Obituary of Prof. Yakov Shifrin

It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing away of Prof. Yakov Shifrin, IEEE Life Fellow, IEEE Ukraine Section member and one of the initiators of IEEE activity in antenna theory and technique area in Ukraine.
Please join us in conveying our condolences to his family and his Section.

IEEE Life Fellow
(April, 1920 – August, 2019)

IEEE Ukraine Section has lost a rare gem: Yakov Shifrin, IEEE Life Fellow, who was an outstanding scientist and one of the initiators of IEEE activity in the field of antenna theory and technique in Ukraine. Yakov Shifrin was a founder of the IEEE Ukraine Section (Kharkiv) SP/AP/C/EMC/COM Joint Chapter.
Yakov Shifrin was born on April 23, 1920, in the city of Mstislavl, Belarus. He died on August 6, 2019, in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Yakov Shifrin graduated in June 1941 from the Physical faculty of the Leningrad State University. At the beginning of the Second World War actions on the territory of the USSR, he was enrolled in the people’s volunteer corps, at the end of August 1941 he was seconded to study to the Military Red Banner Academy of Communications (MRAC) named after S. M. Budyonny. In the summer and autumn of 1943, he took part in the battles for the liberation of Ukraine on the Third Ukrainian Front. After graduation with honours from the MRAC Radio Faculty and short courses in radar in 1944, he was appointed the commander of one of the new gun guidance station batteries (GGS), which took part in hostilities until the end of the war.
Between 1946 and 1948 he was the first teacher in radar with the Sevastopol Anti-aircraft artillery college, Zhytomyr, Ukraine
Since 1948 Yakov Shifrin lived and worked in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
First, 1948-1980, his service and life were connected with the L.A.Govorov Military Radio Engineering Academy, where he studied as a military post-graduate student and then worked as a teacher, professor and, during 25 years, head of the chair. Since September 1980 to March 2019 he worked with the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics, as a professor, head of Chair of Technical Electromagnetics and Antennas, and chief researcher.
Yakov Shifrin’s contribution to science is in a number of areas of modern radio electronics and radio physics. He was a founder of a new scientific field, called the statistical theory of antennas (STA) being the theory of antennas with random sources. His monograph, “Issues in the Statistical Theory of Antennas” (Soviet Radio, 1970), was published in the United States in English (translated by P. Beckmann) as “Statistical Antenna Theory” (Golem Press, 1971). Areas of scientific research of Yakov Shifrin covered also long-distance tropospheric propagation of radio waves, the theory of antennas with nonlinear elements, diagnostics of phased array antennas and many others. He was an author and co-author of over 300 scientific publications, including 16 monographs. About 20 doctors (full doctor degree) and over 50 candidates (Ph.D. degree) of science were prepared under his leadership.
In 1993, he organized the National Antenna Association of Ukraine and initiated the first in Ukraine international antenna conferences called as International Conferences on Antenna Theory and Technique (ICATT). In 2002, Yakov Shifrin and Carl E. Baum (University of New Mexico, USA) initiated one else conference in cutting edge science problems of radio physics, “International Conference on Ultrawideband and Ultrashort Impulse Signals” (UWBUSIS). Karazin Kharkiv National University.
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”.
Prof. Shifrin became the first scientist in Ukraine elected to the grade of IEEE Fellow for fundamental contributions to antenna theory and technology in 1998.
In 2014, he was awarded by the EuMA Outstanding Career Award. 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 radio physics 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).
Prof. Shifrin was a charming man of impeccable decency and honesty. He is survived by his second wife, two daughters, four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren. He is truly beloved by his family, disciples, colleagues, and numerous friends.
We will forever remember Yakov Shifrin as an outstanding scientist, brilliant speaker, and very kind, generous and sociable person. He will be sorely missed.

Dr. Mariya Antyufeyeva, Chair of IEEE Ukraine Section (Kharkiv) SP/AP/C/EMC/COM Joint Chapter.
Dr. Nina Maksimova
Prof. Peter Tokarsky, Senior Member of IEEE