ESL holds successful 75th anniversary event

Posted: October 9, 2017

Celebrating 75 years of innovation in 2017, the ElectroScience Laboratory (ESL) at The Ohio State University invited alumni, industry partners and friends to the facility for an evening focused as equally on the past as the future.

Find photos from the event HERE.

Eric Evans, distinguished alumnus speaker and Director of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, said ESL is a special place for him because it’s where he “grew up” as an engineer.

Located at 1330 Kinnear Road, ESL remains a major center-of-excellence in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). It is one of the largest radio frequency and optics research laboratories in the world. Since 1942, ESL has consistently maintained a national and international preeminence in electromagnetics, influencing international radio research like no other institution.

Evans gave a standing-room-only presentation about the future of their industry, current achievements in defense technology, and encouraged ESL students and faculty to explore venues where innovations must continue to reach further.

Not only does ESL produce next-generation technology, he said, it remains a key outlet for finding talented new graduates to help fill essential roles in academic, industry and laboratory research. He said ESL continues to have a major impact on electromagnetics research and development.

“ESL remains more relevant today than ever before,” Evans said. “Its capabilities align to many current and future system and technology needs.”

Joel Johnson, ECE Chair, said he loves being associated with ESL and has always appreciated its unique culture.

“This is an exciting moment for the lab to celebrate our history, while showcasing our capabilities for the future,” he said.

Johnson said he looks forward to seeing the lab expand as it transitions out of the ECE department to an official Ohio State College of Engineering center within the year. The search for a new ESL director remains underway.

Tour groups also visited the lab’s anechoic chamber, the Cognitive Remote Sensing Laboratory, wearable textile antennas lab, as well as the HELIOS Laboratory for terahertz research. Additionally, ESL students and researchers showcased their work during a poster session featuring 13 different projects.

David Williams, dean of Ohio State's College of Engineering, acknowledged former ESL director John Volakis for his role in ESL development over the past 13 years, congratulating him on his new position as the new College of Engineering and Computing Dean at Florida International University.

Ohio State Associate Dean for Research, Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska, said ESL is a “prime example of an institute of research strengthening ties to industry.”

Caroline Whitacre, senior vice president for research at Ohio State, said the 75th anniversary event helps bring the laboratory’s important innovations into a clear “historical context.”

After 75 years of research that led the way to today’s advancements in cell phones, stealth technology, satellite communications and antenna design, ESL researchers are focusing on the emerging technologies like wearable antennas, medical sensing, cognitive sensing and climate science technologies. Read more about new faces in ESL research HERE