Logo: University of Southern California

Supratik Guha '91 and Jim Hsieh '71 elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Ph.D. graduates join Ming Hsieh, USC trustee, as trio of USC Viterbi alumni receive the profession's highest honor
By: Marc Ballon
February 05, 2015 —
Supratik Guha (left) and Jim Hsieh (right)

Two distinguished alumni of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering were named as National Academy of Engineering members, one of the highest professional honors accorded an engineer.

Supratik Guha and Jim Hsieh, who both earned doctorates at USC Viterbi in materials science and went on to successful business careers, join fellow USC Viterbi alumnus and the Department of Electrical Engineering namesake, Ming Hsieh, as newly minted NAE inductees.

“With three out of 79 newly elected NAE members being USC Viterbi alumni, recognized for their excellence in industry, this underscores the impact of the Viterbi School on the evolution of technology," USC Viterbi Dean Yannis Yortsos said. "We are very proud of this great distinction for Ming, Jim and Supratik."

Guha, Ph.D. ’91, currently serves as director of the physical sciences department at IBM, where he has worked since 1995. He also sits on the advisory board of USC Viterbi's Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

In his director’s role, Guha is responsible for IBM’s worldwide strategy in the physical sciences, leading a team of researchers engaged in basic and applied science research. From 1998 to 2010, he started and led the materials research work that resulted in IBM’s high-κ metal oxide gate transistor technology, which is found in the company’s server products and a large percentage of smartphone products sold globally.

Additionally, Guha has built several successful IBM programs, including silicon photonics; sensor-based physical analytics; carbon nanotube transistor technology for CMOS; and photovoltaics. His personal research interests are in materials for energy conversion and future information technologies.

An adjunct professor at Columbia University, Guha received the IBM Corporate Award in 2013. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Like Guha, Hsieh has maintained a full schedule since earning his Ph.D. in 1971. Hsieh, with 43 years of experience in the semiconductor laser industry, serves as chairman and CEO of Marlborough, Mass.-based Sheaumann Laser, formerly Axcel Photonics. Previously, he founded and served as president of Lasertron, Inc. from 1980 to 1995. Hsieh also founded and acted as former vice-chairman of the board of Wuhan Telecommunication Devices Company, a joint venture with the Ministry of the Posts and Telecommunications in China.

"I think USC provided me with quite a bit of knowledge, confidence and taught me how to really do research," he said.

Hsieh, the author of several technical papers and holder of five patents, received IEEE’s 1992 David Sarnoff Award for invention and commercialization of the GaInAsP semiconductor laser for fiber-optic communications.