Ethiopian scientist Dereje Agonafer to receive award

July 27th, 2009 | by addis portal |

Ethiopian-American professor Dereje Agonafer is due to receive award for excellence in research and development related to electronic packaging (Science and Engineering).

Prof. Dereje Agonafer will receive the 2009 InterPACK Excellence Award in San Francisco this July, 2009. Such award and recognition in the areas of science and engineering will motivate young Ethiopians and Ethiopian-American students.

Awardees are selected because they have demonstrated excellence and international recognition in the area of research and development related to electronic packaging, as well as service to the technical community at large.

Previous winners of this award are Dr. Alan Kraus, Dr. Wataru Nakayama, Dr. Richard Chu, and Prof. Avi Bar-Cohen. Dr. William T. Chen, President of IEEE CPMT Society; and Senior Technical Advisor for ASE will also receive the award.

InterPACK ’09 is an international forum for exchange of state-of-the art knowledge in research, development, manufacturing, and application on the packaging and integration of Electronic and Photonic Systems, MEMS (Micro Electo-Mechanical Systems), and NEMS(Nano-electro Mechanical Systems). This conference will be the 10th in the InterPACK series that began in 1993. It is the flagship technical meeting of the ASME Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division (EPPD), with the participation of JSME, IEEE-CPMT, and iNEMI.


Professor Dereje Agonafer has always been very active in professional society programs. He has been Guest Editor of special issues of The Journal of Electronic Packaging, The Journal of Heat Transfer, and IEEE’s Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology. He has published extensively both journals and conference papers and has 8 issued patents. Since 2002, he has been a member of the “ASME Technical Executive Committee.” He was Editor in Chief, “Gordon and Breach Book Series in Electronic Packaging (1997-2000),” and has and continues to serve as an Associate Technical Editor, “ASME Journal of Electronic Packaging (2001-2007).” He is currently the Editor in Chief of ASME Press Book Series in Electronic Packaging and the first book in that series was published in September 2002. From July 1997 – July 2000, he served as Chair of the ASME K-16 Committee in the Heat Transfer Division. He was Chair of the ASME Electrical and Photonic Packaging Division in 2000, and currently chairs the “Computer Aided Design in Electronic Packaging Committee” in the same division. Professor Agonafer has participated in numerous professional society meetings as session chair, panel moderator/panelist and conference leader. He has been involved very actively in ITHERM (Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermo Mechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems) since the inception of the conference in 1988 and served as the Program Chair for 1994 ITHERM IV, and was the General Chair for 1996 ITHERM V held in Orlando, Fl. In 1995, at Semi-Therm in San Jose, Professor Agonafer teamed with Professor Sammakia, Professor Joshi and Dr. Sathe to teach a course entitled “Thermal Design of Electronic Systems: From Portables to Mainframes.” Since then, the four have teamed up and have taught the course a number of times at ITHERM and Interpack. Also, Professor Sammakia and Professor Agonafer offered a tutorial on “Fundamentals of Electronic Packaging” at IMECE 2003 (Washington, DC), IMECE 2004 (Anaheim, CA), Interpak 2005 and presented a similar workshop at IMECE 2005 in Orlando. He has also been actively involved with InterPACK Conference (The Pacific Rim/ASME International, Intersociety Electronic and Photonic Packaging Conference). Professor Agonafer was the General Chair of InterPACK ‘99, which was held in Maui, Hawaii, June 1999. In 1994, he led US delegates to the World Congress on Computational Mechanics in Chiba, Japan, to give an invited lecture. In September 1997, he gave an invited lecture at Therminc Workshop in Cannes, France, and a keynote lecture at the 10th International Heat Pipe Conference in Stuggart, Germany. In Summer 2000, he offered a number of courses in Japan, and in Summer 2001, he offered short courses in Singapore, Panang, Seoul, Taipei, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Osaka. In January 2005, he presented an invited seminar at the US/Africa Materials Workshop in Capetown, South Africa. In September 2006, he gave the opening keynote seminar at the “17th International Symposium on Transport Phenomena (ISTP-17)” in Toyama, Japan. In academic year 2007-2008, he gave invited seminars at Tufts University, North Eastern University, MIT and Harvard University. This past August, he was the luncheon speaker at the Summer Cooling Zone Summit held in Natick, Ma and will again do so at the upcoming cooling zone summit.

Professor Agonafer has been servin on the Scientific Advisory Board of an NSF Center, Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE) at Princeton University since 2007. He also serves on the Deans Engineering Advisory Committee at both University of Colorado and Howard University. Professor Agonafer is a Fellow of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers International (ASME) and Fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is also a member of IEEE, AIAA, ASEE and NSBE. In March 1996, he received the “The National Society of Black Engineers Alumni Extension Technologist of the Year” award. In April 1998, Professor Agonafer was the recipient of the “The University of Colorado School of Engineering Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award (DEAA) in the category of Research and Invention.” The award “represents the most significant honor the College gives and acknowledges the highest professional achievements. In November 1998, he received “The Howard University Distinguished PhD Alumni Award.” Also, in November 1998, he received “ASME K-16/EEPD Clock Award for Outstanding Contribution in Computer Aided Thermal Management of Electronic Packages.” In 2002, he received ASME International Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division Highest Division Award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Area of the Application of the Science and Engineering of Heat Transfer to Electronic and Photonic Packaging ( ” For the last 5 consecutive years, Professor Agonafer received an award from University of Texas at Arlington for having “A strong record of external funding and scholarly achievement.”

Each year since 1991 the IEEE SEMI-THERM Symposia honors a person as a Significant Contributor to the field of semiconductor thermal management. The THERMI award is intended to recognize a recipient’s history of contributions to important thermal issues affecting the performance of semiconductor devices, optoelectronics, MEMS or related systems. Nominees are typically leaders in the field of heat transfer in the disciplines of measurement, modeling and testing of microelectronic, optoelectronic and other technology devices and equipment. Professor Agonafer received the Thermi Award at the 24th Annual Semi-Therm, March 2008, in San Jose, California ( In July 2009, he will deliver a keynote seminar in San Francisco as a recipient of the 2009 InterPACK Excellence Award as cited “A seal of Dereje’s excellence in research, standing and recognition in electronic packaging and a reflection of UTA’s rise within the international community.”

Professor Agonafer was at MIT as a MLK visiting scholar September 1, 2007 – August 31, 2008.

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