The American Association for the Advancement of Science has recognized Lynford L. Goddard as the first recipient of the newly established AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science. The award recognizes the achievements of individual early-career scientists and engineers who have demonstrated significant contributions to public engagement activities while simultaneously pursuing a research career.
AAAS commended Goddard, a UI professor of electrical and computer engineering, "for exemplifying an early career scientist eager to share his excitement about science while simultaneously pursuing a competitive research career." He was recognized for designing and implementing the Girls Learning Electrical Engineering summer camp, which seeks to make the field of electrical engineering more accessible to high-school students. He also serves as a mentor to students from underrepresented groups at Illinois.
"Service and leadership are core components of what we do as a college," said Ilesanmi Adesida, the dean of the College of Engineering. "Engineering at Illinois attracts the best faculty members and students who come here to learn and make their contributions to society. Professor Goddard's work as a mentor and teacher, his research and his service represent that excellence."
Goddard said that he is inspired by his colleagues. "There are a lot of great people doing really good work in terms of education and outreach activities," he said. Goddard noted that departmental and institutional support has been a critical factor in his ability to pursue engagement opportunities.
Goddard joined the Illinois faculty in 2007. His academic research focuses on fabricating, characterizing and modeling individual lasers and photonics-based sensors, instrumentation and integrated circuits, as well as developing new processing techniques and testing novel semiconductor materials and devices. Applications include hydrogen detection for fuel cells, optical spectrum analysis and low noise lasers for metrology and next generation fiber optic communication systems, and optical logic and memory for high speed data processing.
He serves as an associate editor of the IEEE Photonics Journal and an assistant topical editor of the Journal of the Optical Society of America B. He is author or co-author of more than 70 publications and was awarded a 2008 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Goddard received bachelor's degrees (with distinction) in math and physics, a master's degree in electrical engineering, and a doctorate degree in physics from Stanford University.
The award was presented at the AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in February.