News

ECE Professor Dan Blumenthal named a 2017 National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow

December 13th, 2017

photo of Dan Blumenthal
Blumenthal cited for “demonstrating a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.”

“Our campus is thrilled for Professor Blumenthal on his election to the National Academy of Inventors, a proud and prestigious peer recognition of his creativity in engineering,” said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “While celebrating his commitment to innovation, this honor also acknowledges Professor Blumenthal’s important contributions to society through the creative application of his research at the frontier of technology.”

Blumenthal’s UCSB lab develops new hardware and communications technologies to solve complex communications, transmission, switching and signal processing problems out of reach with today’s technologies. Its primary research undertaking is to develop new functions integrated on small chips called photonic circuits and use them to build networks in ways that save energy and increase the scale of connectivity and bandwidth of data centers and the internet.

“It is a great honor to be nominated as a fellow of the NAI and recognized for work that has come to fruition over so many years through working with so many collaborators,” said Blumenthal, head of the ECE’s Optical Communications and Photonic Integration Group and director of UCSB’s Terabit Optical Ethernet Center. “The challenge of combining creativity and engineering to operate on the edge of technology innovation is in itself hugely satisfying. Seeing this technology take root and positively impact generations of fiber communications networks that people use in their everyday lives to be more energy efficient and communicate, conduct business and solve some of today’s toughest problems — as well as train future engineers and create jobs — continues to motivate my desire to innovate and make positive impacts on society.”

Blumenthal holds 3 degrees in EE: a B.S. from the U. of Rochester, an M.S. from Columbia and a doctorate from the U. of Colorado Boulder. He is a fellow of the IEEE and of the Optical Society. He received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the White House in 1999, a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1994 and an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program Award in 1997. Blumenthal has authored or co-authored more than 410 papers, holds 22 patents and is co-author of “Tunable Laser Diodes and Related Optical Sources” (New York: IEEE–Wiley, 2005).

This year’s class of NAI fellows will be inducted during the seventh annual NAI Conference to be held in April in Washington, D.C. Andrew H. Hirshfeld, U.S. commissioner for patents, will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony.

The UCSB Current – "The Spirit of Innovation" (full article)

Blumenthal's COE Profile

Blumenthal's Lab – Optical Communications and Photonic Integration Group (OCPI)