Carnegie Mellon University

Hamerschlag Hall with yellow flowers

May 06, 2024

CMU Names University Professors

By Christa Cardone

Five Carnegie Mellon University faculty members have been elevated to the rank of University Professor, the highest distinction a faculty member can receive at Carnegie Mellon.

University Professors are distinguished by international recognition and for their contributions to education, artistic creativity and/or research. They are individuals who have made exceptional achievements beyond their department and college and embody the highest standards of the university.

This year, three of the newly appointed University Professors are from the College of Engineering: Gary Fedder, Anthony Rollett, and Elias Towe. Guy Blelloch and Robert Kass were also named.

“I am delighted to congratulate this esteemed group of individuals on being selected by their peers as University Professors,” said Provost and Chief Academic Officer James H. Garrett Jr. “These five individuals have made impactful contributions to education and research, as well as to the community as a whole. It is a pleasure to recognize them with this distinction.”

Gary Fedder

Gary Fedder is the Howard M. Wilkoff Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and faculty director of the Manufacturing Futures Institute, both in the College of Engineering.

Fedder’s research interests include microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) modeling, simulation and synthesis, integration of MEMS and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors (CMOS), microsensor design, microactuator control systems, and probe-based nanofabrication technologies. Most recently, his research efforts have been in technologies for skin-wearable interactive electronics and in digital twin technologies for manufacturing.

Fedder has served in administrative roles at CMU as vice provost for research, director of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering, and as faculty liaison of the building committee for the Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall. From 2011 to 2012, he was a technical co-lead on the Obama administration’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. Fedder was the founding president of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute in 2017 and served as interim CEO in 2020.

Fedder is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. His awards include the AIME Electronic Materials Society Ross Tucker Award, the College of Engineering George Tallman Ladd Research Award, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), his master’s in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from University of California, Berkeley.

Anthony Rollett

Anthony Rollett is the U.S. Steel Professor of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science in Materials Science and Engineering and faculty co-director of the Next Manufacturing Center, both in the College of Engineering. He is the principal investigator and co-director of the Institute for Model-Based Qualification and Certification of Additive Manufacturing (IMQCAM), supported by NASA.

Rollett’s research focuses on microstructural evolution and microstructure-property relationships in 3D, using both experiments and simulations. Interests include 3D printing of metals, materials for energy conversion systems, strength of materials, constitutive relations, microstructure, texture, anisotropy, grain growth, recrystallization, formability and stereology. Relevant techniques include high-performance spectral methods in micro-mechanics, dynamic x-ray radiography, and high-energy diffraction microscopy.

Rollett is a fellow of the ASM International, the Institute of Physics (U.K.), and the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS). Among his awards and recognitions, he has received TMS’s Cyril Stanley Smith Award, the Cyril Stanley Smith Award from the International Conference on Recrystallization and Grain Growth, and the International Freeform and Additive Manufacturing Excellence (FAME) Award at the 2023 International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium. He was an International Francqui Professor for 2020-2021, awarded by the Francqui Foundation (Belgium) and will receive the ASM Gold Medal in 2024. He was selected as a member of honor by the French Metallurgical Society and is a member of the Advisory Committee for Nuclear Security (ACNS) under the Department of Energy. He also served on the Basic Energy Science Advisory Committee (BESAC) for several years.

Rollett received his master’s in metallurgy and materials science from Cambridge University and his Ph.D. in materials engineering from Drexel University.

Elias Towe

Elias Towe is the Albert and Ethel Grobstein Professor in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering. He is director and principal investigator of the Quantum Computing and Information Technologies (QCiT) Center, a National Science Foundation industry-university cooperative research center.

Towe’s primary research interests are in photonics and quantum photonics, and the related application areas of computing, communications and sensing. His early work focused on optical interconnects for large bandwidth computing and communication systems. He led the successful very large-scale integration (VLSI) photonic program while at DARPA. In later years, his group pioneered the use of quantum-dots in infrared focal plane imaging for night vision systems, and in high-efficiency quantum-dot lasers for communication. The work on quantum dots subsequently contributed to advances in single-photon detection and quantum bits for computing and sensing.

Towe is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America (Optica), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). His professional awards include the Outstanding Technical Achievement Award from the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, the Commonwealth of Virginia Scholar Award, the Honeywell Technology Center Award for Advancements in Photonics, and the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award. He has served, and currently serves, on advisory boards for the Department of Defense, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank.

Towe was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science and was a Vinton Hayes fellow.