Alumni Spotlight: Connie Chang-Hasnain, '82
Connie Chang-Hasnain received her B.S. from UC Davis in 1982 and her M.S. and Ph.D from UC Berkeley in 1984 and 1987, respectively, all in electrical engineering. Since 2014, she has been the associate dean for strategic alliances at the UC Berkeley College of Engineering.
Chang-Hasnain made pioneering contributions in semiconductor optoelectronic devices and materials and physics, with focus on nano-photonic materials. She pioneered vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers and developed several applications such as the computer mouse, sensor and transmitters in optical fiber communication and biomedical imaging. Her research achievements are reflected in her publications, numerous scholar citations and awards.
Chang-Hasnain has also provided numerous and effective services to the optics and photonics profession and the community. She has served as a chair or co-chair for many professional top-tier conferences including SPIE Photonics West, the most prestigious conference in optics. She is fellow of the Industrial Electronic Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Optical Society, as well a member of the National Academy of Inventors and the National Academy of Engineering.
“I benefited from a great engineering school with excellent professors and teaching assistants who were passionate about their work and eager to guide; smart classmates who dreamed big, but were always kind with peers; and a great neighborhood that was simple, kind and open to outsiders. My two years at UC Davis were transformative to my life and career,” said Chang-Hasnain.
Her advice to engineering students and young alumni is to dream big; think bold; be humble; and work really hard.