Christos C. Halkias, acclaimed researcher, leader and longtime Professor of ECE NTUA, dies at 84

Christos C. Halkias, Professor Emeritus of ECE, passed away on 28 August 2017. He was 84 years old. He was a world-renowned scientist and a leader in the fields of electronics, signal processing, multimedia and expert systems. He was a most respected educator and he inspired many generations of ECE students. He established the ECE Electronics Lab in the 70s and he pioneered in the modernization of the School of ECE.

Professor Halkias was born in Monastiraki (Fokidas), Greece in 1933. He received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering (Cum Laude) in 1957 from the City College of New York, New York, the M.S. degree in 1958, with Citation for Outstanding Graduate Studies, and the Ph.D. degree, as “Higgins Fellow”, in 1962, both from Columbia University, New York, NY.

He was a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University from 1962 to 1973 and the Director of the Marcellus Hartley Electronics Laboratory between 1966 and 1971. In 1973 he accepted the position of the Professor of ECE at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, where he served until his retirement in 2000. In the years 1995-1996 he was also a Visiting Professor at MIT affiliated with the Laboratory for Computer Science.

Professor Halkias was highly active in the Academic community of the NTUA. He served as a member of the Senate (1976-1979) and he was the Director of Informatics Division, NTUA from 1984 to 1986.

In addition to his academic endeavors he had an instrumental role in shaping the Science and Technology policy both in USA and in Greece. He served as a program Director in both, the National Science Foundation, USA and in NASA, USA, and he held a number of positions in Europe including memberships in the Information Society Technologies Advisory Group of the National Research Foundation of Greece and the European Commission Strategy and Infrastructure Advisory Board.

Professor Halkias was a key person in the modernization of the infrastructure of Greece. He was consultant to the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of the Presidency for the planning of Digital Communications. He was a System Architect for the Banking System of the National Bank of Greece and the Eurobank (former Ergobank), and a System Architect in Olympic Airways.

Professor Halkias was awarded the IEEE Centennial Medal for extraordinary achievements in the field of Electronics in 1984 and had received many other awards for his contributions in Science and Engineering. He was featured in the Who is who in the World, American Men of Science and he was a member of the New York Academy of Science. In 1991 he was awarded the Medal of the City of Athens.

Professor Halkias was also a world-renowned author. His textbooks in Electronics have been translated in several languages and have been used for teaching in many universities around the world, teaching electronics to students for many decades.

Professor Halkias is survived by his daughters and wife Demetra. He will be remembered for his kindness, warm personality and his noble character by his colleagues and the generations of students inspired by his teaching and his guidance.