Eta Kappa Nu established the Eminent Member recognition in 1950 as the society’s highest membership classification. It is to be conferred upon those select few whose attainments and contributions to society through leadership in the fields of electrical and computer engineering have resulted in significant benefits to humankind. Since 1950, only 147 individuals have been selected to receive this honor.

In addition, IEEE-HKN offers the recognition of Honorary Eminent Member. These individuals are deceased practitioners of electrical or computer engineering who otherwise meet all the qualifications for being honored as an Eminent Member, but who were not named during their lifetimes. See the list of Honorary Eminent Members below.

Recognition Sub-Committee

  • Asad Madni, Chair
  • Marty Cooper
  • J. Derald Morgan
  • James Rowland

IEEE-HKN Eminent Members

Year Eminent Member
2023 Ming Hsieh
Dr. Frank Chang
Dr. Sandra H. Magnus
2021 Maxine Savitz
2019 Robert Metcalfe
G. David Forney
Henry Samueli
2018 Robert Kahn
2016 Thomas Kailath
2015 Asad M. Madni
2014 Hermann W. Dommel
Ray Kurzweil
2013 Susan L. Graham
Faqir Chand Kohli
N. R. Narayana Murthy
Martin Cooper
2012 Marican E. “Ted” Hoff
Jung Uck Seo
2011 Leah H. Jamieson
Matt Ettus
Leonard Kleinrock
2010 Steve Wozniak
Abraham Lempel
Vinton G. Cerf
2009 Gerald Posakony
Eric Herz
2008 William A. Wulf
H. Vincent Poor
Jose F. Valdez C.
2007 Gordon E. Moore
Gordon Bell
James D. Meindl
Wallace S. Read
2006 Abe M. Zarem
Jack Kilby
Harry W. Mergler
Tsuneo Nakahara
Andrew Viterbi
2005 Joseph Bordogna
Owen K. Garriott
Bernard M. Gordon
Steven Sample
2004 Henry Bachman
Walter Jeremiah Sanders
Arthur Stern
2003 Donald R. Scifres
Irwin M. Jacobs
Jerome J. Suran
2002 Amar G. Bose
J. Fred Bucy
Andrew Sage
Richard J. Gowen
Eberhardt Rechtin
2001 Norman R. Augustine
Charles Concordia
Edward E. David, Jr.
Roland W. Schmitt
Mischa Schwartz
John Brooks Slaughter
James L. Flanagan
Malcolm R. Currie
Donald O. Pederson
John R. Pierce
2000 Robert A. Frosch
Wilson Greatbatch
Leo L. Beranek
George H. Heilmeier
John R. Whinnery
Thelma Estrin
Ivan A. Getting
Charles H. Townes
1999 Gene Amdahl
William Hewlett
C. Lester Hogan
Jacob Rabinow
1998 Nick Holonyak, Jr.
1993 Berthold Sheffield
Robert W. Lucky
1987 William E. Murray
1986 Marcus Dodson
1985 Donald Christiansen
1984 Larry Dwon
Howard Sheppard
S. Reid Warren
Edward A. Erdelyi
1976 Eric T. B. Gross
1974 Edward C. Jordan
1970 E. I. Kanouse
1969 Emanuel R. Piore
Patrick E. Haggerty
Walker Lee Cisler
1968 William H. Pickering
Harold E. Edgerton
1967 George H. Brown
1966 Simon Ramo
Winston E. Kock
1965 Donald G. Fink
1964 Lee A. Dubridge
Julius A. Stratton
1963 Gordon S. Brown
William L. Everitt
1962 John Bardeen
Lloyd V. Berkner
Edward M. Purcell
Jerome B. Wiesner
Ernst Weber
1961 Arthur D. Moore
John L. Burns
James Hillier
Charles F. Wagner
1960 Philip L. Alger
Chauncey Starr
1958 Donald A. Quarles
C. F. Hood
1956 William D. Coolidge
Harry Nyquist
Leon N. Brillouin
John Howard Dellinger
William B. Kouwenhoven
1955 Ernst F. W. Alexanderson
Alfred N. Goldsmith
Harold S. Osborne
Harry A. Winne
John B. Whitehead
Harold H. Beverage
Leslie Newman McClellen
1954 Walter R. G. Baker
Mervin J. Kelly
Reinhold Rudenberg
J. B. Black
A. A. Potter
Ellery B. Paine
Everett S. Lee
1953 Edward C. Molina
Harold Pender
Charles A. Powel
Philip Sporn
1952 Lee DeForest
1951 Frederick E. Terman
Joseph Slepian
Karl B. McEachron
S. H. Mortenson
William H. Timbie
1950 Vannevar Bush
Royal W. Sorensen
Vladimir K. Zworyk

IEEE-HKN Honorary Eminent Members

  • Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) Invented the carbon-button transmitter still used in phones today; established Edison Electric Light Company; patented over 1,000 discoveries including the commercial phonograph, the Kinetoscope, the Edison storage battery, the electric pen, the mimeograph, and the microtasimeter; introduced the first talking moving pictures; President of the U.S. Navy Consulting Board.
  • Edwin Howard Armstrong (1890-1954) Advanced and patented technologies for regenerative feedback circuits, the superheterodyne radio receiver, and a frequency-modulation radio broadcasting system; inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame; first recipient of the Medal of Honor of the IRE.
  • John Vincent Atanasoff (1903-1995) Inventor and co-builder of the first electronic digital computer; EE professor, Iowa State; vice president, Aerojet General; president, Cybernetics; U.S. Navy Distinguished Service Award; Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi.
  • Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) President, AIEE; inventor and promoter of the telephone; teacher of the deaf; winner of the Edison Medal.
  • Walter Houser Brattain (1902-1987) (HMIEEE) Co-inventor of the transistor with John Bardeen; Nobel Prize in Physics with Bardeen and William Shockley, 1956.
  • Philo Farnsworth (1906-1971) (FIRE) Inventor and developer of early television, especially cathode ray tubes.
  • Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1992) (FIRE) Senior mathematician at Eckert-Mauchly Computer (later Sperry); developer or compiler programs; research fellow at Harvard’s Computation Laboratory; Rear-Admiral, U.S. Navy (First woman so named; U.S. Navy ship named in her honor); National Medal of Technology.
  • Irving Langmuir (1881-1957) (FIRE) Director of Research, General Electric; contributor to the science of electrical engineering and electron tubes; Nobel Prize, 1932.
  • Robert Noyce (1927-1990) (FIEEE) Co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel; developer of ICS and the microprocessor chip; IEEE Medal of Honor; co-winner of Draper Prize (with Jack Kilby); National Medal of Science.
  • David Packard (1912-1996) (FIRE) Co-founder with William Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard; U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense; Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award.

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