ElectroScience Lab Directors

The ElectroScience Laboratory (ESL) has began its course in 1941 when Prof. William L. Everitt invented a new model measurement technique for aircraft antennas. It was officially established as the Antenna Laboratory in October of 1942 under Dr. George Sinclair's leadership and became known as the ElectroScience Laboratory under Dr. Curt A. Levis' administration in 1967. Over the course of last eight decades technical and administrative operations have been carried out under the leadership of ESL's Directors, recognized as world-wide experts on their area. Below you will find information about our Directors, whose contributions and dedication to ESL, along with those of distinguished faculty, students and staff, had a major impact on ESL's current standing today as major center-of-excellence and one of the largest radio frequency and optics research laboratories in the world.

Visit ESL's History to get a detailed timeline of historical events and milestones.


1941-1942 | 1942-1946 | 1946-1948 | 1948-1954 | 1954-1961 | 1961-1969 | 1969-1970 | 1970-1973 | 1973-1977 | 1977-1983 | 1983-1994 | 1994-2002 | 2003 - 2016 | 2016 - 2018 | 2018 - 2022 | 2022 - Present


ESL Directors

2022 - Present

Christopher Ball (Interim Director)

chris ball inside ESL

Dr. Christopher Ball has served as a research scientist in the ElectroScience Laboratory at The Ohio State University and became interim director in September 2022. He specializes in the development of sensor technologies operating across the electromagnetic spectrum, from UV to RF. Dr. Ball joined ESL in January 2016, following a 15-year career at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to that, he served as a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics under Professor Patrick Thaddeus. Dr. Ball's research activities focus on the conceptualization, development and testing of sensor technologies across a wide range of applications. Recent examples include a near infrared spectroscopic sensor to measure quality traits in food and agricultural products, a sub-millimeter wave spectrometer to detect hazardous air pollutants, and a CubeSat-based microwave radiometer. Since joining Ohio State, Dr. Ball has worked with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Army Research Office (ARO), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ohio Soybean Council (OSC), Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and private industry.

Dr. Ball received his AB in Physics from Harvard University and his MS and PhD in Physics from The Ohio State University.


Richard (Dick) Ridgway

Richard Ridgway headshot

Dr. Ridgway served as ESL director from 2018-2022. He was a senior research leader at Battelle Memorial Institute and has been involved in the convergence of microwave, millimeter-wave and photonic components and systems for over 30 years, amassing 27 U.S. Patents in the area. His time at Battelle has included the involvement in two commercial ventures and a 4-year stint as a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The commercial ventures were directed toward optical telecommunications technology and his time at DARPA focused on the millimeter-wave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. His recent activities have involved the development of technologies to improve the dynamic range, sensitivity, bandwidth, frequency range, and spectral efficiency of electronic warfare and communications systems.


Dr. Ridgway received B.S.E. and M.S.E. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University.

2016 - 2018

Robert (Bob) Burkholder (Interim Director)

robert burkholder headshot

Dr. Burkholder received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University, Columbus, in 1984, 1985, and 1989, respectively. Since 1989, Dr. Burkholder has been with The Ohio State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the ElectroScience Laboratory where he is currently a Research Professor. His research specialty is in EM Math Modeling using high-frequency asymptotic techniques and their hybrid combination with numerical techniques to solving large-scale electromagnetic radiation and scattering problems. He is currently involved in the areas of item-level RFID, through-wall radar imaging, and the analysis of antennas mounted on ships and aircraft.

2003 - 2016

John L. Volakis

John Volakis with piece of equipment

Dr. John L. Volakis served as the Director of ElectroScience Laboratory between 2003 and 2016 before joining Florida International University as the Dean of College of Engineering and Computing on September 2017. Dr. Volakis received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in EE from OSU in 1979 and 1982 respectively. He was advised by Dr. Leon Peters, Jr. and Dr. Walter D. Burnside at ESL. He has published over 350 refereed journal papers and over 650 conference papers, 8 books, and 23 book chapters. In 2004, he was listed among the top 250 most referenced scientists in Computer Science/Engineering. He mentored nearly 80 PhDs and Post-Docs over the past 30 years. Among those, more than 20 of his students received best paper awards at conferences. He has received numerous awards and honors. He is an IEEE Fellow since 1996 and served as the President of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society in 2004. He is also a Fellow of Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society since 2011.


Visit IEEE Institute's website to read Susan Karlin's profile on Professor Volakis, published in 2012.


Walter D. Burnside

Denny Burnside

Dr. Walter D. Burnside (1942 - 2022), born in Youngstown, OH, in 1942, received his M.S. degree in 1968 and the Ph.D. degree in 1972, all in electrical engineering, from The Ohio State University, Columbus. He joined the ElectroScience Laboratory in 1966 and served as its Director from 1994 to 2002. His main interests have been in the applications of wedge diffraction, the geometrical theory of diffraction, broad-band antennas, airborne antenna analysis, hybrid solutions, and various high-frequency scattering solutions. Dr. Burnside has won several IEEE Best Paper Awards, the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association, a Distinguished Scholar Award from The Ohio State University, and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from NASA Headquarters. He received an Honorary Ph.D. degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He was served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation for 5 years. (1).


Dr. Burnside received the Sinclair Award for his major contributions to compact range technology in 1987. 


Leon Peters Jr.

Leon Peters headshot

Dr. Leon Peters, Jr. (1923-2009), born in Columbus, OH, received his M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from the Ohio State University (OSU), Columbus, in 1954 and 1959 respectively. He joined ESL in 1950 as a Research Associate. From 1983 to 1994, he was the Director of ESL. He served as Technical Area Director for electromagnetic scattering and remote sensing. He formally retired in 1992 as Professor Emeritus. Dr. Peters was a member of Sigma Xi and Commission B of the International Union of Radio Science. He received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Antenna Measurement Techniques Association in 1998. (2), (3), (13) , (18).


Carlton H. (Buck) Walter

Carlton Walter headshot

Dr. Carlton H. (Buck) Walter (1924-2016) received the M.S. degree in Physics and the Ph.D. degree in E.E. from the Ohio State University, Columbus, in 1951 and 1957 respectively. He started working at ESL while he was a graduate student and served as its Director between 1977 and 1983. He was a Fellow of the IEEE and had served as Secretary, Vice-chairman, and Chairman of the Columbus Chapter of AP/MTT, as General Chairman for the 1970 AP/URSI Symposium in Columbus, as President of the Antenna and Propagation Society in 1974 and as one of the AP Distinguished Lecturers. (4), (14).


Robert A. Fouty

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Robert A. Fouty joined ESL in its early days as a member of the technical staff. He was appointed Research Manager in 1948 and then Assistant Director. He led ESL between 1973 and 1977, until his retirement. (13), (14)


Edward M. Kennaugh

edward kennaugh headshot

Dr. Edward M. Kennaugh (1922-1983) received his M.S. in Physics and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in 1952 and 1959 respectively. He was part of the technical staff between 1948 and 1977, serving as the Director from 1970 to 1973. (5), (13), (14)

Read Dr. Kennaugh’s opening remarks at the IEEE APS meeting published in the IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. AP-29, No.2, March 1981.


Louis L. Bailin

Dr. Louis L. Bailin (1922-2010) served as ESL's Director from 1969 to 1970 and returned to Cal Tech in 1970. (4), (6), (13), (14).
louis bailin headshot


Curt A. Levis

curt levis headshot

Dr. Curt A. Levis (1926 - 2019) came to the United States from Germany in 1938. He served in the U.S. Navy as electronics technician 1944-46, and received the BSEE from Case Institute of Technology in '49, AM in Applied Physics from Harvard University in '50 and Ph.D. in EE from the Ohio State University in '56. He joined ESL faculty in 1956. From 1961 to 1969 he was the Director of the ESL. During his leadership the name of the laboratory has been changed from the Anntenna Laboratory to ElectroScience Laboratory. In 1978 he received a NASA Certificate of Recognition for research in radiometry. He received the Eta Kappa Nu Distinguished Teaching Award in 1978, 1979, and 1980; he also received a Distinguished Teaching Award from The Ohio State University Alumni Association in 1980. His research interests in years before retirement have centered on radio propagation, with applications to systems design and satellite communications. Dr. Levis is an IEEE Fellow. (4), (7), (13), (14).


Thomas E. Tice

thomas tice headshot

Dr. Thomas E. Tice (1924-2011)  served as ESL's Director from 1954 to 1961. During his administration the activities of the lab grew in breadth and more students and faculty became involved in the programs as the research programs diversified technically. He received his Ph.D.degree in E.E. from OSU. From 1943 to 1946 he was a Communications Officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, responsible for installation and maintenance of communications equipment and air navigational aids in North Africa, Arabia, and Europe. From 1951 to 1961 he was Professor of Electrical Engineering at OSU. He served as a Research Project Engineer in the ESL from 1948 to 1954, and as the Director of ESL from 1954 to 1961. From 1961 to 1967 he served as Chief Engineer of the Antenna and Microwave Group of Motorola's Government Electronics Division, Scottsdale, AZ. Dr. Tice received Air Force Commendations in 1957 and 1966 for research on antennas and radomes, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Ohio State University College of Engineering in 1970.  (4), (8), (9), (13), (14), (15).




Victor H. Rumsey

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Dr. Victor H. Rumsey (1919-2015) was born in Devizes, U.K. He was a scholar in mathematics at Cambridge University, Cambridge, U.K., receiving a B.A. Cantab. (with distinction) in 1941 and a Sc.D. in Physics. From 1941 to 1945, he conducted radar research at TRE England and the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington D.C. After three years at the Canadian Atomic Research Laboratory he joined the Antenna Laboratory, now known as the ElectroScience Laboratory, as its Director. He served as its Director from 1948 to 1954. In 1954 he joined the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Illinois and then moved to University of California at Berkeley in 1957 he then joined the University of California at San Diego in 1966, where he stayed until his retirement. Dr. Rumsey was a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. He received many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Doctor of Engineering degree from Tohoku University, Japan, the IRE Morris Liebmann Award, the Outstanding Teachers of America Award, and the George Sinclair Award of The Ohio State University in 1982 and IEEE's John Kraus Antenna Award in 2004. (4), (10), (13), (14).


Robert B. Jacques

Robert Jacques served as ESL's director from 1946 and 1948 when Dr. Sinclair left OSU after obtaining his Ph.D degree in 1946. Dr. Jacques served in this role until he left ESL to establish his own company for the measurements of antenna patterns along with other staff. This first spin-off, Antenna Research Laboratory Inc., later was acquired by Thompson Products, Inc. (4), (13), (14), (16).


Visit Proceedings of the IRE, vol.34, no.12, page 975 to read Robert B. Jacques' article on "Should I Become a Radio Engineer?" published in 1946.


George Sinclair

george sinclair headshot

Dr. George Sinclair (1912-1993) was ESL's first Director from 1942 to 1946. He came to the Ohio State University in 1939 to study for a Ph.D. degree under Professor William L. Everitt at the Department of Electrical Engineering, leaving his hometown in Edmonton, Canada. After Canada entered the war against Germany and his brother died in active duty, Dr. Sinclair, then a student at OSU, decided to go back to Canada and contribute to the war effort. However after discussing his intentions with his advisor, Dr. Everitt, he decided to stay and complete his studies. At that time, Dr. Everitt had received a contract from United States Army Air Corps (today's U.S. Air Force) at Dayton, OH, to solve an urgent problem relating to the design of aircraft antennas. Dr. Sinclair was hired under this program, which proposed to solve Air Corps' problem with the anttennas on P-40 and P-39 fighter planes. The project got underway in Spring of 1941 and Dr. Sinclair started to work on handling the radio-frequency aspects of the program. Halfway through the program the United States entered the war and Dr. Everitt was called to Washington D.C. for a war time assignment. Dr. Everitt left Dr. Sinclair to be in charge of handling day-to-day technical operations, while Dr. Edward C. Jordan (then an instructor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University, later became the Chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department at the Unversity of Illinois) was asked to take over the staff supervision. Once the AirCorps contract ended in 1942, Dr. Sinclair decided to create a facility with the already existing equipment, experimental expertise and competent faculty that would engage in research, provide measurement services for the design of aircraft antennas and assist in the training of qualified students in Electrical Engineering and related disciplines, through their participation in research. With Dr. Jordan's cooperation and the support of Professor Erwin E. Dreese, the Head of Department of Electrical Engineering at that time, Dr. Sinclair went to Washington D.C. to formally establish the Antenna Laboratory, which became official in October 1942. Dr. Sinclair received his Ph.D. in 1946 and returned to Canada to join the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Toronto. Dr. Sinclair later established his own company Sinclair Radio Laboratories Ltd. (4), (11), (12), (13), (14).


William L. Everitt.

william everitt headshot

Dr. William L. Everitt (1900 - 1986) laid the foundation for the ElectroScience Laboratory, first known as Antenna Laboratory, at the Ohio State University. Our laboratory had its inception in 1941 when Dr. Everitt  proposed and invented a new model measurement technique for aircraft antennas.


Dr. William L. Everitt was born on 14 April 1900, in Baltimore, Maryland. During World War I he served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1918 to 1919. At the war's conclusion, he joined Cornell University, where he taught electrical engineering from 1920 until he received an E.E. degree in 1922. That year, he joined the North Electric Manufacturing Company of Galion, Ohio, as engineer in charge of the design and development of their relay automatic public switchboard exchanges. He left North Electric Manufacturing in 1924 to teach electrical engineering at the University of Michigan. In 1926, the year in which he received the M.A. from Michigan, he transferred to OSU's Electrical Engineering Department to take charge of the communications engineering staff in the capacity of Assistant Professor. During the summers from 1925 to 1930, Dr. Everitt served with the department of development and research of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Joining the Institute of Radio Engineers as an Associate Member in 1925, he became a member in 1929. In the same year he was elevated to the rank of associate professor at OSU. In 1933 he received a Ph.D. degree and was promoted to a full professorship. At OSU he originated and directed the annual Broadcast Engineering Conference, in which the IRE participated. He became a Fellow of the IRE in 1938. In 1940 Everitt was appointed a member of the Communications Section of the National Defense Research Committee. When the United States entered  World War II, Dr. Everitt was called to Washington D.C. to take charge of Operational Research for the U.S. Signal Corps. In 1943 he joined the University of Illinois as the Head of their Electrical Engineering department. He served as the Dean of the University of Illinois' Engineering College from 1949 until 1968. (4), (11), (13), (14), (17)


 (1) Author's bio on IEEE Transactions on Antennas And Propagation, Vol. 48, No. 12, pages 1848-1857, December 2000

(2) Author's bio on IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 49, No. 1, pages 32-40, January 2001

(3) Author's bio on IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, Vol. 59, No: 3, pages 13-27, June 2007

(4) "The ElectroScience Laboratory" by Curt A. Levis and Carlton H. Walter, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society’s Newsletter. Vol.25 No. 1. pages 5-10. February 1983

(5) In Memoriam, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation Newsletter, page 20, June 1983.

(6) Obituary Notice, The Press Democrat, October 30, 2010.

(7) Dr. Levis' bio on "Radiowave Propagation: Physics and Applications". ISBN: 978-0-470-54295-8. Wiley Publications, June 2010.

(8) In Memoriam

(9) Obituary Notice

(10) Dr. Rumsey's bio on IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 52, No. 12, page 3168, December 2004

(11) "ESL’s Early History" by George Sinclair, published at the Journal of IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation Vol. AP-33, No.2 February 1985.

(12) G. Sinclair, Director, 1960-1962, Proceedings of the IRE, vol.48, no.12, pp.1950, Dec. 1960

(13) "A Brief History of the ElectroScience Laboratory" by Leon Peters, Jr.

(14) "A History of the ElectroScience Laboratory" by Leon Peters, Jr. (1998), available in ESL Library.

(15) Author's bio on IEEE Transactions on Education, vol.23, no.4, pp.207-209, Nov. 1980

(16) "TRW: Pioneering Technology and Innovation Since 1900" by Davis Dyer. Harvard Business School Press. Page 161.

(17) IEEE Global History Network

(18) Obtiuary Notice