Srikant named Nearing Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

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By Kim Gudeman, Coordinated Science Lab
April 6, 2009

  • Professor R. Srikant is known for his work on communication problems related to the Internet and for wireless network research.
  • Srikant joined Bell Labs after receiving his master's and PhD from Illinois.
  • Srikant will hold the same title as his former PhD adviser M. Tamer Ba┼čar, now a Swanlund Endowed Chair.

Rayadurgam  Srikant
Rayadurgam Srikant

ECE Professor Rayadurgam Srikant has been invested as the Fredric G. and Elizabeth H. Nearing Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Srikant is internationally known for his work on communication problems related to the Internet and more recently for research on wireless networks.

"This honor recognizes Srikant for the excellence of his scholarly work.," said Andreas C. Cangellaris, interim head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois. "It is through such scholarly excellence that we accomplish our vision for leadership in breakthrough research and transformational engineering education.

Srikant received his B.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, in 1985. The same year, he came to Illinois, where he graduated with a master's degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1988 and 1991, respectively.

After graduating from Illinois with his doctorate, Srikant joined Bell Labs where he was a member of the technical staff. At Bell Labs, he focused on communications theory and practical design of communications networks.

He returned to Illinois as a faculty member in 1995, studying information transfer on the Internet. His research contributed to the development of understanding how to design congestion control protocols for the evolving Internet. He is also a researcher in the Coordinated Science Lab.

More recently, Srikant has begun to focus on wireless networks. Current projects include designing efficient architectures for communication networks (National Science Foundation); developing distributed algorithms with low-complexity implementation (Air Force Office of Scientific Research); and protecting the wireless infrastructure against a terrorist attack (Defense Threat Reduction Agency).

He has received numerous recognitions, including the engineering council award for excellence in advising (2003), the Shimemura Young Author Prize (2002), and an NSF Career Award (1997). In addition, he was named a fellow of IEEE in 2006.

As the new Nearing Professor, Srikant will hold the same title as his former Ph.D. adviser Tamer Başar, now a Swanlund Endowed Chair.

"It has been rewarding to see how he has made such a seamless transition from control to communications, and established himself as an internationally recognized authority in a field different from his Ph.D. research," said Başar, interim director of the Beckman Institute, "He is truly deserving of the honor that this title brings."

This professorship was established by Fred Nearing (BSEE '43) and his wife Betty. Retired after a distinguished career in the marketing of technical instruments, Nearing served on the ECE Alumni Board of Directors from 1979 to 1985 and currently is on its Advisory Board. He received the Marcia Peterman ECE Award in 1997 in recognition of his devoted and loyal service to the University and the Alumni Association. In 1985, he was presented with the Illinois Alumni Association Loyalty Award. His wife Betty passed away in 2006. Nearing still resides in Barrington, Illinois.

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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