J. Gary Eden

Electrical and Computer Engineering
2042 ECE Building
306 North Wright Street
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 333-4157

Primary Research Area

  • Electromagnetics and Optics - Lasers and optical physics



PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, January 1976


J. Gary Eden received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1976 and was appointed a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (Washington, DC). As a research physicist in the Laser Physics Branch (Optical Sciences Division) of NRL from 1976 to 1979, he made several contributions to the area of visible and ultraviolet lasers and laser spectroscopy, including the co-discovery of the KrCl rare gas-halide excimer laser, and received a Research Publication Award (1979) for his work at NRL in which he co-discovered the proton beam pumped laser (Ar-N2, XeF). Since joining the faculty of the University of Illinois in 1979, he has been engaged in research in atomic, molecular and ultrafast laser spectroscopy, the discovery and development of visible and ultraviolet lasers, and the science and technology of microcavity plasma devices. He has served as Assistant Dean in the College of Engineering, Associate Dean of the Graduate College, and Associate Vice-Chancellor for Research. Currently, he is the Gilmore Family Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Laboratory for Optical Physics and Engineering, as well as Research Professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory, and the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory. Dr. Eden has authored 250 publications and 35 awarded patents, is a member of four honorary organizations, and is a Fellow of the IEEE, the Optical Society of America, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the SPIE. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Progress in Quantum Electronics. In 1998, he served as President of the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS), following earlier service as a member of the LEOS Board of Governors, and as the Vice-President for Technical Affairs. Dr. Eden received the LEOS Distinguished Service Award, was awarded the IEEE Third Millennium medal in 2000 and was named a LEOS Distinguished Lecturer for 2003-2005. From 1996 through 1999, he was the James F. Towey University Scholar at the University of Illinois. In 2005, he received the IEEE/LEOS Aron Kressel Award. He was awarded the C.E.K. Mees Medal of the Optical Society of America in 2007, and was the recipient of the Fulbright-Israel Distinguished Chair in the Natural Sciences and Engineering for 2007-2008. He is a co-founder of Eden Park Illumination and was recently named the recipient of the Harold E. Edgerton Award of SPIE for 2010.

Research Statement

Professor Eden is Director of the Laboratory for Optical Physics and Engineering, a laboratory devoted to the study and applications of the interaction of visible and ultraviolet radiation with matter. The laboratory has discovered more than a dozen lasers or amplifiers in the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared, including the first ultraviolet and violet fiber lasers, atomic lasers pumped by the photoexcitation of atomic collision pairs, and the Cd– and Zn-halide diatomic systems. With his students, Professor Eden has demonstrated several powerful laser spectroscopic techniques that have resulted in the discovery of (for example) Rydberg series in the rare gas dimer molecules, the first observation of excitation spectra for the photoassociation of thermal atom pairs, and three body photoassociation. In the ultrafast domain (npn plasma bipolar junction transistor. Dr. Eden has authored more than 250 journal publications and 35 awarded patents. His is a co-founder of Eden Park Illumination and EP Purification.

Research Interests

  • Laser Magnetometry
  • Microcavity Plasmas and Optical/Electronic Devices
  • Ultrafast Science
  • Optical Physics in the Visible and Ultraviolet
  • Laser Spectroscopy and Photochemistry

Research Areas

  • Lasers and optical physics
  • Microcavity lasers and nanophotonics
  • Microcavity lasers and nanophotonics
  • Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • Modeling and simulation of laser systems
  • Plasma devices and plasma science
  • Ultrafast laser spectroscopy
  • Ultraviolet photophysics

Teaching Honors

  • Outstanding Faculty Advising Award, College of Engineering (2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2011)
  • Multi-Year Faculty Achievement Award, College of Engineering (2007)
  • Who's Who Among America's Teachers (5th, 6th eds. 1998-2000)
  • Listed in "Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students" (more than 12 times).
  • ECE Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award (2000)

Research Honors

  • Harold E. Edgerton Award, SPIE (2010)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2008)
  • C.E.K. Mees Medal, Optical Society of America (2007)
  • Fulbright-Israel Distinguished Chair in the Natural Sciences and Engineering (2007-2008)
  • Gilmore Family Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering (2007-2012)
  • Aron Kressel Award, IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (2005)
  • Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (2003-2005)
  • IEEE Third Millennium Medal (2000)
  • Distinguished Service Award, IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS) (1996)
  • James F. Towey University Scholar, UIUC (1996-1999)
  • IBM Research Award, UIUC (1994)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (1992)
  • Who's Who in America (46th-65th eds., (1990-2011)
  • Beckman Research Award (1989)
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (1988)
  • Associate, Center for Advanced Study, UIUC (1987-1988)
  • Fellow, Optical Society of America (1986)
  • Rank Prize Funds Lecturer (Photochemical Vapor Deposition), Malvern, England (April 1984)
  • Research Publication Award, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC (1978)

Courses Taught