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Electrical & Computer Engineering



NEWS & HIGHLIGHTS ece.udel.edu


Indeed, the future is bright for the UD Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. We are growing, increasing our ranks of bright students and accomplished faculty. What’s more, we are searching for the next chair who will lead our department into the future. After 10 years at the helm of the electrical and computer engineering department, I will be stepping down to focus on teaching and research.

DEAR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES, I am proud to share highlights from the past year in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Delaware. In this edition of Currents, see how we are equipping students with the skills to create products that will benefit society while protecting our increasingly connected communities from cybersecurity threats. See how our world-class faculty members are exploring major questions in photonics, quantum mechanics, and emerging materials. See how our alumni are thriving in academia and industry and sharing their experiences with us so that we can ensure that our academic offerings meet the needs of today’s workplaces. See how world-class facilities, from the UD Nanofabrication Facility to the Advanced Materials Characterization Lab, enable innovation. Our Advisory Council and industry partners are helping us shape an even brighter future.

It has been my honor, and a pleasure, to serve the department as chair. Together, we celebrated the department’s 125th anniversary and opened the iSuite, a facility that includes a Cyber Range, Collaboration Hub and Makerspace. We established new degree programs and certificates in Cybersecurity. Thank you to our students, faculty, staff, alumni, advisors and industry partners for all of your contributions. Still, there is so much more work to be done. As our society becomes increasingly connected by smart devices, the skills we teach and the research we do will become even more important. The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, high-speed computing, 5G technology—these technologies are all a critical part of society’s future, and we play a role in shaping them here and now. We hope you enjoy the pages that follow, and we invite you to follow along with our progress throughout the year. Keep up with our news at ece.udel.edu, and as always, feel free to contact me at barner@udel.edu with your ideas and feedback.



STEVEN BELLOVIN Columbia University

Thirty Years of Defending the Internet



University of Southern California

High-Capacity Communications using Multiplexing of Multiple Orbital-AngularMomentum Beams


JOANNA AIZENBERG Harvard University

Bioinspired Materials

Kenneth E. Barner Charles Black Evans Professor and Chair Electrical and Computer Engineering

Time & Location All seminars begin at 3:30PM and are held in Mitchell Hall. Reception following in Evans Hall iSuite

University of Delaware

Fall 2019

Currents Magazine Currents is published by the Office of Communications in the College of Engineering for the alumni, friends and peers of the College of Engineering.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

University of Delaware College of Engineering 102 Du Pont Hall Newark, DE 19716




DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS Ann Lewandowski CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS Julie Stewart Beth Miller ART DIRECTOR Joy Smoker STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Kathy F. Atkinson Evan Krape PRINTING University Printing

Please submit address changes to ece-info@udel.edu or call (302) 831-2405.

ECE by the Numbers

6 Features 22

Core Facilities


Faculty News & Highlights

26 Happenings 27

Student News


Alumni News


Advisory Council



Subscribe or send comments to ece-info@udel.edu.

IN SEARCH OF WEYL SEMIMETALS P16 The dark square in the center is a thin film of germanium tin semimetal, with copper wire electrodes, and is undergoing electrical and optical measurements for the possible presence of Weyl fermions. The University of Delaware is an equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer and Title IX institution. For the University’s complete non-discrimination statement, please visit www.udel.edu/aboutus/legalnotices.html

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering











Electrical Engineering Computer Engineering


Cybersecurity Bioelectrical Engineering Electrical & Computer Engineering

1 7 1 10



Cybersecurity Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Delaware







4,500 ft.²






ECE Design Challenges, ECE Design & Entrepreneurialism, Senior Capstone Design






include NSF, NIH, ONR, ARO, AFOSR, DARPA and DoE

AREAS OF RESEARCH EXCELLENCE Computer Engineering, High Performance Computing & Cybersecurity

VERTICALLY INTEGRATED PROJECTS (VIP) Long-term, multidisciplinary, faculty-driven undergraduate team projects


Dr. Sean Wang (PhD’ 92) Dr. Mark Bendette (MEE ‘18, Ph.D. ‘85)


Signal Processing, Communications & Controls Nanoelectronics, Electromagnetics & Photonics



American Institute for Manufacturing


Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), Delaware Direct Digital Manufacturing Institute (3DMI), US Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground, JPMC and the Financial Services Industry

Raised in lead-up to ECE’s 125th anniversary, funding junior chairs, iSuite, VIP, and summer research

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


ENGINEERING AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP: A FORMULA FOR SUCCESS We’ve been teaching students the fundamentals of electrical engineering since the 19th century. Today, we also ensure that they understand how to use their engineering skills to meet the needs of the market. Entrepreneurial skills are critical to an engineer’s success today. Here are a few ways we prepare our students:

LESSONS FROM FACULTY WITH STARTUP EXPERIENCE Students who want to form engineering startups or just learn about the business side of engineering can ask many of their professors. Here are just a few examples: Stephan Bohacek, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, co-founded Cloudamize, a cloud analytics company. In 2017, Cloudamize was acquired by the private equity firm Blackstone and merged with Cloudreach. Mark Mirotznik, professor of electrical and computer engineering, is vice president of technology development at Delux, a company that specializes in electromagnetic additive manufacturing. Dennis Prather, Engineering Alumni Professor, is the co-founder of Phase Sensitive Innovations, a company specializing in millimeter wave technology.

University of Delaware

Fouad Kiamilev, professor of electrical engineering, and Rodney McGee, doctoral student and researcher, are developing vehicle charging technology that UD has licensed to Nuvve, the global leader in vehicle-to-grid technology. Richard Martin, associate professor electrical and computer engineering, is chief technology officer of Resonate Forward, a startup company testing a device that uses vibration therapy to reduce symptoms of freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Andy Novocin, associate professor electrical and computer engineering, is chief technology officer at Golden Egg Labs, which does software consulting for enterprise clients.

COLLABORATION WITH UD’S HORN ENTREPRENEURSHIP Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement at UD. With the College of Engineering, Horn Entrepreneurship now offers an undergraduate certificate in Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The program is directed by Rick Martin, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Martin has worked with more than 10 startups and is passionate about teaching engineers how to develop products and solutions customers need. It’s important to understand the market’s pull, not just the tech industry’s push.

“As engineers, we want to build the next great thing, but that doesn’t work if no one wants to buy it,” he said. Martin also teaches the junior design class in the electrical and computer engineering department. In the course, students are asked to design a product based on a market need. Several students from the spring 2019 class are now applying for patents on their inventions.

Now that he’s retired, Bendett is planning to spend more time at UD. He’s passionate about entrepreneurship and wants to help students and professors find new applications for their technology and pursue commercialization.

COACHING FROM REAL BUSINESS LEADERS Through our entrepreneur-in-residence program, we provide our students access to two engineers who have successfully invented and commercialized game-changing products: Sean Wang and Mark Bendett. Entrepreneur-in-residence Sean Wang is the founder of B&W Tek, which specializes in mobile spectroscopy solutions. The company is known for miniaturizing large spectroscopy equipment for both out-of-lab and in-lab use. Wang also co-founded and serves as chairman of the board of medical device company Litecure, which validates and explores expanded applications for light-based therapies. Wang earned his doctoral degree in electrical engineering at the University of Delaware in 1992. Since then, he has launched, incubated, and financed more than a dozen companies, most of them based on photonics, or the generation, manipulation, and detection of light. Entrepreneur-in-residence Mark Bendett spent more than three decades as an industry leader, holding a variety of roles that included chief executive officer. He was most recently the strategy and business development manager at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories. He holds nearly five dozen patents for inventions with a range of applications from biomedical devices, telecommunications, aerospace technologies and more.

Above: An accelerometer inside the VibeForward device from startup Resonate Forward measures how fast and in what direction the wearer’s leg is moving. It’s the kind of data that might help a clinician or physician pinpoint when a patient “got stuck.” Below: The device developed by Dennis Prather’s team “sees” millimeter waves, producing images as energy is reflected from objects in its path.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering



Students Collin Clark (left) and Isabel Navarro (right) learn from Andy Novocin (standing ), an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Students hone their skills at cybersecurity competitions and hackathons

On Fridays around 3 p.m., some people start kicking back for the weekend, but the scene is anything but chill in the University of Delaware’s Cyber Range. In this dedicated space for cybersecurity training, students gather around computer screens, eat pizza and ask expert professors for advice on cracking the code. This growing team of computer engineering students is training for their next chance to prove they’re among the best in the country at thwarting cyber attacks. The students regularly participate in cybersecurity competitions, including capture the flag competitions, which pit teams against each other to thwart cyber threats.

University of Delaware

UD’s undergraduate cybersecurity team placed eighth in the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s DawgCTF 2019 Capture the Flag competition on March 2, 2019, and in 2019 ranked among the top 10 U.S. undergraduate university teams. These students are advised by Andy Novocin and Nektarios Tsoutsos, an associate and assistant professor, respectively, in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This pair of professors is creating a culture of collaboration and creative problem solving. Through these events, and the practice sessions leading up to them, students learn hardware and software skills to protect devices from security threats. They also develop soft skills,

like communication and teamwork. “These events help students get hands-on experience,” said Tsoutsos. “They get engaged into real-world scenarios, and they can transfer those skills when they go to companies.” Tsoutsos knows this firsthand. When he was a student, he won a cybersecurity competition, which helped him land an internship at a Fortune 500 company and was an important step in his path toward becoming a world-class cybersecurity researcher and professor. Computer engineering major Dan Goodman won a cyber attack defense competition in 2018, and preparing for these types of competitions helps him take his skills to the next level. “This is where you go from the simulations to the practical,” he said. “You’re actually doing real-world challenges that have been seen in digital forensics analysis in real hacks. It’s training you to think like a hacker, to think like a problem solver.” This training is also beneficial to society at large, as our systems are continuously under attack from hackers all around the world, said Novocin. “In this battle to protect our infrastructure, it’s about training an army of folks that can do subtle or out-of-the-box thinking in real time to outsmart the bad guys, who are motivated by cash, or politics of whatever else,” he said. “We’re always struggling to keep up with this battle, so this training is important on that scale.” This project was made partially possible by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Grant No. 1757353 and the State of Delaware.

UD students are also excelling in competitions that feature a different type of hacking. These hackathons aren’t focused on security threats; instead, teams work together to create novel hardware or software solutions to solve a variety of challenging societal problems. On Feb. 18, 2019, a team of four undergraduate students placed third at HopHacks, the bi-annual hackathon hosted at Johns Hopkins University. Their invention, the Wrist-Watcher, is designed to detect postural problems that could contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. The inspiration? “We noticed we all had bad posture and were hunched over our desks,” said team member Vinay Vazir. The team also included Bright Lu, Christian Munley and Mark Seda. The app asks users to play a typing game and tracks the motion of their hands over the keyboard. If the user puts their hands in a bad position, they will hear a tone and see their screen turn increasingly read. The teammates tapped into knowledge they have learned in a variety of coursework. For example, Vazir used knowledge he learned as a member of the VIP:VR team, part of UD’s Vertically Integrated Projects program advised by Mark Mirotznik, professor of electrical and computer engineering. Students interested in this kind of competition can join the Maker Club, formerly known as the Hacking Club, a registered organization that hosts technical workshops, promotes collaborative learning and organizes trips to hackathons.

Because of the success of these voluntary Friday afternoon sessions, JP Morgan Chase asked Novocin to create a new course formalizing training in cyber defense. In summer 2019, Pentesting and CTFs, or Capture the Flag, was offered for the first time.

UD’s Online Master’s in ECE Ranked Among Nation’s Best

The University of Delaware has been ranked among the top 30 Best Online Master’s in Computer Engineering Programs for 2019 by OnlineMasters.com. Listed at No. 7 overall, UD’s Online Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MSECE Online) program is described as “most innovative.” According to the listing, UD “develops a new generation of innovators in computer engineering with its master’s degree program. Students explore a range of topics in information processing, advanced wireless communications, cybersecurity and more, preparing them for leading-edge positions in the field.”

For more information visit: ece.udel.edu/ academics/graduate/

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


GOOD VIBRATIONS UD startup tests Parkinson’s disease device with Michael J. Fox Foundation funding

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive nervous system disorder that slowly isolates people by taking away their mobility and fine motor control. An estimated 1 million people in the United States are living with Parkinson’s and suffer from symptoms including tremor, stiffness and impaired balance. Sixty percent of these individuals experience freezing of gait, a phenomenon where individuals feel as if their feet are stuck to the ground and their ability to walk is blocked. The severity of freezing of gait symptoms can last only a few seconds followed by resumption of walking, or lead to minutes of total immobility, all of which can result in falls and injuries. Unfortunately, medications rarely help with this problem and, in some cases, can actually worsen the problem. Now, a Mid-Atlantic research team with roots at the University of Delaware has received a $440,000 grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) to test a device, called VibeForward, that uses vibration therapy to reduce symptoms of freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson’s. Non-invasive, lightweight and portable, and equipped with a rechargeable battery, the device is worn on the foot inside of a shoe, making it ideal for use in everyday life. An accelerometer inside the VibeForward device measures how fast and in what direction the wearer’s leg is moving. It’s the kind of data that might help a clinician or physician pinpoint when a patient “got stuck.” VibeForward was developed by Resonate Forward LLC, a UD startup company. It evolved from early work on the PDShoe at UD’s Parkinson’s Clinic by former faculty member Ingrid Pretzer-Aboff, who is now at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Resonate Forward is loaning VCU several VibeForward devices to test the effects of vibration on Parkinson’s tremor and on Parkinson’s gait and balance issues.

UD startup Resonate Forward has developed a device called VibeForward, which is strapped to the lower leg and is designed to reduce symptoms of freezing of gait for people living with Parkinson’s disease. When activated from a smartphone app, the device vibrates and sensors collect data about the person’s position and gait.

University of Delaware

The funding is part of an MJFF initiative to evaluate non-pharmacological interventions for the treatment of gait and balance disturbances that have the potential to significantly improve the daily lives of people with Parkinson’s. Only eight projects from around the world were awarded grants, according to an MJFF announcement.

A STEP FORWARD USING VIBRATION At UD, Pretzer-Aboff ’s work with the PDShoe aimed to help Parkinson’s patients to walk more steadily and smoothly by providing vibration synchronized to the heel strike and toe-off of the person wearing it. Early evidence showed that vibration therapy applied to the feet can help reduce freezing of gait. The researchers don’t know with certainty how the mechanism works. Pretzer-Aboff, now a VCU senior nurse scientist, said the vibration may trigger an alternative pathway for movement generation in the brain. It also may be that the vibration is stimulating the nervous system, thus enhancing the communication channel between the brain and foot. Resonate Forward licensed the PDShoe technology through UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships and developed it into a patient-friendly prototype that can be discreetly worn on both feet and ankles. Seed funding from UD’s Horn Entrepreneurship Blue Hen Proof-of-Concept program and Delaware’s NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) provided support to get the startup off the ground and enabled technical advances on the device. Specialized training through the NSF I-Corps Sites program, administered by Horn Entrepreneurship, fostered the team’s innovation mindset as they work to transition the technology into a marketable product. Richard Martin, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, joined the Resonate Forward team as chief technology officer in 2017. He and computer engineering student Theodore Fleck have been working to improve VibeForward’s electronics and communications capabilities. It’s both a professional and personal labor for Martin, whose father has Parkinson’s and experiences freezing of gait. “I remember walking with him at a church service and he just stopped and said ‘I can’t move my feet.’ It’s hard to understand, but it just does that,” said Martin.

When activated from a smartphone app, the VibeForward device vibrates and sensors collect data about the person’s position and gait. Recent technology upgrades include a new web interface, built by Fleck, to remotely control the vibrating motors and log the data collected by the various sensors. For example, an accelerometer measures how fast and in what direction the wearer’s leg is moving, 10 times per second. It’s the kind of data that might help a clinician or physician pinpoint when a patient “got stuck” or provide important clues about whether the individual was standing, sitting or lying down at a particular time. “Potentially, you could know when a person is standing but not moving based on data from the pressure sensors,” said Martin. Because the device’s internal microprocessor is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, downloading the data onto a computer or adjusting the vibration settings is easy and more convenient than with previous versions of the device.

The idea eventually is to have the device be smart enough to sense the person and adjust support as needed, or maybe even have the artificial intelligence capability to modify itself from learning about the user. Martin and Fleck are readying several prototypes for Pretzer-Aboff to test the vibration therapy’s effectiveness in a clinical trial at VCU. Members of the Resonate Forward team include: Bruce Chase, a research professor in UD’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Scott Jones, professor of accounting in UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics; Theresa Litherland, a UD alumna and former DuPont engineer; Rick Martin, a UD alum and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; John Rabolt, Karl W. and Renate Boer Professor in materials science and engineering; Ingrid Pretzer-Aboff, a UD alumna and associate professor of nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University; and Param Sreekanth, an expert in new ventures and mergers and acquisitions, formerly with DuPont.

UD junior Theodore Fleck ( far left) demonstrates the web interface he helped build to remotely control the device’s vibrating motors and log the data collected by sensors for Prof. Scott Jones and Ingrid Pretzer-Aboff, a UD alumna, former faculty member in UD’s College of Health Sciences and now an associate professor of nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering



New research explores graphene-silicon devices for photonics applications

A team led by Tingyi Gu, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is developing cutting-edge technology for photonics devices that could enable faster communications between devices. The group engineered a silicon-graphene device that can transmit radiofrequency waves in less than a picosecond at a sub-terahertz bandwidth — that’s a lot of information, fast. Their work is described in the journal ACS Applied Electronic Materials. “In this work, we explored the bandwidth limitation of the graphene-integrated silicon photonics for future optoelectronic applications,” said graduate student Dun Mao, the first author of the paper. Silicon is a naturally occurring, plentiful material commonly used as a semiconductor in electronic devices. However, researchers have exhausted the potential of devices with semiconductors made of silicon only. These devices are limited by silicon’s carrier mobility, the speed at which a charge moves through the material, and indirect bandgap, which limits its ability to release and absorb light.

If you use a smartphone, laptop, or tablet, then you benefit from research in photonics, the study of light. The research involved fabricating devices at UD’s Nanofabrication Facility.

University of Delaware

Gu’s team is combining silicon with the 2D material graphene. Compared to silicon, graphene has better carrier mobility and direct bandgap and allows for faster electron transmission and better electrical and optical properties. By combining silicon with graphene, scientists may be able to continue utilize technologies that are already used with silicon devices — they would just work faster with the silicon-graphene combination.

“Looking at the materials properties, can we do more than what we’re working with? That’s what we want to figure out,” said doctoral student Thomas Kananen. To combine silicon with graphene, the team used a method they developed and described in 2018 in npj 2D Materials and Application. The team placed the graphene in a special place known as the p-i-n junction, an interface between the materials. By placing the graphene at the p-i-n junction, the team optimized the structure in a way that improves the responsivity and speed of the device. This method is robust and could be easily applied by other researchers. This process takes place on a 12-inch wafer of thin material and utilizes components that are smaller than a millimeter each. Some components were made at a commercial foundry. Other work took place in UD’s Nanofabrication Facility, of which Matt Doty, associate professor of materials science and engineering, is the director.

Assistant professor Tingyi Gu’s research team includes (left to right) graduate student Dun Mao, doctoral student Thomas Kananen and postdoctoral associate Tiantian Li.

“The UD Nanofabrication Facility (UDNF) is a staff-supported facility that enables users to fabricate devices on length scales as small as 7 nm, which is approximately 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair,” said Doty. “The UDNF, which opened in 2016, has enabled new research directions in fields ranging from optoelectronics to biomedicine to plant science.” The combination of silicon and graphene can be used as a photodetector with more bandwidth and a lower response time than current offerings. All this research could add up to cheaper, faster wireless devices in the future. “It can make the network stronger, better and cheaper,” said postdoctoral associate and the first author of the npj 2D Materials and Application article Tiantian Li. “That is a key point of photonics.” Now the team is thinking about ways to expand the applications of this material. This work is funded by grants from AFOSR and NASA, and the team has a partial collaboration with Bell Labs.

A University of Delaware team engineered a silicon-graphene device that can transmit radiofrequency waves in less than a picosecond at a sub-terahertz bandwidth.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


UD doctoral student Zi Wang works in an optics laboratory in Evans Hall.

COMPUTE AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT Research team develops new way to make integrated photonics

University of Delaware

The signals from a lighthouse to ships at sea is an early example of optical communication, the use of light to transmit information. Today, researchers in the field of integrated photonics are using optical communications principles to build high-tech devices, like lightning-fast computers, which utilize light instead of electricity. At the University of Delaware, a research team led by Tingyi Gu, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has designed an integrated photonics platform with a one-dimensional metalens—a thin lens that can be designed at the nanoscale to focus light in a specific way–and metasurfaces— tiny surfaces made with nanostructures to manipulate the transmitted or reflected light-- that limit the loss of information. The team recently described their device in the journal Nature Communications.

“It’s a new way to achieve integrated photonics compared to the conventional way,” said doctoral student Zi Wang, the first author of the paper. The team fabricated a tiny metalens on a silicon-based chip programmed with hundreds of tiny air slots, enabling parallel optical signal processing all within the tiny chip. They demonstrated high signal transmission with less than one decibel loss over a 200-nanometer bandwidth. When they layered three of their metasurfaces together, they demonstrated functionalities of Fourier transformation and differentiation — important techniques in the physical sciences that break down functions into constituent parts. “This is the first paper to use low-loss metasurfaces on the integrated photonics platform,” said Gu. “Our structure is broadband and low loss, which is critical for energy efficient optical communications.”

“It’s just much faster than conventional structures,” said Gu. “There are still a lot of technical challenges when you try to actively control them, but this is a new platform we are starting with and working on.” Parts of the device were fabricated in the University of Delaware Nanofabrication Facility and at AIM Photonics in Rochester, New York. While working on this project, Gu was inspired by conversations with fellow faculty members Dennis Prather, Engineering Alumni Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Gonzalo Arce, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Kenneth Barner, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

What’s more, the new device developed at UD is much smaller and lighter than conventional devices of its type. It doesn’t require the manual alignment of lenses, so it is more robust and scalable compared to the traditional free-space optics platforms, which require tremendous patience and time to set up. This new device could have applications in imaging, sensing and quantum information processing, such as on-chip transformation optics, mathematical operations and spectrometers. With more development, this technology could also be useful in deep learning and neural network applications in computing.

A research team at the University of Delaware fabricated a tiny metalens – a thin lens that can be designed at the nanoscale to focus light in a specific way – on a silicon-based chip programmed with hundreds of tiny air slots, enabling parallel optical signal processing all within the tiny chip.

A scanning electron microscope image with an optical simulation.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


The dark square in the center is a thin film of germanium tin semimetal, with copper wire electrodes, and is undergoing electrical and optical measurements for the possible presence of Weyl fermions.

UD engineers make materials that could enable better computer chips

University of Delaware

Imagine how much you could accomplish if the circuits in your laptop and cell phone worked 10 times faster, and your battery lasted 10 times longer, than they do now. In order to understand the technology of tomorrow — and today — you have to go back to equations developed by physicists in the 1930s. One of these physicists was Hermann Weyl, who in 1937 theorized the existence of Weyl fermions, massless particles that could carry electrical charge at high speeds.

No one has ever observed these particles in isolation, but Weyl fermions have been spotted in a special class of materials called Weyl semimetals. In 2015, a research team from Princeton found that tantalum arsenide is a Weyl semimetal, and since then teams from around the world have studied other materials to see whether they exhibit the properties predicted by Weyl. Now, a team of electrical engineers at the University of Delaware has discovered that novel semi-metallic materials,

alloys of germanium and tin, have properties like Weyl semimetals. This has not been previously observed by any other research group. The team is led by James Kolodzey, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who studies the flow of electric current through materials. “Historically, electrical engineers have tried to categorize materials from an electronic and optical point of view,” Kolodzey said. For example, metals like copper and aluminum conduct electricity well because of the movement of electrons, the subatomic particles that carry electric charge. “In metals, electrons are a bit loose and flow easily,” said Kolodzey. That’s why copper is used in wiring to bring electricity into buildings. Semimetals conduct electricity, too, just not as efficiently has metals do. However, the current can move faster through semimetals than through semiconductors — the materials like silicon that are commonly used in computer chips, cell phones, and other ubiquitous consumer electronics.

These devices could, in theory, operate at high speeds but with low power requirements. Even in heavy use, laptops and cell phones wouldn’t overheat, and the batteries would last much longer than they do now. The materials under investigation by Kolodzey’s team could also be used to optimize solar cells, which convert light energy into electricity, and also to make detectors of infrared light, for thermal imaging. Post-doctoral researcher Tao Wang has been integral to this project, as have several current and former graduate students in Kolodzey’s group, including Ryan Hickey and Dominic Imbrenda. This work is supported by a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

“The electrons in a Weyl semimetal are very fast, 10 times faster than in a conventional semiconductor, so we would expect possible Weyl circuits to have much higher speeds,” he said. Kolodzey’s group has shown that the materials they are studying, molybdenum telluride and germanium tin alloys, act like Weyl semimetals. For example, they are very responsive to light that vibrates in a circular pattern, a property of Weyl semimetals that could be particularly useful in optical and electronic applications, from remote sensing to medicine and more. “At the University of Delaware, we are trying to use electrical engineering to make things out of these materials,” said Kolodzey. “We want practical applications and devices, from transistors to diodes to integrated circuit components. Instead of using semiconductors, we want to make them with Weyl semimetals. Unlike all the known Weyl semimetals, the germanium-tin alloys are compatible with silicon circuit fabrication processes.”

Above: Discussing their work on Weyl semimetals are (left to right) visiting scientist Dominic Imbrenda, James Kolodzey, the UD Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, undergraduate student Calvin Duong and post-doctoral researcher Tao Wang. Left: A sample of the Weyl semimetal molybdenum telluride, surrounded by circular contact pads and copper wire electrodes, for an investigation of electrical and optical devices based on Weyl fermions

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


DRIVING CLEAN ENERGY FORWARD V2G technology makes it possible for electric vehicles to draw energy from, and discharge energy back to the power grid. The software technology aggregates all vehicles plugged into the system so that they perform in unison, helping to balance the grid’s supply of electricity with real-time demand. According to V2G pioneer Willett Kempton, professor in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment with a joint appointment in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, models show that as more electric vehicles are incorporated online providing grid services, the grid can accommodate a larger share of energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar. In the United States, the Department of Energy has set a goal of having 20 percent renewable energy by 2030. Some states already are setting much more ambitious targets. “You need a technology that can come online fast, safely and in a balanced way to replace say, solar, if the sun didn’t shine this afternoon, or wind if it was a windless day. V2G can do that,” Kempton said. V2G technology, which UD sold to Nuvve Corporation in 2017, can lighten the load on our energy transmission grids without financially burdening rate payers. UD electrical and computer engineering doctoral student and researcher Rodney McGee spearheaded efforts to develop the new safety standard for the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) that defines how to ensure electric vehicles equipped with V2G technology meet proper safety standards.

University of Delaware

V2G bids and competes against power plants to provide grid services to regional power operators such as PJM that pay for such services. Above Sara Parkison (left), Willett Kempton (middle) and Rodney McGee (right) who all worked on the project and legislation, stand behind one of the electric vehicles.

Electrical infrastructure rules typically assume an energy device is at a particular location. Traditional renewable energy resources, such as solar panels, align with this model because they are attached to a structure and can be inspected to ensure they meet appropriate safety standards. But a car is a mobile power plant. “An EV is a resource that moves around and it’s at different places at different times and it plugs in behind different meters. You can’t have an electrical inspector go out to one location and say, ‘Okay, I tested this resource and I know it complies’ because later, a different electric vehicle can be in the driveway,” explained Kempton, who is also Nuvve’s chief technology officer. “That requires an extra level of safety protection above that for solar or wind.” Under SAE standard J3072, which McGee developed with SAE colleagues and support from NRG Energy, the charging station becomes the gatekeeper to ensure each vehicle meets the proper local requirements. Under the new SAE standard, when a car owner plugs in at a charging station, the V2G-enabled vehicle identifies itself as certified to be a smart car that is capable of safely providing services to the grid. The vehicle requests permission to connect from the charging station to be part of this aggregate resource that is providing services to the grid. The charging station verifies that the vehicle meets the required standards before allowing it to feed energy back to the grid. Older electrical standards do not provide this extra safety check. UD launched the world’s first revenue-generating V2G project at the University’s main campus in Newark, Delaware, in 2013. In another UD first, in February 2019, Sara Parkison, a UD doctoral student studying marine policy and energy policy under the advisement of Kempton, finalized the

This is where the charging port plugs into the car.

paperwork to have McGee’s home in Newark registered as part of this larger UD “power plant,” comprised of vehicles and batteries at UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research Campus (STAR Campus) and charging stations across campus, that are aggregated to provide services to regional power operator PJM. V2G technology already is already being piloted in California and other areas of the world, including in Denmark, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France and Japan. In Newark, McGee continues to support V2G R&D work at UD through funding from Nuvve and from companies developing electric vehicles. In one project, the team is working with carmaker Ford on standardization for reverse power flow. McGee is also developing an advanced AC-power charging cable that will enable commercial vehicles, such as school buses and delivery trucks — which spend a majority of their day parked — to provide V2G services to the grid. While pricey DC-based cables found at some gas stations can provide quick on-thego charging, the charging system that McGee is developing with Kempton and Fouad

Kiamilev, professor in electrical computer engineering, leverages AC power instead. AC power requires much less expensive infrastructure and slightly more charge time, McGee said, making it an affordable — and profitable — solution for V2G-enabled vehicles that remain stationary for long periods of time and can be leveraged for grid services while they charge. Three of these advanced charging stations for medium and heavy-duty vehicles currently are being tested on UD’s Newark campus. In 2018, McGee and colleagues at SAE authored SAE standard J3068 for charging medium and heavy-duty vehicles, which have bigger batteries than passenger cars. McGee said he sees potential for V2G technology to electrify a whole section of the economy that currently depends on fossil fuels — the transportation of goods. “A large amount of energy is consumed in the country in trucking, especially as people get more stuff delivered,” said McGee.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering




Professor uses quantum systems to study astrophysical phenomena From gravitational waves to dark matter, the Universe holds many difficult-to-detect mysteries that still baffle even the scientists who study these subjects. To identify and explore the promise and limitations of using state-of-the-art quantum devices to detect astrophysical phenomena, Swati Singh, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, recently received a $245,532 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

THE ROLE OF EMERGING QUANTUM PLATFORMS Gravitational waves from distant neutron stars are difficult to detect. Right now, gravitational waves can be detected at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana. LIGO has been developed over decades with the efforts of hundreds of scientists. Most current searches of dark matter involve ton-scale experiments using cryogenics or liquefied gases like xenon or argon, and operate in deep underground mines. University of Delaware

However, dark matter and gravitational waves exert tiny, weak forces that may be detectable by a new crop of quantum devices, such as centimeter-scale or smaller superfluid helium acoustic devices, quartz resonators and photonic crystal cavities. All these devices involve small masses that are deformed due to interaction with weak forces. By continuously monitoring them, scientists can detect the tiny motion due to interaction with weak forces. Singh is using these quantum systems to understand astrophysical phenomena. “These kinds of systems are a thousand times smaller and a thousand times cheaper, but they are also only good at a very tiny window in frequency,” said Singh. “You can think of building cheaper, smaller narrow band detectors that are good for range of astrophysical sources. I want to see how far that technology can be pushed.” She also wants to push the field of quantum sensing forward in general. “It has been demonstrated multiple times, in multiple ways, that using quantum correlations makes better sensors than the limits permitted by classical technology,” she said. One challenge of this effort is that these systems are difficult to control for long times. “Devices operating in the quantum regime are very fragile and can be destroyed by measurement from the outside world,” said Singh. “Usually this a problem, which is the case in quantum computing for example, but if you look at these systems in a controlled setting, you can use this destruction of quantum properties as a way to measure your environment.” Singh, a theorist, works with collaborators who specialize in experimental studies on mechanical systems.

“You can think of them as really amazing mass-on-spring systems, which all freshmen science and engineering students at some point encounter,” said Singh. By attaching an object to a spring, one can demonstrate periodic motion, examining how many cycles occur in a given time. “These mechanical systems are a masson-spring that keeps on going forever, and I’m trying to detect very tiny forces using very low dissipation mass-on-spring systems,” said Singh. As Singh provides calculations, the experimentalists can adjust their prototype systems. It’s a back-and-forth, iterative process. On September 17, 2019, she discussed the research at the Institute for Theoretical Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics Laboratory Cosmology Workshop at Harvard University.

at Harvard University. She joined UD in 2018 after spending two years as an assistant professor at Williams College. Quantum science and engineering is an area of growth at UD. The University is expanding its Quantum Science and Engineering research program and seeks to fill three faculty positions this year, two in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and another in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The growing community of quantum scientists at UD benefits from students who are quick to learn new, cutting-edge concepts in quantum science. “I’m very impressed by the bright students I’ve found here,” said Singh. “For an early career person who is just setting up a group, that is very important, and possibly the most rewarding part of the job.”

A PASSION FOR QUANTUM SCIENCE Singh has been studying quantum science since she was 18. She was intrigued by the subject in her undergraduate physics courses at McMaster University, and after spending summer in a research laboratory, she felt inspired to learn the math behind the quantum behavior she observed. “Understanding the nature of dark matter is one of the biggest fundamental science problems for my generation,” said Singh. She continued: “So is pushing quantum mechanics to objects much bigger than atoms and molecules.” Later, Singh earned a master’s degree and doctoral degree in physics, from the University of British Columbia and the University of Arizona, respectively, and held a postdoctoral research fellowship

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


Gore donates new 3D X-ray imaging system to UD THE ADVANCED MATERIALS CHARACTERIZATION LAB IN UD’S PATRICK T. HARKER INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING LABORATORY NOW HAS ITS FIRST 3D X-RAY IMAGING SYSTEM. The new system includes a micro-CT system and a nano-CT system that will enable researchers to scan through solid objects, such as the human body or the earth, for an unprecedented look at the object’s internal structure. The micro-CT system is a highspeed X-ray microscope that uses a form of computed tomography (CT) to create 3D images. Tomography is a technique used to scan solid objects in slices or sections and record them as a series of pictures that can be viewed individually (two-dimensional) or as a whole (three-dimensional). The nano-CT system is extremely fast and capable of delivering high-resolution, 4D images — it is geared toward looking at sub-micron-size structures, smaller than the diameter of a human hair, such as particles and lower-density, soft materials like those found in carbon deposits, for example. UD leaders, researchers, students and community members gathered in the Harker ISE Lab atrium to celebrate the arrival of the new imaging system, designed to enhance UD’s research competitiveness, on Wednesday, March 27. The new instrumentation was made possible through a gift from W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., a long standing partner with UD to advance research and discovery. The new instrumentation will help researchers address wide-ranging studies in material and life sciences. University of Delaware

UD doctoral student Angela Cuadros said the new equipment will enable her to run characterization studies necessary to complete her doctoral degree. Cuadros is developing low-cost ways to enhance X-ray image processing for medical and security applications, under the advisement of Gonzalo Arce, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical Engineering. Cuadros is focused on methods to create colored X-rays that can illuminate more than how dense an object is (like gray-scale X-rays), but also tell researchers something about the object’s material and chemical properties.

A Major Computational Resource for Delaware

To facilitate Cuadros’s work, the instrument manufacturer (Rigaku) built an attachment for the micro-CT X-ray machine to hold specialized filters and grids, known as color-coded apertures, to filter various wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. Cuadros said having the ability to process images at multiple energy levels, or wavelengths, known as spectral imaging, can provide an additional layer of information.


“Spectral tomography allows for ‘colored’ rays, rather than the traditional gray-scale X-rays most of us are familiar with,” she said. “In tissue, the color describes characteristics, such as healthy or abnormal. It also would help distinguish non-harmful liquids like water and soft drinks from those that are highly flammable, such as gasoline, or explosive, such as hydrogen peroxide, among other things.” Arce and Ken Barner, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, worked with Gerald (Jerry) Poirier, who manages the Advanced Materials Characterization Lab, on the acquisition.

has a growing number of faculty and students who utilize high-performance computing resources.

Opposite page: UD doctoral student Angela Cuadros discusses how she plans to use UD’s 3D X-ray imaging system with Gonzalo Arce, her advisor and Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical Engineering.

Thomas McNulty, senior vice president and general manager at Rigaku Americas Corporation, discusses the capabilities of UD’s new 3D X-ray imaging system.

DARWIN will be designed to enable research across disciplines, such as problems that involve large data transfers, use advanced graphics accelerators, require new operating modes and more. It will also serve to train students and researchers on computational and data-intensive methods, and enhance these skills in the greater Delaware region.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers led by Rudolf (Rudi) Eigenmann, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to implement a major computational and data resource at the University of Delaware. The goal is to enable and accelerate progress in the sciences and address grand challenges facing society. UD will partner with regional universities, colleges, health institutions and the private sector to use the new resource for research, development and education to benefit Delawareans and beyond. DARWIN (Delaware Advanced Research Workforce and Innovation Network) will complement ongoing UD initiatives focused on improving and enhancing networking, storage, and compute infrastructure. UD launched a Data Science Institute in 2018 and

“Today, computational and data-intensive methods push the forefronts of science in almost all disciplines,” said Eigenmann, the project’s principal investigator. “DARWIN will help keep the University of Delaware at these forefronts.”

The project’s Co-PIs are: Cathy Wu, Edward G. Jefferson chair and professor of computer and information sciences, Director of the Data Science Institute and Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. Arthi Jayaraman, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and materials science and engineering. Benjamin Bagozzi, associate professor of political science and international relations. William Totten, Enterprise Architect for UD’s Information Technology Networks and Systems Services

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering




Abhyudai Singh, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, biomedical engineering and mathematical sciences, received the 2019 Outstanding Junior Faculty award from the University of Delaware College of Engineering.

Andrew Novocin, Director of UD’s Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program and an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the 2019 Outstanding Innovation Award from the VIP Consortium.

Singh’s research interests are in the area of dynamical systems and control with applications to systems biology and neuroscience. He has spent more than a decade using tools from these diverse fields to address emerging medical problems, such as, cancer drug resistance, HIV dormancy and viral phage therapy. This innovative interdisciplinary research has led to over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Singh has made seminal contributions in developing new mathematical tools to capture the stochastic dynamics of complex interconnected circuits of genes and proteins inside living cells. These tools have fueled a systems-level understanding of regulatory mechanisms that cells use to sense, process information and perform complex decision-making in spite of the inherently stochastic nature of biochemical processes. Working closely with experimental researchers, he has characterized genetic circuits in viruses ranging from the bacterial virus, lambda phage, to pathogenic viruses such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Since joining UD in 2011, Singh has developed and taught an undergraduate class, Biomedical Instrumentation, and he teaches a graduate-level class, Computational Systems Biology, to students drawn from different majors. The project-based learning approach taken in the Systems Biology class has proved very successful, resulting in several papers with undergraduate researchers as lead authors. Singh is also actively involved in outreach activities, such as giving research talks at local high schools and exposing students to interdisciplinary research through UD’s K–12 summer internship program.

University of Delaware

The VIP Program, which is in place at three dozen universities around the world, engages undergraduate and graduate students in longterm, large-scale, multidisciplinary project teams that are led by faculty. UD started the first intercollegiate VIP competition in 2018 and is a leader in entrepreneurship in the VIP Program, thanks in large part of Novocin’s efforts. The award was presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of VIP Consortium Partner Sites, which was held at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta on May 9-10, 2019. This was the largest gathering of VIP sites (and prospective sites) to date, with representation from 37 academic institutions from 12 countries and 18 states across the U.S.


the projects will kickstart an effort to create foundations for new, interdisciplinary energy programs at UD. One of these projects, titled The Energy Footprint of Food, includes Keith Goossen, a professor of electrical and computer engineering.

GOOSSEN MEMBER OF TEAM TACKLING THE PROBLEM OF FOOD WASTE When it comes to supporting research, timing is everything. Robust, early support is crucial for scientific inquiry to gain momentum and have a chance to make an impact. Seed grants, in particular, can enable scientists to leverage early success to gain support for future research funding opportunities. To that end, the Delaware Energy Institute (DEI) announced funding awards totaling over $650,000 for three energy-focused research projects at the University of Delaware in 2019. Comprising a dozen faculty members from across four different colleges,

Cristina Archer, professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, will lead the team to examine the understudied links between food items and the energy used to produce them, an essential question given the prevalence of food waste, population growth, and threats to agricultural systems from global warming and pollution. “About a third of the energy consumed by humanity, directly or indirectly, is related to food,” Archer said. “Yet the waste and potential inefficiencies of the energy used for food are relatively unknown. This gap is an opportunity for UD to become a leading institution to focus specifically on energy-food links.” The team aims to develop a new metric, called the Energy Footprint of Food (EFF), that summarizes all energy types and their

Gonzalo Arce Honored for Research PROFESSOR NAMED FELLOW OF SPIE Gonzalo Arce, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named a Fellow of SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics Arce is one of 88 new SPIE Fellows named in 2019. Arce was selected for achievements in computational imaging. His research interests include computational imaging and spectroscopy, signal processing, and the analysis and processing of massive data. Active fields of research include compressive sensing, sparse signal representation, data science, spectroscopy, computational imaging and computational lithography. As principal investigator or co-principal investigator, Arce has been responsible for close to $25 million in research funding from various Department of Defense

amounts needed per unit of food, including direct, indirect, and wasted energy; to create a set of flexible and transparent methods for calculating the EFF for all food types; and to provide a comprehensive, public, geospatial dataset of EFF in the U.S.

ABOUT DEI The Delaware Energy Institute was established in 2008 to provide a focal point for energy-related activities at UD and to marshal and expand the University’s science, engineering and public policy expertise in new and emerging energy technologies. The Institute’s strengths include catalysis, photovoltaics, hydrogen generation and storage, fuel cells, biofuels, wind energy, nanomaterials and high-efficiency solar. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DEI, VISIT DEI.UDEL.EDU.

organizations, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and industry. His latest grant from NSF, which began in 2018, focuses on blue-noise graph sampling, using novel methods to capture interesting phenomena in nature with graphs. He holds 15 patents and has written 154 peer-reviewed articles, five books and 22 book chapters. Arce joined UD in 1982 after earning his master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at Purdue University. In addition to his post in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where he served as chair from 1999 to 2009, Arce is a JP Morgan-Chase Faculty Fellow at the Institute of Financial Services Analytics, a Nokia-Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies and an affiliated faculty member at UD’s Data Science Institute. He has supervised 43 doctoral students, who have gone on to faculty positions at institutions such as the University of Kentucky and Texas A&M University and industry roles at firms such as Samsung American and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


FACULTY GRANTS DENNIS PRATHER Instant k-Space Tomography for Spatial-Spectral Monitoring, DOD, $250,000 Millimeter-Wave Modulators for Sparse ApertureImagers, DOD, $45,000 Instrumentation Systems for Terahertz Photonic Device Development, DOD, $566,721 KENNETH BARNER Graph Signal Processing and Underwater Acoustic Modeling Techniques to Assist Automation of Through the Sensor (TTS) for Statistical Inference Module (SIM), DOD, $260,506 SWATI SINGH Sensors of Relativistic Phenomena Based on Solid-State Quantum Platforms, NSF, $245,532 MOHSEN BADIEY Advanced Undersea Signal Processing Methods, DOD, $6,000 Acoustical Oceanography of Shelf Break Regions, DOD, $596,892 ABHYUDAI SINGH Mathematical Sciences: Probability and Statistics: Analysis of Stochastic Hybrid Systems with Applications to Synthetic Biology, DOD, $226,682 A Plasticity and Reprogramming Paradigm for Therapy Resistance at the Single Cell Level, HHS, $55,208 TINGYI GU Robust Electronic Circuits Based on Layered Materials, William Matthaeus, Tingyi Gu, Bennett Maruca, NASA, $99,038 MARK MIROTZNIK Composites Research, Engineering and Advanced Technology (CREATE), ARL, $7,941,580 Computational Modeling and Analysis of Electromagnetic Scattering from Textured Metallic Flakes, DOD, $69,625 Direct Digital Manufacturing of Electromagnetically Functionalized Structural Composites, ONR, $399,415 KEITH GOOSSEN Energy Assessment Program, Keith Goossen, Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility, $105,000 YUPING ZENG Understanding Superacid Interaction on Semiconductor/Oxide Interfaces for Mobility Enhancement in THz Applications, DOD, $139,895

University of Delaware

DISTINGUISHED LECTURE: STEVE BELLOVIN For more than 30 years, the Internet has been bedeviled by attackers. For about as long, defenders have tried deploying various defenses; these have been of limited utility. In the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s first distinguished lecture of the 2019-2020 year, Steven M. Bellovin, the Percy K. and Vidal L. W. Hudson Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, looked back at what has happened, focusing on the explicit or (more often) implicit assumptions behind the defenses, and why these assumptions were or were not correct. Bellovin’s lecture, “Thirty Years of Defending the Internet,” was presented at UD on October 2, 2019. Bellovin, a member of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Center of Columbia Universit’s Data Science Institute, and an affiliate faculty member at Columbia Law School, does research on security and privacy and on related public policy issues.

INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON CYBER-PHYSICAL SYSTEMS AND CYBER-RESILIENCE An International Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems and Cyber-Resilience was held on March 20, 2019 at UD. The goal of the workshop: bringing together public, private and international partners to discuss interdisciplinary cybersecurity and resilience strategies across our critical cyber-physical systems. This is believed to be the first workshop ever to connect cyber-physical systems and cyber resilience. Attendees learned from ssessions on smart cities and cyber-environments, cyber-physical and Internet of Things systems, cybersecurity aspects of critical infrastructure and protection, blockchain, cybersecurity education and applications. The sessions included speakers from UD; Morgan State University; the University of Tsukuba; Lockheed Martin; Argonne National Laboratory; Middlesex Water Company; Kyushu University; Potter Anderson & Corroon, LLP; Lincoln University; the State of Delaware; Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering; and Lyons Companies.

STUDENT NEWS in seven separate competitions, while another 267 competed in the final rounds hosted by schools in France, India, Israel, and Mexico. To earn spots in the finals, this year’s contestants bested nearly 20,000 competitors worldwide. The Embedded Security Challenge is a hardware security competition that focuses on hacking the Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded devices. Security experts from NYU Tandon competed with finalists from seven universities to mimic the real-world attacks and defenses of the connected devices that comprise the IoT. Teams were challenged to exploit weaknesses of smart light bulbs to grab data from a nearby network.

Team Wins Embedded Security Challenge ENGINEERS FIGURE OUT HOW TO HACK INTO SMART LIGHT BULBS Smart light bulbs—the kind you can turn on and turn up from an app on your phone—can be convenient and energy-saving. They can also be hacked, a team of engineers from the University of Delaware proved. Three UD graduate students in computer engineering — Patrick Cronin, Charles Gouert, and Fateme Hosseini — took first place in the 2018 Embedded Security Challenge at the finals of CSAW (once called Cyber

Security Awareness Week), the world’s largest student-led hacking and protection competition. The team was advised by associate professor Chengmo Yang and assistant professor Nektarios Tsoutsos, both of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The finals of CSAW, now celebrating its 15th anniversary, were held from November 8 to November 10, 2018, at universities across four continents. The finals for the United States and Canada were held in Brooklyn and hosted by the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, the founder of CSAW. There, 130 student finalists competed

Cronin and Gouert prepared content for the Embedded Security Challenge at CSAW 2019.

“Our team developed robust covert channels for exfiltrating sensitive data from IoT smart bulbs at distances of 75 feet using a telescope and a luminosity/color sensor, which received the highest score from an independent panel of eight industry-expert judges,” said Tsoutsos. This challenge was led by NYU Abu Dhabi Modern Microprocessors Architecture Lab (MoMA) and the U.S. Office of Naval Research. The winning team from UD received a $1,000 prize.

Patrick Cronin, left, and Charles Gouert are pictured at the finals of CSAW in 2018.

LEADERSHIP IN CSAW Following their first place in the 2018 US finals, Cronin and Gouert were selected to lead the 2019 Embedded Security Competition (ESC). The 2019 topic is hacking Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices, which are used ubiquitously for access control in buildings and computing systems. The contestants will use professional tools from the National Security Agency and attempt to hack a custom RFID computer board that has been developed by Cronin and Gouert specifically for this event. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


Awards at Engineering Research Day The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) recognized outstanding students at ECE Research Day on May 1, 2019. The undergraduate research award went to “Thermal Investigation of Photodiode Flip-Chip Bonding” by Adam Dadey, Mathew R. Konkol, and Victoria A. Carey. They were advised by Engineering Alumni Professor Dennis W. Prather. The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) award went to “TRIC Robotics” by Derek Betancourt, Joseph Lockard, Andrew Slomski, Vishnu Somasundaram, Jaob Lubsen and Sri Venkatesh. The Senior Capstone Design award went to “HART: Radar Data Visualization with Augmented Reality” by Kolby Kuratnick, Jason Reynolds, Vinay Vazir and Samuel Romano.

The computer engineering award went to “Charger-Surfing: Cracking Smartphone Passcodes via Power Line Snooping” by Patrick Cronin and Xing Gao advised by professor Haining Wang and associate professor Chengmo Yang. The nanoelectronics, electromagnetics and photonics award went to “High Performance Ultra thin body TiO2 thin film transistors with record on/off current ratio and subthreshold swing” by Jie Zhang, Guangyang Lin, Peng Cui, Yuying Zhang, Maria Gabriela Sales, Chaoying Ni, Stephan McDonnell and advised by assistant professor Yuping Zeng. The signal processing award went to “Hybrid Prevoding for Millimeter Wave MIMO Systems with Finite-size Codebooks” by Bohan Zhang, advised by Professor Len Cimini.

Left to right: China Akparanta, Connor Mettus & Greta Kintzley, Mark Seda (not photographed)

University of Delaware

Finalist for outstanding student award

Next-generation integrated photonic solutions

Greta Kintzley, a 2019 graduate, was selected as a finalist for the 2019 Alton B. Zerby and Carl T. Koerner Outstanding Electrical or Computer Engineering Student Award from Eta Kappa Nu, the international honor society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.


Professor Leonard J. Cimini, Jr., praised Kintzley for her “intelligence and fearless nature� and her mathematical skills. Kintzley excelled in the Honors section of his sophomore-level course in signals and systems and senior-level class in communications, which she took as a junior. Kintzley also took a graduate course on Information Theory, a rare choice for an undergraduate. Kintzley joined the Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu during her junior year, and she served as chapter president during her senior year. She showed excellent leadership skills in this position as well as leadership positions in the Society of Women Engineers and University of Delaware Alternative Breaks, which coordinates with community partners to plan week-long service projects. In addition, Kintzley was part of the University Symphony Orchestra and Marching Band. Now, Kintzley works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Labs and attends graduate school.

UD engineers demonstrated the first silicon nitride-lithium niobate hybrid electro-optic tunable racetrack resonator with a modified electrode to enhance modulation efficiency at the OSA (The Optical Society) Advanced Photonics Congress (APC) in 2019. Abu Naim R. Ahmed, a doctoral student advised by Engineering Alumni Professor Dennis Prather, received a best student paper honor at the OSA APC. "My research is focused on energy-efficient optical networks and components for the next-generation photonic integrated circuits (PICs), which has application in the Internet of Things (IoT), on-chip data routers, superconducting quantum computers, artificial intelligence (AI), and 5G networks," said Ahmed. "All of these next-generation technologies demand low drive power, ultra-wide bandwidth, highspeed data transmission, small footprint, and CMOS compatible fabrication processes. To address these challenges, we have demonstrated a new hybrid material system based a photonic platform by marrying thin-film lithium niobate with silicon nitride. We demonstrated that you can fabricate a tunable and high quality-factor optical micro-ring resonator using conventional microfabrication processes without the need to etch lithium niobate." The combination of lithium niobate and silicon nitride enables a high-speed, highly-efficient yet low-power active device. Using the novel modified racetrack structure in this hybrid material platform, electro-optic conversion efficiencies far better than conventional bulk lithium niobate devices is achievable. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


Non-Thesis MS Graduates Wael Alamri Mohammad Al Rawashdeh Donovan Anderson Mark Betters Jiashu Chen Robert DiIenno Stephanie Dunn Ye Fan Jimmey Fawcett Greg Gelman Kemba Hall Haoyang He Sean Kirby Anthony Kline Patricia Lehman Shi Li Shiyu Li Tianyu Li Chunan Lin Yuyan Liu Saleh Makkawy Michael Novack Dwayne Ockel William Osborne Teja Prasanna Reddy Parlapalli Anilesh Patel Sajan Patel Jeffrey Rockower Daniel Rodriguez Mengdie Tao Kavana Vasanth Kumar An Wang Hao Wang Charles Weissman Lei Xiao Jinbo Yan Zichun Yu Mario Zavaleta Lu Zhan Ze Zhang Li Zhao Baihui Zhou Zhi Zhou

PhD Dissertations Hoda Aghaei Khouzani Advisor: Yang Applying Non-Volatile Memories in Future Computer Systems

Sergio Matiz Romero Advisor: Barner Conformal Prediction Based Active Learning

Nuha Ahmed Advisor: Hegedus I. Electroluminescence Characterization of Recombination, Optical and Resistive Losses in One and Two Dimensional Solar Cell Devices and II. A Detailed Assessment of the Solar Generation Potential of Rooftops Using LiDAR: Case Study of Newark DE

Andrew Mercante Advisor: Prather Design and Fabrication of Broadband Thin-Film Lithium Niobate Phase Modulators

Soumitra Biswas Advisor: Mirotznik Design and Additive Manufacturing of Broadband Beamforming Lensed Antennas and Load Bearing Conformal Antennas Austin Good Advisor: Mirotznik Advisor: Additive Maufacturing of Passive Beam Forming Systems Nicholas Hudak Advisor: Mirotznik Design and Fabrication of Engineered Electromagnetic Materials from Optical to Radio Frequencies Zachary Larimore Advisor: Mirotznik Multi-Material Additive Manufacture of Radiofrequency Devices and Systems Jielin Li Advisor: Weile Integral Accuracy and the Stability of Time Domain Integral Equations for Electromagnetic Scattering Joshua Marks Advisor: Kiamilev Abutted IRLED Infrared Scene Projector Design and Their Characterization

University of Delaware

Ugochukwu J. Nsofor Advisor: Hegedus I. Optimization of Interdigitated Back Contact Silicon Hetero-Junction (IBCSHJ) Solar Cell Fabrication Process; II. Passive Tuning of Optical Couplers Alejandro Parada-Mayorga Advisor: Arce Blue Noise and Optimal Sampling on Graphs Shaun Simmons Advisor: Mirotznik Electromagnetic Analysis of Heterogeneous Woven Fabric Composite Laminates Gowri Manasa Sriramagiri Advisor: Hegedus Solar Electrolyzer Coupling Via LoadMatching and Doping in Cadmium Telluride Solar Cells to Overcome Voltage Limitations Yue Wang Advisor: Fang Improving Verbose Queries Performance in Bio-Medical Domain Yuan Xue Advisor: Yang Reconfiguration Optimization for Nonvolatile Memories Based Field Programmable Gate Arrays

Master Theses Casey Campbell Advisor: Kiamilev Designing and Implementing a Control Interface for Intrared LED Projector Systems Christopher Cullen Advisor: Prather Design and Fabrication of a Single Line IQ Modulator Josh Dubey Advisor: Goossen Investigation of an Energy Efficient Pump Speed Control Algorithm for Controlling Sump Level Ugur Guneroglu Advisor: Zeng Simulation and Comparison of High Speed GAASSB-INP and INGAAS-INP Uni-Traveling-Carrier Photodiodes Thomas Kananen Advisor: Gu Far-Infrared Photonic-Plasmonic Phase Matching Enhanced Graphene Absorption Arshiya Khan Advisor: Cotton A Feature Taxonomy for Network Traffic Hamza Lemsaddek Advisor: Kempton Vehicle-to-Vehicle Power: Design and Implementation Kyle Linderman Advisor: Prather Balanced Photodetectors

Mihir Malladi Advisor: Hegedus Development and Application of Labview Program for Analysis of Solar Cells Current-Voltage Diode Parameters Baegwang Shin Advisor: Cotton Security Enhancement in Defense Information System by Active Directory Anishkumar Soman Advisor: Gu Optimizing Fabrication Techniques of Materials and Devices for Integrated Nanophotonics Benjamin Steenkamer Advisor: Wang An Empirical Study on Use-AfterFree Vulnerabilities Collin Wallish Advisor: Mirotznik Real-Time Feedback Control for 3D Printed Antennas Youngmin Wang Advisor: Cotton The Use of Local Passive DNS in the Intranet to Detect the Incident Caused by Insider Zikai Xu Advisor: A. Singh Analysis and Applications of Time-Triggered Stochastic Hybrid System

Xiaozhang Liu Advisor: Goossen Optofluidic Smart Glass with Wide Angular Performance

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


ALUMNI NEWS ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS HONORS DAY RECOGNIZES EXCELLENCE OF STUDENTS, ALUMNI The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) recognized outstanding alumni at ECE Research Day on May 1, 2019.

EDWARD J. COYLE received the Distinguished Achievement award, the department’s most prestigious alumni award. Individuals receiving this award have distinguished themselves through significant contributions in engineering research, practice, education or business. Coyle is the John B. Peatman Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. He is the Founder and Director of the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program, which integrates research and education by embedding large-scale, long-term teams of undergraduates in the research efforts of faculty and graduate students. He is also the Director of the VIP Consortium, which includes 28 universities. Coyle received a B.S. in electrical engineering at UD in 1978, followed by a master’s and Ph.D. from Princeton University of Delaware

University in 1980 and 1982. Coyle was a co-recipient of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering’s 2005 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, and in 1998, Coyle was elected a Fellow of IEEE for his contributions to the theory of nonlinear signal processing. He has received many other awards, including the 1997 Chester F. Carlson Award from the American Society for Engineering Education and the 1986 Paper Award from IEEE Signal Processing Society. His research interests include systemic reform of higher education, signal and information processing, and wireless and sensor networks.

RICHARD MARTIN received the Outstanding Service Award, which acknowledges alumni who, through dedication and exemplary volunteer service, illustrate broad leadership in support of the aims and objectives of the department. Martin is an Associate Professor of Practice in UD’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He holds a B.S. degree in physics from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and M.B.A., M.S.E.E. and Ph.D. degrees from UD. His doctoral work on photonic devices was conducted at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory ( JPL) under a NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship. After working at JPL for a year on Micro-electromechanical systems, Martin moved to Delaware to work at W.L. Gore and Associates. After nine years at Gore, he taught as an adjunct professor at multiple universities while working with technology-based startups. Martin has over 25 years of industrial experience designing

low-noise amplifier circuits and photonics-based sensors and has led the design, characterization, and fabrication of numerous high-speed devices and embedded systems. In 2017, Rick became a full-time UD faculty member, teaching microcontroller systems, analog circuits, and classes covering design, prototyping, entrepreneurship, and IoT devices. He holds an affiliated faculty position in UD’s Horn Entrepreneurship Program and serves as Chief Technology Officer of Resonate Forward LLC, a start-up developing wearable therapeutic devices for people with Parkinson’s Disease.

KURT AKELEY, received the Entrepreneurial Innovation Award, which is conferred upon alumni who have created an innovative business, developed a new product, brought to market a new venture or expanded an existing business. Akeley is a distinguished engineer at Google, where he works in the areas of virtual and augmented reality. A pioneer in the field of computer graphics and a co-founder of Silicon Graphics (later known as SGI), Kurt led the development of innovative products such as RealityEngine and the industry-standard OpenGL graphics system. After leaving SGI in 2001, Kurt completed his long-deferred PhD work at Stanford, working in the areas of stereo 3-D display and human perception. He then joined Microsoft Research, where he was assistant managing director of Microsoft’s research lab in Beijing, and, after returning to the US in 2007, developed a prototype light-field display with resolution sufficient to stimulate focus cues in human viewers. Prior to joining Google, Kurt was CTO at Lytro, where

he guided system and software development for Lytro’s computational photography and virtual reality platforms. Akeley earned a BEE degree from the University of Delaware in 1980, an MSEE degree from Stanford in 1982, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford in 2004. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the ACM, and in 1995 was awarded ACM’s SIGGRAPH computer graphics achievement award. He is a named inventor on over 30 patents.

Alumni Spotlight: Mark Bendett

NICOLE WELLS received the Young Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes alumni who have graduated within the past 15 years and have excelled in their chosen professions. Wells graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Delaware in 2013, attaining a 4.0 GPA while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and minors in both Computer Science and Mathematics. During her time at UD, Nicole performed undergraduate research with the CVORG research group led by Fouad Kiamilev. She contributed to the V2G (vehicle to grid) project, in which custom charging hardware enables electric vehicles to flow energy back into the grid during times of peak demand. Following graduation, Nicole accepted a position with Apple. She works as a sensor algorithm engineer in the Human Interface Device group, joining fellow UD ECE alumnus Wayne Westerman. Nicole leads a small team of algorithm engineers to solve the signal processing and gesture recognition challenges of developing Apple’s latest input devices. Her work has been issued seven US patents, ranging from calibration methodology to user interface design for touch and force sensors.

Mark Bendett, MEE’81, PhD’85, led a team that developed a laser used to manufacture smartphone screens. He was instrumental in the development of a process to improve upon LASIK eye surgery. There’s a good chance you’ve encountered one of Bendett’s inventions, for which he holds nearly five dozen patents, even if you never knew it. For his achievements in laser technology, Bendett was named a Fellow of SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, in 2019. His inventions have a range of applications from biomedical devices, telecommunications, aerospace technologies and much more. Now retired, Bendett spent more than three decades as a leader in industry. He was most recently the strategy and business development manager at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories. Throughout his career, he has maintained involvement in the technical aspects of his profession even as he has handled the responsibilities of being an executive. “I’ve never forgotten how to get my hands dirty, which has helped me to not become obsolete,” he said. “I love the ideation process, to get in a room full of other engineers and come up with new ways of applying technology to chal-

lenging problems. Some ideas are better than others, but the really good ones can eventually turn into something cool. It’s a payment better than money—the psychic reward of seeing something useful come out of your ideas.” Bendett also shares his ingenuity with UD’s College of Engineering, where he has served on the Advisory Council since 2002. Through the Bendett Fellowship in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, he supports graduate students in their studies. He is also involved with the Laird Fellows, a group of graduate students and alumni who received the George W. Laird Merit Fellowship. In 2017, Bendett received the Electrical and Computer Engineering department’s Distinguished Achievement Award. Why does he love UD so much? There are many reasons, including the electrical and engineering department’s emphasis on applications. “We had professors from industry who showed us how to apply engineering to real-world problems,” he said. “I’m a build-stuff kind of guy, so that’s what I wanted.” Fascinated by light, he worked on solar cells at UD’s Institute of Energy Conversion and controlling microwave and RF systems using lasers. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering



2018–19 ADVISORY COUNCIL Dr. Karen Bloch Advisory Council Chair DuPont

Dr. Shalinee Kishore Lehigh University

Mr. Jeffrey Six T. Rowe Price

Dr. Daniel Lau University of Kentucky

Mr. Steve Steffel Pepco Holdings, an Exelon Company

Dr. Mark Bendett Retired, Lockheed Martin

Mr. Michael Lombardi U.S. Army

Dr. Qian Xie Quantenna Communications

Dr. Sunita Bhatia Johns Hopkins University

Mr. Mark Melillo Melillo Consulting, Inc.

Mr. Bradley Cain Hewlett Packard Enterprise Dr. Edward Coyle Georgia Tech Dr. Charles Johnson-Bey Lockheed Martin Corporation University of Delaware

Mr. James Orr Apple Inc. Dr. Athina Petropulu Rutgers School of Engineering Mr. Ray Sokola Phase Sensitive Innovations, Inc.


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CURRENTS | ECE 2019 Magazine  

University of Delaware's Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

CURRENTS | ECE 2019 Magazine  

University of Delaware's Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering