Prof. Anthony Grbic elected IEEE Fellow for contributions to the theory and design of electromagnetic metamaterials

Prof. Grbic specializes in the broad fields of electromagnetics and optics, with interests ranging from fundamental electromagnetic theory to microwave circuits.

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Prof. Anthony Grbic, Ernest and Bettine Kuh Distinguished Faculty Scholar, has been elected IEEE Fellow, “for contributions to the theory and design of electromagnetic metamaterials.”

Prof. Grbic specializes in the broad fields of electromagnetics and optics, with interests ranging from fundamental electromagnetic theory to engineered electromagnetic structures (metamaterials, metasurfaces, electromagnetic band-gap materials, frequency selective surfaces), antennas, microwave circuits, plasmonics, optics, wireless power transmission systems, and analytical modeling in electromagnetics/optics.

He has created radically new antennas and optical devices based on the development of novel metamaterials and metasurfaces. Metamaterials are man-made materials that are fashioned to manipulate electromagnetic waves or sound in ways not found in nature. They were first predicted in 1999 by Prof. John Pendry, and within three years, Prof. Grbic was the first to prove the validity of Pendry’s theory. Some of his early papers on the topic are already considered classics in the field. He later developed the first practical three-dimensional realizations of metamaterials.

In 2008, Prof. Grbic and Roberto Merlin, Peter A. Franken Collegiate Professor of Physics, focused microwaves to specks 20 times smaller than their wavelength and five times smaller than similar devices using near-field plates. This breakthrough could allow advances such as laptop computers that recharge without plugging in, higher-resolution microscopes for observing molecules, and CDs that can store vastly more data. More recently, he has demonstrated two-dimensional meta-surfaces that are capable of manipulating polarized lightwaves with efficiencies that dwarf those of previous devices. Applications for this research include wireless power transfer and higher-resolution microscopes for observing molecules. His meta-surface ideas were patented and licensed to several companies, including his own startup company.

In 2011, Prof. Grbic and a team of researchers including Stephen Forrest, Peter A. Franken Distinguished University Professor, former graduate student Dr. Carl Pfeiffer and Xin Xu of Universal Display Corporation, devised a way to mass-produce antennas so small that they approach the fundamental minimum size limit for their bandwidth, or data rate, of operation. This could lead to new generations of wireless consumer electronics and mobile devices that are either smaller or more versatile, as well as improvements in wireless sensing and wireless sensor networks for environmental monitoring or surveillance.

Prof. Grbic received an NSF CAREER Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), an AFOSR Young Investigator award, the United States National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science (USNC/URSI) Booker Fellowship, and was honored as the MTT-S Outstanding Young Engineer. He is also a gifted educator, and received the U-M Henry Russel Award which honors research and exemplary teaching. Graduate and undergraduate students alike have benefited from the careful mentorship of Prof. Grbic. He regularly participates in special programs designed to engage undergraduate students in research, already giving more than 30 undergraduate students the thrill of working with a world-class team of researchers.

About IEEE Fellows:

IEEE is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. The IEEE Grade of Fellow is one of the most prestigious honors of the IEEE, and is bestowed upon a very limited number of Senior Members who have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology bringing significant value to our society. The number of IEEE Fellows elevated in a year is no more than one-tenth of one percent of the total IEEE voting membership.

There are more than 430,000 IEEE members in more than 160 countries. The IEEE publishes a third of the world’s technical literature in electrical engineering, computer science and electronics and is a leading developer of international standards that underpin many of today’s telecommunications, information technology and power generation products and services.