BYU electrical engineer elevated to IEEE Fellow

A BYU professor was elevated to a Grade of Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world's largest and most prestigious professional association for the advancement of technology.

Aaron Hawkins, professor of electrical and computer engineering, was selected by IEEE based on a number of criteria including his work in optofluidics, a field of research that involves the use of fluids to modify optical properties and the use of optical devices to detect flowing media. This technique has made his ongoing research on antibiotic resistant bacteria possible, through working on a micro or nano level. IEEE also considered Hawkins’s other “accomplishments that have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology, bringing the realization of significant value to society.”

“I was pleased and excited…It’s a significant recognition,” Hawkins said. “It involves both having done good research, but also helping out with the society. It’s a pretty big step in a career.”

Brent Nelson, chair of BYU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said this particular accolade is especially significant because of its rarity. “Each year less than 0.1 percent of IEEE members are thus recognized,” he said. “I note that six of our 22 faculty now have this distinction, making them a very select group.”

The other IEEE Fellows at BYU are electrical and computer engineering professors Randal Beard, David Comer, Michael Jensen, Karl Warnick and Associate Dean David Long.

Hawkins joined the BYU faculty in 2002. In the last year, he was applauded for his work as the lead investigator on a project to address antibiotic resistant infections. He is well known for his ability to develop and operate research projects that benefit students, faculty, society and BYU.

The IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. Through its 400,000 members in 160 countries, IEEE is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics.

Dedicated to the advancement of technology, IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world’s literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed more than 900 active industry standards.  The association also sponsors or co-sponsors nearly 400 international technical conferences each year.  To learn more about IEEE or the IEEE Fellow Program, please visit  

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