January - June, 2008 Archived ECE News Articles and Awards
System Assists Individuals with Disabilities
A new assistive technology developed by engineers at Georgia Tech could help individuals with severe disabilities lead more independent lives.
Developed by ECE Assistant Professor Maysam Ghovanloo, this novel system allows individuals with disabilities to operate a computer, control a powered wheelchair, and interact with their environments simply by moving their tongues. The tongue-operated assistive technology, called the Tongue Drive system, was described on June 29 at the 2008 Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
Photodiodes Target Bioterrorism Agents
Georgia Tech researchers led by ECE Professor Russell D. Dupuis have shown that a new class of ultraviolet photodiode could help meet the U.S. military’s pressing requirement for compact, reliable and cost-effective sensors to detect anthrax and other bioterrorism agents in the air.
New research shows that ultraviolet avalanche photodiodes offer the high gain, reliability, and robustness needed to detect these agents and help authorities rapidly contain an incident like the 2001 anthrax attacks. The team chose to develop avalanche photodiodes for this bioterrorism application because the devices can detect the signature fluorescence of biological molecules in a sample of air. (June 26, 2008)
Supports "Intelligent Binoculars" that Mimic the Human Brain
Led by ECE Associate Professor Paul Hasler, Georgia Tech researchers are helping to develop “intelligent binoculars” that mimic the low-level image processing done by the human brain. Called the Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System (CT2WS), the device is expected to be far more capable than portable visual threat-warning equipment currently used by the U.S. military.
Dr. Hasler's team will investigate the use of neuromorphic engineering to enable a CT2WS device. Neuromorphic techniques use innovative hardware and software approaches to emulate human intelligence. The Georgia Tech team will be working with Hughes Research Laboratory and Northrop Grumman Corp., which have won CT2WS contracts from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). (June 20, 2008)
Wins Best Student Paper Award
ECE graduate student Tapobrata Bandyopadhyay has received the 2008 IEEE Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology Society Ph.D. Student Fellowship Award for presenting the best student paper at the recent IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference, held May 27-30 in Orlando, Fla. Co-authors of the winning paper, "Microwave Design, Fabrication, & Characterization of a Novel Nano-Cu based Ultra-fine Pitch Chip to Package Interconnect," included Madhavan Swaminathan, deputy director of the Microsystems Packaging Research Center (PRC); Mahadevan K. Iyer, formerly of Georgia Tech and now with Infineon Technologies; P.M. Raj Gaurav Mehrotra; and PRC Director Rao R. Tummala. (June 9, 2008)
Tech, ECE Provide Key Support as Atlanta Hosts Top Wireless Show
One of the world’s largest wireless-technology conferences is poised to open in Atlanta, thanks in part to collaboration between three academic and research groups at Georgia Tech.
The International Microwave Symposium (IMS 2008), which takes over the Georgia World Congress Center from June 15-20, is expected to attract some 10,000 attendees and hundreds of industry vendors from around the world. IMS 2008 is being supported by ECE, the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC), and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in a variety of ways.
The conference and show will offer myriad presentations, panels and displays focusing on the cutting edge of wireless technology. Wireless, and the microwave technology that enables it, is the force behind cell phones, advanced sensors, radio-frequency identification (RFID), and the fast-developing mobile Internet. (June 6, 2008)
Robots to Explore World’s Iciest Environments
Data about volatile ice sheets--the huge masses of glacier ice in Antarctica and Greenland--has until now been drawn largely from satellites and ground-based weather stations. Now researchers at ECE, working with Pennsylvania State University, have created SnoMotes, autonomous robots that work as a team, to collect detailed data in the icy environments without risking scientists’ safety. This data could give scientists a better understanding of the dynamics that affect the stability of ice sheets.
ECE Associate Professor Ayanna Howard is the lead on the SnoMotes project. She is working with ECE Associate Professor Magnus Egerstedt and Derrick Lampkin, assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Penn State. Dr. Howard unveiled the SnoMotes at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Pasadena on May 23. (May 29, 2008)
Mark Clements Appointed
Jospeh M. Pettit Professor in DSP
ECE Professor Mark Clements has been appointed the Joseph M. Pettit Professor in Digital Signal Processing, effective July 1, 2008. Russell Mersereau, who retired on May 1, had held this professorship since 2004.
Dr. Clements has been a member of the ECE faculty since 1982 and director of the Interactive Media Technology Center since 1999. He works in the areas of speech recognition, analysis and compensation of speech, sensory aids for the hearing impaired, pattern recognition, and information retrieval. A founder and director of Nexidia, an Atlanta-based company devoted to technologies for voice analytics and audio/video search, and an IEEE Fellow since 2005, Dr. Clements is also an active member in the international signal processing community. (May 27, 2008)
Researchers Develop RFID Testbed to Rapidly Assess Multiple Tags
An ECE researcher team led by Assistant Professor Gregory Durgin has developed a testbed to rapidly test new radio frequency identification (RFID) tag prototypes. The system is capable of simultaneously measuring hundreds of RFID tags and rapidly testing new RFID tag prototypes. RFID tags are used for many applications, including inventory management, package tracking, toll collection, passport identification, and airport luggage security. Dr. Durgin’s research team included former graduate student Anil Rohatgi and current graduate student Joshua Griffin. Their research was presented in April at the IEEE International Conference on RFID. (May 8, 2008)
Ian Ferguson Named Faculty
Fellow in Sam Nunn Security Program
ECE Professor Ian Ferguson has been named a 2008-09 Faculty Fellow in the Sam Nunn Security Program, which is based in the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy at Georgia Tech. The Sam Nunn Security Program seeks to advance the role of scientific and technical advice on issues of international security through education, research, outreach activities, and participation in the policy advisement process.
Dr. Ferguson was named as a Faculty Fellow because of his work in the Georgia Tech Focused Research Program in Pioneer Research in Nuclear Detection (PRIND). In this multidisciplinary program, Dr. Ferguson and his Tech colleagues perform cutting-edge research, development, and prototyping of technologies and systems used for detecting radiation. Dr. Ferguson’s area of expertise involves developing new optical and electrical scintillator materials and system miniaturization through robust semiconductor-based detection systems. (May 6, 2008)
Launches Dual Master’s Program with Top Italian Universities
Georgia Tech is partnering with two leading Italian universities to offer dual master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering and computer science. The new degrees, which will begin in fall 2008, are the first dual graduate programs in these disciplines between American and Italian universities. Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering is partnering with the School of Information Technologies at the Politecnico di Torino in Torino, Italy, and Tech’s School of Computer Science is partnering with the School of Informatics at the University of Trento in Trento, Italy. (May 6, 2008)
Urges Women to Try Engineering (pdf; 181 kb)
It used to be that a group of engineers was always a bunch of guys with a slide rules.
But slide rules have been replace by calculators and computers, and more
women are joining the fraternity, thanks to programs like Women in Engineering
at Georgia Tech. (Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
(May 5, 2008)
Ayanna Howard Featured in New Scientist Magazine
ECE Associate Professor Ayanna Howard is featured in the New Scientist Magazine article “NASA Must Look Beyond the Moon.” Dr. Howard is part of a National Research Council committee chosen by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to review NASA’s Exploration Technology Development Program. This program focuses on developing technologies for future human space exploration missions, and it has been criticized for concentrating its efforts primarily on the moon rather than Mars and beyond.
The article was published April 17, 2008, and can be found at http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn13727-nasa-must-look-beyond. (May 1, 2008)
Named Fellow of SPIE
ECE Professor Bernard Kippelen has been named one of 72 new Fellows of SPIE, an international society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light. SPIE Fellows are chosen for their contributions to optics, photonics, and imaging, as well as for their service to the general optics community and to SPIE in particular.
Dr. Kippelen is being recognized for his achievements in organic optoelectronic applications. His research areas include the development of organic materials for organic light-emitting devices; the development of high-efficiency solar cells based on organic polycrystalline materials; the use of liquid crystals for switchable electro-active diffractive lenses; optically pumped organic lasers; and organic field-effect transistors. He has also served in various leadership roles for many SPIE conferences. (May 1, 2008)
Joe Hughes Named IEEE Member
of the EAC of ABET
ECE Senior Associate Chair Joe Hughes has been named an IEEE member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, a federation of 28 professional and technical societies. Dr. Hughes is currently IEEE’s alternate member of EAC and a program evaluator since 1995. His term as an EAC commissioner begins this July and is renewable annually for the next five years. He will continue serving as a member of the IEEE Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities and, for up to three years, as the IEEE liaison between EAC and the IEEE Accreditation Policy Council.
EAC members serve as team chairs on evaluation visits to institutions with engineering programs and vote on the accreditation of these programs. Dr. Hughes joins Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering Chair Bill Wepfer, who represents ASME, as the second Georgia Tech faculty member currently serving on this commission. (May 1, 2008)
Innovolt Makes Headlines
Innovolt, a Georgia Tech VentureLab company founded in 2005 by ECE Professor Deepak Divan, was featured recently in both the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The newspapers highlighted Innovolt’s new current and voltage surge suppressor device. This device differs from other products on the market in that it protects electronics not only against lightning strikes, but also against voltage surges, current surges, and under/over-voltage.
Atlanta Business Chronicle, April 22
“Innovolt Powers Up Sales with New Surge Protector”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 24
“An Innovolt From Out of the Blue”
(May 1, 2008)
Azad Naeemi Tapped to Receive
2007 Paul Rappaport Award
Azad Naeemi, research engineer II at Georgia Tech’s Microelectronics Research Center (MiRC), has been named the recipient of the IEEE Electron Device Society’s 2007 Paul Rappaport Award. Dr. Naeemi’s paper, “Design and Performance Modeling for Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes as Local, Semiglobal, and Global Interconnects in Gigascale Integrated Systems,” was judged as the best paper published in the IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices during 2007. The award will be presented this December at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco.
Dr. Naeemi’s paper, co-authored with MiRC Director Jim Meindl, described the potential performance of carbon nanotube interconnects. These nanotubes are being investigated worldwide to interconnect nanoscale transistors in integrated circuits and make faster, lower power and more reliable electronic systems. (April 14, 2008)
Etta Pittman Receives OMED
Etta Pittman, ECE associate director of development, has received the 2008 OMED Mentor Award. OMED is the Office of Minority Education Development at Georgia Tech. The award was presented at the 2008 Tower Awards banquet, which was held at the Omni Hotel on April 3. The Mentor Award is given to those who have gone beyond the call of duty to support OMED’s initiatives and the Institute’s underrepresented minority student population. (April 8, 2008)
U.S. News & World Report Releases
Graduate Program Rankings
The 2009 graduate program rankings from U.S. News & World Report have been published, and the results are very good for both Georgia Tech and ECE. The College of Engineering at Georgia Tech retained its 4th place ranking from last year, while the electrical engineering graduate program moved up a notch to 6th place and computer engineering came in at 7th place. A news release on the Georgia Tech Web site detailing the rankings of other engineering disciplines can be found at www.gatech.edu/newsroom/release.html?id=1786&ga=1. (March 31, 2008)
Maysam Ghovanloo Selected
for Teaching Fellows Program
ECE Assistant Professor Maysam Ghovanloo has been selected to participate in the 2008 Class of 1969 Teaching Fellows Program. This program, which is run by the Georgia Tech Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, assists faculty members who want to develop their teaching potential to the fullest. Dr. Ghovanloo is one of only 10 assistant professors chosen for this year’s program. (March 25, 2008)
Appoints Former Tech EE Student Dean of College
Harvard University has appointed Evelynn Hammonds dean of Harvard College. Beginning June 1, Dr. Hammonds will be responsible for overseeing academic affairs, admissions, student life, housing, finance, and administration for the college. She is the first black woman to hold this position.
Dr. Hammonds earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1976. She also received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Spelman College, a master’s degree in physics from MIT, and a Ph.D. in the history of science from Harvard. Dr. Hammonds joined Harvard in 2002, and she has been Harvard’s senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity as well as a professor of the history of science and of African and African-American studies. (March 13, 2008)
Necklace Aims to Increase Drug Compliance
ECE Assistant Professor Maysam Ghovanloo and graduate student Xueliang Huo have designed a sensor necklace, called MagneTrace, to help people remember to take their prescribed medicines. The necklace records the date and time when specially-designed pills are swallowed, and it can notify the patient and the doctor if the prescribed dosage is not taken at the proper time. This technology could also help researchers and pharmaceutical companies conduct more accurate clinical trials on new drugs. (March 13, 2008)
Mark Richards Tapped for
Professional Education Award
Mark Richards, ECE principal research engineer and adjunct professor, will receive the Georgia Tech Professional Education Award. Given by the Institute Faculty Honors Committee, this award recognizes Dr. Richards’ 20-plus years of teaching Georgia Tech professional education courses in radar system design, radar signal processing, and other radar-related areas. The award will be presented at the Georgia Tech Faculty Staff Honors Luncheon, to be held on April 10 at noon in Tech’s Student Center Ballroom. (March 13, 2008)
Ian Akyildiz Named IEEE Distinguished
Ian Akyildiz, ECE Byers Professor, has been named an IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer for 2008-09. During his two-year tenure in this role, Dr. Akyildiz will present lectures on cognitive radio networks, sensor networks, and nano-communication networks at various IEEE meetings.
The IEEE Communications Society is devoted to advancing all areas of communications technologies, including applications development, theory and systems usage, and meeting new market demands in systems, products, and technologies. (March 5, 2008)
Gregory Duperon Selected for
Gregory Duperon, an electrical engineering major who graduated from Georgia Tech last year, has been selected for the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) Program. Gregory is one of 12 students selected for this program from across the nation and one of two from Tech. Viktoriya L. Buchko, a chemical and biomolecular engineering major, was also chosen for this honor.
Founded in 1980 through the collaborative efforts of several professional engineering societies, WISE is one of Washington’s premier internship programs. Twelve to 15 students entering their final year of undergraduate study are selected annually to spend 10 weeks of the summer in the nation’s capital. The internship focuses on how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues and how engineers can contribute to legislative and regulatory public policy decisions.
Gregory came to the Georgia Tech Savannah campus from Georgia Southern University, where he earned a 4.0 GPA. Upon graduating from Tech, Greg was congratulated by President Clough for achieving the highest GPA in ECE. (February 27, 2008)
Yanzhu Zhao and Mark Allen
Win Best Poster Paper Award
ECE graduate student Yanzhu Zhao and Mark Allen, senior vice provost for research and innovation, have been named recipients of the Best Poster Paper Award at the 57th IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), held last year. The paper was co-authored with Yong-Kyu Yoon, a Ph.D. alumnus of Dr. Allen’s. The group will receive this award in May 2008 during ECTC 2008, which will take place in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
In this award-winning paper, “Metal-Transfer-Micromolded RF Components for System-On-Package (SOP),” Dr. Allen and his team introduced a ‘metal transfer’ mechanism into the conventional molding process, creating precisely metalized three-dimensional micro-structures in a single low-cost molding step. This technique is demonstrated in the fabrication of integrated RF passive components made on plastics, and it has great potential in many applications such as RF front-ends, RFID, and wireless sensors. (February 27, 2008)
Drs. Adibi and
Doolittle Win 2008 Faculty Research Awards
Two ECE faculty members, Ali Adibi and Alan Doolittle, have been named recipients of the 2008 Institute Faculty Research Awards. These awards will be presented at the Georgia Tech Faculty Staff Honors Luncheon, to be held on April 10 at 12 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. The awards are sponsored by the Georgia Tech Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Innovation.
Dr. Adibi, associate professor in optics and photonics, is being recognized for Outstanding Faculty Leadership for the Development of Graduate Research Assistants. Dr. Doolittle, an associate professor in microelectronics/microsystems, is being recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Research Program Development. (February 27, 2008)
Drs. Bakir and Meindl
Win Outstanding Paper Award
ECE faculty members Muhannad Bakir and Jim Meindl have been named recipients of the Outstanding Paper Award selected from the oral sessions at the 57th IEEE Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC). This event was held in Reno, Nev., last year, and the award will be presented during ECTC 2008, to be held this May in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Their winning paper, “‘Trimodal’ Wafer-Level Package: Fully Compatible Electrical, Optical, and Fluidic Chip I/O Interconnects,” was co-authored with Bing Dang and Oluwafemi Ogunsola, Ph.D., alumni of Dr. Meindl’s research group who now work in industry R&D centers in New York. A critical hurdle to the development of ultimate-performance and compact computing systems is the realization of a low-cost chip-scale integrated I/O interconnect network that is capable of addressing the heat removal, I/O bandwidth, and power delivery requirements for a gigascale nanosilicon system. The main feature of the research presented in this paper is to develop and integrate all significant I/O interconnect technologies that are critical to the realization of the “ultimate-performance” nanosilicon systems. Since this paper was completed, the work has been extended to 3D integrated systems. (February 18, 2008)
ECE Student Diana Fuertes Wins
Diana Fuertes, an ECE graduate student, has been chosen to receive a 2007-08 IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Undergraduate/Pregraduate Scholarship. A student researcher in John Papapolymerou’s Microwave Circuit Technology Group, Diana is working on the development of low-loss integrated filters and diplexers for wireless microwave and mm wave systems. She will receive this award at the 2008 International Microwave Symposium, which will be held in Atlanta from June 15-20 at the Georgia World Congress Center. (February 18, 2008)
Andy Peterson Named to First
Class of ACES Fellows
Andy Peterson has been named to the first class of Fellows for the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society (ACES). He is one of six people named to this inaugural class, which will be recognized at the ACES 2008 Annual Conference to be held in Niagara Falls, Canada, March 30-April 4.
Election to the rank of ACES Fellow recognizes outstanding technical accomplishments, peer evaluation, and significant contributions to the computational electromagnetics community. Dr. Peterson has been involved with ACES since 1988 and has served as a member of its Board of Directors and as its treasurer. He has also chaired number of committees for the organization, including the Publications Committee, Bylaws Committee, Nominations Committee, Software Performance Standards Committee, and Finance Committee.
Organized in 1986, ACES focuses on developing computational techniques for electromagnetic field problems, software for implementing those techniques, and the various applications requiring them. ACES sponsors an annual conference and publishes a refereed journal (the ACES Journal) and a newsletter. (February 13, 2008)
Offers First Interdisciplinary Robotics Ph.D.
The Colleges of Computing and Engineering at Georgia Tech today announced the nation’s first interdisciplinary doctoral degree in robotics to be offered at Georgia Tech. The program, which starts fall semester of 2008, was developed through Georgia Tech’s Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (RIM@Georgia Tech), a collaborative research center that combines the educational strength and expertise of both units, which includes faculty from ECE. (February 13, 2008)
In Loving Memory of Bill Sayle
Our beloved friend and colleague Bill Sayle passed away on February 2 after a courageous, four-and-a-half year battle with pancreatic cancer. For those wishing to honor Bill and his memory, the family has requested that donations be made in Bill's name to either the Pancreatic Cancer Society (www.pancan.org) or to the Bill Sayle Fellowship Fund:
2141 Rosecran Ave
El Segundo, CA 90245
|or||The Bill Sayle Fellowship Fund
Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Attention: Marci Reed
Atlanta, GA 30332-0250
Throughout his 37 years at Georgia Tech, Bill touched the lives of many different people, both inside and outside of ECE and throughout the worldwide academic community. We extend our deepest sympathies and much love to his wife, Joyce, and his family. (February 6, 2008; updated February 12, 2008)
Mary Ann Ingram and Former Grad
Student Win Best Paper Award
Mary Ann Ingram, ECE ADVANCE Professor of Engineering, and her recently graduated Ph.D. student Guillermo Acosta-Marum have received one of five best paper awards given by the IEEE Wireless Vehicular Communication Executive Committee. Their paper will be published in a special issue of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine in 2008. It was originally published at the First IEEE International Symposium on Wireless Vehicular Communications held last fall in Baltimore, Md.
The award-winning paper reports the first doubly selective (includes joint Doppler and delay) propagation channel models based on measurements for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside wireless links at 5.9GHz. The measurements were made in support of the development of the IEEE 802.11p (WAVE) standard and specifically as a basis for the WAVE/DSRC equipment certification test. One model is described for each of six different vehicular environments (e.g. "expressway same direction" and "roadside to vehicle, suburban street"). The model description is in a form that is convenient for implementation in standard RF channel emulators and MATLAB Simulink channel simulators. (January 31, 2008)
Drs. Riley and Lim Participate
in Hesburgh Award Teaching Fellows Program
ECE associate professors George Riley and Sung-Kyu Lim have been invited to participate in the Hesburgh Award Teaching Fellows Program, which is run by Georgia Tech’s Center for the Enhancement for Teaching and Learning (CETL). Both Dr. Lim and Dr. Riley specialize in computer engineering.
An invitation to participate in the fellows program is an honor reserved for tenured faculty members who are successful in their careers and have the potential to provide leadership in teaching and learning to their colleagues. Each year, CETL solicits nominations for the program and invites a small multidisciplinary group of faculty to participate in a discussion on teaching and learning issues followed by work on a related project. (January 28, 2008)
State of Georgia FIRST LEGO League
Challenge Coming on Feb. 9
The State of Georgia FIRST LEGO ® League Challenge will be held on Saturday, February 9 from 7 am-5 pm at the Georgia Tech Student Center. ECE and the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing are co-hosting this event.
FLL challenges are created each year to inspire interest in science and engineering among young people ages 9 to 14. The 2007 Challenge theme is "Power Puzzle: Energy Sources Meeting the Global Demand." During the 2006 Challenge, 140 teams participated in five qualifier tournaments held prior to the final competition, narrowing the field to 48 teams. This year, 220 teams are competing in nine qualifiers, involving 1,600 students; organizers expect 48 teams to advance to the February 9 event.
Volunteers are needed in many different areas ranging from referees to food coordinator to registration attendants. For more information, please contact ECE Associate Professor Jeff Davis.
Additional sources of information:
- A recent article in ECE Highlights about the upcoming State of Georgia FLL Challenge
- The State of Georgia FLL Challenge web site
- View PBA video of the 2006 FLL Challenge
(January 16, 2008)
Last revised on September 22, 2008.