Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Akira Ishimaru for receiving the College of Engineering’s 2011 Diamond Award for Distinguished Achievement in Academia. The Diamond Awards honor outstanding alumni and friends who have made significant contributions to the field of engineering. The award ceremony and dinner will be held on Friday, May 13, 2011 at the Don James Center in Husky Stadium.
Ishimaru received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tokyo in Japan and worked at Electrotechnical Laboratory and Bell Laboratories before arriving at the University of Washington (UW) to pursue his PhD. His distinguished academic career began in 1958 when he completed the first PhD in the UW Electrical Engineering department. His advisor was Professor Gedaliah Held, and his thesis was titled, “Radiation Pattern Synthesis With Sources Located On A Conical Surface.” Ishimaru was then immediately hired as a professor of electrical engineering.
Akira Ishimaru is known as one of the world’s top experts in wave propagation and scattering in random and turbulent media. His research has affected every aspect of modern life, from health care to communications to the defense of our country. He is the author of a classic two-volume treatise on random media, more than 190 journal papers and over 250 conference papers. Among his many distinguished awards, Ishimaru is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is an IEEE Fellow with a number of prestigious IEEE awards including the Centennial Medal, the Third Millennium Medal, and the Heinrich Hertz Medal.
Perhaps his greatest legacy is the lives he’s influenced and the careers he’s shaped as an educator. Ishimaru has advised over 40 PhD students, and more than ten years after retiring, he has active research grants.