Awards & RecognitionIEEE-USA InFocus

Drs. Parker and Lunardi Win 2022 IEEE-USA Award for Distinguished Literary Contributions

By Paul Lief Rosengren

Dr. Alice Parker and Dr. Leda Lunardi, two renowned electrical and computer engineering professors, have received the 2022 IEEE-USA Award for Distinguished Literary Contributions Furthering Public Understanding and the Advancement of the Engineering Profession — for inspiring the next generation of women in engineering, through their book, Women in Microelectronics.

Women in Microelectronics includes narratives and perspectives of pioneering women in the field of microelectronics, highlighting the personal challenges they faced throughout their careers — as well as their successes. Dr. Azad Madni, Professor of Astronautical Engineering, and Executive Director of University of Southern California (USC’s) Systems Architecting and Engineering Program in the Viterbi School of Engineering, nominated Parker and Lunardi and lauded the book. “The book helps to encourage and inspire a new generation of women to pursue engineering careers — allowing today’s students from myriad backgrounds to imagine how they, too, can break through glass ceilings and forge their own paths,” Madni said.

Each book chapter highlights innovations in such microelectronic fields as nanotechnologies, analog electronics, design automation, video games and neuromorphic circuits. In addition to chapters on the works of Parker and Lunardi, the book includes chapters on Adrienne D. Stiff-Roberts, Santosh K. Kuinec, Zeynep Celik-Buter, Xiuling Li, Rhoda R. Franklin, and more than a dozen others.

Sarah A. Rajala, Dean Emerita, Iowa State University, College of Engineering added in her support for the nomination: “What is so impressive about this collection is the diverse group of women who shared their journeys; and the impact each has had on the broader microelectronics community, throughout the world.”

The book built on Parker and Lunardi’s experiences and prominent careers in microelectronics and their desire to share not just their own stories, but to draw parallels and contrasts with the stories of other women (past and present) working in the field. Both women have also played a significant role in encouraging the diversification of the engineering field.

Parker received her Ph.D. in engineering from North Carolina State University (NCSU), and she has been on the USC faculty for 42 years. Until retirement, she was Dean’s Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and she is now Professor Emerita. Parker has served in many roles, including mentor to undergraduate women at the Viterbi School of Engineering, decades-long advisor to the Society of Women Engineers, and advisor to the USC solar car team. She is a co-founder of the VLSI Design Master’s program at USC and has taught and mentored thousands of VLSI students throughout this program. She has also served as co-chair of a department-wide committee on diversity, resulting in a significant increase in the number of Ph.D. students and faculty from underrepresented groups.

Lunardi’s primary research interests involve traditional electronics, photonics, and optoelectronics devices. Her current projects involve the fabrication and characterization of nanostructures for display applications, transparent amorphous electronics, and studies of thin film transistor design, as building blocks of integrated circuits. In addition to her regular duties as a professor in NCSU‘s ECE Department, Dr. Lunardi dedicates her time to undergraduate student research, advising and faculty mentoring. She is the ECE Undergraduate Research Program chair, where she strategically supports students from underrepresented groups in STEM careers.

Parker and Lunardi have both taken active roles in IEEE-USA.

Parker is an IEEE Life Fellow and has been a member of IEEE since 1968. Over the years, she has contributed to the IEEE as a Women in Engineering Conference panelist, IEEE Transactions on Design Automation editor, and reviewer of numerous conference and journal papers. She was an editorial board member of Frontiers in Neuromorphic Engineering.

Dr. Lunardi has been an IEEE technical volunteer for more than three decades. In the past five years, she has chaired the IEEE Fellows Committee, the IEEE Fellows Strategic Planning Subcommittee, the IEEE Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal Committee, and the IEEE Photonics Society Awards Committee. Lunardi has also served on the IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Magazine and the IEEE Access Editorial Boards. In addition, she is a member of the IEEE Technical Activities Board Society and Council Review Committee.

Women in Microelectronics is available in hard or soft cover; or as an e-book, from Springer Nature Publishing.


Paul Lief Rosengren

Paul is the coauthor of In the Time of Covid: One Hospital's Struggles and Triumphs. He worked for more than three decades in corporate communications at NBC, PSE&G, BD and in state government. He has a Master’s in Public Policy from The Kennedy School of Government, Harvard; and an undergraduate degree in political science from Dickinson College.

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