Dr. Nabeel A. Riza
Chair Professor of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and
Fmr Head of School of Engineering, University College Cork, Ireland.
Dr. Nabeel A. Riza completed his Cambridge University (U.K.) 1978 O-level and 1980 A-level overseas school certificates with Double Distinction in Mathematics. In August 1981, Riza joined the Illinois Institute of Technology, graduating in August 1984 with a B. S. degree in Electrical Engineering (EE). He graduated summa cum laude highest distinction in 3 years and was amongst the top 3 seniors of the entire institute, receiving the Illinois Institute’s Highest Academic Honor, the IIT Alumni Association Academic Achievement Award. Riza joined the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) on a full graduate scholarship in October 1984. He received his M.S. degree in EE in June 1985, and completed his doctorate in 4 years in the same field in Oct., 1989.
In 1988, Riza’s graduate work on antenna controls won him an International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) Student Scholarship Award. A decade later in 1998, The International Optical Society (OSA) honored Riza with a Fellow Award for his pioneering work in photonic controls for radars and antenna arrays. After completing his Ph.D. work in 1989, Riza joined the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Group at the General Electric Corporate Research and Development (GE-CRD) Center, New York. Upon joining GE-CRD, Riza showed how LCD technology could be used for optically controlling antenna arrays. For his High Risk/High Impact research ideas for GE-Aerospace, he received a 1990 GE-CRD New Start Research Award. Riza’s research in Applied Optics & Photonics includes pioneering works in optical cameras, indoor optical wireless, power plant sensors, biomedical optics, nano-scale test & measurement optical instruments, fiber-optic communications, acousto-optic signal processing, optical MEMS, liquid crystal devices, microwave photonics and radar, and freespace laser communications. These works are described in over 437 publications (includes 164 International Journal papers, 194 International conference papers and 50 issued patents, 34 as single inventor).
2002-2005, he served as Vice President of IEEE Photonics Society stressing student activities. While serving as IEEE LEOS/Photonics Society Orlando Section Chair between 1996 to 2002, in the Spring of 1996, he established the first IEEE LEOS/Photonics Society Student Chapter. A Plaque commemorating this First IEEE LEOS Student Chapter with 16 Founding Student Member Names was displayed in the newly inaugurated CREOL Building. Three decades later as of Dec. 2021, there are 71 IEEE LEOS/Photonics Society Student chapters active throughout the world. In 2011, he also established the first IEEE Student Section at UCC, Ireland.
Riza authored his first textbook Photonic Signals and Systems: An Introduction, in January 2013, published by McGraw Hill. On May 16, 2020, UNESCO International Day of Light and to ease the educational challenges students faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Prof. Riza via his website launched free-access to the PDF copy of his textbook and teaching materials for all those interested across the globe. As of early September 2020, over 625 free downloads of the textbook have been achieved.
Nabeel Riza has received the Fellow Awards from the IEEE, OSA, SPIE, IET, European Optical Society, Institute of Physics (IOP, UK) and is an Honorary Fellow of the Engineers Ireland Society. Riza is the sole winner of the prestigious 2001 International Optics Commission ICO Prize and in 2016 was inducted into the USA National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for his high impact inventions (e.g., all-digital multiwavelength equalizer and routers) for society that are deployed in the global fiber-optic internet infra-structure. He has received a 2018 Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Achievement Medal and the prestigious 2019 Edwin H. Land Medal that is jointly awarded by the International Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society for Imaging Science & Technology (IS&T). In March 2020, he was elected Member, Royal Irish Academy, the highest honor for scholars in Ireland across all disciplines of physical sciences, engineering, social sciences, mathematics and computer science, humanities, medicine and biological sciences. In October 2021, Nabeel Riza was inducted as an International Fellow Member of The Royal Academy of Engineering, UK’s National Academy of Engineering representing UK and the world’s top engineers from the business, government and educational sectors.