Vice Provost wins UH’s highest award
Last month, vice provost and electrical and computer engineering professor Dmitri Litvinov was awarded the Esther Farfel Award, UH’s highest honor for faculty members, for his excellence in teaching, research and service. Litvinov is the 36th recipient of the award which was established in 1979 and comes with a $10,000 cash prize.
“I knew I was being nominated for the award, but I couldn’t believe that I was selected as this year’s recipient,” Litvinov said. “I know some of the previous honorees and the level of contributions they make to the University. I thought I didn’t have a chance.”
Litvinov, who joined UH’s faculty in 2003, currently serves as vice provost and dean of the graduate school, founding director of the UH Center for Integrated Bio and Nano Systems and the UH Nanofabrication Facility, as well as serving as a John and Rebecca Moores professor in the electrical and computer engineering department.
Litvinov was nominated by Badri Roysam, the chair of the department for electrical & computer engineering and is highly regarded amongst his peers. Dr. Alex Ignatiev, a Hugh Roy and Lilly Kranz professor of physics, chemistry and electrical engineering and the current director for the Center for Advanced Materials says Litvinov receiving the award is a “positive move for the University.”
“He’s brought new people to the University, he was faculty senate chair, director of the graduate school, and he’s really just a talented guy, both on the academic as well as the administrative side,” Ignatiev said. “(UH) is acknowledging a person that has done extremely well here, and helped bring the institution a larger name.”
Alex Freundlich, a research professor of physics and electrical & computer engineering, also praised Litvinov.
“He is internationally recognized for his contributions to the field of nano-magnetics,” Freundlich said. “He has also made significant inroads toward enhancing UH’s research and education infrastructure in nanotechnology and material engineering.”
Litvinov received his bachelor’s degree in applied physics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, his master’s degree in physics from the University of Miami, another master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Michigan as well as a Ph.D. in applied physics from Michigan.
While Litvinov has held many titles, he still finds time to supervise doctoral students. Long Chang, a professor in the electrical & computer engineering department, was one such student of Litvinov’s.
“He’s a really good boss,” Chang said. “He allows you to make decisions, he allows you to fail at your decisions, and he’s there to help you.”
Litvinov has overseen 10 doctoral students and six post-doctoral students during his time at UH.
“I like to give my graduate students lots of freedom,” Litvinov said. “I will supervise them. I will tell them if they’re going in the right or wrong direction, but I don’t like to spoon feed them the information or prescribe what they need to do.”