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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Memorial Service Set for Dr. Nikolai Stelmakh

December 10, 2010

Professor Nikolai Stelmakh, a faculty member at the Electrical Engineering Department, died suddenly at his home on December 8 of a heart attack. He was 49 years old.

Dr. Stelmakh was recognized as the world’s leading research authority on short-pulse semiconductor lasers, having set the records for ultra-short pulse duration and highest pulse energy in mode-locked and Q-switched diode lasers, and as a pioneer in the development of ultrafast, saturable absorbers. He published more than 60 journal and 70 conference papers, and held 8 patents. In 2000, he was a recipient of Blondel Medal from the Société des Electriciens et des Radioelectriciens.

Dr. Stelmakh was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in a family of physicists and received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Solid-State Physics and Technology from the Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute in 1984 and 1989, respectively. In 1990, he joined Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, France) as a Research Scientist, where he became Director of Research in 2000. He subsequently moved to the U.S., where he co-founded a company, Applied WDM, Inc., to develop ultra-low-loss silicon-bench optical components. He served as the company’s Vice President of Technology.

Dr. Stelmakh became a faculty member at The University of Texas at Arlington in 2003. His most recent work concentrated on the investigation and manipulation of the spatial modes of broad-area laser diodes and optical parametric amplifiers, as well as on nanoscale single-photon sources.

To students, Dr. Stelmakh was known for his energetic and inspirational teaching style, with extensive hands-on demonstrations and numerous examples drawn from the history of science and engineering. He received the Lockheed Martin Outstanding Teaching Award in 2005.

Dr. Stelmakh was an avid alpine skier who won numerous master’s competitions in the slalom and giant slalom. He was also a soccer enthusiast who played in UT Arlington’s faculty-student soccer league and for the Arlington United team.

Dr. Stelmakh is survived by his wife, daughter and mother.

A memorial service for Dr. Stelmakh will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, December 14, at Shannon Rose Hill Funeral Chapel and Cemetery, 7301 East Lancaster, Fort Worth, 76112. The funeral chapel’s telephone number is 817-451-3333.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nikolai Stelmakh Memorial Outstanding Student Research Award fund (Designate "In memory of Nikolai Stelmakh" on the donation form.)