Chair: Nick Holonyak Jr. Chair
in Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Nick Holonyak Jr. Professorship was established by the ECE department to honor one of its most prominent faculty members. An ECE alumnus, Holonyak (BSEE 50, MSEE 51, PhD 54) is internationally recognized for his contributions to the science and technology of elemental and compound semiconductors. For example, he was the first to demonstrate quantum-well heterostructure lasers, which are now used in compact disc players and fiber-optic cables. A member of the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Engineering, Holonyak received the National Medal of Science in 1990 and the Japan Prize in 1995.
Faculty: Milton Feng
Milton Feng received his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1979 under the supervision of Professor Gregory E. Stillman, an expert in semiconductor materials and devices.
After a career at Hughes Aircraft Company and Ford Microelectronics, Inc., Professor Feng joined the University of Illinois as a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1991 He was a faculty member of the Center for Compound Semiconductor Microelectronics and the Science and Technology Center for Superconductivity, both funded by the National Science Foundation. From 2001 to 2004, Professor Feng was deputy director of Bio-Optoelectronics System Science (BOSS) Center, which received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Since 2004, he has been the deputy director on the Center of Hyper-Uniform NanoPhotonic Technologies (HUNT) for Ultra-Fast Optoelectric Systems, also funded by DARPA.
Since 2004, Professor Feng, working with Nick Holonyak Jr., Richard Chan, and G. Walter, has invented the first transistor laser and demonstrated the laser operation of quantum-well-based light-emitting transistors.
In 2005, Professor Feng, working with W. Hafez, invented the pseudomorphic heterojuction bipolar transistor (PHBT) and "pushed" the transistor speed boundary toward THz. His work has opened important new avenues in low-power, high-speed electronics for a higher level of integration.
Among Professor Feng's awards and honors are the 1997 IEEE David Sarnoff Award and the 2000 Dr. Pan Wen Yuan Award from Taiwan. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the Optical Society of America.
Since 2001, he has served on the Board of Directors at Supertex Inc., a leading supplier of high-voltage, mixed-signal integrated circuits.