Logo: University of Southern California

Alan E. Willner Elected President of IEEE LEOS

December 15, 2005 —
Alan E. Willner, professor of electrical engineering, has been elected president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers’ (IEEE) Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS).  Willner’s term will begin January 1, 2006, and he will serve as president of the 7,500-member society for two years. 
Almost half of the LEOS members are from outside the U.S. The society sponsors or co-sponsors more than 30 international technical conferences and publishes six technical journals.
“Alan has a distinguished research record in the fields of photonics, fiber optic communications, and opto-electronic systems and devices,” said Alexander Sawchuk, professor and chair of the USC Viterbi School’s Department of Electrical Engineering-Systems.  “Our department joins me in congratulating him.  His election is a recognition of his stature in the LEOS technical community.”
USC Viterbi School Dean Yannis C. Yortsos said “Alan is an inspiration to all who know him for his creative teaching, superb research and highly dedicated work ethic.  It is gratifying to see that his LEOS colleagues have recognized his leadership. We congratulate him warmly.”
Willner earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1988 from Columbia University in New York.  He has received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Young Investigator Award, the NSF Presidential Faculty Fellows Award from the White House, the Packard Foundation Fellow Award, IEEE and Optical Society Fellow, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award.  He has also won USC Associates Award for University-wide Excellence in Teaching, and both the Viterbi School’s teaching award and junior faculty research award.  Willner has also acted as editor-in-chief of two different IEEE journals.
With over 500 publications, Willner's research is focused on high-speed optical fiber communication systems, with emphasis on wavelength-division-multiplexed technologies and networks.  His research has been supported by Cisco, DARPA, HP, Intel, NSA, NSF, and the Packard and Powell Foundations.