Proprio Co-Founder Dr. Joshua Smith Named an IEEE Fellow


Dr. Joshua R. Smith, a Proprio Co-founder and Technical Advisor as well as a University of Washington Professor, became the 16th UW faculty member to achieve IEEE Fellow status. He was named a Fellow of the IEEE in recognition of his contributions to electric field sensing, far- and near-field wireless power, and backscatter communication.

A UW news release announced Dr. Smith’s achievement alongside other faculty and alumni. Dr. Smith, who is the Zeutschel Professor of Entrepreneurial Excellence at the Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering as well as the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, also leads the university’s Sensor Systems Lab. 

“I am so grateful for this award, which recognizes the impact of work with many wonderful students and collaborators over the years,” said Dr. Smith. “I thank my family for their support and enthusiasm over so many years.”

Dr. Smith worked with Jim Youngquist, who is one of his doctoral students as well as a Proprio Co-founder and Head of Engineering, to develop the technology that became Proprio’s immersive surgical imaging and navigation platform. 

Dr. Smith received his PhD with Neil Gershenfeld at the MIT Media Lab, where he did groundbreaking work in electrical field sensing that has yielded real-life applications in areas such as automotive passenger sensing in smart airbag systems. His work on electric field sensing has also influenced the multi-touch capacitive sensing products that have been incorporated in smartphones since the iPhone. 

He began his career as Chief Scientist at Escher Group, a startup born at MIT. Prior to joining the UW faculty, he worked as a Principal Engineer at Intel. At the University of Washington, Dr. Smith’s Sensor Systems Lab has spun out two other venture-backed companies: Jeeva Wireless and Wibotic.