Skip to main content

2 UCF Professors Honored as Fellows in the World’s Largest Scientific Society

The American Association for the Advancement of Science included UCF professors Peter Delfyett and Ronald DeMara in their 2022 class of fellows for their scientific and socially notable achievements spanning their careers.
By: UCF News | February 10, 2023

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals. Election as a fellow is a lifetime honor and considered one of the most distinguished recognitions within the scientific community.

UCF professors Peter Delfyett and Ronald DeMara are among the 40 fellows elected in the engineering section of AAAS’s 2022 class, which includes researchers at other well-respected and nationally recognized schools like Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell and The University of Texas at Austin. Across 24 sections, 550 total individuals were selected as 2022 AAAS fellows.

Delfyett and DeMara bring the total number of current UCF leadership and faculty who are AAAS fellows to at least 12, the majority of whom earned the honor at the university, according the latest AAAS data.

Delfyett joined CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics, faculty in 1993. His research contributions have been extensive, spanning the underlying physics, device development and application of semiconductor-based mode-locked laser diodes. In 2021, he was UCF’s first sitting faculty member to be inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, joining eight other faculty who were inducted prior to joining UCF.

Delfyett holds several positions at UCF including director of the Townes Laser Institute, Pegasus Professor, university distinguished professor, and university trustee chair professor of optics, electrical engineering, and physics.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this prestigious recognition from AAAS,” says Delfyett. “My accomplishments would not be possible without the tremendous support I have received over the last 30 years from my UCF colleagues, staff and students.

DeMara is a faculty member in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. He is a Pegasus Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, joint faculty in the Department of Computer Science and the UCF Digital Learning Faculty fellow. Before joining UCF in 1993, DeMara was an associate engineer at IBM and a visiting research scientist at NASA Ames. He is a registered professional engineer.

DeMara’s research interests are in adaptive and resilient computing architectures with an emphasis on reconfigurable logic devices, evolvable hardware and post-CMOS devices.

“The opportunities provided by the department, college and university levels at UCF, from 1992 through my 30th year at UCF this past December, are support for which I’m deeply indebted,” DeMara says. “Equally, I am indebted to my colleagues as collaborators and mentors.”

In a tradition stretching back to 1874, AAAS Fellows are recognized for their extraordinary achievements across disciplines. The new class of fellows hails from academic institutions, laboratories and observatories, hospitals and medical centers, museums, global corporations, nonprofit organizations, institutes, and government agencies including the U.S. presidential administration.

“AAAS is proud to elevate these standout individuals and recognize the many ways in which they’ve advanced scientific excellence, tackled complex societal challenges, and pushed boundaries that will reap benefits for years to come,” says Sudip Parikh, AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals.

The 2022 class of fellows of scientists, engineers, and innovators from around the world will receive a certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin, representing science and engineering respectively, to commemorate the honor and will be celebrated in Washington, D.C., this summer.

Other current UCF leadership and faculty who have been previously inducted as AAAS fellows include:

Issa Batarseh (2008; UCF)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Pegasus Professor

Alexander N. Cartwright (2016; State University of New York)

Ni-Bin Chang (2011; UCF)
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Zhihua Qu (2012; UCF)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Pegasus Professor, Thomas J. Riordan and Herbert C. Towle chair

Talat Rahman (2020; UCF)
College of Sciences
Pegasus Professor, distinguished professor

Charles Reilly (2010, UCF)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Assistant vice provost, professor

Martin Richardson (2015; UCF)
College of Optics and Photonics
Pegasus Professor, Northrup Grumman professor

Al Sattelberger (2002; Los Alamos National Laboratory)
College of Sciences
Courtesy research scientist

Mubarak Shah (2009; UCF)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Trustee chair professor

Marwan Simaan (1999; University of Pittsburg)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Florida 21st Century chair, distinguished professor

Story by Christine Wydra ’93, CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics