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Brad Petersen
Director of
Communications
1066 ECE Building
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 244-6376
bradp@illinois.edu

Contact Info

Meg Dickinson
Communications Specialist
1068 ECE Building
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 300-6664
megd@illinois.edu

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Alumnus Bob Johnson: brigadier general, electrical engineer and polo player at 89

Alumnus Bob Johnson: brigadier general, electrical engineer and polo player at 89

Alumnus Bob Johnson (BSEE '38) served in the pacific theatre of the Second World War, reached the rank of brigadier general, worked as an electrical engineer, and played competitive polo until the age of 87.

Cunningham receives 2008 Xerox Award

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By Bridget Maiellaro, ECE Illinois
March 7, 2008

  • Prof. Brian Cunningham was named a recipient of the 2008 Xerox Award for Faculty Research.
  • Cunningham is one of four associate professors in the College of Engineering to receive the award. Cunningham was nominated for the award by Prof. Richard E. Blahut.
  • The Xerox Foundation, the world's leading document management technology and services enterprise, established the Xerox Awards for Faculty Research in 1982. The awards, which are awarded annually, are given to both assistant and associate professors. Awards for assistant professors are based on one year of research accomplishments, while awards for associate professors are based on five years of research accomplishments.
Brian T. Cunningham
Brian T. Cunningham

ECE Associate Professor Brian T. Cunningham was recently named a recipient for a 2008 Xerox Award for Faculty Research. He was one of four associate professors in the College of Engineering to receive the award, which honors faculty members for outstanding research.

Professor Richard E. Blahut nominated Cunningham for the award, citing Cunningham’s research at the intersection of information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

Cunningham (BSEE ’86, MSEE ’87, PhD ’90) is currently involved in various research projects on and off of campus that all incorporate Bio-molecular Interaction Detection, commonly referred to as BIND, which is used to detect the binding between two molecules or between one molecule and a cell. Cunningham developed the BIND technology at SRU Biosystems, a biotechnology firm in the Boston area that he co-founded in 2000. While he teaches at Illinois, Cunningham still serves as SRU Biosystems’ chief technology officer.

With the help of ECE graduate students Fuchyi Yang and Gary Yen, Cunningham is currently developing technology aimed at improving devices used to protect U.S. soldiers’ eyes during combat. Under contract with the U.S. Army since 2005, the researchers have theoretically studied several potential concepts through designing and modeling devices via computer. They are currently building and testing hardware, working to improve the response speed of the devices.

Also during the past three years, Cunningham has been working on research projects that involve collaboration with professors and graduate students from several units at the University, including the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Pathobiology, and the Department of Crop Sciences.

In these projects, Cunningham and his Nano Sensors Group are studying how different chemical compounds interact with human cancer cells to find potential treatments for different types of cancers, searching for a chemical compound to counter Parkinson’s disease, constructing sensors to detect viruses found in groundwater, and developing tests aimed at detecting soybean rust spores.

The Xerox Foundation, the world's leading document management technology and services enterprise, established the Xerox Awards for Faculty Research in 1982. The awards, which are awarded annually, are given to both assistant and associate professors. Awards for assistant professors are based on one year of research accomplishments, while awards for associate professors are based on five years of research accomplishments.

Cunningham will be formally presented with the award at the 44th Annual Engineering Awards Convocation to be held Friday, April 25, at 8:30 a.m. in the Illini Union’s South Lounge and Illini Room C.

For more information on Cunningham’s research projects and his Nano Sensors Group, please visit http://nano.ece.illinois.edu.

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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