Two ECE faculty members were recognized by Colorado State in 2014 as University Distinguished Professors. Both alumni of CSU, Professors Carmen Menoni (PhD Physics '87) and V. "Chandra" Chandrasekar (MS EE '83, PhD EE '87) were honored for their extraordinary contributions within their disciplines and for elevating the research quality and reputation of the University overall.
The highest academic recognition awarded by CSU, the title of University Distinguished Professor is bestowed upon a very small number of full professors at any one time on the basis of outstanding scholarship and achievement. Professors receiving this title hold the distinction for the duration of their association with Colorado State University.
Boasting three University Distinguished Professors, the ECE department has the highest percentage of UDPs on campus. ECE Professor Jorge Rocca, also a CSU alumnus (PhD EE '83), was elevated to UDP in 2007.
Professor Carmen Menoni is an internationally recognized researcher in optics and a role model for women in engineering and science.
She has established strong research programs in semiconductor physics, optical materials science and engineering, and nano-scale imaging and has led the use of bright beams of extreme ultraviolet laser light that are used to demonstrate novel, nano-scale table-top microscopies.
Her election to Fellow of several societies in her field is evidence of the impact of her achievements. She also has held several leadership positions within the IEEE.
In 2012, Menoni received CSU’s Scholarship Impact Award, the university’s highest recognition for accomplishments in research. It is awarded to faculty whose scholarship has had national and international impact.
Her innovative research has received national and international recognition, including an R&D 100 Award, widely recognized as the "Oscars of Innovation," for leading the development of a compact extreme ultraviolet light-based microscope.
She also has received two technology transfer awards from the state of Colorado for her contributions to industry.
Menoni also was the first woman to reach the rank of tenured professor in the 100-plus -year history of CSU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Professor Chandra has made pioneering contributions in the area of polarimetric radar observations of the atmosphere and urban observation networks. He has extensive experience in radar system design, radar network development, digital signal processing design, as well as radio frequency communication systems.
Chandra's career story is a great source of pride for CSU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He earned both his master’s degree and doctorate degree from CSU and has achieved an international reputation of high distinction through his research, educational, and outreach contributions.
Chandra has produced numerous publications and secured 13 licensed patents.
He is the CSU principal investigator and research director of the National Science Foundation Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere – or CASA- which is developing a network of radar systems that detect and report tornados and other severe weather earlier than other systems.
Chandrasekar also is the co-principal investigator and technical director of the CSU-CHILL, a national facility and one of the most advanced meteorological radar systems in the world available for research.
Professor Jorge Rocca is an international leader in the development of compact X-ray lasers. He and his team have found ways to dramatically improve the quality of ultra-short wavelength light produced by small-sized lasers - a groundbreaking discovery particularly valuable for nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Rocca has gained much recognition for his pioneering contributions to laser research. He received the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics, an award named after Willis E. Lamb, Jr., the 1955 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics. In 2011, he was awarded the Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science from the American Physical Society, the highest prize for physicists working on laser science. Most recently, Rocca and his collaborators were featured in the October issue of Nature Photonics, an influential publication that is the highest ranked journal in optics, for their work on ultra-high energy density plasmas and bright x-ray generation.
Rocca is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.