Kang receives Humboldt Research Award


By David Porreca

Sung-Mo (Steve) Kang, head of the electrical and computer engineering department at the UI, has received a Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany.

The award, worth 75,000 deutsche marks (about $50,000 at current U.S.-German exchange rates), entitles Kang to spend up to seven months at a research institute of his choice in Germany.

Kang said he will spend the summer of 1997 at the University of Karlsruhe, followed by a stay at the Technical University of Munich during the summer of 1998. He will conduct research on ultra large-scale integrated (ULSI) circuit design issues and optical interconnection issues.

Each year the Humboldt Foundation grants 80 research awards to senior and junior scientists in the United States. The awards range in value from 20,000 deutsche marks to 120,000 deutsche marks. More than 2,000 awards have been granted since 1972.

Humboldt awards are considered among the highest honors given to internationally recognized scholars. The winners must be nominated by eminent German scholars; direct applications are not accepted. Former recipients include George Olah of the University of Southern California, who won the 1994 Nobel Prize for chemistry.

Kang joined the UI faculty in 1985 after spending almost 10 years as a scientist at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J., where he worked on very large-scale integrated (VLSI) microprocessors and network planning.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1970, a master's degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1972, and a doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975, all in electrical engineering.

Kang began his career at Rutgers University in 1975, where he taught electrical engineering. Two years later he joined Bell Laboratories, holding positions as a member of the technical staff and technical supervisor.

Since arriving at the UI, Kang has been a leader in fostering interdisciplinary research, serving on the faculty of the Coordinated Science Laboratory, the Center for Compound Semiconductor Microelectronics and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He was appointed head of the electrical and computer engineering department in July 1995.

Kang holds five patents and has co-written six books, including a leading textbook on integrated circuits. He recently won the 1996 IEEE Graduate Teaching award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Inc.

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