Prof. Andrea Alù, Associate Professor at Texas ECE was awarded the prestigious 2016 Simons Investigators award by the Simons Foundation to honor his achievements in research and academia. Prof. Alù received the Mathematics and Physical Sciences-Simons Investigators in Physics award. His work on the manipulation of light in artificial materials and metamaterials has shown how clever designs may surpass what had previously been thought to be limitations on wave propagation in materials. He has developed new concepts for cloaking, one-way propagation of waves in materials, dramatic enhancement of nonlinearities in nanostructures and ultrathin optical devices based on metasurfaces and twisted metamaterials.
The Simons Investigators program provides a stable base of support for outstanding scientists, enabling them to undertake long-term study of fundamental questions. It is designed to support these scientists in their most productive years, to encourage them to create new research directions, provide leadership to the field and to effectively mentor junior scientists. A Simons Investigator is appointed for an initial period of five years and the renewal for an additional five years is considered based on the evaluation of the scientific impact of the investigator.
An Investigator in Mathematics, Physics, or Theoretical Computer Science receives research support of $100,000 per year. An additional $10,000 per year is provided to the Investigator’s department. The Investigator utilizes these funds to support research expenses, including salary support for postdoctoral, graduate or undergraduate research assistants, domestic or international travel, short or long-term visitors, and research equipment.
At The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), Prof. Alù is affiliated with the Wireless Networking and Communications Group, an interdisciplinary center for research and education based in UT Austin with an emphasis on industrial relevance, and with the Applied Research Laboratories at UT Austin. His research interests span over a broad range of technical areas, including applied electromagnetics, nano-optics and nanophotonics, microwave, THz, infrared, optical and acoustic metamaterials and metasurfaces, plasmonics, nonlinearities and nonreciprocity, cloaking and scattering, acoustics, optical nanocircuits and nanoantennas.