Richard B. Fair

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Lord-Chandran Distinguished Professor of Engineering

Richard B. Fair Profile Photo
Richard B. Fair Profile Photo

Research Interests

Microfluidic systems for lab-on-a-chip applications based on electrowetting technology


Dr. Fair is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society. He has served as Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices (1990-1993) and is past Editor-In-Chief of the Proceedings of the IEEE (1993-2000). He received the IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000, and the 2003 Solid State Science and Technology Award from the Electrochemical Society. He has published 150 papers in technical journals, contributed chapters to 10 books, edited eight more books, and given over 115 invited talks.
Our research group will continue to be driven by applications for lab-on-a-chip technology. While funding for microfluidics devices and science is non-existent, applications in environmental engineering, biosensing, diagnostics, genomics, etc. continue to appear. Thus, we have created strategic alliances with faculty in ECE, CEE, chemistry, genomics, biochemistry, microsystems engineering, and computer science at Duke, DUHS, Harvard and Stanford as part of our new thrusts into applications-driven research in bio-fluidic systems. We have funding to glue these critical pieces together. We have also aligned with Advanced Liquid Logic for the development of a more stable electrowetting platform on which to develop applications. And we are working on an NSF grant with Nan Jokerst’s group and Krish’s on an adaptive lab chip to develop on-chip optical sensing and control. Additionally, we have DARPA funding with Stanford, Harvard, and ALL in developing a genomic engineering platform for synthetic biology. Also, we are starting a new NSF grant on airborne particle sensing with Desert Research Institute.


  • B.S.E.E. Duke University, 1964
  • M.S.E.E. Pennsylvania State University, 1966
  • Ph.D. Duke University, 1969


  • Lord-Chandran Distinguished Professor of Engineering
  • Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Affiliate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Life Fellow. IEEE. 2009
  • Gordon E. Moore Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Solid State Science and Technology. Electrochemical Society. 2003
  • Third Millennium Medal. IEEE. 2000
  • Professor James F. Gibbons Achievement Award. 4th International Conference on Advanced Thermal Processing. 1996
  • Fellow. Electrochemical Society. 1994
  • Fellow. Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 1990

Courses Taught

  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
  • ECE 533: Biochip Engineering
  • ECE 528: Nanoscale IC Chip Technology
  • ECE 493: Projects in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • ECE 331L: Fundamentals of Microelectronic Circuits