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Lee receives Packard Fellowship

Thomas H. Lee, assistant professor of electrical engineering, is one of 20 researchers around the country who have been awarded fellowships by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation this year.

Each of the five-year fellowships provides young faculty members with $100,000 per year to support their scientific research, making it the nation's largest non-governmental program providing unrestricted grants to young faculty in science and engineering. The program was established to further the work of promising scientists and engineers, "to encourage networking among these researchers and to support efforts to attract talented graduate students into university research in the United States."

As an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lee paid for his education entirely from money that he had saved from working as a TV service technician in junior high and high school, and from various engineering jobs that he performed while attending school. In addition to his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, which he received in 1983, Lee earned his masters and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from MIT.

Lee has acted as a consultant to a number of different companies, including Hughes Aircraft Co., Polaroid Corp., Digital Equipment Corp., Analog Devices Semiconductor, Rambus Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices. He holds six patents and has an additional four pending. He has received innovation awards from the Energy Resources and Development Agency (now the Department of Energy) and Hughes. He authored papers that received the best paper award from the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in 1994 and 1995, and he has received teaching awards from both MIT and Stanford.

Lee joined the Stanford faculty in 1994. His research has focused on developing inexpensive integrated circuitry for digital wireless communications. In the past, radio transmitters and receivers required expensive circuits made from exotic materials like gallium arsenide and indium phosphide. But in the last few years progress has been made with the standard CMOS technology that is used for ordinary computer chips. For example, CMOS circuits can now operate at speeds in excess of a billion cycles per second. These advances have made CMOS circuitry suitable for radio frequency applications, Lee says. He is proving this by building radio frequency circuitry using CMOS technology. When commercially adopted, this will make wireless communication less expensive and more commonplace than it is today, he says.


By David F. Salisbury

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