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Volakis departing Ohio State for new role in Florida

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and the ElectroScience Lab announce the departure of John L. Volakis from The Ohio State University, as he begins an important new chapter in his career.

After serving as ECE professor and Roy and Lois Chope Chair for many years, Volakis will become Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing at the Florida International University (FIU).

Read the announcement from FIU HERE.

“Throughout my career I was fortunate to have great teachers and mentors, and to reach an unlikely level of success,” Volakis said. “It is a privilege to give back to a community similar to the one I came from, and to help the College of Engineering & Computing lead the nation in student success and research indicators.”

Volakis had a respected and distinguished career at Ohio State, not only as an engineering professor and former Director of ESL, but also as an alumnus (1982, EE). An exemplary leader at ESL, he spearheaded a wide array of research programs as its Director from 2002 to 2016 and brought emerging research initiatives, such as highly competitive and coveted programs in medical sensing and wearable textile antennas. More recently, he led Ohio State’s Nanomanufacturing Initiative on Textiles, part of the $300M program led by MIT.

Through the years, Volakis raised ESL’s preeminence to national heights, increasing its research funding 3.5 times compared to the level when he took over as Director. He oversaw the growth of ESL personnel, now at ~ 150, with many students winning best paper awards annually. As an accomplished fundraiser, he campaigned and secured funds for the construction of a new 40,000 sq. ft. building for ESL, which has been occupied since 2011.

“At the heart of engineering is the ability to find creative ways to solve complex problems. Under Dean Volakis’ direction, the College of Engineering & Computing will prepare students to develop innovative solutions to those challenges, and prepare them to excel in a demanding field,” said FIU Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth G. Furton. “We will continue to build on the college’s groundbreaking research, and grow our alliances with industry and the community.”

In his 34 years of career in electromagnetics, microwaves, RF circuits and antennas Volakis has mentored close to 90 Ph.D. students at Ohio State. He passionately devoted time to his students, providing professional development and hands-on training for a successful, professional career in RF/Microwave Engineering.

Volakis received numerous awards for his internationally-known research and exemplary service to the engineering community. He published eight widely used books and over 400 journal papers. In 2004, he was listed by ISI among the top 250 highly cited scientists/engineers. More recently, he received the IEEE APS Distinguished Achievement Award (2015), Distinguished Scholar Award from the Ohio State University (2016) and George Sinclair Award from ESL (2016).