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Professor John O. Scanlan, better known as Sean, is widely recognised around the world as a most distinguished authority on distributed electronic circuits and circuit synthesis, whose work has had a major and profound impact on the design of circuits for telecommunications and signal processing. His original work has spanned over four decades and in each decade he produced seminal research that has offered new insights and results leading to improved circuit designs. His work has been fundamental in character and long-lived in terms of influence.

Through his adherence to highly rigorous standards he has helped shape electronic engineering education in Ireland, and particularly in University College Dublin where he has spent most of his career. He has provided policy guidance to government regarding the development of the electronic industry and telecommunications in Ireland and has served as Secretary and President of the Royal Irish Academy.

He has been an international leader in his field and was founder of the long-running biannual European Conference on Circuit Theory and Design. He founded the International Journal of Circuit Theory and Applications and served as Editor for over thirty years. He is a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and received the Golden Jubilee medal of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society.