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2018 - 2019

Review Department of

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Launch of Transforming Antennas Center means future jobs in groundbreaking technology The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) saw an opportunity to produce human capital, train students and postdocs, and expand professors’ knowledge in the field of electromagnetics, origami antennas and wearable technology (also known as smart clothing) at FIU. Thanks to a $4.8 million grant from AFOSR, the Transforming Antennas Center (TAC) was launched in fall 2018. TAC was the vision of Stavros Georgakopoulos, the center’s director and inventor of origami antennas. “In the future, soldiers could compactly store, collapse and deploy these origami antennas from their backpacks in the battlefield,” said Georgakopoulos.

Student Success

The origami antennas also have the potential to revolutionize space communications as they will fit into very small compartments and be effortlessly deployed into large sizes once in orbit so they can communicate with ground stations.

4.8 M Air Force Office of Scientific Research grant


Student Success

Electrical and Computer Engineering

2018-2019 Review

Limitless – Aldo Amenta’s journey


Congratulations, Aldo!

Aldo Amenta graduated from FIU with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and became a source of inspiration for many. Amenta suffered a severe spinal injury in a diving accident that left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Through FIU’s Ignite Campaign, Amenta received a full-tuition scholarship. He received national and international fame when he walked across the graduation stage with the help of an exoskeleton. His story was featured on news outlets such as ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, People magazine and NBC News.

WorldsAhead and first IoT graduate

Twin sisters working for Intel

Congratulations to Alexandria Segovia for being a WorldsAhead recipient and FIU’s first Internet of Things (IoT) graduate! During her studies, Segovia worked for Infosight, a cybersecurity firm, as a solutions engineer, alerting customers of unusual activity in their network security and using social engineering to evaluate companies’ security practices. She will be completing a second bachelor’s in electrical engineering and plans on joining the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Our engineering graduates are obtaining jobs at top tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Intel. Twin sisters Laura and Natalia Coronado, recent computer engineering graduates, are both working for Intel, as a product marketing manager and SoC design engineer. What do they find most rewarding about their first job out of college? The diversity of Intel and how the company encourages its employees to share their knowledge and support one another.


Cybersecurity@FIU, an emerging preeminent program

Electrical and Computer Engineering

2018-2019 Review

Cybersecurity@FIU focuses on digital defense and protection issues that impact the global cyber landscape and examines complex human and social questions related to privacy policies and trust. Taking a multi-faceted approach, the university combines technical cybersecurity strength in areas such as cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, and cloud computing and storage with complementary expertise in international and public affairs, business and law. These competencies together establish a comprehensive foundation for the continued advancement of research, education, workforce development and international capacity-building activities. Collaborative efforts that draw upon a wide variety of disciplines contribute to the kind of innovative, integrated exploration needed to both move forward and secure the world’s rapidly evolving digital technology arena.


FIU is also developing an international reputation by organizing cybersecurity conferences in the South

Florida community. The 2018 annual NICE Conference and Expo and the 2019 ACM WiSec Conference brought together leaders from industry, government, academia and non-profit organizations to address the cybersecurity education, training and workforce needs. The Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at FIU’s Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs and the Division of Information Technology hosted the NICE Conference. Led by Brian Fonseca, director of the institute and executive director of Cybersecurity@FIU, the Jack D. Gordon Institute partners with other units across FIU such as the Division of Information Technology and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to host cybersecurity events. Kemal Akkaya, professor for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the director of research for Cybersecurity@FIU. To see a list of affiliated faculty members from FIU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, visit cybersecurity.fiu.edu.

Alumni Spotlight Claudia Rodriguez, FIU Alumna, ‘00

Corporate Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer, Business Operations Motorola Solutions Claudia Rodriguez joined Motorola Solutions in 2000 and is now the chief procurement officer. In her career, she has overseen product and business management, technical sales, business development, operations and competitive intelligence for both the U.S. and international markets. She is the former president of the Women Business Council at Motorola Solutions, where she worked to drive inclusion and diversity in the company. She is also a recipient of the 2014 Most Influential and Powerful Woman Award – Illinois. Rodriguez holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from FIU and is an Honors College graduate. She is a member of ECE’s Industry Advisory Board.

FIU receives $500k NSF grant to research self-driving cars Having connected vehicles that communicate with each other, as well as with highway infrastructure and management, is vital to the success of the groundbreaking transformation that is taking place in the automotive industry. The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $500,000 to Ahmed Ibrahim, assistant professor and principal investigator; Elias Alwan, assistant professor and co-principal investigator; and Kemal Akkaya, professor and co-principal investigator, to design and validate a vehicular communication system that can provide high data-rate, low-latency and security utilizing millimeter wave (mmWave) frequency band. The team’s vision is to design the mmWave Radio Frequency (RF) front-ends with high gains, fabricate a small enough antenna array to integrate on the vehicular platforms and secure over-the-air mmWave communication. For a safer and more efficient driving experience, self-driving vehicles cannot depend on their measurement alone and need to communicate with neighboring vehicles. The inspiration for this project came from the need for self-driving cars, given their potential impact in saving lives that are lost due to human error and benefiting individuals with special needs who cannot operate cars on their own.

Revolutionizing radio frequency communications through a $560k NSF grant Elias Alwan, assistant professor for FIU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was awarded a grant from NSF for $560,000 for the acquisition of a millimeter-wave anechoic chamber from Microwave Vision Group. The instrumentation, called μ-Lab, is highly specialized and incorporates important requirements for compatibility and interoperability across 18 GHz to 110 GHz. The broadband frequency offered by this instrumentation will enable groundbreaking and transformative research in RF communications with multi-gigabit data rates. Such capability will revolutionize cellular networks, airborne and satellite communication systems, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, reconfigurable and deployable RF systems, wearable and implantable devices and more. Elias Alwan, assistant professor

INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS The members of our Industry Advisory Board contribute to the success of the department. They are South Florida business leaders who have knowledge in business, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, quality systems, technical design and regulatory compliance. Ivan Aguirre, Manager, PwC Digital Services

Carlos Huerta, PLC Power

Khalid Barazanji, Ph.D., ACE Branch Chief, United States Army Aeromedical Research Lab

Vikram Kapoor, Ph.D., University of Central Florida

Daisy Barrera, Sirius XM Jack Barreto, Motorola Solutions, Sr. Director Systems and Products Ryan Bobryk, Account Manager, ANSYS Corp. Henry Chang, Senior Staff in the Antenna Products Division, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Kane Crisler, Packet Forensics Christopher Day, CIO, Packet Forensics and CEO, Chymera-Group, LLC Alexander Elorriaga, CEO, Prima Technology Group Francisco “Cisco” Fernandez, Data Solutions Architect, Verizon

Jean Labrosse, Micrium Embedded Software Andres Lacambra, Motorola Solutions, Sr. Director ASTRO Devices Marco Midon, NASA Jose Palma, Florida Power & Light Company Sal Pazhoor, President and CEO, Naztec Carlos Perez-Crissien, Industry Advisory Board (IAB) Vice Chair and Continuous Improvement Support Leader, Cemex Christa Petros, VP Product Development, Sirius XM Radio Lorenzo Ponce de Leon, Motorola Dan Noble Fellow

Randy Fraser, Ford Motor Company

Marco Pravia, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, BAE Systems Technology Solutions

Bert Gyselinckx, General Manager and Vice President, IMEC

Claudia Rodriguez, Motorola Solutions, Corp. VP / Chief Procurement Officer

Vicente Tanasi, VP and General Manager, RGC International Corp. Krishnatej Vedala, CSO, CarePredict Eliecer Viamontes, Industry Advisory Board (IAB) Chair and Director for Labor Relations and Safety, Florida Power & Light Company Robert Villanueva, ATSAIC – MECTF, U.S. Secret Service Wladimiro Villarroel, Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor, Ohio State University James Wood, NASA Chief Engineer, NASA Kennedy Space Center

Community Engagement Engineering students teach FIU retirees how to be tech-savvy The Internet of Things has revolutionized how people interact with smart devices that are keeping us constantly connected. Millennials and Gen Z have grown up in the age of the digital transformation, but older generations did not, making technology intimidating for some.

St. Hugh Catholic School | Left to right: Anna Cruz, Nicolas Rodriguez, Sofia Santa-Cruz

Powering our future!

Engineers-to-be envision resilient, disaster-proof cities As part of the 2019 South Florida Future City Competition, seven teams of middle school students from Miami-Dade and Broward counties designed power grids for future cities that can withstand and quickly recover from natural disasters. The winning team from St. Hugh Catholic School designed Acadiana, a city where each household has solar panels and hydroponics (a method of growing plants without soil), to give residents the option to grow their own produce.

Carlos Velez, Antonio Rubio, Jacob Wawerczyk, Jorge Caripidis Troccola and Julianna Delgado formed a group called Tech Team with the support of Subbarao Wunnava, distinguished professor emeritus, and Trudy Fernandez, director of Human Resources and the FIU Retiree Association to help FIU retirees become tech-savvy. The team has held workshops where retirees asked how to properly maneuver WhatsApp or how to use the “cloud.” Their most recent workshop was on cybersecurity, highlighting password, email and browser security. “It’s beautiful to see students share their knowledge with us, the older generation,” said Ruth Hamilton, former executive director of the Graham University Center, who retired from FIU in 2014. Tech Team workshops are open to FIU retirees; however, the students are planning to open the sessions to retirees in the South Florida community in the near future.

The Future City Competition is a nationwide engineering education program that encourages students to think outside of the box by applying math and science concepts to real-world issues and learning to collaborate in a team environment. This is the 17th year the college hosted the event, under the leadership of Osama Mohammed, associate dean of research for the College of Engineering & Computing and regional coordinator of the national competition. FIU’s Tech Team

Student Success Sandhiya Govindarajulu receives Best Student Paper Award at the 2019 iWAT Conference The self-driving industry is becoming more of a reality. The development of autonomous self-driving vehicles allows cars to be equipped with a high number of sensors, cameras and radar devices, to construct local view of nearby objects. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allocated 5.85 GHz - 5.95 GHz for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, which refers to vehicles exchanging their information with other connected vehicles, in an effort to improve drivers’ safety. Sandhiya Govindarajulu, a doctoral student, is working with Elias Alwan, assistant professor, on the implementation of a novel dual-band V2V transceiver architecture, a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Govindarajulu received the Best Student Paper Award at the 2019 International Workshop of Antenna Technology (iWAT) conference for her paper, Range Optimization for DSRC and 5G Millimeter-Wave Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Link.

Faculty and Staff Highlights Shekhar Bhansali named a 2018 Fellow of AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) named Shekhar Bhansali, Alcatel-Lucent professor, interim director of FIU’s School of Electrical, Computer and Enterprise Engineering and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a fellow of AAAS for his significant contributions to microfluidics, care sensors and wearable sensors, and to the enhancement of underrepresented minority college students. Bhansali’s research focuses on bio-sensing, bioengineering, oceanographic sensing, materials science, micro/ nanotechnology and alternative energy. He is committed to encouraging students from all backgrounds to pursue STEM degrees. Bhansali serves as the co-director for the Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship Program, funded by the National Science Foundation. The program was created to recognize the importance of having a diverse student body population that will transition into the workforce, by providing minority students with a full-tuition scholarship, annual living stipend and mentorship. For more information on Bhansali and the Bio-MEMS and Microsystems Laboratory, visit mems.fiu.edu

Electrical engineer wins EMTS 2019 Young Scientist Award

At the 2019 International Radio-Scientific Union (URSI) Commission B International Symposium on Electromagnetic Theory (EMTS), Satheesh Bojja Venkatakrishnan, research assistant professor, was selected as the recipient of the EMTS 2019 Young Scientist Award for his paper titled, RF Cancellation of Coupled Transmit Signal and Noise in STAR across 1 GHz Bandwidth. His research focuses on improving the achievable isolation and suppressing transmit noise in Simultaneous Transmit and Receive (STAR) systems over wide bandwidth. This is required to enable transmission and reception at the same frequency and time. As a result, this could potentially double the spectral efficiency, which is needed for future wireless applications, as currently there is limited spectrum available for commercial applications that are being developed like smart device communications. Venkatakrishnan’s paper will be published in the March 2020 issue of the URSI journal, The Radio Science Bulletin.

We say farewell to an outstanding staff member

Congratulations to Pat Brammer on her retirement! Brammer began working at FIU in 1990 when the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer engineering were launched and the College of Engineering & Computing (at the time named “Engineering and Design”) obtained its first U.S. patent. She has been essential in the continuous success of the department and college. We wish her all the best after 29 years of dedicated service at FIU as a program specialist.

New Faculty Mehdi Hatamian Distinguished university professor Hatamian’s areas of expertise include biomedical electronics and cancer screening technologies, VLSI signal processing and digital communication. He is the founder and chief executive officer of 2Pi-Sigma Corporation, a company specializing in next generation cancer detection technologies.

Haneen Aburub Instructor Aburub started her career at FIU as a postdoctoral research associate, where she worked on developing solutions to keep the future smart grid resilient under the high penetration of renewable resources. Her research areas include renewable energy integration, energy storage optimization and cybersecurity.

Arjuna Madanayake Associate professor Madanayake started his faculty career at the University of Akron, where he formed the Advanced Signal Processing Circuits Lab. At FIU, he leads the RF, Analog and Digital Lab. His research areas are wireless communications, array processing and analog computing.

Gustavo Chaparro-Baquero Instructor Chaparro-Baquero received his doctoral degree in electrical and computer engineering from FIU and worked as a graduate assistant at the Advanced Real-Time and Computing Systems (ARCS) Lab. As an instructor, Chaparro-Baquero teaches software, digital electronics and circuit analysis courses.

Mohammad Ashiq Rahman Assistant professor Rahman’s research area primarily covers security and dependability problems for both general networks and cyber-physical systems (CPS). With cyber systems, he conducts research on security metrics and network security. Rahman is the director of FIU’s Analytics for Cyber Defense (ACyD) Research Lab.

Srikanth Namuduri Instructor After working at Cummins for seven years, Namuduri transferred to FIU to join academia. At Cummins, he worked as an analytics project manager managing the creation of reporting dashboards and data analytics. His areas of expertise are machine learning, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things.

ECE Fast Facts

2018-2019 FISCAL YEAR

INNOVATION Invention Disclosures

U.S. Patents Awarded








Computer Engineering B.S.



Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded




Electrical Engineering


in the Nation Ranked by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE 2016-2017)



# Within the department during spring 2019

Total: 1,090 Best Online Graduate Engineering Program



U.S. News & World Report 2019

*Fiscal year 2018-2019





Associate Professors


Assistant Professors





To learn about our faculty’s research interests, visit ece.fiu.edu/people/faculty

AREAS OF RESEARCH • Artificial Intelligence & Big Data • Bioengineering • Communications • Computer Architecture & Microprocessor Design • Control Systems • Cybersecurity • Data Systems • Digital Forensics • Embedded Systems • Human Cyber-Physical Systems • Integrated Nano-Technology • Internet of Things (IoT) • Networking & Security • Power & Energy • Radio Frequency (RF) & Microwave • Smart Infrastructure *Degrees awarded reflects the number of graduates from the fall 2018 semester.

Florida International University College of Engineering & Computing Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 10555 West Flagler Street, EC 3900 Miami, FL 33174

At FIU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, students enjoy experiential learning, conduct research and receive guidance from world-class faculty members. The department is dedicated to providing its students with the highest caliber of education, training, research and technology development, turning students into graduates who are prepared to hit the ground running in the workforce. We are able to achieve this with the support of community partners who believe in the importance of research and how it can lead to impactful discoveries. FIU’s Next Horizon campaign promises to put FIU at the forefront of discovery and innovation, to find solutions to the challenges of the world and drive economic growth by increasing patent production and industry collaboration. The Next Horizon campaign is your opportunity to invest directly in the next-generation engineering workforce and FIU’s impact. Please visit, give.fiu.edu.

ece.fiu.edu 305-348-2807

C /ecefiu M /fiuece

FIU promotes a culturally diverse and inclusive working and learning environment where current and prospective faculty, staff, and students are treated fairly and valued for their individuality. For more information, visit https://hr.fiu.edu/employees-affiliates/employee-concerns/#discrimination Cover photo: Looking to the future of space communication through deployable origami antennas; Photo credit: Douglas Garland


Profile for FIU ECE

FIU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 2018-2019 Annual Report  

FIU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 2018-2019 Annual Report  

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