PORTLAND, Ore. —Cornell University professor Michal Lipson was recently made a MacArthur Foundation Fellow—the no-strings-attached $500,000 "genius" award—capping her meteoric rise in the field of silicon photonics.
Lipson leads a team of researchers who are crafting silicon waveguides, modulators, switches, lasers and all the other components necessary to route and process optical signals on CMOS chips. She was previously featured in an extensive EETimes interview.
"The award will give an opportunity for complete freedom of research," said Lipson. "It will enable us to pursue research that is usually not funded, such as more fundamental topics.
Lipson was raised in Brazil and Israel as the daughter of two U.S. physicists. She received her doctorate in physics from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (Haifa, Israel), then did post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining Cornell in 2001. She is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and a member of the IEEE and the Materials Research Society.
MacArthur Fellows—23 of which were awarded in 2010—receive $25,000 quarterly payments over five-years with no restriction on how it is spent. However recipients are expected to pursue research paths for which it would be difficult to secure traditional funding sources. The MacArthur Foundation cited Lipson's pioneering work in silicon photonics.
Lipson has also been the recipient of a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Award.