Distinguished Lecture

Metamaterials: An EE’s Approach to Material Design

Anthony GrbicJohn L. Tishman Professor of Engineering, ECE Senior Associate ChairUniversity of Michigan
Johnson Rooms, Lurie Engineering Center (3rd floor)Map

Anthony Grbic has been named the John L Tishman Professor of Engineering. A reception will immediately follow the talk.

The research area of metamaterials has captured the imagination of scientists and engineers for over two decades by allowing unprecedented control of electromagnetic fields. Extreme field manipulation has been made possible by the wide range of material properties that can be attained through fine structuring and texturing. Research in metamaterials has resulted in devices which overcome the diffraction limit and even render objects invisible. Metasurfaces, surfaces whose intricate patterns dictate their electromagnetic properties, have led to low-profile optical devices and ultra-thin antennas. Unlike conventional field-shaping devices (e.g., lenses in prescription eye glasses or magnifying glasses) that require thickness to manipulate electromagnetic waves through interference, metasurfaces manipulate electromagnetic waves across negligible thicknesses through surface interactions. In this talk, I will describe my journey in this area of research, from its very start 25 years ago to the present day. I will explain what metamaterials/metasurfaces are and how circuit analogies can be used to design them. I will discuss the promise they hold and how their field-transforming properties are forcing a complete rethinking of electromagnetic and optical design.


Anthony Grbic is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research spans electromagnetics, microwave engineering, circuits and optics. He has made pioneering contributions to the theory and development of electromagnetic metamaterials and metasurfaces: finely textured electromagnetic structures/surfaces that offer unprecedented wavefront control. His work has included several research firsts in the development of metamaterials and metasurfaces, including the first practical implementation of a metamaterial superlens that overcomes the resolution limitations of conventional lenses.
Prof. Grbic is the Senior Associate Chair of ECE. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, and is currently an IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Distinguished Microwave Lecturer (2022-2025). He served as Associate Editor of the IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters and as Vice Chair of Chapter IV of the IEEE Southeastern Michigan section. For his contributions to research, teaching and service at the University of Michigan, he has received several awards including the Rackham Henry Russel Award, the Ernest and Bettine Kuh Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award, the University of Michigan Faculty Recognition Award, and the CoE David E. Liddle Research Excellence Award. His external recognitions include a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists, an AFOSR YIP Award, NSF Faculty Career Award, IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Outstanding Young Engineer Award, and a Booker Fellowship from the United States National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science
Anthony Grbic received the B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada, in 1998, 2000, and 2005, respectively. Since 2006, he has been a faculty member in the Department of EECS.

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Electrical and Computer Engineering


Ann Stals