Vladimir M. Shalaev received a master of science degree in physics with honors in 1979 and a PhD in physics and mathematics in 1983, both from Krasnoyarsk State University in Russia.
In 1983, he joined the faculty of his alma mater in the department of physics and research staff of the L.V. Kirensky Institute of Physics. In 1990, he was awarded the Humboldt Foundation Fellowship and was able to continue his work with optics of fractal media in Germany and France. After that, he became a Research Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in Canada in the chemistry department. In 1993, Shalaev joined the faculty of New Mexico State University in the physics department. He remained here until 2001 when he became Bob and Anne Burnett Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University.
Since coming to Purdue, Shalaev has worked primarily with optical metamaterials. He and his team have made important and pioneering contributions to the field of optics and been the first to recognize a number of phenomena.
Shalaev has received the Rolf Landauer International ETOPIM Association Medal, the Will Streifer Scientific Achievement Award, the UNESCO Medal for the Development of Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies, the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics, and more. He is a Fellow of the Society, the American Physical Society, SPIE, the Materials Research Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He received the 2010 Max Born Award and the 2014 Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award for Optical Metamaterials: Fundamentals and Applications.