Andrea Alù is a Temple Foundation Endowed Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He is affiliated with the Wireless Networking and Communications Group, an interdisciplinary center for research and education based in UT Austin with an emphasis on industrial relevance, and with the Applied Research Laboratories at UT Austin. His research interests span over a broad range of technical areas, including applied electromagnetics, nano-optics and nanophotonics, microwave, THz, infrared, optical and acoustic metamaterials and metasurfaces, plasmonics, non-linearities and nonreciprocity, cloaking and scattering, acoustics, optical nanocircuits and nanoantennas.
Andrea Alù has authored almost 400 research papers, 30 book chapters and 600 conference papers, and is attributed with over 20,000 citations. He has received over 25 professional honors and scientific awards. Alù is also co-inventor of three inventions in various stages of the patent process which are novel waveguides, scattering devices, optical circuits, optical circuit elements, and a cloaked sensor device.
One of the highlights of the Alù’s group research is metamaterials and their application in suppressing the overall scattering from an arbitrary object by covering it with a suitably designed ‘cloak’. The group has pioneered two techniques to realize electromagnetic cloaks: (i) the ‘plasmonic cloaking’ technique, introduced in 2005 the concept that metamaterials may be used for scattering suppression, and the ‘mantle cloaking’ technique, introduced in 2009 as the first approach to cloaking based on a metasurface with negligible thickness. In both cases the idea is to use metamaterial or metasurface covers to suppress the scattering of dielectric and conducting objects, based on destructive interference, or scattering cancellation, at all angles.
As a professor, what words of encouragement would you give to your students?
Research is a passion more than a job. We need more students involved at the undergraduate level to learn the exciting possibilities available in electromagnetics, acoustics, and electrical engineering more in general, to get involved in science and engineering research. There is a lot to discover, and plenty of opportunities to leave a mark in this world.
“On The Quest To Invisibility – Metamaterials and Cloaking“ at TEDxAustin 2013
Human fascination for controlling and manipulating light is actually much older than Wells – probably it’s safe to say that is as old as mankind. […] I’m confident that the future of metamaterials is brighter than Griffin’s story.