The University of Delaware announced that Dennis Prather, a member of the nanoelectronics, electromagnetics and photonics research group in the department of electrical and computer engineering, has been named the first College of Engineering Alumni Professor, effective Jan. 1. Named professorships recognize outstanding scholarship and teaching and distinguished service to the university and community, UD said. Prather, who joined the UD faculty in 1997, is involved in the development of micro-, meso- and nanophotonic devices, applied optics and electromagnetic research, developing imaging technologies in the millimeter-wave part of the spectrum so that they can be seen and interpreted by the human eye. This has applications for helicopter pilots, for example, who are flying though thick cloud cover or landing in whirling sand. Prather also has been awarded a grant from the Department of Defense for a project that will help enable computers to get closer to operating at the speed of light. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, DARPA, the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Laboratory and industrial sponsors. The author or coauthor of 24 US patents and more than 250 publications, Prather is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and the Society for Photo-Instrumentation Engineers. He received the Outstanding Junior Faculty of Engineering Award in 2000-01, a National Science Foundation Career Award, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award and the W.J. Kastner Technical Achievement Award. The College of Engineering Alumni Professorship is supported by an endowment fund established by UD alumni in 2004.