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Amit Lal honored as the Robert M. Scharf 1977 Professor of Engineering

Friday, April 24, 2015


ECE Professor Amit Lal has been recognized as the Robert M. Scharf 1977 Professor of Engineering by the Cornell University College of Engineering.

“Amit leads one of the most creative programs at Cornell ECE,” said Clif Pollock, ECE Director. “He's made MEMS-based power supplies that can provide energy for decades for sensors, numerous medical probes and instruments, microscale atomic clocks, even a "cyborg moth"! He teaches a popular interactive freshman course where student make everything from a transistor to a health monitor based on MEMS sensors. He has also helped with several students start-ups, and leads the ECE Innovation Awards Competition. He has great insight into physical problems and is always ready to offer a creative solution to any challenge. I am delighted Amit has been recognized as a distinguished chaired professor at Cornell.”

Prof. Lal obtained his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Caltech in 1990. He obtained his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley. He conducted his doctoral research at the Berkeley Sensors and Actuators Center in the area of ultrasonic MEMS.

He holds 32 patents and has published over 190 research papers in the area of microsystem engineering. He served as a Program Manager at DARPA in the Microsystems Technology Office from 2005-2009. There, he managed ten, and started six new programs in the area of navigation, low-energy computation, bio-robotics, and atomic microsystems. He is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award and the Whitaker Foundation award. With his students, his group has received several best paper awards at the IEEE Ultrasonics and Frequency Control Symposium, IEEE NEMS, IEEE MEMS, and IEEE PowerMEMS Conferences. He is also a recipient of the Department of Defense Exceptional Service Award and a Best Program Manager Award for his work at DARPA.

In addition to School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Prof. Lal is a field member of Biomedical Engineering and Applied Engineering Physics. He is a member of Cornell CCMR, NBTC, and KAUST-CU Center.

Professor Lal's interests are in developing concepts and technologies leading to integrated microsystems using micro and nanoscale fabrication techniques. He directs the SonicMEMS Laboratory, which works on very diverse topics aimed at transforming the way the world can be viewed. The group’s focus currently includes vaporizable electronics, chip-scale ultrasonics for information processing, optically stabilized MEMS systems, linear and nonlinear effects of ultrasound for microfluidics, applications of radioactive thin films for power and lithography, microprobes for surgery and bioinstrumentation, nanoelectromechanical devices, hybrid insect microsystems, micromechanical solar energy, and chip scale particle accelerators.

Read more about Professor Lal’s work in the featured article of the most recent ECE Connections Magazine: or on his website at

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