UCLA Engineering: Three New Endowed Faculty Chairs

Feb 22, 2008

By Matthew Chin

UCLA Engineering establishes Three New Endowed Faculty Chairs

By Matthew Chin and Wileen Wong Kromhout

The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has announced the establishment of three new endowed faculty chairs — each made possible by a $1 million gift.

The new chairs will help the school strengthen the overall quality of its teaching and research programs by attracting talented faculty, who in turn will attract the brightest and most promising students.

“We are extremely grateful for the generous support from our alumni and friends that have made these new chairs possible,” said Vijay K. Dhir, the school’s dean. “By supporting outstanding scholars who are world leaders in their fields, these new chairs will enhance UCLA Engineering for many, many years to come.”

The new chairs are the Charles P. Reames Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering; the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas Jr. Endowed Chair in Engineering; and the Wintek Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering.

The endowed chairs are part of UCLA Engineering’s Enhancing Engineering Excellence (E3) initiative, a $100 million fundraising effort that includes raising $10 million for endowed faculty chairs, along with funds for endowed term chairs, graduate fellowships, undergraduate scholarships, capital projects and diversity initiatives. They are also part of UCLA’s Ensuring Academic Excellence initiative, a five-year effort aimed at generating $250 million in private commitments specifically for the recruitment and retention of the very best faculty and graduate students. The initiative was launched in June 2004 and its goals include $100 million to fund 100 new endowed chairs for faculty across campus.

Charles P. Reames Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering
The holder of the Reames Chair will be an outstanding scholar and teacher in electrical engineering. The chair was made possible by a gift from UCLA Engineering alumnus Charles P. Reames MS ’80, Ph.D. ’85, who is the senior director of broadband systems engineering at Broadcom Corp. He has been with the company since 1993 and previously served as Broadcom’s director of modem technology and director of cable and satellite systems.

The new endowed chair is, in part, a gift of thanks from Reames for the school’s early belief in his potential. When he initially arrived at UCLA Engineering, Reames was awarded a fellowship to support his graduate studies under the supervision of electrical engineering professor Alan Willson.

“They had a lot of faith in me,” Reames said, “and this is an opportunity to return that favor.”

Reames also said the chair is an investment in the country’s technological leadership for the future.

“Think about what has happened in the last 50 years in electrical engineering, and try to imagine what is going to happen in the next 50 years,” he said. “How do we not just keep pace but continue to lead the forefront of this field over the next 50 years? I hope that the establishment of this chair will help towards that end.”

Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas Jr. Endowed Chair in Engineering
The holder of the Tannas Chair will conduct research in electronic information displays and associated areas. The chair was established with a gift from alumnus Lawrence E. Tannas Jr. ’59, MS ’61, a consultant in the electronic information display industry, and his wife, Carol.

After receiving his master’s degree, Tannas began his career in the aerospace industry, working at several large engineering corporations and specializing in advanced concepts in guidance, control and navigation. For many years, he also taught engineering courses at UCLA Extension.

Tannas is a fellow and past president of the Society for Information Display, an international organization which had its origins at UCLA. Most of his recent work has focused on the development and application of resized LCDs for the aerospace industry.

“So many things matched,” Tannas said about the couple’s decision to establish the chair at UCLA Engineering. “It has been my primary home away from home and the primary place for my intellectual and professional association. UCLA was the focal point for many branch-points in our life and we are happy this endowment is coming to fruition.”

The Tannas’ support for the school goes back many years. Their gift supporting the new endowed chair was made possible through a charitable lead trust, in the form of a piece of industrial property. The school will receive funds generated by the trust over a 10-year period.

Wintek Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering
The holder of the Wintek chair will be a distinguished and internationally recognized faculty member in electrical engineering who has made an impact on semiconductor devices and/or integrated circuit technology development and applications. The chair was made possible by the support of Hyley Huang, chairman of Wintek Corp., a Taiwan-based manufacturer of small-to-medium-sized LCD panels used in digital cameras, cell phones, PDAs and video cameras.

“I appreciate the criticality of microelectronics technology development and wanted to establish an endowed professorship at a prominent U.S. university such as UCLA as a return of what benefitted me from my U.S. learning experience,” Huang said.

Huang pioneered CMOS integrated circuits and LCD technology in Taiwan and was one of the lead engineers in the monumental CMOS technology transfer from RCA to Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute. Huang is also the parent of a UCLA sophomore majoring in electrical engineering.