Khalil Najafi receives Stephen S. Attwood Award from College of Engineering
Najafi has been an outstanding leader, pioneering researcher, and distinguished educator throughout his career
Khalil Najafi, the Schlumberger Professor of Engineering, received the Stephen S. Attwood Award, which is the highest honor awarded to a faculty member by the College of Engineering.
Najafi is a worldwide leader in the area of micromachined sensors, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and integrated microsystems. He is a gifted teacher, for which he has received several honors – including being named Arthur F. Thurnau Professor for his outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. And he has a long record of distinguished leadership in the professional community as well as the department.
Among his achievements in research are pioneering work in the area of integrated biomedical sensors, particularly in the area of packaging. He was one of the key developers of the Michigan Probes, which were neural probes developed at Michigan and ultimately distributed to neuroscientists around the world. He has also done groundbreaking work in the area of accelerometers and gyroscopes. In 2020, his group achieved a small, inexpensive and highly accurate gyroscope that could help drones and autonomous cars stay on track without a GPS signal.
Najafi is one of the few faculty to have been named HKN Best Professor of the Year, an honor that comes straight from students. He maintains a large research group, and carefully mentors each individual. Many of his students have gone on to academic careers, are highly placed in industry, or have started their own companies. He has graduated 52 doctoral students.
He has shown a deep commitment to service through leadership throughout his career. He served as General Conference Chair of the IEEE International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems; Director of the Solid-State Electronics Laboratory for seven years; Deputy Director of the NSF ERC for Wireless Integrated Microsystems for nine years; Director of Michigan’s involvement as part of the NSF National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network for eleven years; Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering for ten years; and President of the ECE Department Heads Association, which awarded him the Robert M. Janowiak Outstanding Leadership and Service Award.
Najafi has received numerous prestigious awards in his profession, including IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award for Emerging Technologies and the IEEE Sensors Technical Field Award. He is a Fellow of IEEE and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).
He has also been recognized throughout his career with numerous University of Michigan honors and awards, including the U-M Henry Russel Award, the U-M Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, and the Distinguished University Innovator Award.
Always a visionary thinker and relentless innovator, Najafi has authored 43 patents, and co-founded the companies Integrated Sensing Systems, Enertia Microsystems, Inc., and ePack, Inc.