Andrea Alù Named Distinguished Professor, Highest Academic Honor at CUNY

March 18, 2022

Known for his breakthroughs in physics, he is one of the youngest professors to hold the highest professorial rank at CUNY.

Andrea Alu, Distinguished Professor, Photonics Initiative, Physics
Andrea Alù (photo credit: Paula Vlodkowsky)

Andrea Alù, the founding director of the Photonics Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center (CUNY ASRC) and the Einstein Professor of Physics at the Graduate Center, was named a distinguished professor, making him one of the youngest professors to hold the highest professorial rank at CUNY. The CUNY Board of Trustees approved the appointment at its March meeting.

The title recognizes Alù’s scholarship, service to the CUNY ASRC and the Graduate Center, and dedication to his students. He is best known for his breakthroughs in invisibility cloaking, or making objects transparent to incoming microwave signals, as well as his discoveries in metamaterials and plasmonics.

“I am very honored to receive this prestigious honor, and to join the remarkable cadre of CUNY distinguished professors,” says Alù. “I share this recognition with my group members, and I am particularly thankful to the Graduate Center and the Advanced Science Research Center and all the CUNY colleagues for welcoming us four years ago, and for being of great support, helping us advance our scientific explorations and supporting our educational activities. I look forward to what is ahead of us in science and education at CUNY.”

An exceptionally prolific scholar, Alù is the co-author of more than 650 articles since 2002, as well as 34 book chapters and over 1,000 conference papers. He has been listed as a Highly Cited Researcher since 2017 in the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science. His projects have secured over $25 million in grant funding since his arrival at the Graduate Center, and over $90 million during his career. He leads the Simons Collaboration on Extreme Wave Phenomena, a $16 million research program supported by the Simons Foundation to explore the ultimate limits of wave-matter interactions in metamaterials.

“Professor Alù’s work in physics and engineering has produced important contributions to the fields of nano-optics, electromagnetics, metamaterials, mechanics, and acoustics,” wrote Robin L. Garrell, president of the Graduate Center, in a letter supporting the appointment. “His discoveries have been described as canonical, influential, and groundbreaking by leading scientists around the globe.”

Alù is also a dedicated mentor of young scientists: His group features 23 postdoctoral scientists and 13 graduate students, and he led the development of the Photonics track in the Physics Ph.D. program. Among his awards are the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award and the Blavatnik National Award in Physical Sciences and Engineering. In 2019 he received the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, the highest research award given by the Department of Defense to individual researchers.

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