Yakov S. Shifrin

April 23, 1920 – August 6, 2019

Born in Mstislavl, Belarus, Yakov Shifrin graduated from the Physical faculty of the Leningrad State University in 1941 and the Radio faculty of the S. M. Budenny Military Academy of Communications in 1944.

Yakov Shifrin was the Second World War veteran, a commander of radar unit in 1944 – 1945. Between 1946 and 1948 he was the first professor in radar with the Sevastopol Anti-aircraft artillery college, evacuated to Zhytomyr, Ukraine.

Since 1948 to 1980 Yakov Shifrin served with the L.A. Govorov Military Radio Engineering Academy developing from a military post-graduate student to professor and chair head. His thesis for a candidate of science degree (equivalent to Ph.D.) was devoted to running wave devices, and his Doctors of Science thesis was devoted to statistical antenna theory. After retiring from the Armed Forces in 1980, Shifrin had employed as Professor and chair head with the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics.

Prof. Shifrin was a leader of the first in the USSR thorough study of the long‐distance tropospheric propagation. He was a founder of statistical antenna theory which is recognized worldwide as a cornerstone in the general antenna theory and practice. His further research in antenna theory has resulted in the development of a sufficiently general theory of antennas with nonlinear elements and its extension to active phased arrays.

Yakov Shifrin had active pedagogical work in radiophysics, electromagnetics (antennas and propagation) and radar for over 60 years and was the scientist who established an influential scientific school on antennas and propagation theory in the USSR and later in Ukraine. He has grown up over 20 Doctors of Science and over 50 Candidates of Science. He is an author and co-author of 16 monographs and over 300 journal and conference papers.

After the USSR collapsed in 1991, namely Yakov Shifrin was a person who decided to consolidate Ukrainian antenna and microwave community. With this aim, he founded the National Antenna Association of Ukraine and became its president. In order to integrate the Ukrainian antenna and microwave community into the international one, he created the East‐Ukraine Joint Chapter IEEE and the Kharkiv Joint Chapter IEEE in 1995 and 2000, respectively. Prof. Shifrin was a founder, chairman and, later, honorary chairman of the biennial International Conference on Antennas Theory and Technique (ICATT), which has been held in Ukraine since 1995. He initiated also International conferences on Ultrawideband and Ultrashort Impulse Signals (UWBUSIS) in Ukraine. Yakov Shifrin used to be an invited speaker at major international conferences on antenna and microwave theory and techniques and had given lectures and talks on SAT and antennas with nonlinear elements in 17 countries around the world, including Japan, Poland, the USA, Germany, Netherlands, China, etc.

Prof. Shifrin’s activities had been recognized by the Soviet, Ukrainian and international microwave communities. He was Honorary Professor of 5 universities in Ukraine and Russia, and Honorary Doctor of the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University.

In 1998, Yakov Shifrin was elected Fellow IEEE, and in 2008 he became Life Fellow IEEE.

In 1983, Presidium of Academy of Science USSR awarded him by the triennial A.S. Popov Prize with the citation: “For works in the field of Statistical Antenna Theory that fundamentally contributed to the antenna theory and techniques”. In 2014, he was awarded by the EuMA Outstanding Career Award, and in 2015 he was selected to receive the prestigious IEEE AESS Pioneer Award for pioneering contributions and accomplishments that have stood the test of time: “For founding contributions to modern radiophysics and Statistical Antenna Theory (SAT)”.

He was honored by State Awards including 5 orders and 20 medals.

Yakov Shifrin was an Honorary citizen of the city of Kharkiv (Ukraine).