Two Samueli School Faculty Noted as Influential Scientific Minds
Sept. 24, 2015 - Two UC Irvine engineering faculty members are among the top 1 percent of scientific researchers in the world, according to the 2015 Highly Cited Researchers list produced by Thomson Reuters. Satya Atluri and Syed Ali Jafar garnered the distinction by publishing the most influential studies in their fields.
The annual list contains about 3,000 scholars in 21 fields of science and social sciences who have demonstrated great influence as measured by citations to their work. The list is based on papers published during the 11-year period 2003-2013. Researchers are selected not only for total citations but also for the number of highly cited papers contributed. When one researcher cites another’s work, he/she is acknowledging the relevance of that work to the current study. Less than one-half of one percent of all published researchers are included in the listing.
Atluri, a Distinguished Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the Center for Aerospace Research and Education, conducts groundbreaking mathematical work, including inventing the so-called “meshless method” that has aided the design of safer materials for aircraft. Throughout his career, his work has encompassed theoretical, applied and computational mechanics of solids and fluids; and structural longevity, failure prevention and health management. Atluri most recently received the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics Walter J. and Angeline H. Crichlow Trust Prize, presented every four years to an individual for a specific achievement or body of work that has become significant during the previous 15 years. Last year, Atluri was awarded India’s Padma Bhushan award “for distinguished service of high order in the field of engineering and science.”
Jafar, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, explores the fundamental performance limits of wireless communication networks. In addition to his earlier work on multiple antenna (MIMO) technology and cognitive radio, Jafar is best known for his seminal work on the idea known as interference alignment, in which he found that data rates are not limited by the number of devices sharing the radio frequency spectrum. This discovery changed the thinking about how wireless networks should be designed and helped earn him the 2015 Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists in Physical Sciences & Engineering. One of three winners chosen from among 300 candidates, each the top nominee from their respective highly ranked American university or research institution, Jafar's work has changed the world’s understanding of the capacity of wireless networks. His contributions were also recognized recently with the 2015 UCI Academic Senate Distinguished Mid-Career Award for Research, the campus's top research honor for mid-career faculty.