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Optical Society Elects ECE Professor as Fellow

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Ivan B. Djordjevic
Ivan Djordjevic in the classroom.

Optical Society Elects ECE Professor as Fellow

Oct. 31, 2016
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Ivan B. Djordjevic, a University of Arizona electrical, computer and optical engineer developing uncrackable communication links, joins elite optics group.

In a world of ever-increasing connected devices where hacking -- like the October 21 cyberattacks that disrupted Internet service for millions -- becomes a bigger threat every day, Ivan B. Djordjevic is dedicated to ensuring communications are safe and efficient.

For his contributions Djordjevic, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in the University of Arizona College of Engineering, has been named a 2017 fellow of the Optical Society, a lifetime designation.

Djordjevic, who has a joint appointment in the College of Optical Sciences, is developing several technologies for optical communications and networks.

In one project funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, he is developing a form of encryption technology involving the use of photons, or light particles, that cannot be hacked. The research aims to enable ships and planes to securely share secret information in real-time and make communication in many industries safer.

In another project, funded by the National Science Foundation as part of the Center for Integrated Access Networks, he is working on low-cost, energy-efficient ways to boost fiber optic data transmission capabilities in data centers and wireless networks.

He is one of 96 newly named fellows of OSA, a leading international organization for the advancement of optics and photonics whose 19,000 members include engineers, scientists and other professionals.

Author or co-author of five textbooks and more than 420 journal and conference articles, Djordjevic directs the ECE department’s Optical Communications Systems Laboratory and co-directs the department’s Signal Processing and Coding Laboratory. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and an editor or editorial board member of the Institute of Physics’ Journal of Optics, IEEE Communications Letters, Elsevier’s Physical Communication journal, Frequenz and the International Journal of Optics.

He holds 38 patents and has taught 10 courses in electrical and computer engineering and optical sciences.

Djordjevic received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Nis, Yugoslavia. Before joining the University of Arizona in 2004, he was a researcher and lecturer at universities in the U.K. and Greece and worked for Tyco Telecommunications in the United States and for Serbia’s telecommunications company.

In 2010 he received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation, the agency’s most prestigious honor for junior faculty members. In 2014, he received the 1885 Distinguished Scholar Award -- now called the UA Distinguished Scholar Award -- the University’s top honor for mid-career faculty members.