UCLA engineering professor Asad Abidi has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional lifetime distinction accorded to American engineers.

By M. Abraham

Honored for his contributions to the development of integrated circuits for wireless communication in complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) technology, which is used to fabricate microprocessors and digital signal processors, Abidi is now among a select 2,217 academy members nationwide, along with 188 foreign associates.

Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education. Established in 1964, the academy shares responsibility with the National Academy of Sciences for advising the federal government on questions of policy in science and technology.

“I feel the key importance of my election into the academy is that it highlights the groundbreaking work my colleagues at UCLA Electrical Engineering and I have undertaken over the last two decades in CMOS radios,” Abidi said. “It is this research that has really helped to define a new industry, and that is my greatest reward. Every mass-produced wireless communication device today is in CMOS.”

The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science is the home of CMOS radio technology, which originated in the school’s research laboratories in the mid-1990s.

Abidi has been an electrical engineering faculty member at the Samueli School since 1985, where he, in collaboration with other engineering colleagues, led the way in the creation of the field of study and research now known as integrated circuits and systems.

“The work I conducted with my colleagues has always had the overarching theme of industry impact,” Abidi said. “We did not try to keep the work under wraps. We strove to innovate so that we could share the knowledge with the rest of the world. I’m proud to have been part of this philosophy of research.”
Abidi’s research career has focused on research in CMOS RF design, high-speed analog integrated circuit design, data conversion and other techniques of analog signal processing. His work has led to new architectures in modern wireless devices and a new way of designing the circuits that enable them.

Prior to his tenure at UCLA, Abidi worked as a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories’ Advanced LSI Development Laboratory in Murray Hill, NJ. He has received a number of awards and honors throughout his career, including the 1988 TRW (now Northrup Grumman) Award for Innovative Teaching and the 1997 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Donald G. Fink Award, presented for the most outstanding survey, review or tutorial paper published in the institute’s transactions, journals or magazines, or delivered in proceedings, during a given year. Abidi earned his B.S., with honors, from Imperial College London and his M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

The mission of National Academy of Engineering is to promote the technological welfare of the nation by gathering the knowledge and insights of eminent members of the engineering profession. The NAE is the portal for all engineering activities at the National Academies, which along with the NAE include the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.

Visit Asad Abidi’s faculty page by clicking here.