Professorship: Bliss Professor of Engineering
The Bliss Professor of Engineering is the result of a bequest from the late Helen Eva Bliss, in memory of her father, Abel Bliss Jr. Miss Bliss graduated from the University of Illinois in 1911 with a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Early in her career, she taught engineering at a Shreveport, Louisiana high school, and later did clerical work with the Bureau of Aircraft Production in Washington, D.C. From 1936, until her retirement in 1962, she worked for the Washington law firm of Ivins, Phillips & Barker as an executive secretary.
Abel Bliss Jr. entered the University in 1872 to study civil engineering, but was forced to leave the University before completing his degree. In June of 1874, the University granted him a partial certificate in civil engineering. His business ventures included agriculture and real estate, and by 1929, he was a partner in the land development and oil production company of Bliss & Wetherbee. Mr. Bliss died in the mid-1930s.
A portion of the Bliss bequest went to support the Grainger Engineering Library and Information Center Endowment as well as other projects for “advancing the scholastic activities of the School of Engineering.”
Faculty: Kent D. Choquette
Kent D. Choquette was born in Franklin, Nebraska, and he grew up in Longmont, Colorado. He received B.S. degrees in Engineering Physics and Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado–Boulder and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
From 1990 to 1992, he held a postdoctoral appointment at AT&T Bell Laboratories at Murray Hill, New Jersey. He then joined Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and from 1993 to 2000, he was a principal member of technical staff. He came to Illinois in 2000, and is a faculty member of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His Photonic Device Research Group conducts research spanning the design, fabrication, characterization, and applications of vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), photonic crystal light sources, nanofabrication technologies, and hybrid integration techniques for photonic devices.
Professor Choquette has authored more than 200 technical publications and three book chapters, and he has presented numerous invited talks and tutorials. He has been an associate editor of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, IEEE Photonic Technology Letters, and J. Lightwave Technology, as well as a guest editor of IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics. He was elected to the Board of Governors and is serving as vice president for conferences for the IEEE Photonics Society. From 2000 to 2002, he was an IEEE/Lasers and Electro-Optics Society Distinguished Lecturer, and he was awarded the IEEE/LEOS Engineering Achievement Award in 2008. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, the Optical Society of America, and SPIE.