Dr. Kenneth O
Professor of electrical engineering and director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence
Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair
O is a leading authority in the field of analog electronics, which he has called "a fundamental technology that touches virtually everyone's daily life."
Analog technology benefits many by providing wireless communication, but it can also be used for devices focused on health or safety. It could also lead to more environmentally friendly electronic devices.
O, a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), was recruited to direct the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE) – a project funded by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the state through its Texas Emerging Technology Fund, Texas Instruments, the UT System and UT Dallas. TxACE opened its new 8,000-square-foot labs at UT Dallas in 2010, with O predicting great achievements from the interdisciplinary teams.
"We will find solutions to some of the great challenges the world faces today through the research at this facility that brings together people from diverse backgrounds to enable technology that people working in one particular discipline couldn't come up with on their own."
O received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, all in electrical engineering and computer science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before joining UT Dallas he was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
His mentor, MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif, was O's honored guest at his investiture ceremony at UT Dallas in November 2009.
O has been married for more than 20 years and is the father of three boys.
Established in April 2006, the chair has been held by Dr. O since September 2009. The chair was made possible through a gift from Texas Instruments and an anonymous donor to support research and scholarly activities in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Sciences.
O's research group was one of the first to show that what's known as Radio Frequency CMOS (complementary metal oxide silicon) technology - which is used to fabricate radio circuits in almost every cell phone - is viable. CMOS technology is used to fabricate the bulk of integrated circuits including microprocessors, memory chips and imagers. O's group set records for the highest operating frequency for transistor circuits and continues to expand the application of CMOS semiconductor technology by demonstrating its capability at ever-increasing frequencies.
"I've had great students over the years. It's an amazing experience to mentor and build lifelong relationships with students who are highly motivated and successful."