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Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 2018-19

[MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR] 2019 marks the 36th year since the inception of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine. The department continues

to be as vibrant as ever and in rapid growth, in keeping with our EECS strategic plan. The plan, led by a committee of faculty from our three thrust areas (circuits and devices; computer science and engineering; and systems), identified key areas of growth, including hiring. Looking back over the past five years, I note that we have hired 12 new faculty in areas as diverse as electrical/wearable sensors for health care, security, big data/machine learning and the internet of things (IoT). We have seen the largest-ever growth in our faculty (almost 33%), which has in turn opened up new perspectives and opportunities for collaborations. I am delighted to see that many of our new recruits are submitting proposals in collaboration with faculty from other areas, both within and outside the department. The quality of our incoming and transfer undergraduate and graduate students also has continued to increase year after year. I am writing this message while sitting in an imposing auditorium in London getting ready to be honored as an inductee into the Royal Society of London “for improving natural knowledge.” The Royal Society is the oldest and most prestigious scientific society in the world. This accolade is just one of the many prestigious awards our faculty have received over the past five years. We have four members of the National Academy of Engineering and two members of the National Academy of Inventors. Our extramural funding has continued to grow and is currently at $10 million per year.


UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

We have an impressive list of Industry Advisory Board members, and we have engaged them in advising on curriculum and senior design projects. They provide important insight and guidance into what students need to know in order to succeed in today’s workforce. As we work toward engaging more industry and government laboratories, prospective members should note our affiliation with major university research centers, including the Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, the Center for Pervasive Communications & Computing, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology and the Center for Embedded and Cyber-physical Systems. EECS faculty members affiliated with these centers work closely with industry to develop new nanotechnology, communications, IoT, distributed computing and secure network technologies. We welcome you to our department and invite you to learn more about our faculty, students and research centers by visiting http://engineering.uci.edu/dept/eecs or by directly contacting our faculty. Finally, as I reflect over the past five years, and hand over leadership of the department to Professor Athina Markopoulou, I want to thank many individuals who have supported the department, including my colleagues, faculty, administrators and all our students who have chosen electrical engineering and computer science as their career path. I am very optimistic for the near- and long-term future of our department. —H. Kumar Wickramasinghe Nicolaos G. and Sue Curtis Alexopoulos Presidential Chair, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, UC Irvine

4 18 Contents 2 4 8 12 14 18 20 24 28


EECS: Year in Review is published annually by the Samueli School’s communications staff for the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Facts and Figures Feature: Acoustic Attack Accolades Feature: Tiny But Mighty Highlights Feature: Beyond 5G Alumni Faculty Directory

Chair: H. Kumar Wickramasinghe EECS Dept. Administrator: Julie Strope Editor-in-Chief: Shelly Nazarenus Art Direction: Michael Marcheschi, m2dg.com Publisher: Mike Delaney, Meridian Graphics On the cover: UCI electrical engineering and computer science professor Payam Heydari and his team engineered a new wireless transmitterreceiver chip that combines digital and analog components on a single platform. The result: ultrafast data processing and reduced energy consumption. (Photo: Steve Zylius, UCI Strategic Communications)

Ingenuity 2018-19 Year in Review


[FACTS AND FIGURES] Programs in electrical engineering were the foundation of UC Irvine’s school of engineering when it was founded in 1965. Today, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science attracts the largest student population in the school. The EECS department has two goals: • Advance the minds of future leaders by providing the finest education to our students • Consistently meet industry needs by developing cutting-edge technology

The department’s internationally known faculty are experts in their fields. EECS is committed to an integrated view of the electrical engineering field – ranging from microscopic (and even nanoscale) devices all the way to architectures, communications and software design – everything from electrons to programs. More than 20 research groups focus on areas as diverse as embedded systems, computer networks, middleware, real-time systems, micro-electro-mechanical systems and nanotechnology, communication systems, machine intelligence, and neural and soft computing. Mathematical and natural sciences are applied to the theory, design and implementation of devices and systems for the benefit of our society.





B.S. degrees Electrical Engineering Computer Engineering Computer Science and Engineering

Department of Electrical Engineering founded

Department expands to include computer science 2


Undergraduate Students

UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Graduate Students M.S., Ph.D. degrees Electrical and Computer Engineering Networked Systems Masters of Embedded and Cyberphysical Systems





Research Thrusts

World-class Center Affiliations

Circuits and Devices Computer Science and Engineering EE Systems

Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility Center for Pervasive Communications & Computing California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology Center for Embedded and Cyber-physical Systems

2017-18 Research Expenditures


36 3 9 1

Full-time Faculty

National Academy of Engineering Members


Chancellor’s Fellow

Full-time Affiliated Faculty


Royal Society of London Fellow

25 2

National Academy of Inventors


Presidential Young Investigator Award


Endowed Chairs


Chancellor’s Professor

Distinguished Professors


Fellow of the Academy for the Advancement of Science


2018-19 Year in Review


[FEATURE] ACOUSTIC ATTACK Researchers seek to eliminate theft of DNA synthesizer data Brian Bell

Steve Zylius

During the DNA synthesis process in a laboratory, recordings can be made of the subtle, telltale noises made by synthesis machines. And those captured sounds can be used to reverse-engineer valuable, custom-designed genetic materials used in pharmaceuticals, agriculture and other bioengineering fields. With funding from the National Science Foundation, a team of researchers has uncovered the possibility of an acoustic side-channel attack on the DNA synthesis process, a vulnerability that could present a serious risk to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and academic research institutions.


UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

“A few years ago, we published a study on a similar method for stealing blueprints of objects being fabricated in 3D printers, but this attack on DNA synthesizers is potentially much more serious,” said Mohammad Al Faruque, UCI associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science. “In the wrong hands, DNA synthesis capability could result in bioterrorists synthesizing, at will, harmful pathogens such as anthrax.” Al Faruque said his lab’s discovery might also be used for a good cause: “Government agencies can employ the same technique as a monitoring tool to nullify the possibility of such activities.” A DNA synthesizer is a complex machine with meandering pipes, fluid reservoirs, solenoid valves and electrical circuitry. Chemicals – which have their

UCI researchers who helped discover that hackers can steal genetic blueprints by interpreting the sounds emitted from a DNA synthesizer are (from left) Mohammad Al Faruque, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Arnav Malawade, a graduate student in Al Faruque’s lab; John Chaput, professor of pharmaceutical sciences; and Sina Faezi, also a graduate student in Al Faruque’s lab.

2018-19 Year in Review


own unique acoustic signatures due to their varying densities – flow through tubes, creating distinct noises punctuated by the clicking of valves and the whirring of pressure pump motors. “All of these inner workings of a DNA synthesizer result in the emission of subtle but distinguishable sound signatures that can give clues as to the specific genetic material being generated,” said Sina Faezi, a UCI graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, who presented a paper early this year on the potential threat of an acoustic side attack on DNA synthesizers at the Network & Distributed System Security Symposium that took place in San Diego. He said that in many cases, variances in the sounds produced are so tiny that people can’t distinguish them. “But through careful feature engineering and a bespoke machine-learning algorithm written in [Al Faruque’s] lab, we were able to pinpoint those differences,” he said.

“A few years ago, we published a study on a similar method for stealing blueprints of objects being fabricated in 3-D printers, but this attack on DNA synthesizers is potentially much more serious. In the wrong hands, DNA synthesis capability could result in bioterrorists synthesizing, at will, harmful pathogens such as anthrax.”


UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Another factor that enables DNA synthesis information to be stolen is the design of the synthesizers themselves, according to Faezi. “Solenoid valves are placed asymmetrically inside the housing, so when a valve is working in one corner of the box, it makes a completely different noise than one that’s working in the middle,” he said. If hackers know which device model is in use, they’ll have one more piece of the puzzle in place.

“Any active machine emits a trace of some form: physical residue, electromagnetic radiation, acoustic noise, etc.,” said study collaborator Philip Brisk, UC Riverside associate professor of computer science and engineering. “The amount of information in these traces is immense, and we have only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we can learn and reverse-engineer from it.” Al Faruque, head of UCI’s Advanced Integrated Cyber-physical Systems Lab, added that the ubiquity of recording devices, such as smartphones, makes the problem even more pervasive. “Let’s say you’re a good person who works in a lab. I can hack into your phone and essentially hijack it to record sound that I can eventually retrieve,” he said. “Furthermore, some biological labs have acoustic sensors mounted on the walls, and more people are adopting technologies like Google Home or Alexa – all of these can be used to pilfer sounds.” With their side-channel attack methodology, the researchers said, they can predict each base in a DNA sequence with about 88% accuracy, and they’re able to reconstruct short sequences with complete reliability. Their technique functions best when a recording device is placed within a couple feet of a DNA sequencing machine, they said, but the algorithm

works even in the presence of noise from an air conditioner or peoples’ voices. Al Faruque stressed that this sort of attack is too sophisticated for a smalltime criminal or terrorist to pull off but is not beyond the capability of state actors. The stakes are high: The global market for synthetic biological products is expected to reach almost $40 billion by 2020. And that market share is expected to grow, particularly in the area of DNA data storage, an application being pursued by heavy-hitting technology companies. Faezi noted that there are some ways to prevent snooping attacks. Machine designers could arrange the pipes and valves in a way that mitigates the emission of distinct sounds, and the DNA synthesis process can be scrambled and randomized to block hackers from piecing together the intellectual property. Other collaborators on this project, included Sujit Chhetri and Arnav Malawade, UCI graduate students in electrical engineering and computer science; John Chaput, UCI professor of pharmaceutical sciences; and William Grover, UC Riverside assistant professor of bioengineering.

Synthetic DNA GLOBAL Market


Billion by 2020* *Ranjan Singh, 2014. Synthetic Biology Market by Products and Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2013 - 2020


Research & Development



Pharmaceuticals & Diagnostics


others Environment, Biotechnology & Biomaterials, etc.

2018-19 Year in Review


[ACCOLADES] Electrical engineering and computer science doctoral student Anastasia Shuba won the Andreas Pfitzmann Best Student Paper Award last fall at the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium held in Barcelona, Spain. Shuba, whose graduate adviser is Athina Markopoulou, is researching a method of blocking ads from appearing in apps on mobile devices. She is first author on “NoMoAds: Effective and Efficient Cross-App Mobile Ad-Blocking,” co-written with Markopoulou and University of Iowa collaborator Zubair Shafiq. The NoMoAds approach leverages the mobile device’s network interface to intercept, inspect and block outgoing packets from all apps. It extracts features from packet headers and/or payload to train machine-learning classifiers to detect those ad requests. “I was happy that my hard work had finally paid off,” Shuba said of her award. “I spent a lot of time on the paper and presentation with the goal of claiming the award.”

It’s been a year of notable accomplishments for Athina Markopoulou. In April, the then associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science was one of six teams campuswide who made the cut when UCI’s Office of Research awarded funds in its 2018-19 Research Seed Funding Program. The competition sought to identify multidisciplinary projects that could eventually attract additional funding and become larger-scale campus centers. Markopoulou’s Security, Privacy and Data Analytics of Mobile and IoT Devices was one of 22 proposals submitted. She will collaborate with computer scientists and social scientists on the project. In May, Markopoulou was selected as a UCI Chancellor’s Fellow, one of 14 fellows chosen universitywide and the first and only one in the Samueli School. Established in 2001, Chancellor’s Fellows are faculty with tenure whose recent achievements in scholarship show extraordinary promise for world-class contributions to knowledge, and whose pattern of contributions evidences a strong trajectory to distinction. The fellowship is for three years and carries an award of up to $25,000 per year in support of research. 8 UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Google this year named two department members as winners of its Google Faculty Research Awards. The highly competitive awards – only 15 percent of applicants are funded – support promising academic research projects in computer science, engineering and related fields. EECS Professor Brian Demsky and Assistant Professor Aparna Chandramowlishwaran each won funding that will support one graduate student for a year.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, named Carter Butts a fellow. He was among seven UCI faculty selected for their efforts to further science or its applications.

Demsky, whose award was in the area of software engineering and programming languages, also researches software reliability and compilation. His project, Scaling Testing of Concurrent Code to Real Software Systems, seeks to develop systematic testing tools that can scale for real-world applications. “Researchers have developed tools for model-checking small test cases under the C/C++ memory model, which cannot scale beyond unit tests of data structures, and tools that support random testing, which may not drive executions to reveal bugs,” Demsky said. “There is a need for tools that fill the gap.” Chandramowlishwaran, who won her award in the area of mobile, researches high-performance computing, domain-specific compilers, algorithmarchitecture co-design, data analysis and scientific computing. Her Scalable Tools for Profiling Web Browsers project seeks to develop a profiling tool that can effectively analyze performance and energy efficiency of web browsers. “Web browsers are becoming increasingly complex and have large codebases consisting of millions of lines of code,” Chandramowlishwaran said. “This project aims to ... develop a causal profiling tool to capture the dependencies in a web browser that allow for scalable analysis in order to identify performance bottlenecks.”

Butts, professor of sociology with a joint appointment in electrical engineering and computer science, was acknowledged for distinguished contributions to the modeling of relational structure and dynamics in humans and nonhumans, alone and in groups, using mathematical, computational and statistical approaches. “It is a great honor to have my work recognized by the AAAS,” said Butts. “The interdisciplinary environment of the Samueli School has been key in allowing me to pursue research that brings together engineering and the social sciences.”

2018-19 Year in Review


[ACCOLADES] Syed Ali Jafar, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, was acknowledged – for the fifth consecutive year – as among the world’s most influential scientific minds, according to the 2018 Highly Cited Researchers list published by Clarivate Analytics. The annual list includes preeminent researchers from around the world in 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences, as well as researchers recognized for cross-field impact, all of whom have demonstrated great influence as measured by citations to their work. Jafar, who joined the Samueli School in 2004, was the only engineering faculty member and one of 10 across UCI who made this year’s list. Jafar analyzes the capacity of wireless communication networks, and is best known for his influential work on the idea known as interference alignment. This concept demonstrates how a resource such as network bandwidth can be shared among competing users so that each user gets half of the total bandwidth free from interference from others. Jafar and his former doctoral student Arash Gholami Davoodi also won the 2018 IEEE Communications Society and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award, given annually for outstanding papers relevant to both societies that have been published in any publication of either society in the previous three calendar years. Jafar and Davoodi’s winning paper appeared in the October 2016 issue of IEEE Transactions Information Theory. The paper settles a mystery regarding the fundamental limits of wireless networks, proving that the condition of the channels through which signals propogate can affect the signals they carry. When a transmitter “knows” the state of the channel, it adapts signal design accordingly. But when transmitters are unclear about the state of these channels, network performance suffers. “Our work studies what happens when the transmitters are not 100% certain about this ‘state,’” Jafar said. “We show that even a little bit of uncertainty is catastrophic for concepts like interference alignment and other ‘miracle’ schemes. Together, these ideas close arguably the largest gaps in our understanding of the capacity limits of wireless networks.”


UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

G.P. Li, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, landed a 2018 GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Li was awarded $199,000 per year for up to three years to support four graduate students in electrical, electronic and communications engineering. The grants are made to institutions and faculty members, who serve as principal investigators, to help them recruit and support promising graduate students studying in fields designated as areas of national need. EECS is looking specifically for graduate students interested in developing sustainable, data-enabled manufacturing, smart manufacturing environments and a smart workforce to support advanced manufacturing. Li calls the area, known as the Industrial Internet of Things, the “fourth industrial revolution.”

The Office of Naval Research has awarded Zak Kassas a Young Investigator Program grant. Kassas, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering with a joint appointment in electrical engineering and computer science, will receive $750,000 over three years for his work on non-GPS navigation technology. The ONR seeks new and innovative navigation technologies that will provide accurate, reliable, maintainable and affordable systems for naval surface, subsurface, air and ground platforms and forces. Kassas’ research aims to develop a modernized position, navigation and timing system architecture that mitigates the shortcomings of current GPS systems. His approach is networked, collaborative, adaptable and signal-diverse, exploiting signals of opportunity: cellular, digital television, Wi-Fi and satellite communications, for example. “Signals of opportunity are promising for reliable and accurate PNT, and they enjoy several advantages over GPS,” said Kassas who directs the Autonomous Systems Perception, Intelligence & Navigation laboratory. “These signals are ubiquitous, received at a significantly higher power than GPS, and diverse in frequency and direction. Plus, they are free to use, since they are already being transmitted for other purposes.” Additionally, the Institute of Navigation (ION) presented Kassas and doctoral student Kimia Shamaei its 2018 Samuel Burka Award for their paper titled “LTE Receiver Design and Multipath Analysis for Navigation in Urban Environments,” published in the Winter 2018 issue of NAVIGATION, the ION Journal. The paper presents a novel, computationally efficient receiver design for navigating exclusively with cellular LTE signals in urban environments, which often experience significant multipath-induced errors. The receiver mitigated multipath signals and produced a meter-levelaccurate navigation solution,which is the most accurate navigation solution to date with LTE signals in urban environments.

2018-19 Year in Review


[FEATURE] TINY BUT MIGHTY Nanowire research yields new information on battery storage

Anna Lynn Spitzer

Batteries are ubiquitous in 21st-century life, powering everything from cell phones and tablets to toys, gadgets and increasingly, even medical devices and vehicles. Hence, battery capacity, or the ability to store an electric charge, has long been of interest to scientists looking to improve these tiny powerhouses. Researchers at UCI are making new inroads into understanding the role that carbon nanowires might one day play in extending the capacity of a type of battery known as a supercapacitor. Peter Burke, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, cautions that the research is not directed at everyday alkaline batteries – at least not yet – but rather at tiny supercapacitors, which power biomedical devices, sensors and other miniature electronics. Burke and his graduate students Jinfeng Li, Phi H.Q. Pham, Weiwei Zhou and Ted D. Pham studied the electrochemical capacitance between carbon nanotubes and the saltwater solution known as an electrolyte, which is key to the battery’s ability to store a charge. In a paper published last fall in ACS Nano, they measured and analyzed the capacitance


UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

of these systems, learning more about how the charge is stored and what factors can improve that storage ability. In contrast to previously studied electrode material, the team found that quantum mechanics plays a key role.

surface area is such an important part of capacitance, these sharp ridges, which increase the nanotube’s surface area, also improve their capacitance. “When you make ridges, you get more surface area,” Burke said.

Capacitance is based on the interface between a liquid and a metal. The liquid contains sodium chloride ions and ideally, the metal should have a large surface area. The larger the surface area, the greater the storage capacity. Burke explained the process this way: “If you take some sort of salt and put it in water, the sodium can conduct electricity. If you took saltwater from the ocean and put it on a piece of metal you could store a charge at the interface between the saltwater and the metal. Although it doesn’t use salt, that’s essentially how a battery works.”

In addition, the atomic-scale ridges are the same size as the atoms in the saltwater, which results in an enhanced relationship between the charge and the surface area of the ridges. “They store a lot more charge,” said Burke.

Instead of experimenting with metal, however, Burke and his collaborators used a .1-millimeter-square tangle of one-dimensional, atomic-sized wires called nanotubes. Each nanotube is only a few atoms wide and because of their extremely small size, have different quantum mechanical behavior than regular metals.

The tiny nanotube mat used in the team’s research contained approximately 10,000 carbon nanotubes, and researchers measured their combined capacitance. In follow-up research just published in Nature Communications, Burke and his team took on the much harder task of measuring capacitance in individual nanowires. “The amount of electrical energy stored in one carbon nanotube is so tiny that it’s extremely hard to measure,” Burke said.

The nanowire experiment yielded three important takeaways for the scientists: they gained a better understanding of the quantum mechanics of these tiny electrodes; they were able to shrink the capacitor down to a tiny surface area, which could store a lot of electricity; and they learned that carbon provides different quantum effects than other metals. Burke was pleased with the paper’s success. “This work shows how quantum mechanics plays a role in nanowirebased energy-storing battery devices,” he said. “It lays the intellectual foundation for understanding a whole new class of electrodes for battery applications.”

“As things get smaller, their quantum properties become very important,” Burke explained. “When they’re big, materials behave more or less classically. The ability to store a charge is very, very different in a nanotube because of the quantum mechanical effects that occur at the atomic scale.” Additionally, the carbon nanotubes also have extremely sharp ridges, which result when one-dimensional graphene is rolled into cylinders. The resulting nanowires have diameters of one to two nanometers. “It’s like a bunch of knives, all sticking up,” according to Burke. Because

Researchers measured and analyzed the capacitance of semiconducting nanotubes exposed to ionic solutions, learning more about how the charge is stored and what factors can improve that storage ability.

2018-19 Year in Review


[HIGHLIGHTS] A Scientific Giant Accomplished engineer is recognized for contributions to nanotechnology, microscopy H. Kumar Wickramasinghe, UCI Distinguished Professor, has been elected a fellow by the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge. “I am thrilled and humbled to have been elected a fellow of the Royal Society, which has elected to its fellowship most of the scientific giants of all time,” said Wickramasinghe. “It is rewarding to see organizations with global stature putting the spotlight on the work I have done in my career and especially here at UCI.” Founded in 1660, the Royal Society is the world’s oldest scientific academy in continuous existence and an independent scientific academy of the United Kingdom. Fellows are elected for life. Past members include Isaac Newton, Christopher Wren, Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking. After earning bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in electronic & electrical engineering at King’s College London and University College London, respectively, Wickramasinghe spent a lengthy career at IBM, where he tackled the problem of characterizing computer chips and devices that were rapidly shrinking beyond what could be seen with visible wavelength microscopes. With more than 100 patents to his name, Wickramasinghe is a pioneer in nanotechnology research and innovation. He led the development of such technologies as the vibrating-mode atomic force microscope, magnetic force microscope, electrostatic force microscope, Kelvin probe force microscope, scanning thermal microscope and apertureless near-field optical microscope. Most of these scanning probe microscopes are now standard instruments for nanoscale characterization. Since joining UCI in 2006, Wickramasinghe has continued to pursue enhancements to nanoscopic devices and techniques for studying atoms, molecules and chemical bonds, with the goal of one day being able to take movies of the surfaces of these objects. Another major thrust has been to build instruments to improve the understanding of biological processes and enable rapid, point-of-care diagnosis of bacterial and viral infections. “Essentially, I am a tool builder,” said Wickramasinghe, who’s also the Henry Samueli Endowed Chair in Engineering. “The work I did in the past has impacted many areas of physics and chemistry, and lately I’ve tried to develop instruments that make a difference in biology, health care and the life sciences.”

14 UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

A Significant IEEE Honor Researcher recognized for his pioneering work in the field of control systems Pramod Khargonekar, UCI vice chancellor for research and Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering and computer science, has won the 2019 IEEE Control Systems Award for outstanding contributions to robust and optimal control theory. He will accept the bronze medal, certificate and $10,000 honorarium at the 2019 IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, scheduled for December in Nice, France. Khargonekar, who joined UCI in 2016, previously was on the faculty at the Universities of Florida, Minnesota and Michigan in positions including department chair, endowed professorships and dean; he served as deputy director for technology at the U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-E and as assistant director of the National Science Foundation, where he led the Directorate of Engineering. His research contributions span systems and control theory and applications, including foundational contributions to robust and H-infinity optimal control theory. His work has had wide-ranging impact on theoretical developments in the field as well as the emergence of computer-aided design tools. Additionally, Khargonekar made multiple contributions to the application of control to semiconductor manufacturing and renewable energy integration. Tryphon Georgiou, UCI Chancellor’s Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, nominated Khargonekar for the award. “[He] has made seminal contributions to control theory, pioneered applications of control to semiconductor manufacturing, and championed the relevance of control through his national leadership,” Georgiou said in his nomination form. “His scholarly contributions have had enormous impact in the field of control.” The Control System Award is just the latest among many that Khargonekar has accrued. Others include the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the American Automatic Control Council’s Donald Eckman Award, the World Automation Congress Honor, the IEEE W.R.G. Baker Prize, the IEEE CSS George Axelby and Hugo Schuck ACC Best Paper Awards and the Indian Institute of Technology’s Distinguished Alumnus and Distinguished Service Awards. Khargonekar has been a Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher and is a fellow of IEEE and IFAC. “Upon receiving this wonderful news, I was absolutely delighted,” Khargonekar said of his most recent accomplishment. “It is humbling to join the group of previous winners of this award who are great pioneers and leaders in the field of control systems.” Earlier this year, Khargonekar was selected a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was recognized for his contributions to systems and control theory, applications to manufacturing and energy, and leadership in engineering research, education and innovation.

2018-19 Year in Review


[HIGHLIGHTS] Smart Connected Worker Funding enables a data analytics program for energy efficiency and improved workflow Technology breakthroughs in robotics, artificial intelligence, internet of things, cloud computing, cyberphysical systems and 5G wireless technologies have ushered in a new era that’s being described as the fourth industrial revolution. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy established CESMII (the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute) to explore how these emerging technologies might deliver smart manufacturing solutions. Last year, UCI’s CALIT2 was designated the CESMII Southern California Regional Demonstration Center. More recently, CESMII awarded $2.1 million to the institute to develop the Smart Connected Workers program. “The focus on workers is critical to the evolution of U.S. industrial sectors,” said G.P. Li, CALIT2 director and professor of electrical engineering and computer science. “A smart, connected worker will become the ultimate manufacturing asset. Empowering skilled workers to have greater autonomy and decision-making responsibilities will result in not only a more satisfied, masterful workforce, but also factories that are more energy-efficient, productive and safer.” The program will develop affordable, scalable, accessible and portable smart manufacturing systems that will help companies gain insight into their energy footprints and workflow activities. These data can lead to optimization and dynamic scheduling of equipment to help reduce energy costs. Sensors and cameras will measure and characterize human activity. “We can capture information about when people are moving through the facility, where they’re going and what [work] they’re doing,” said Li, who serves as the project’s PI. Energy meters – upgraded to higher fidelity than standard models – will be located throughout the workspace to capture precise real-time energy consumption and record the equipment’s response to human activity. Researchers will use data analytics to map the captured workflow activity against real-time energy use. Capturing, mapping and analyzing this data will allow researchers to build a dataacquisition infrastructure that provides real-time workflow energy assessment for small-to-medium enterprises. Of the more than 250,000 U.S. companies in the manufacturing sector, less than 4,000 have more than 500 employees, and threequarters of these firms have fewer than 20 employees. Most of these companies lack financial resources to incorporate sophisticated, advanced automation and control that could give them a competitive edge. Analytic tools, however, can have an immediate impact on small and mid-size manufacturing firms by translating large quantities of new data into insights that can improve industrial processes. “We want to have engineers use these new methods of data analytics in an efficient way for different industry types and sizes,” Li added. 16

UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Breakthrough Device Developed for Difficult-to-Diagnose Disease Assistant professor leads the invention of bloodbased assay to detect chronic fatigue syndrome About 2 million people in the U.S. suffer from a mysterious illness known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome. One of the challenges health care professionals have faced in diagnosing it has been the lack of a clear biomarker, something in a patient’s bloodstream to signal the cause of the problem. Researchers at UCI and Stanford University have developed a blood-based assay tool that has shown early signs of being an effective test for the condition in humans. The team’s findings were published this spring in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The new technology developed by lead author Rahim Esfandyarpour, UCI assistant professor of electrical engineering & computer science, and his collaborators relies on the different responses to stress exhibited by blood cells of ME/CFS sufferers versus blood cells of healthy individuals. Aggravating the cells in both samples with a dose of salt, the researchers then applied electric current and measured the results. Among the cells of those feeling the symptoms of fatigue, there was a marked change in the current, an indication that the cells were affected by ME/CFS. The assay device relies on advancements in nanotechnology, microfabrication, and direct electrical detection of cellular and molecular properties. Test results are further refined through artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. “We still have further experiments to conduct to understand the contributing mechanisms and whether the responses are specific to ME/CFS,” Esfandyarpour said. “We envision integrating the nanoelectronic sensing arrays with the data acquisition and AI-based computing units to create a portable and handheld diagnostic and preclinical drug-screening platform that can be used by doctors, physicians and other researchers.”

2018-19 Year in Review


[FEATURE] BEYOND 5G Chip’s novel architecture enables ultrafast data processing, less energy consumption Brian Bell Steve Zylius

A new wireless transceiver invented by electrical engineers at UCI boosts radio frequencies into 100-gigahertz territory, quadruple the speed of the upcoming 5G, or fifth-generation, wireless communications standard. Labeled an “end-to-end transmitterreceiver” by its creators in UCI’s Nanoscale Communication Integrated Circuits Labs, the 4.4-millimeter-square silicon chip is capable of processing digital signals significantly faster and more energyefficiently because of its unique digitalanalog architecture. The team’s innovation 18

is outlined in a paper published recently in the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits. “We call our chip ‘beyond 5G’ because the combined speed and data rate that we can achieve is two orders of magnitude higher than the capability of the new wireless standard,” said senior author Payam Heydari, NCIC Labs director and UCI professor of electrical engineering and computer science. “In addition, operating in a higher frequency means that you and I and everyone else can be given a bigger chunk of the bandwidth offered by carriers.” He said that academic researchers and communications circuit engineers have long wanted to know if wireless systems are capable of the high performance and speeds of fiber-optic networks. “If such a possibility could come to fruition, it would transform the telecommunications

UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

industry, because wireless infrastructure brings about many advantages over wired systems,” Heydari said. His group’s answer is in the form of a new transceiver that leapfrogs over the 5G wireless standard – designated to operate within the range of 28 to 38 gigahertz – into the 6G standard, which is expected to work at 100 gigahertz and above. “The Federal Communications Commission recently opened up new frequency bands above 100 gigahertz,” said lead author and postgraduate researcher Hossein Mohammadnezhad, a UCI grad student at the time of the work who this year earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science. “Our new transceiver is the first to provide end-to-end capabilities in this part of the spectrum.”

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Payam Heydari’s lab engineered a new wireless transmitter and receiver. Pictured, from left, are Heydari, Huan Wang and Hossein Mohammadnezhad.

The “end-to-end transmitter-receiver” chip boasts a unique architecture combining digital and analog components on a single platform, resulting in ultrafast data processing and reduced energy consumption.

Having transmitters and receivers that can handle such high-frequency data communications is going to be vital in ushering in a new wireless era dominated by the “internet of things,” autonomous vehicles, and vastly expanded broadband for streaming of high-definition video content and more. While this digital dream has driven technology developers for decades, stumbling blocks have begun to appear on the road to progress. According to Heydari, changing frequencies of signals through modulation and demodulation in transceivers has traditionally been done via digital processing, but integrated circuit engineers have in recent years begun to see the physical limitations of this method. “Moore’s law says we should be able to increase the speed of transistors – such as those you would find in transmitters and

receivers – by decreasing their size, but that’s not the case anymore,” he said. “You cannot break electrons in two, so we have approached the levels that are governed by the physics of semiconductor devices.” To get around this problem, NCIC Labs researchers utilized a chip architecture that significantly relaxes digital processing requirements by modulating the digital bits in the analog and radio-frequency domains. Heydari said that in addition to enabling the transmission of signals in the range of 100 gigahertz, the transceiver’s unique layout allows it to consume considerably less energy than current systems at a reduced overall cost, paving the way for widespread adoption in the consumer electronics market.

Co-author Huan Wang, a UCI doctoral student in electrical engineering and computer science and an NCIC Labs member, said that the technology combined with phased array systems – which use multiple antennas to steer beams – facilitates a number of disruptive applications in wireless data transfer and communication. “Our innovation eliminates the need for miles of fiber-optic cables in data centers, so data farm operators can do ultrafast wireless transfer and save considerable money on hardware, cooling and power,” he said. TowerJazz and STMicroelectronics provided semiconductor fabrication services to support this research project.

2018-19 Year in Review


[ALUMNI] TIRELESS ORGANIZER First-generation college student earns her computer engineering degree, while encouraging young people to pursue STEM majors Brian Bell

Floranne Tavailau Ellington has lived her life in almost constant motion. Her early years were spent on a boat in Half Moon Bay with her family before they relocated to Lakeport, a small town about 125 miles northwest of Sacramento. Ellington attended middle school and high school in San Jose before coming to UCI. But now it appears she’ll be staying in one place for a while.

As a UCI undergrad, Ellington – a first-generation college student whose parents are from England and Samoa – has been a tireless organizer of programs to encourage young people, particularly women, to pursue majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She was the main

Having earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, she applied to and has been accepted into a Ph.D. program in computer engineering here at UCI, where she’ll work on developing medical sensors to monitor fetal health under the guidance of Hung Cao, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science.


UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Steve Zylius

coordinator for her sorority’s Athena Olympiad 2019, in which she helped guide 36 middle and high school students through activities such as lab tours, a Raspberry Pi workshop, and informal college and career counseling. Following her doctoral studies, Ellington hopes to continue managing and developing machine learning research projects. “After working in industry for a few years, I want to either come back to academia or work in outreach,” she says, “as I want to support the next generation in STEM, especially underrepresented communities.”

2018-19 2017-18 Year in Review


[ALUMNI] with EECS Alumnus Fernando Kawall ’19 Fernando Kawall was an internationally acclaimed skateboarder from Brazil before he started college. After a series of injuries ended his career, he went to Irvine Valley College and then transferred to UCI to study electrical engineering. As an Engineering Ambassador, Kawall regularly shared his story with other students – both freshmen and transfers – to inspire them to pursue their engineering dreams at UCI. How and when did you know you wanted to be an engineer? I’m from Brazil and, in 2009, I was the skateboarding national champion so I was traveling all over Brazil. As a result, I almost failed high school physics. I had to study physics so much that I started enjoying it! I was already good in math and astronomy, and I liked the intro to electromagnetism that I took in high school. So my first year at Irvine Valley College, I put all the pieces together and decided to do electrical engineering. But until I actually transferred to UCI, I didn’t really know what electrical engineering meant and what I could do with it. 22

UCI Department of Electrical Engineeri Engineering and Computer Science

Christine Byrd

Why did you choose to transfer to UCI? Primarily because UCI has very good professors and I really wanted to be involved in their research. Online, I found Stuart Kleinfelder, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, who was developing a particle detector for NSF-funded Antarctic Ross Ice Shelf Antenna Neutrino Array (ARIANNA). I emailed him while I was still a student at IVC and he offered me a position as an undergraduate researcher. That was a dream come true. What was your favorite class at UCI? EECS 170E, which is Analog and Communication Integrated Circuit Design, the last class in the circuit series. Professor Payam Heydari was one of the best professors I ever had in my life. He was motivating and the passion he had for the subject really sparked my interest in electrical engineering. Plus, while taking that course, I also was interning at Skyworks and everything I learned in class was 100% applicable to my job. Who were your mentors? My two main mentors were Professor Kleinfelder and Professor Steven Barwick from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, because I worked with them on a high-energy neutrino detector. But I had two other electrical engineering professors who also acted like mentors to me: Michael Green and Ozdal Boyraz. Because I am a student ambassador and Professor Green is the associate dean for undergraduate student affairs, he got to know me better through my presentations. I asked him about going to grad school versus going to work, and

he suggested it would be better to work so that I would have more experience and know better what I wanted to do with the graduate degree. Professor Boyraz was the one who told me, if you do circuit design and you also specialize in RF antennas and microwaves, you can do circuit design for radio frequency, which is important for things such as transforming 4G into 5G. He guided me within the EE field, regarding what classes to take so that I could actually do electrical engineering for physics in the future. What has been your proudest moment as an engineering student? The first was when I received the award of Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Student of the Year. I’ve been living by myself in the U.S. for eight years while my family was in Brazil. Classes were really hard sometimes, and I wasn’t sure if this is what I should be doing. I worked really, really hard to get where I am today, so being recognized as the best student in the whole department that year felt really good. Another is the fact that the circuit I designed for my senior design project will be sent to Antarctica and Greenland in fall 2019 with the ARIANNA Collaboration. There’s a lot of responsibility in designing a highperformance amplifier to survive harsh circumstances, and I feel proud of myself and my teammates. Can you share a little bit about the research project you worked on? The ARIANNA collaboration is a highenergy neutrino detector located in Antarctica with the main goal to detect high-energy neutrinos and figure out the source of these high -energy particles in the universe. I built, shielded and tested eight low-noise amplifiers in the lab for this project. But when my senior design project came up, I had the idea that I could create an even better amplifier for

the research. So my team and I did. I had to understand the physics side and use electrical engineering in a nontheoretical way to help us answer a physics question. What was your role as an Engineering Ambassador? As an Engineering Ambassador, I talk to prospective students and parents about the school and my major. We’re trying to get students to not only pursue engineering, but to choose UCI. We give them a whole overview of the school, what classes they will take each year, and we answer specific questions about our own experience. It’s surprising, the parents sometimes have more questions than the students. What’s the most common question you get asked? People ask if we have a social life because they think that being an engineering student will take all of your time, and you’ll spend every night at the library studying. That is not true – unless you don’t know how to manage your time! If you go to lectures, take notes, ask your professors questions and do your homework when it’s assigned, you’ll have plenty of time. I had a very active social life. I travel to San Diego almost every weekend to see my skateboarding friends, and I’m in a fraternity, while also being involved in research at UCI and having an internship.

How many bones have you broken skateboarding? I’ve broken every finger in both hands, and I’ve broken my left wrist. I’ve had six wrist surgeries, two knee surgeries and two hip surgeries. I don’t have feeling in the pinky or ring finger in my left hand anymore. Those are some of the consequences from skateboarding, but I don’t regret any of them. It’s all about perspective. You can see a problem as a problem or as a learning tool. That’s the way I go about everything in life. Any other fun facts about you? I have a twin brother, but I’m actually a triplet. My parents were one of the first to do in vitro fertilization in Brazil, and she had triplets, but only two of us survived. Anything else you’d like to share? It’s OK to fail. Most people see failure as a bad thing, but I failed many times in my life. Because I failed, I became a better person and understood what my mistake was so that I wouldn’t make that mistake again. I think that’s important. Just working with a mistake, or working toward fixing a problem, is a key skill to have in life.

What’s next for you? I’m currently trying to find a full time job as a radio frequency engineer. My goal is to work for a few years and then go back to grad school. What are your hobbies outside of engineering? Although I don’t practice skateboarding anymore, I still follow the skateboard community and I’m still very interested in the scene. I got into brewing beer recently and I like to make IPAs – I really like the bitterness and hoppiness of the beer. 2018-19 Year in Review


[FACULTY DIRECTORY] H. Kumar Wickramasinghe, Ph.D.

Peter Burke, Ph.D.

Franco De Flaviis, Ph.D.

Nicolaos G. and Sue Curtis Alexopoulos Presidential Chair, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Henry Samueli Endowed Chair Research Interests: nanoscale measurements and characterization, scanning probe microscopy, storage technology, nanobio measurement technology Email: hkwick@uci.edu

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering Research Interests: nano-electronics, bionanotechnology Email: pburke@uci.edu

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: microwave systems, wireless communications, electromagnetic circuit simulations Email: franco@uci.edu

Hung Cao, Ph.D.

Rainer Doemer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: biosensors and bioelectronics, cardiovascular engineering, neural engineering Email: hungcao@uci.edu

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: system-level design, embedded computer systems, design methodologies, specification and modeling languages, advanced parallel simulation, integration of hardware and software systems Email: doemer@uci.edu

Mohammad Al Faruque, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Emulex Career Development Chair Research Interests: cyberphysical systems, internet of things, embedded systems, cyberphysical systems security Email: alfaruqu@uci.edu

Ender Ayanoglu, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: communication systems, communication theory, communication networks Email: ayanoglu@uci.edu

Nader Bagherzadeh, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Computer Science Research Interests: parallel processing, computer architecture, computer graphics, memory systems, 3D integrated circuits, heterogeneous computing, low-power processing Email: nader@uci.edu

Ozdal Boyraz, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: integrated optics, silicon photonics, optical communications systems and microwave photonics Email: oboyraz@uci.edu

Filippo Capolino, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: optics/electromagnetics in nanostructures and sensors, antennas/ microwaves, radio frequency and wireless systems Email: f.capolino@uci.edu

Aparna Chandramowlishwaran, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: high-performance computing, domain-specific compilers, algorithm-architecture co-design, data analysis, scientific computing Email: amowli@uci.edu

Quoc-Viet Dang, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Teaching Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: e-learning, data analysis, autonomous vehicle racing, cyberphysical systems Email: qpdang@uci.edu

24 UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Ahmed Eltawil, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: design of system and architectures for computing and communication devices, low power implementations and architectures for digital signal processing Email: aeltawil@uci.edu

Rahim Esfandyarpour, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: nanotechnology & nanoscience, microelctromechanical systems & nanoelectromechanical systems, flexible electronics & wearables, sensors & microfluidics, microelectronics circuits & systems, internet of things biodevices, personalized medicine, point-of-care diagnostics. Email: rahimes@uci.edu

Jean-Luc Gaudiot, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: parallel processing, computer architecture, processor architecture Email: gaudiot@uci.edu

Ramon Gomez, Ph.D.

Pramod Khargonekar, Ph.D.

Guann-Pyng Li, Ph.D.

Assistant Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: analog and radio frequency circuit design Email: ragomez1@uci.edu

Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: systems and control theory, learning and intelligent systems, applications to renewable energy and smart grid, neural engineering and economics, leadership and creativity, technology and society Email: pramod.khargonekar@uci.edu

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Research Interests: micro/nano technology for sensors and actuators, internet of things, smart manufacturing, biomedical devices and millimeter-wave wireless communication Email: gpli@uci.edu

Michael Green, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: analog/mixed-signal integrated circuit design, broadband circuit design, theory of nonlinear circuits Email: mgreen@uci.edu

Glenn Healey, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: machine learning, data science, sabermetrics, physical modeling, computer vision, image processing Email: ghealey@uci.edu

Payam Heydari, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: design and analysis of analog, radio-frequency, millimeter-wave and terahertz integrated circuits Email: payam@uci.edu

Syed Jafar, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: wireless communication and information theory Email: syed@uci.edu

Hamid Jafarkhani, Ph.D. Chancellor’s Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: communication theory, signal processing, coding, wireless networks, medical image segmentation Email: hamidj@uci.edu

Stuart Kleinfelder, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: circuits and systems for visual imaging, X-rays, electron microscopy, particle physics and other applications Email: stuartk@uci.edu

Fadi Kurdahi, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Computer Science Research Interests: embedded and cyberphysical systems, very-large-scale integration system design, design automation of digital systems Email: kurdahi@uci.edu

Chin Lee, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: electronic packaging, bonding technology, metallurgy, thermal design, semiconductor devices, electromagnetic theory, acoustics and optoelectronics Email: cclee@uci.edu

Henry Lee, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: photonics, fiber optics and compound semiconductors Email: hplee@uci.edu

Zhou Li, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: data-driven security analytics, internet measurement, side-channel analysis, internet of things security Email: zhou.li@uci.edu

Kwei-Jay Lin, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Computer Science Research Interests: real-time systems, distributed systems, service-oriented computing Email: klin@uci.edu

Athina Markopoulou, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Information and Computer Sciences Research Interests: networking, including network protocols, network measurement and analysis, mobile systems and mobile data analysis, network security and privacy Email: athina@uci.edu

Henry Samueli, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: digital signal processing, communications systems engineering, complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor integrated circuit design for applications in high-speed data transmission systems Email: engineeringdean@uci.edu

2018-19 Year in Review



Chen Tsai, Ph.D.

Homayoun Yousefi’zadeh, Ph.D.

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Computer Science Research Interests: semantic computing, robotic computing, biomedical computing, multimedia computing Email: psheu@uci.edu

Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: integrated microwave magnetics, ultrasonic atomization for nanoparticles synthesis, silicon photonics Email: cstsai@uci.edu

Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: communication networks Email: hyousefi@uci.edu

Peter Tseng, Ph.D.

Keyue Smedley, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: power electronics, renewables, energy storage and grid stabilization Email: smedley@uci.edu

Zhiying Wang, Ph.D.

A. Lee Swindlehurst, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: signal processing, estimation and detection theory, applications in wireless communications, geo-positioning, radar, sonar, biomedicine Email: swindle@uci.edu

New Department Chair Appointed

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: microelectromechanical systems, wearable technology, materials-bydesign, bioelectromagnetism, nanotechnology Email: tsengpc@uci.edu

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Research Interests: information theory, coding theory for data storage, compression and computation for genomic information Email: zhiying@uci.edu

As of July 1, Athina Markopoulou became chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the school’s largest department. The chair is responsible for managing the department’s teaching, research and outreach efforts. Markopoulou succeeds Kumar Wickramasinghe, who served as chair for five years. Markopoulou joined UCI in 2006. A professor and current UCI Chancellor’s Fellow, she has served as director of the Networked Systems graduate program – successfully overseeing academic and administrative review of the program – as a representative in the Academic Senate Assembly and as a member of the Samueli School


UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

executive committee. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University; her research encompasses computer networks, including mobile systems; and network security, privacy, coding and measurement. Markopoulou has received the NSF CAREER Award, the Samueli School Faculty Midcareer Award for Research and the OCEC’s Educator Award. She was an associate editor for IEEE/ ACM Transactions on Networking and ACM CCR, and also chaired or co-chaired several research conferences. “This is an honor and a responsibility,” Markopoulou said of her new position. “I am looking forward to working closely with everyone, in our department and in the school, to take EECS to the next level.”

INDUSTRY ADVISORY BOARD The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Industry Advisory Board was formed in 2007 and is comprised of industry representatives from a variety of electrical engineering and communications technology companies. The board meets quarterly to advise and assist academic leadership on curriculum development, student internships and design review, and to serve as a liaison to local industry. Khaled AbouZeid Mentor Graphics

Fausto Andrade

Northrop Grumman

Les Badin Alumnus

William Cassidy

Charles J. Kim

Southern California Edison

Jeff Ludwig

Tahiti Capital

Kevin Mori

Mazda North American

Orange County Sanitation District

Ken Neeld

Ting Li Chan

Hoa Nguyen

Ray Clancy

Stephen Palm

Dan Cregg

Michael Rakijas

George Di Papa

Raffi Sakabedoyan


ASE Group Insteon

3D Advanced Technologies

George Eaton ThingKus

Pete Fiacco

Executive Technology Consulting

Sangram K. Gaikwad VTI Instruments

Oleksandr Goushcha Luna Optoelectronics

Jeff Greenberg

Tech Coast Works

Mingying Gu

Western Digital

Jeffrey L. Hilbert

Delphi Display Systems OK International Broadcom

Thales Raytheon Systems Garmin

Darryl Sato

Beryl Technologies

Dan Schumann CareFusion

Neema Shafigh

Keysight Technologies

Royce Slick Canon

Sumit Tandom Mathworks

Rob Valle Mazda

Steve Way

Northrop Grumman

WiSpry, Inc

2018-19 2017-18 Year in Review



A little bit of oxygen goes a long way when it comes to wound healing. A new

medical device in development called Bubtech takes advantage of this principle. The senior design project combines both micro/nanobubble technology and negative pressure wound therapy to deliver rapid bedside treatment for patients with diabetic foot ulcers or other types of open wounds. Originally a project of biomedical engineering students, the wound healing device’s systems needed fine-tuning, so this past year, a team of electrical engineering undergraduates embraced the project, picking up where the others left off. Bubtech is a point-of-care system that provides a steady stream of super-oxygenated fluid (bubbles) to irrigate and aerate a wound through a foam dressing secured under a silicone patch. Simultaneously it acts as a vacuum aspiration system, sucking up all the debris, fluid and infected tissue in and around the wound and deposits the waste into a disposable container. The students worked with UCI engineer Michael Klopfer and plastic surgeon Dr. Alan Widgerow to create the prototype. Electrical engineering students Junyang Yao, Junkun Guan, Yaxin Deng, Yongxi Li and Eric Tram created a closed-loop control system to ensure patient safety and consistent device performance. “We make sure at every single stage, the fluid is being generated and delivered correctly,” said Deng, the project lead. “Our pressure sensors, relays and valves all need to perform properly to ensure the safety of the device.” An LCD touch screen and Bluetooth compatibility allow for easy setup and use, as the proof-of-concept device transitions into an early product. Approximately 6.5 million Americans suffer from chronic or nonhealing wounds, according to the National Institutes of Health. The cost of managing these patients’ wounds and related complications exceeds $25 billion per year. Companies in the wound care market include those that use methods involving negative pressure, cell graft, surgery and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Bubtech’s advantage is that it’s a rapid wound-healing device on wheels, delivers custom controlled oxygen content, and would cost less than other treatments. “This would be suited to medevac cases with major soft tissue injuries in the military as well as other acute burn and chronic wound situations,” said Widgerow, whose team, headed by Dr. Ross Sayadi and in collaboration with the Beckman Institute, has been conducting animal studies on the technology. They plan to start clinical trials soon.


UCI Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Electrical engineering students (from left) Junyang Yao, Junkun Guan, Yaxin Deng, Yongxi Li and Eric Tram present the current version of the Bubtech wound-healing device at UCI Samueli School of Engineering’s 2019 Winter Design Review.

2018-19 Year in Review



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University of California, Irvine Samueli School of Engineering Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 2200 Engineering Hall Irvine, CA 92697-2625

Invest in a brilliant future. Be an EECS supporter. We believe in meeting tomorrow’s technological challenges by providing the highest quality engineering education and research rigor today. We invite you to invest in the future of UCI’s electrical engineering and computer science programs. It is through private donations like yours that we can continue to provide outstanding opportunities for our students and researchers. Your contribution, regardless of amount, makes a difference toward what EECS can accomplish. To find out more about supporting the advancement of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, please visit engineering.uci.edu/alumni-friends/ways-give. If you want to support a specific initiative, please contact Angelique Andrulaitis, senior director of development, at aandrula@uci.edu or (949) 824-3977. To learn more about the EECS Department, please visit engineering.uci.edu/dept/eecs.

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EECS: Year in Review  

2018-19 University of California, Irvine Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

EECS: Year in Review  

2018-19 University of California, Irvine Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science