Yanne Chembo Named Director of UMD’s Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics

Chembo joined the university in 2019 from the Georgia Tech–CNRS Joint Research Laboratory

Yanne Chembo will begin a five-year term as director of the University of Maryland’s Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP) on July 1, 2022. On that date, he will also be promoted to professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Yanne Chembo. Photo courtesy of same. Click image to download hi-res version.

Yanne Chembo. Photo courtesy of same. Click image to download hi-res version.

“I am honored to be appointed director of IREAP, and I look forward to contributing to the continued success of this outstanding research institute,” Chembo said.

A joint institute of UMD’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS) and the A. James Clark School of Engineering, IREAP has a history of innovation in optics, plasma physics, microwave and terahertz science, materials science and nonlinear dynamics. 

“Yanne brings deep experience of multidisciplinary research and we are excited to see him advance IREAP's missions of creating new knowledge at the intersection of the physical sciences and engineering and training the next generation in experimental and theoretical research,” said CMNS Dean Amitabh Varshney.

Prior to joining UMD in January 2019 as an associate professor, Chembo was research director at the Georgia Tech–CNRS (French Center for Scientific Research) Joint Research Laboratory, where he explored nonlinear, quantum and stochastic phenomena in optoelectronics, microwave photonics and laser physics. At UMD, he applies his research to aerospace and communication engineering systems.

“The roots of innovation and discovery run deep in collaboration. IREAP catalyzes that kind of collaboration: research at Maryland Engineering moves fields like materials science forward. We’re excited about the new possibilities with Yanne Chembo at the helm,” said Clark School Dean Samuel Graham Jr. “We owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Murphy for his leadership and appreciate all he’s done to make IREAP—like our other interdisciplinary centers—a focus for leading ideas and research.”

Chembo is a fellow of Optica (formerly the Optical Society of America) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). He also serves as an elected member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Photonics Society. He has authored more than 170 articles published in international journals and conference proceedings.

He previously held positions at the FEMTO-ST Institute (Franche-Comté Electronics Mechanics Thermal Science and Optics–Sciences and Technologies Institute) in France, and the Quantum Science and Technology Group of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech. After earning bachelor’s degrees in physics and telecommunications engineering, Chembo earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon and a second Ph.D. in photonics from the University of the Balearic Islands in Spain.

Chembo takes over as director for Thomas E. Murphy, who served in the role since August 2012. During his time as director, Murphy hired several new faculty members who cross traditional academic boundaries, recruited new administrative and technical staff members to support the institute's research enterprise, and led the renovation of IREAP laboratories and public spaces. He also helped the institute maintain a sense of community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and coordinated the institute's return to on-campus research activities.

About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 8,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college's 10 departments and six interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $250 million.