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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

Prior Year Recipients

2017-18 Faculty Research Lecturer Award

Umesh Mishra - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professor Umesh Mishra is the Donald W. Whittier Professor and UCSB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prof. Mishra was selected as the 2018 Faculty Research Lecturer in recognition of his extraordinary achievements in research and scholarly work in the area of semiconductor devices. His research has had an international impact in his field in ways that have greatly benefited society, for example through energy efficient communication and energy conversion technologies.

Prof. Mishra received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. After completing his Ph.D. he worked in the private sector, with GE, where he worked on the perfection of transistors and the technology necessary for transmission of weak signals over large distances. He then continued his transistor research at Hughes Research Labs, making discoveries key for satellite applications including TV broadcasting and military radars.

Prof. Mishra held academic positions at North Carolina State University and University of Michigan before joining UCSB in the early 1990s where he became globally recognized for his work on high performance electronic devices with novel materials, notably Gallium Nitride (GaN) electronics. As noted by his nominator, this includes GaN transistors declared by the IEEE publication Spectrum as “the toughest transistors yet”, touted for “high power and high frequencies only GaN (gallium nitride) can deliver.”

The practical applications of Prof. Mishra’s discoveries--he is an inventor with more than 100 patents—led to the founding of two companies in Goleta to bring his research achievements into practice. The significance of his research also was noted in 2012 by the Assistant Secretary of Defense before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services.

Prof. Mishra has more than 800 scholarly publications and an H index of more than 100. In addition to his many research and publishing accomplishments, he has also served as Chair of the ECE Department and has mentored more than 60 Ph.D. students now in academia and industry. Two of Prof. Mishra’s former students were Lancaster Award recipients here at UCSB.

Prof. Mishra has received numerous awards including the Aarnoff Award from IEEE (the largest international engineering society), the Welker Medal, and the IEEE Distinguished Educator Award. He is a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. Prof. Mishra is a truly distinguished member of our faculty.