Northeastern University

12/19/2016 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/19/2016 07:15

Provost Emeritus Stephen Director named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Provost Emeritus Stephen W. Director is one of 175 academic inventors elected as a National Academy of Inventors Fellow this year. Photo by Mary Knox Merrill/Northeastern University

Provost Emer­itus Stephen W. Director, a pio­neer in the field of elec­tronic design automa­tion and who has a long record of com­mit­ment to and inno­va­tion in engi­neering edu­ca­tion, has been named a National Academy of Inven­tors Fellow.

The National Academy of Inven­tors announced last week that Director is one of 175 aca­d­emic inven­tors elected as a fellow this year. This high pro­fes­sional dis­tinc­tion is bestowed upon those who have demon­strated a pro­lific spirit of inno­va­tion in cre­ating or facil­i­tating out­standing inven­tions that have made a tan­gible impact on quality of life, eco­nomic devel­op­ment, and the wel­fare of society. Fel­lows were nom­i­nated by their peers.

Elec­tronic design automation-the field in which Director has led pio­neering work-refers to the set of soft­ware tools that allow engi­neers to design highly com­plex cir­cuits, which are crit­ical com­po­nents in scores of elec­tronics. Director's tech­nical con­tri­bu­tions to this field are vast; in par­tic­ular, he has devel­oped and patented methods for max­i­mizing the yield during the man­u­fac­turing of inte­grated cir­cuits. His efforts in sta­tis­tical design have resulted in the cre­ation of a new industry direc­tion known as 'design for manufacturability.'

'It's an honor to be among this dis­tin­guished group of people iden­ti­fied as having made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions and inven­tions that impact society,' Director said. 'At North­eastern, we value our con­nec­tion to society and engaging in use-​​inspired research, and I'm pleased to see rec­og­nized my work that aligns with this mission.'

The fel­lows will be inducted on April 6, 2017, as part of the sixth annual National Academy of Inven­tors con­fer­ence, which will be held at the John F. Kennedy Pres­i­den­tial Library and Museum in Boston.

It's an honor to be among this dis­tin­guished group of people iden­ti­fied as having made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions and inven­tions that impact society. At North­eastern, we value our con­nec­tion to society and engaging in use-​​inspired research, and I'm pleased to see rec­og­nized my work that aligns with this mis­sion.
-Provost Emer­itus Stephen W. Director

In addi­tion to Director, Nadine Aubry, dean of the Col­lege of Engi­neering, was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventor in 2014. And Con­stan­tinos Mavroidis, Col­lege of Engi­neering Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Mechan­ical Engi­neering, who died in 2014, was named a fellow in 2013.

Director served as Northeastern's provost from 2008 to 2015, during which time he ele­vated the university's pro­file in aca­d­emic inno­va­tion, fac­ulty recruit­ment, and research. His many accom­plish­ments include restruc­turing the Col­lege of Arts and Sci­ences into the Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design, the Col­lege of Sci­ence, and the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties; leading North­eastern to a hybrid budget and man­age­ment model; guiding the Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Sci­ence and Engi­neering Com­plex project; hiring more than 400 tenured and tenure-​​track fac­ulty; and reor­ga­nizing the university's research and tech transfer oper­a­tions and devel­oping a strategic focus for Northeastern's research activ­i­ties around three global imper­a­tives: health, secu­rity, and sustainability.

Prior to North­eastern, Director held a number of aca­d­emic posi­tions at Drexel Uni­ver­sity, the Uni­ver­sity of Michigan, and Carnegie Mellon Uni­ver­sity. He founded in 1982 and led the Semi­con­ductor Research Corporation-​​Carnegie Mellon Uni­ver­sity Research Center for Computer-​​Aided Design, and his work was instru­mental in starting PDF Solu­tions, Inc., a leading provider of yield improve­ment tech­nolo­gies and ser­vices for the inte­grated cir­cuit man­u­fac­turing process life cycle.

Director is a member of the National Academy of Engi­neering and a fellow of both the Insti­tute of Elec­trical and Elec­tronics Engi­neers and the Amer­ican Society of Engi­neering Edu­ca­tion. He has received numerous awards for his research and edu­ca­tional con­tri­bu­tions, including the ASEE Ben­jamin Garver Lamme Award, the Insti­tute for Elec­trical and Elec­tronics Engi­neers Mil­len­nium Medal, the IEEE Edu­ca­tion Medal, and the Aris­totle Award from the Semi­con­ductor Research Cor­po­ra­tion. In 2002 the Chi­nese Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion named him Hon­orary Pro­fessor of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

He has pub­lished more than 150 papers and authored or co-​​authored six texts, and has served on the edi­to­rial board of the IEEE Trans­ac­tions on Cir­cuits and Sys­tems and as a con­sulting editor to McGraw-​​Hill.

Director received his Bach­elor of Sci­ence from the State Uni­ver­sity of New York at Stony Brook and Master of Sci­ence and doc­torate in elec­trical engi­neering from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­fornia, Berkeley.