See all NewsEngineering News

Professor Gokhan Memik Passes Away

Memik was a leader in computer architecture

Gokhan MemikGokhan Memik, associate chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering and professor of computer science at Northwestern Engineering, passed away. He will be remembered as a pioneering researcher and a dedicated mentor and teacher.

Memik joined the McCormick School of Engineering in 2003. He previously worked as a visiting associate professor of computer engineering at Koç University in Istanbul.

In 2022, Memik received the International Academy of Science and Engineering for Development (IASED) Distinguished Scientist Award “in recognition of his outstanding scientific contributions to the field of computer architecture.”

Memik investigated research areas at the intersection of computer architecture, computer systems, and manufacturing technologies. His work centered around developing new architectures, modeling and optimizing large-scale systems, and developing techniques that can automatically detect and utilize user needs and requirements to improve the performance of mobile systems and reduce their power consumption.

Memik’s recent research interests included studying emerging technologies such as novel non-volatile memory devices, incorporating holistic effects into the design process, and developing physical-aware architectures.

The author of two book chapters and more than 140 journal and conference publications, Memik and his collaborators secured seven patents.

Memik’s pioneering research influenced the development of widely used commercial processors. He co-authored NetBench and MineBench, two benchmarking suites for networking and data mining applications, respectively. Memik earned a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award in 2008 and a US Department of Energy Early Career Principal Investigator Award (2005).

Memik supervised 15 PhD students and seven master’s degree students between 2005 and 2021, and hosted seven visiting scholars between 2007 and 2020. He also taught undergraduate and graduate courses, including COMP_ENG 361: Computer Architecture I, COMP_ENG 358: Intro to Parallel Computing, and COMP_ENG 452: Advanced Computer Architecture I. He earned multiple teaching accolades, including Northwestern’s Searle Teaching Excellence Fellowship (2004) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Henry Samueli Excellence in Teaching Award (2002) and Henry Samueli Fellowship (2001).

A dedicated member of the EECS/ECE/CS faculty team, Memik led department research divisions and served on several committees. From 2014 to 2019, he served as the director of the computer engineering division and director of the computer engineering and systems research interest group. He also served on the computing facilities committee, the distinguished seminar committee, the faculty search committee, and undergraduate curriculum committees for many years.

"I will always remember Gokhan as a kind and energetic faculty member who made valuable contributions to our department. He will be sorely missed,” said Randall Berry, John A. Dever Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

"This is a profound loss for Northwestern ECE and CS. Gokhan was a mentor to many, and everyone in the department remembers him as kind, thoughtful and gracious,” said Samir Khuller, Peter and Adrienne Barris Chair of Computer Science at Northwestern Engineering. “Our thoughts are with his friends and family for their sudden loss."

Memik served on the editorial board of the International Journal on Reconfigurable Computing and the board of distinguished reviewers for the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization.

He also served on more than 70 organizing and technical program committees, including as
co-chair of the architecture track of the IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (2018), co-chair of the Advanced Networking and Communications Hardware Workshop held in conjunction with International Symposium on Computer Architecture (2004 to 2006), and the program co-chair of the International Symposium on Microarchitecture (2007).

Memik earned a PhD in electrical engineering from UCLA in 2003, an MS in electrical and computer engineering from Northwestern Engineering in 2000, and a BS in computer engineering from Bogazici University in Istanbul in 1998.