Engineering professors named fellows of National Academy of Inventors

By John Sullivan

Two engineering faculty members, Paul Prucnal and Jennifer Rexford, have been named as fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, an honor that recognizes contributions that have an impact on quality of life, economic development and societal welfare.

Paul Prucnal

Paul Prucnal. Photo by David Kellly Crow

Prucnal, a professor of electrical engineering, is recognized as the inventor of an ultra-fast switch called the Terahertz Optical Asymmetric Demultiplexer. Prucnal’s research concentrates on optical communications and signal processing. His research into optical networks in the 1980s generated new disciplines in the field and has resulted in over 1,000 scholarly papers. Prucnal is the holder of 27 patents.





Jennifer Rexford

Jennifer Rexford. Photo by David Kelly Crow.

Rexford, chair of computer science and the Gordon Y.S.  Wu Professor in Engineering, is an expert on large computer networks and internet routing. She has made several contributions to the development of the Border Gateway Protocol, which allows for communications among the many networks that form the internet. A 1991 alumna, Rexford holds 22 patents.