Faculty Directory

Davis, Christopher

Davis, Christopher

Minta Martin Professor of Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Kim Building 2124


Christopher C. Davis is Minta Martin Professor of Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received the B.A. degree (with Honors) in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge in 1965, the M.A. degree from the University of Cambridge in 1970, and the Ph.D. degree in Physics from the University of Manchester in 1970. From 1973-1975 he was an Instructor/Research Associate at Cornell University, and from 1982-83 was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge. He has been a recipient of the following Honors and Awards:  University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, 1989-90; Fellow of the Institute of Physics, 1989; AT&T/ASEE Award for Excellence in Engineering Education,1990; Fellow of the IEEE, 1993; Invention of the Year Award in Information Technology, University of Maryland, 2000; Poole and Kent Teaching Award for Senior Faculty, 2012. Professor Davis is the author of the widely used text “Lasers and Electro-Optics,” published by Cambridge University Press, and co-author with Jack Moore and Mike Coplan of the best selling text “Building Scientific Apparatus,” recently published in its 4th edition by Cambridge University Press. He is also author or co-author of 14 chapters in books, 215 refereed journal articles and over 295 conference papers, and is the holder of twelve awarded and several pending patents. He is Conference co-Chair of the SPIE Free Space Laser Communications Conference, and is a frequent invited lecturer both nationally and internationally. He has served as a scientific consultant to several US Government agencies and industry. He is a member of the IEEE Committee SCC-34 SC2, which deals with RF exposure from wireless devices.


  • Jimmy H.C. Lin Award for Innovation (2015)
  • Clark School of Engineering Senior Faculty Outstanding Research Award (2014)
  • Clark School of Engineering Poole and Kent Senior Faculty Teaching Award (2012)
  • University of Maryland Invention of the Year Award in Information Science (2000)
  • Technology Education Award of Distinction awarded by the Technology Education Association of Maryland (1994)
  • Fellow of IEEE (1993)
  • NASA Certificate of Recognition for Fiber Injection Locked Broad Area Laser (1992)
  • AT&T/ASEE Award for Excellence in Engineering Education (1990)
  • Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award, University of Maryland (1989-1990)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics (1989)
  • NSF Creativity Award (1983)
  • S.E.R.C. Senior Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge (1982)
  • George Corcoran Award, ECE Department, University of Maryland (1978)


Free space optical and directional RF communication systems, atmospheric turbulence, advanced surveillance systems, plasmonics, chemical and biological sensors, interferometry, optical systems, bioelectromagnetics, RF dosimetry. Currently active research includes optical and RF directional wireless, real-time advanced surveillance systems with “event” detection, the optical properties of nanostructures where surface plasmons can be excited, laser interferometry, dielectrometry, fiber sensors and biosensors, magnetooptics, optical trace detection, atmospheric turbulence, optical communication systems and devices, and studies of the biological effects of non-ionizingradiation.  Latest papers: (1) R. Fainchtein, D.M. Brown, K.M. Siegrist, A.H. Monica, E. Hwang, S. D. Milner, and C.C. Davis, “Time-Dependent Near-Blackbody Thermal Emission from Pulsed Laser-Irradiated Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotube Arrays," Physical Review B 85, 125432-1 125432-12. 2012. (2) H. Zhang, J. Llorca, C.C. Davis, and S.D. Milner.  Nature-Inspired SelfOrganization, Control, and Optimization in Heterogeneous Wireless Networks.  IEEE Trans. Mob. Comp. 11, 1207-1222, 2012. His past research has covered gas lasers, photon counting, chemical lasers, molecular relaxation processes, diode-pumped solid-state lasers, laser noise and instabilities, injection locking of broad area laser diodes, nonlinear imaging of ferroelectric and ferromagnetic materials, and near-field scanning optical microscopy.

Abshire is part of new DARPA/SRC JUMP 2.0 Center

“CogniSense: The Center on Cognitive Multispectral Sensors” is funded for five years.

From Community College to Ph.D.

Clark Opportunity Transfer Scholar Nathanial (Nate) Ferlic embraced academic career at Maryland.

Striking Up an Innovative Idea

Researchers’ Revamped Electronic Home Plate Adds Automation, Accuracy to Game.

Murphy Named 2020-2021 Distinguished Scholar-Teacher by the University of Maryland

The Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Program honors members of UMD faculty who have demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievements along with equally outstanding accomplishments as teachers.

Alumnus Dennis Prather named IEEE Fellow

Prather is being recognized for contributions to diffractive optical systems.

Article by Davis’s Research Group chosen as Editor's Pick from OSA's Applied Optics

Editor's Picks serve to highlight articles with excellent scientific quality and are representative of the work taking place in a specific field.

Mallik and Ferlic Win Dean's Doctoral and Master's Student Research Awards

Created by Clark School Dean Darryll Pines, the competition recognizes distinguished graduate student researchers in order to help propel their careers and demonstrate the value of high-quality engineering research.

2019 Dean's Doctoral and Master's Student Research Awards

Created by Clark School Dean Darryll Pines, the competition recognize distinguished graduate student researchers in order to help propel their careers and demonstrate the value of high-quality engineering research.

UMD Researchers Conduct Field Tests to Evaluate the Atmosphere’s Effect on Lasers

The project is funded under the Office of Naval Research Atmospheric Propagation Studies for High Energy Lasers program.

UMD Inventors Zoom In on New Camera Technology 

Inventors Blaze New Frontier of Video Imaging through Real Time HDR Video Capture

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE)

  • SPIE

Institute of Physics (IOP)