October 7, 2004

Cornell Prof. One of Nation's Top 50 Black Researchers

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Prof. Kevin Kornegay, electrical and computer engineering, was named one the nation’s top 50 black researchers on Sept. 17. He was selected by the editors of Science Spectrum Magazine and U.S. Black Engineer and Information Magazine. The award was based on his sustained level of accomplishment in his field.

Kornegay is director of the Cornell Broadband Communications Research laboratory. The laboratory is a research effort that involves Agilent, Cadence, Cascade-Microtech and IBM microelectronics to deal with issues related to designing single-chip wireless and wireline devices.

A native of Brooklyn, Kornegay is an alum of both University of California Berkeley and the Pratt Institute. He was named Black Engineer of the Year in 2001, and is interested in integrated systems for harsh environments, smart power electronics, wide band gap semi-conductors and heterogeneous system integration.

Currently, he is working on designing next-generation broadband communication research systems with a focus on delivering higher performance using a lower power level. Kornegay says that in a nutshell, his research “deals with how you would move information through a medium, be it air, copper wire or optical fiber while making it as efficient and cost-effective as possible.”

For instance, if users want to watch video on their PDA, they would want a high data transceiver. Kornegay and the research laboratory deal with the high data rate. He and the laboratory design chips that have particular characteristics — high speed, low power and smaller area.

Kornegay and his team have recently sent out many patent disclosures and have published their results in technical journals in the field. He and the researchers have also submitted four statements to the Premier Circuit Conference, a gathering of chip manufacturing companies.

On being named among the nation’s top 50 black researchers, Kornegay said he was honored to be mentioned along with colleagues such as Dr. Shirley Jackson, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Mark Dean, one of the co-inventors of the PC. Both are members of the National Academy of Engineering. Kornegay said that he hopes to be a member of that academy one day, which he viewed as one of the highest distinctions bestowed upon an engineer. The ceremony lasted about two hours, and Kornegay received a plaque for his accomplishments.

“Don’t give up. Work hard, and learn your math and physics,” Kornegay said, offering advice to students interested in the field.

Kornegay’s future goal is to continue to push the forefront of research.

“Higher and higher performance. Lower and lower cost. Hopefully we will be able run something as functionally equivalent to a cell phone off of a battery that works in a hearing aid.”

Archived article by Ikea Hamilton
Sun Staff Writer