Alan Eli Willner

Alan Eli Willner
Fields of study
Optical communication
IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award


Alan Eli Willner’s expertise in optical communication systems has helped advance the high-capacity pathways that process ever-increasing data streams. His research has addressed several key challenges facing optical communications networks and helped to increase system capacity and reconfigurability. Dr. Willner’s advancements include a tunable chromatic dispersion compensation module to help minimize data distortion caused by an optical fiber; a technique that emulates the harmful effects of polarization mode dispersion; and cost-effective, real-time performance monitoring methods that isolate data-degrading impairments in optical networks. His latest work on orbital angular momentum focuses on multiplexing together many different data-carrying optical beams, each having a different phase-front “twist,” to increase capacity in future optical communication systems.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Willner is the Steven and Kathryn Sample Chair in the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Willner was the recipient of the 2014 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award.