Professorship: Edward C. Jordan Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Edward C. Jordan was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on December 31, 1910. He received a B.S. degree in 1934 and M.S. degree in 1936 from the University of Alberta, and a PhD from The Ohio State University in 1940. Upon completing his doctoral degree, he served one year as instructor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He returned to Ohio State University in 1941, where he was an instructor, assistant professor, and consultant to the Antenna Laboratory from 1941 to 1945. In 1945, he followed his mentor, William L. Everitt, to the University of Illinois.
At the University of Illinois, Professor Jordan served as associate professor from 1945 to 1947, professor from 1947 to 1979, director of the Radio Direction Finding Laboratory from 1946 to 1954, and director of the Antenna Laboratory from 1950 to1954. In 1954, he was named Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering, a role he served in for 25 years until his retirement in 1979. Professor Jordan authored or edited nine books and published numerous technical articles. His popular textbook, Electromagnetic Waves and Radiating Systems, was first published in 1950 by Prentice-Hall. A second edition, co-authored with K.G. Blamain, was published in 1968. At the time of his death, he was editing the eighth edition of Reference Data for Engineers: Radio Electronics, Computers, and Communications for Howard W. Sams & Co., Inc., publishers.
Professor Jordan received many honors in his career. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He received the prestigious IEEE Education Medal and the Stanley H. Pierce Award at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also received the Alumni Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Engineering 1986 from the UIUC College of Engineering, the George Sinclair Award from Ohio State University in 1988, and the Professional Achievement Award from the University of Alberta in 1988.
Edward C. Jordan was married for 45 years to his beloved wife, Mary Walker Jordan. The couple had three sons. Professor Jordan passed away on October 18, 1991.
Nannapaneni Narayana Rao was born in Kakumanu, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India. While in India, he earned a BS degree in physics from the University of Madras in 1952, and a diploma in electronics from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1955. He earned MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering in 1960 and 1965, respectively, from the University of Washington.
In 1965, Professor Rao joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He carried out research in the area of ionospheric propagation and authored the undergraduate textbook, Basic Electromagnetics with Applications (1972), and six editions of Elements of Engineering Electromagnetics (1977, 1987, 1991, 1994, 2000, and 2004), published by Prentice Hall. The fifth edition of Elements of Engineering Electromagnetics, dedicated to Professor Edward C. Jordan, was translated into two volumes in Bahasa Indonesia. The sixth edition is the lead volume for the new Illinois ECE Series.
Professor Rao has served as ECE Associate Head since 1987. He has received numerous awards and honors for teaching and contributions to education. Some of the more notable include a plaque of appreciation from the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, for consultancy in 1985-1986; the College of Engineering Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence in 1987; the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1989; the Halliburton Engineering Education Leadership Award in 1991; the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) Technical Field Award in Undergraduate Teaching in 1994; and awards from the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) in 1983 and 1999. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.