The UW EE community celebrated Professor Martin Afromowitz’sretirement after 41 years on November 19, 2015. In honor of his dedication and service, Afromowitz received an award presented by Department Chair Radha Poovendran and College of Engineering Dean Michael Bragg.
“When I first came here, there was a sign that said ‘Welcome to UW,’” Martin Afromowitz said. “I took that personally and have always had a warm feeling for this university.”
At the celebration, emeritus professor Mark Damborg shared highlights from many years of working with Afromowitz, as did numerous other faculty members. Attendees enjoyed cake, decorated to resemble a computer.
Afromowitz attended Columbia University, where he earned his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees. After graduating with his Ph.D. in 1969, Afromowitz worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories for five years on visible light LEDs and lasers.
Seeking to work in the new field of bioengineering, Afromowitz was offered an NIH fellowship in the UW Center for Bioengineering in 1974. For 25 years, Martin worked on a variety of bioengineering research projects including:
- pH sensors made by thick film screening
- Assessing the depth of burn wounds using optical reflection and ultrasound
- Optical fiber sensors for biomedical and industrial applications
- Creating microstructures with smoothly varying elevations.
Afromowitz also taught advanced courses in semiconductor optical properties and devices, fiber optics and semiconductor processing, in addition to introductory courses in circuits and E&M. He wrote and self-published a book for his EE398 class, titled “Professional Issues: A Guide for Undergraduate Engineering Students.”
“My greatest pleasure has always been teaching and transmitting the spark of understanding that energizes a student and opens doors to new worlds of accomplishment,” Afromowitz said.
Holding 13 patents related to his research and consulting work with local companies, Afromowitz received a NIH Career Development Award in 1977. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Enertechnix, Inc. Since 2000, Martin has been sought as an expert witness on patent litigation cases. He plans to continue this work during his retirement.
Thanks for 41 great years, Marty!