Four Faculty Elevated to IEEE Fellows

Elisa Konofagou, John Kymissis, Gil Zussman, and Tony Heinz honored for their contributions

Dec 20 2021 | By Holly Evarts
Image of John Kymissis, Gil Zussman, Tony Heinz, and Elisa Konofagou

L-R: John Kymissis, Gil Zussman, Tony Heinz, and Elisa Konofagou

Four faculty--Elisa Konofagou (biomedical engineering) and Ioannis (John) Kymissis, Gil Zussman, and Tony Heinz (electrical engineering)--have been selected as IEEE Fellows, in recognition of their achievements. This is the highest grade of membership in the IEEE: less than 0.1% of voting members are selected annually for this elevation, which is considered both a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.

Elisa Konofagou, the Robert and Margaret Hariri Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Radiology, was elected for her contributions to the use of ultrasound for cardiovascular and cancer diagnosis, neuromodulation, and brain drug delivery. Her group -- the Ultrasound and Elasticity Imaging Laboratory -- is focused on developing novel, ultrasound-based techniques for both imaging and therapeutic applications. These include applying focused ultrasound in the brain for drug delivery and stimulation, myocardial elastography and electromechanical wave imaging for visualization and diagnosis of cardiac mechanical and electrical properties, pulse wave imaging for diagnosis of vascular pathologies such as atherosclerosis and hypertension, and harmonic motion imaging for elasticity imaging of tumors and their subsequent treatment as well as peripheral nerve modulation for the treatment of pain and motor neuron diseases. Konofagou collaborates with physicians at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and elsewhere to translate her technologies to the clinical setting.

Ioannis (John) Kymissis, Kenneth Brayer Professor and chair of electrical engineering, was recognized for his contributions to thin-film electronics for displays and sensors. His work focuses on the processing, integration, and application of thin-film electronics. He is active in a number of areas including the use of piezoelectric polymers as pressure sensors, microphones, and energy harvesting elements; the use of printing to create new devices for the classification of chemicals and radiation detection; and the use of piezoelectric thin films co-integrated with high performance electronics to create new devices for radio frequency filtering, vapor sensing, and detection of infrared radiation. Kymissis is also active in the display field, focusing particularly on the development of new backplanes and integration strategies for OLED, QDLED, and microLED displays. His group's work in both of these areas has been licensed by a number of companies for integration into a range of sensor and display systems.

Gil Zussman, professor of electrical engineering and computer science (affiliated) and vice chair of electrical engineering, was recognized for his contributions to the design of wireless network systems. His research focuses on wireless, mobile, and resilient networks. His group has made theoretical contributions in the areas of distributed throughput optimization,cross-layer network optimization, and optical network and power grid resilience to cyber-physical attacks. Moreover, he developed and experimentally demonstrated algorithms and systems that deal with the unique characteristics of the communications hardware, the physical environment, and the higher layer applications (video streaming, VR, etc.). These include energy harvesting networks for the Internet of Things, full-duplex wireless networks, and wireless multicast for video streaming. Together with his collaborators, Zussman is building unique prototypes and testbeds, thereby allowing new insights into network performance. In particular, he is the Columbia principal investigator of the NSF Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) COSMOS testbed that is being deployed in West Harlem to support experimentation with beyond-5G wireless, optical, and edge-cloud networks.

Tony Heinz, David M. Rickey Professor Emeritus, was recognized for his contributions to spectroscopic techniques, nanophotonics, and optical nanomaterials. His research has centered on the elucidation of the properties and dynamics of nanoscale materials through the application of a wide range of optical spectroscopies. His research on surfaces, interfaces, and nanoscale materials, such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and other 2D materials, has been recognized by a number of awards. Chair of electrical engineering at Columbia Engineering from 2003 to 2007, Heinz is currently a professor of applied physics and of photon science at Stanford University and a special research scientist at Columbia.