UCLA Electrical Engineering Professor Mona Jarrahi wins the 2021 IET A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize

Jarrahi has made groundbreaking contributions to utilising the untapped potentials of the electromagnetic spectrum in terahertz, millimeter-wave, and microwave ranges for a wide variety of ultrafast sensing, imaging, communication, and computing applications.

Her research optimises the complementary functions of electronic and photonic devices to introduce a hybrid methodology for designing systems with operation frequencies beyond traditional transistor technologies.

The international award’s £350,000 prize will be used to further Jarrahi’s research in developing key building block components of the next-generation terahertz optoelectronic systems so they can be integrated into one platform.

Currently, these system components require different manufacturing methods, complex setups, and bulky housing in order for them to connect and work properly.

Just as modern integrated circuits technology has transformed refrigerator-sized, power-hungry early computers into much higher-performance microprocessor chips used in homes, cars, phones, and health-monitoring systems, Jarrahi aims to enable a similar technological revolution in the terahertz field.

“My team is developing a monolithically integrated terahertz optoelectronics platform to transform terahertz communication, imaging and sensing systems from expensive, bulky, tabletop setups used in laboratory and industrial settings into scalable, compact and low-cost microchips used in our everyday lives for various applications, such as non-invasive medical diagnostics, ultra-sensitive food, drug-safety screening, and high-data-rate communication,” Jarrahi said.

Jarrahi will present her research on March 17, 2022, at a lecture hosted by the IET, followed by a Q&A session moderated by Sir Julian Young, IET President.

The event will be live-streamed on the IET’s YouTube channel and will also be available after the lecture.

On awarding the prize funding, Sir Julian Young said: “The IET’s A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize supports the world’s best scientists and engineers to advance their research.

The technological revolution in the terahertz field is highly promising, and we are excited to support the pioneering work of Professor Jarrahi and her team. 

This research should transform our approach to high-performance, integrated systems that have a wide range of important applications, and will benefit us all.”

The IET  F Harvey Engineering Research Prize was established in 2011 and is awarded annually to a researcher in one of three engineering areas on a rotating basis: medical engineering and technology, lasers and optoelectronics, and radar and microwaves, which is this year’s focus.

The prize commemorates the late British electronic engineer Dr Arthur Frank Harvey, whose gift to the IET supports research in the aforementioned fields.

Jarrahi is the director of the Terahertz Electronics Laboratory and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute.

She has received numerous prestigious honours for her work, including an inaugural Moore Inventor Fellowship from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation in 2016 and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2014.

She is a frequent collaborator with researchers at UCLA, other institutions, and industry.

Read more about the IET A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize and the Spring 2022 event.

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