Professor Kensall D. Wise Biographical Sketch

Biographical Sketch:  Professor Kensall D. Wise

Professor Kensall D. Wise

Kensall David Wise was born in Muncie, Indiana, in 1941.  He received the BSEE degree with highest distinction from Purdue University in June 1963 and the MS and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University in August 1964 and June 1969, respectively.  From 1963 to 1965 (on leave 1965-1969), he was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey, where his work focused on the exploratory development of integrated electronics for use in thin-film magnetic memory stores, and from 1965 to 1972 he was a Research Assistant and then a Research Associate and Lecturer at Stanford, working on the development of micromachined silicon sensors.  In 1972 he returned to Bell Labs, Naperville, Illinois, to work on microcomputer-controlled telephone switching systems, and in 1974 he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he is now the William Gould Dow Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Engineering, and Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences. 

Dr. Wise was General Chairman of the 1984 IEEE Solid-State Sensor Conference (Hilton Head) and was Technical Program Chairman (1985) and General Chairman (1997) of the IEEE International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems.  He received the 1990 Paul Rappaport Award from the IEEE Electron Devices Society, the 1995 Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the University of Michigan, the 1996 Columbus Prize from the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, the 1997 SRC Aristotle Award, and the 1999 IEEE Solid-State Circuits Technical Field Award.  He held the 2007 Henry Russel Lectureship at the University of Michigan and is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the AIMBE, and a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering.

Awards and Honors

1971 Outstanding Paper Award, 1971 International Solid-State Circuits Conference¬† (“A Microprobe with Integrated Amplifiers for Neurophysiology”)
1974                NASA Certificate of Recognition for Creative Development of Technology (Microminiature Gas Chromatograph)
1976¬†1938E Award, The University of Michigan College of Engineering  “in recognition of an outstanding teacher, an understanding counselor of students, a contributor to the educational growth of his/her College, and a teacher whose scholarly integrity pervades his/her service to the University and the profession of Engineering” (one given per year)
1978 Distinguished Service Award, The University of Michigan “for mid-career faculty who have demonstrated remarkable contributions to the University (typically five given per year)
1979 Outstanding Paper Award, International Solid-State Circuits Conference  ("Integrated Signal Conditioning for Diaphragm Pressure Sensors,")
1986 Elected Fellow of the IEEE "for leadership in the field of integrated solid-state sensors and engineering education"
1986 Beatrice Winner Award for Editorial Excellence, International Solid-State Circuits Conference
1987 NASA Certificate of Recognition for the Innovative Development of Technology (Integrated Gas Flow Controller)
1987 Research Excellence Award, University of Michigan College of Engineering, given for “demonstrated sustained excellence in research and related scholarly activities” (typically three given per year)
1989 Roger A. Haken Best Student Paper Award (S. T. Cho), IEEE Inter-national Electron Devices Meeting ("An Ultrasensitive Silicon Pressure-Based Flowmeter"
1990 Paul Rappaport Award, IEEE Electron Devices Society (best paper in any EDS publication)
1992 Stephen S. Attwood Award for Excellence in Engineering, University of Michigan College of Engineering, for “extraordinary achievement in teaching, research, service, and other activities that have brought distinction to the College and University” (highest award given by the College)
1992-1997 Distinguished Collegiate Professor, University of Michigan College of Engineering
1993-2011 Named the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology
1995 Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, The University of Michigan, “honoring senior faculty who have consistently demonstrated outstanding achievements in scholarly research, teaching and mentoring of students, service and related activities that have brought distinction to themselves and to the University of Michigan” (up to five given per year)
1996 Elected Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) “for contributions and leadership in the development of integrated biomedical sensors”
1996 Columbus Prize “for an individual American who has improved, or is attempting to improve, the world through ingenuity and innovation,” presented at Disney World in connection with the Discover Magazine Awards for Technical Innovation ($100,000 Award)
1997 Aristotle Award from the Semiconductor Research Corporation “for deep commitment to the educational experience of students, emphasizing student advising and teaching through research” (one given per year)
1998 Elected to the National Academy of Engineering of the United States of America “for sensors and microelectromechanical systems”
1999 IEEE Solid-State Circuits Technical Field Award “for pioneering contri-butions to the development of solid-state sensors, circuits, and integrated sensing systems”
2002 Team Excellence Award, University of Michigan College of Engineering
2002- Named the William Gould Dow Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan, “the University’s most prestigious professorships, to recognize senior faculty with exceptional scholarly and/or creative achievements, national and international reputations for academic excellence, and superior records of teaching, mentoring, and service” (typically three given per year)
2005 Michigan Emerging Industry Pioneer Award “in recognition of outstanding leadership to the MEMS, MicroSystems, and NanoTechnology Com-munity”
2005 Roger A. Haken Best Student Paper Award (J. Wang), IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (“An Integrated Position-Sensing System for a MEMS-Based Cochlear Implant”)
2006 Named Purdue University Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer (typically four or five given per year)
2007 Henry Russel Lectureship, University of Michigan “considered the University's highest honor for a senior member of its active faculty”
2007 Outstanding Special-Topic Evening Panel Award (Session Chair), International IEEE Solid-State Circuits Conference
2010 Ted Kennedy Family Team Excellence Award, University of Michigan College of Engineering
2010 University of Michigan Technology Transfer Career Achievement Award
2011 U-M Distinguished University Innovator Award (with Khalil Najafi) (one given per year)

Degrees, Positions Held, and Professional Service


Purdue University, BSEE (with highest distinction), June 1963

  • Honorary Societies:Phi Eta Sigma, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu

Stanford University, MSEE, 1964;

Stanford University, Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, 1969.

  • Thesis Advisor:¬† Professor James Browne Angell
  • Thesis Title:¬† “A Multielectrode Microprobe for Biopotential Recording”

Positions Held


Stanford University:

  • Research Assistant, 1965-1969;
  • Research Associate and Lecturer, 1969-1972.

The University of Michigan:

  • Assistant Professor, 1974-1978
  • Associate Professor, 1978-1982;
  • Professor, 1982-present
  • J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology, 1993-present
  • Director, Solid-State Electronics Laboratory, 1979-1987; 2007-2011
  • Director, Center for Integrated Sensors and Circuits, 1987-1998
  • Director, SRC Program in Automated Semiconductor Manufacturing, 1984-1998.
  • Director, Center for Integrated MicroSystems, 1998-2000
  • Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering, 1999-2000
  • Director, NSF ERC in Wireless Integrated MicroSystems, 2000-2010

The University of Utah:

  • W. W. Clyde Visiting Professor of Engineering, 2012


Bell Telephone Laboratories: Member of Technical Staff, 1963-1965 (on leave 1965-1969) (Murray Hill, NJ) and 1972-1974 (Naperville, IL).

Professional Service

  • Organized and moderated a panel discussion on Biomedical Sensors and Associated Electronics, 1971 International Solid-State Circuits Conference
    Vice-Chairman (1975-76) and Director (1976-77) of Division VI (Instrumentation, Engr. in Medicine and Biology), Southeastern Michigan Section of the IEEE
  • Member, Program Committee, International Electron Devices Meeting, 1977, 81-83
  • Member, Program Committee, International Solid-State Circuits Conference, 1978-1982, 1985-86, 2005-2007
  • Guest Editor, IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, Special Issue on Semiconductor Memory and Logic, October 1979
  • Guest Editor, IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, Special Issues on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Interface Electronics, December 1979 and January 1982
  • Associate Editor for Solid-State Sensors, IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, 1981-85¬†
  • Organizer and General Chairman, 1984 IEEE Solid-State Sensor Conference (now the biennial Solid-State Sensor, Actuator, and Microsystems Workshop) (Hilton Head)
  • Program Chairman, 1985 IEEE International Conference on Solid-State Sensors and Actuators
  • IEEE-EDS National Lecturer for 1986
  • Member, International Steering Committee for Solid-State Sensors, 1981-1999, responsible for guiding the biennial International Conferences on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems (Transducers)
  • Member, Program Committee, International Conference on Solid-State Sensors and Actuators, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995
  • Member, Program Committee, Symposium on VLSI Technology, 1988, 1989
  • Chairman, SRC University Advisory Committee, 1989-1991
  • Program Secretary, International Solid-State Circuits Conference, 1990-1993
  • Member, University Subcommittee, National Advisory Committee on Semiconductors, 1990
  • Chairman, JTEC Study on Microelectromechanical Systems Developments in Japan, 1993
  • General Chairman, 1997 IEEE International Conference on Solid-State Sensors and Actuators (Transducers ’97, Chicago)
  • Member, Technology Working Group on Metrology, SIA National Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, 1996-1999
  • Senior Editor, IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, 1998-2002; Advisory Editor Emeritus, 2003-2010
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue on Integrated Sensors, Microactuators, and Microsystems (MEMS), Proceedings of the IEEE, August 1998
  • Member, Editorial Board, Proceedings of the IEEE, 1999-2004
  • Member, NRC Study Group on Biotechnology for Army Applications, 2000
  • Member, NRC Study Group on Engineering the Health Care System, 2003-2005
  • Chair, Evening Special Topics Session on Implantable and Prosthetic Devices: Life-Changing Circuits” at the 2007 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference
  • Co-Chair and organizer, NSF Workshop on Micro/Nanoelectronics: Devices and Technologies for Biomedical Applications, Leuven, Belgium, 2008
    Member (2006-2008) and Chair (2009-1010), IEEE Junichi Nishizawa Medal Selection Committee
  • Member (2008-2010) and Chair (2011-2012), IEEE Frederik Phillips Award Selection Committee
  • Member (2011-2012), and Chair (2013-2014), IEEE Awards Board Awards Review
  • Member (2014) and Chair (2015-2016), IEEE Awards Board
  Copyright © Kensall D. Wise
University of Michigan Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Wireless Integrated Microsystems