Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
2012-2013 Annual Report
In 2012-13, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) continued its growth and major accomplishments. Faculty continued to be involved in a balanced combination of research and teaching for the benefit of their students. The department’s vision is to offer the best undergraduate program in the State of Florida and to be internationally recognized with its graduate programs, driven by excellent research that responds to the needs of the State of Florida, in particular, and the nation, in general. Furthermore, serving our community and maintaining our mission in providing excellence in undergraduate education allows our graduates to become critical thinkers, creative problem solvers and life-long learners.
The student body has continued to increase at all levels to now a record high of about 1,100 students. This past year, the faculty in the department graduated a record high of 17 doctoral students.
Faculty and Research Highlights
Last fall, the department hired five new faculty members and three in : Mercedes Cabrerizo, Arif Islam, and Ismail Guvenc joined the department as assistant professord. Irene Calizo joined the Departments of ECE and Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME) as assistant professor and Shaolei Ren joined the School of Computing and Information Science (SCIS) and ECE as assistant professor.
The faculty of ECE continued their successes. Under the leadership of the Chair, Shekhar Bhansali, the department led FIU participation in the NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center (NERC) for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technology (ASSIST), along with NC State, Penn State, and University of Virginia.
Osama Mohammed and his state-of-the-art Smart Grid Testbed received a major software grant of about $0.5M from Operation Technology, Inc. for the ETAP power systems analysis software.
Malek Adjouadi and Armando Barreto continued their collaboration on the “Development of an Instrument for Information Science and Computing in Neuroscience.”
Armando Barreto completed the fifth year of performance of the “Human-Computer Interaction for Universal Access” thrust of the FIU NSF CREST Center. He was also the lead investigator in a research project carried out in collaboration with industry for the processing of signals from miniature inertial sensors placed on a virtual reality glove. Initial planning is underway to commence a similar industry-related project, through the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Advanced Knowledge Enablement (I/UCRC-CAKE).
Sakhrat Khizroev continued his major advances on treatment of multiple brain diseases. He, along with his students and co-workers from College of Medicine, has pioneered a new way to transport, target and deliver drugs across the blood brain barrier to specific parts of the brain – a monumental discovery that has not been possible to date.
Nezih Pala was selected by the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Multiscale Multidisciplinary Modeling of Electronic Materials (MSME) Collaborative Research Alliance (CRA) to participate as a partner. His research on 3D Simulation of THz Plasmonic Structures was supported with the option of renewal for the next 9 years. He also received an EPA P3 award of to work on energy efficient buildings along with his collaborators in the OHL School of Construction and the School of Architecture. Nezih has been serving as associate editor of Nanosceince and Nanotechnology Letters journal. He has co-authored two chapters in the Springer’s Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology.
Jeffrey Fan received an “Overseas Chinese Outstanding Inventor Award” and was honored by the central government of The Republic of China (Taiwan) in Taipei, Taiwan in March 2013. He was in the select group from a pool of over 700 nominees. Fan’s recognition was based on the project entitled “Gesture Recognition Control System – Research Commercialization” developed at FIU. His designs are also pending patents in Taiwan and China.
Ismail Guvenc served as a lead guest editor for IEEE Communications Magazine (over 45,000 worldwide circulation) in May and June 2013, with feature topic issues on heterogeneous and small cell networks. His edited book on the same topic has also been published by Cambridge University Press in June 2013.
Stavros Georgakopoulos was awarded close to $650K by the Army Research Office (ARO) for his research on Highly Efficient Wireless Powering for Autonomous Structural Health Monitoring and Test/Evaluation Systems.
Student Activities and Achievements
Student placement has been a hallmark of success for the department. Pasd Putthapipat, advised by Jean Andrian accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position at Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand. Ahmed Mohamed, advised by Osama Mohammed, accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position at the Grove School of Engineering of the City College of the City University of New York (CUNY). In this position, Mohamed will lead the research and teaching aspects related to power/energy systems, smart grids and renewable energy systems at the ECE department at CUNY.
Tosmate Cheocherngngarn, advised by Jean Andrian and Deng Pan, joined Dell Atlanta as a security operation senior analyst. Justin Boone, advised by Shekhar Bhansali, accepted a position with Northrop Grumman in Baltimore, Maryland, as RF/microwave design engineer. Mahdi Saghaleini, advised by Jean Andrian, accepted the senior systems engineer position at Qualcomm, designated the 23rd best company to work for by Fortune Magazine. In this position, he will be part of a team that designs, manufactures, and supports the power management integrated circuits (PMIC) for wireless telecommunication products. Elicek Delgado-Cepero, advised by Stavros Georgakopoulos, was hired by Motorola Solutions.
Olutola Jonah, a recent graduate of FIU’s ECE doctoral program, received the second best Conference Paper Award at the IEEE Wireless Power Transfer Conference (WPTC) 2013 for his paper titled “Orientation Insensitive Power Transfer by Magnetic Resonance in Mobile Devices.” Co-authors of this paper were ECE’s Stavros Georgakopoulos and his collaborator from Georgia Tech Manos Tentzeris.
Osama Mohammed’s graduate students conducted the National Engineers Week’s Future City Annual Competition for the Florida region for the thirteenth consecutive year.
The department’s student association launched the Chat and Chew/Lunch and Learn series, which brings faculty, students and in some instances vendors/recruiters together. After the initial success of the program, it is being expanded to include other departments.
The department continues to participate in the FIU Engineering EXPO. The expo is an exciting and dynamic educational experience that engages and exposes students from local schools to the wonders of science and engineering. The goal is to stimulate an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for future generations. Over 1,700 students and teachers from neighboring public schools visited the FIU Engineering Center and the research labs.
Nano Day is an event organized annually by the Miami Science Museum to introduce children and parents to nanotechnology. Nezih Pala gave a presentation on the possible applications of nanotechnology and THz technologies. Hundreds of visitors including children of all ages attended to hear the talk and to experience some cool demonstrations and hands-on experiments.
Fall Term Enrollment
Sponsored Research Awards and Expenditures