Einstein Professor of Physics, Director of the Photonics Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center, Professor of Electrical Engineering
Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC), The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)
Recognized for: Andrea Alù is challenging the limits of material science, influencing a wide range of engineering applications in electromagnetics, nano-optics, and acoustics. By tailoring the interactions of electromagnetic and acoustic waves with artificial materials, Alù is demonstrating, both theoretically and experimentally, how cleverly-designed nanostructured meta-materials can push the boundaries of physics. His work is leading to new and enhanced materials technologies with potential applications in cellular communications, energy harvesting, radar cloaking, optical computing, nano-optics, and more.
Areas of Research Interest and Expertise: Meta-materials, Photonics, Nano-optics, Acoustics, Quantum Technology
Senior Research Scientist, Adjunct Professor, University of Texas at Austin (current) Full Professor, Temple Foundation Endowed Professor, University of Texas at Austin Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) Visiting Professor, AMOLF Institute Associate Professor, Cockrell Family Dean’s Chair in Engineering Excellence Fellow, University of Texas at Austin Assistant Professor, D.D. Lybarger Endowed Faculty Fellow, University of Texas at Austin PhD in Electronic Engineering, University of Roma Tre MS Environmental Engineering and Economics, University of Roma Tre MS & BS Electronic Engineering (magna cum laude), University of Roma Tre
Andrea Alù, PhD, is overcoming the limitations of modern technology in ways previously unimaginable only a few years ago by using artificial materials to control and manipulate the properties of waves. His work is already influencing a wide range of engineering applications in electromagnetics, nano-optics, acoustics, and quantum technology. The artificial materials created in his lab, known as meta-materials, are blurring the boundaries between physics, engineering, and materials science. Meta-materials are materials with nanoscale structures and properties that are designed to manipulate electromagnetic, acoustic and light waves in unusual ways and produce unprecedented behaviors in light, sound, and heat. Alù has discovered that a fundamental property in wave propagation, called reciprocity—which states that waves transmit energy equally when traveling in opposite directions—can be broken by applying tailored mechanical motion to a well-designed set of meta-materials. He developed a first-of-its-kind device that can make sound travel in only one direction and has extended this concept to radio-waves and light, opening the door to new technological opportunities in wireless communications, bio-medical imaging, sonar, emerging automotive technologies, and more.
Alù has made a number of other equally-important technological breakthroughs, including topologically-inspired meta-materials and quantum meta-materials. These meta-materials display enhanced light-matter interactions, offering new opportunities for optical computing technologies. In addition, Alù is well-known for his exciting work on cloaking technologies and has shown that meta-materials can be used to suppress the visibility of large objects to radio-waves. His research is truly expanding the boundaries of engineered materials and showcasing their potential for technological application.
This fantastic recognition represents a great honor for me and my research group, and a unique encouragement to continue pursuing our curiosity-driven research into the exciting opportunities enabled by engineered materials and meta-materials.
2021 AAAFM-Heeger Award, American Association for Advances in Functional Materials 2021 Dan Maydan Prize in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem 2020 IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers 2019 AAAS Fellowship, American Association for the Advancement of Science 2019 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, U.S. Department of Defense 2016 ICO Prize in Optics, International Commission for Optics 2016 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Engineering, The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas 2015 National Science Foundation Alan T. Waterman Award 2013 OSA Adolph Lomb Medal 2011 International Union of Radio Science Issac Koga Gold Medal