Prof. Aharon J. Agranat
The N. Jaller Professor of Applied Science
Head of the Optoelectronic Computing Laboratory
Professor Ronny Agranat is the director of the Brojde center for innovative engineering and computer science, the incumbent of the Nahman Jaller chair of Applied Science, and professor of Applied Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Agranat holds a B.Sc degree in physics and mathematics (1977), an M.Sc degree in Applied Physics (1980), and a PhD degree in physics (1986) all from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His Ph.D thesis was on the subject of the dielectric mechanism of the photorefractive effect which he discovered.
From 1986 to 1997 he was a senior research fellow and a visiting senior research associate at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he worked on the development of microelectronic artificial neural networks based on charge transfer devices which he invented, and the growth and investigation of paraelectric photorefractive crystals.
In 1991 he joined the faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and founded the Optoelectronic Computing Laboratory. The laboratory mission is to conceive and develop optoelectronic devices and systems that will expand the capabilities of the computing, communication and sensing technologies that are the physical basis of the cyberspace. One of the main themes pursued by Agranat is to develop a new class of devices that are based on the electrooptic effect in oxygen perovskites at the paraelectric phase.
Agranat is the inventor of Electroholography and the material system for its realization: potassium lithium tantalate niobate (KLTN). Electroholography was identified as the leading concept for dynamic wavelength selective switching and wavelength tunability. For the invention of Electroholography and the KLTN crystal Agranat was awarded the Discover Innovation Award for the leading invention in the area of communication for the year 2001 (awarded by the Discover magazine and the Christopher Columbus Society).
Agranat is also the chairman of the Hebrew University Center of Biomedical Engineering, a member of the Hebrew University Interdisciplinary Center of Neuro-Computing, and a fellow of the Optical Society of America. Agranat was also a cofounder and director of Trellis–Photonics that was founded for exploiting Electroholography in telecommunication applications. Agranat is the author of many scientific papers, and holds 24 patents in the areas of microelectronics, optoelectronics and materials science.