visiting professor in the Department of Physics at Bristol University; a Bye Fellow in the Department of Physics and Materials Science at Robinson College, Cambridge University; a visiting professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota; the Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry at the University of Freiburg; and assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. He wrote the undergraduate textbook entitled The Structure of Materials, has coauthored more than 350 papers, and holds 11 patents. His research interests include polymer physics and engineering of the mechanical and optical properties of block copolymers, liquid-crystalline polymers, and hybrid organic-inorganic nanocomposites.
Eli Yablonovitch is the Northrop Grumman Opto-Electronics Chair, Professor of Electrical Engineering. He graduated with a Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard University in 1972. He worked for 2 years at Bell Telephone Laboratories and then became a professor of applied physics at Harvard. In 1979 he joined Exxon Corporation to do research on photovoltaic solar energy. Then in 1984, he joined Bell Communications Research, where he was a Distinguished Member of Staff and also director of solid-state physics research. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Optical Society of America, and the American Physical Society. Dr. Yablonovitch is a life member of Eta Kappa Nu and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences. He has been awarded the Adolf Lomb Medal, the W. Streifer Scientific Achievement Award, the R.W. Wood Prize, and the Julius Springer Prize. Dr. Yablonovitch was a founder of the Workshop on Photonic and Electromagnetic Crystal Structures series of Photonic Crystal International Workshops that began in 1999. His work has covered a broad variety of topics: nonlinear optics, laser-plasma interaction, infrared laser chemistry, photovoltaic energy conversion, strained-quantum-well lasers, and chemical modification of semiconductor surfaces. Currently his main interests are in optoelectronics, high-speed optical communications, high-efficiency light-emitting diodes and nano-cavity lasers, photonic crystals at optical and microwave frequencies, and quantum computing and quantum communication.