Distinguished ESL alumnus wins 2022 George Sinclair Award

Posted: January 25, 2023
Eric Evans headshot

Eric Evans, director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory, received the 2022 George Sinclair Award for his technical contributions to the development of defense radar systems and for his leadership of MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

The George Sinclair Award recognizes an individual for distinguished technical contributions and/or service to The Ohio State University’s ElectroScience Laboratory (ESL). The award honors the memory of George Sinclair, who formally founded ESL in 1942 and exhibited exemplary standards in his technical research and leadership of the laboratory.

“The electromagnetics and optics research experiences that I had at the ElectroScience Laboratory were outstanding preparation for the defense research and development work I have been involved in at Lincoln Laboratory,” said Evans. “I was very fortunate to have the exceptional teaching and mentoring from ESL faculty and research staff during my time there as a student. Professor Stuart Collins was an outstanding master’s and PhD advisor for me.”

Evans received his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Ohio State, and he worked at ESL as a graduate research associate from 1984 to 1988. After graduation, he went to work at MIT Lincoln Laboratory as a technical staff member and was named director in 2006. Evans has served as the group leader of the laboratory's Air Defense Techniques Group and head of the Air and Missile Defense Technology Division. He was responsible for programs associated with air and missile defense architectures, sensor technology and measurements at the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands.

As director of MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Evans oversees 4,200 employees who are focused on advanced technology development, system prototyping and testing for national security needs. MIT Lincoln Laboratory is a multidisciplinary Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) run by MIT for the Department of Defense. Laboratory-sponsored programs include work for the military services and other government agencies, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Early in his career, Evans worked as a radar design engineer for the Navy's Radar Surveillance Technology Experimental Radar (RSTER) program. His work included the development of antenna and microwave components, adaptive signal processing algorithms and low cross-section targets for a new adaptive array radar for fleet defense. He also worked on radar technology improvements for airborne early-warning radars and ship-based surveillance and fire-control radars.

Evans is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He has served on the Defense Science Board (DSB) since 2009 and is currently the DSB Chair.  From 2012 to 2018, he was the Chair of the Board for the National GEM Consortium, an organization that provides fellowships for underrepresented minorities pursuing graduate degrees in STEM fields. In 2018, he received an Aegis Pathfinder Award for his contributions to the development of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system. He is also a distinguished alumnus of the Ohio State College of Engineering.

Throughout his career, Evans has been a strong advocate for research collaboration between Lincoln Laboratory and the wider academic community, including with ESL for research in advanced electromagnetics, optics and signal processing. Over many years, these collaborations have contributed to ESL’s expertise and recognition. Lincoln Laboratory is also a valued participant in ESL’s Consortium on Electromagnetics and Radio Frequencies (CERF).

“Eric was nominated for this award by multiple ESL faculty members, and we were pleased to have selected him for this prestigious award,” said Interim Director Chris Ball. “He has done a fantastic job directing MIT Lincoln Laboratory, while simultaneously helping to advance electromagnetics research and applications.”

Evans was announced as the 2022 Sinclair awardee at ESL’s annual awards celebration on December 8. The award will be officially presented to him in spring 2023.

Categories: AlumniAwards