Currents Fall 2018

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Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering






DEAR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES, This is an exciting time for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Delaware. In this edition of Currents, see how we have infused our undergraduate curriculum with lessons in entrepreneurship and design principles, plus increased opportunities for students to work in interdisciplinary teams to solve big problems. Our students are designing and fabricating devices with applications to health care, robotics and space travel, just to name a few. Our offerings in cybersecurity, from training programs open to students in all majors up through a master’s degree in cybersecurity, are thriving. Our faculty know how to help students push the bounds of innovation because they do it themselves. In this edition of Currents, you’ll learn about professors who are making critical contributions to a diverse range of fields in electrical and computer engineering, including cybersecurity, high-performance and cloud computing, data science and machine learning, information theory and communications, additive manufacturing, integrated circuits and energy systems, and more. These scholars have earned recognition for their research, inventions, entrepreneurship and also their effectiveness in teaching and mentorship.

This year, we also welcome five new faculty members to Evans Hall. They bring expertise in machine learning theory, device processing, optomechanical effects, applied cryptography, information theory and more. We can’t wait to work with them as we build an even stronger department and a more robust College of Engineering at UD. What’s more, several of our new and longtime faculty members are highly involved in the University of Delaware’s newly launched Data Science Institute, which is bringing researchers together to develop competitive data science research programs, engage students in data science research, collaborate with government and industry partners and more. The institute is also offering a master’s degree in data science, and we look forward to working with the institute as it grows and expands its impact.


Richard Frenkiel

Rutgers University – WINLAB

I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge our pride for our alumni, who have built upon the foundations they received here at UD. Recent graduates are finding jobs or pursuing graduate degrees at worldclass universities, and in this edition of Currents, you will read about alumni who have risen to C-level executive positions in industry, prestigious roles in academic research, and more.


Edward Felten Princeton University


We are also proud to acknowledge our Advisory Council and industry partners, whose support and expertise help us to deliver modern, world-class educational and research experiences. 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, and as always, feel free to contact me at with your ideas and feedback.

Kenneth E. Barner, PhD

Charles Black Evans Professor and Chair Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Delaware


Edward Coyle

Georgia Institute of Technology

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

Fall 2018

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





ECE by the Numbers

CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS Julie Stewart Beth Miller

6 Feature: A Curriculum Designed for Tomorrow’s Leaders



STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Kathy F. Atkinson Evan Krape

12 Feature: A “Momentous Day” for University of Delaware Research

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Feature: A Launchpad for Success


Faculty News & Highlights


Student News


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ON THE COVER The University of Delaware is an equal opportunity/

Students in the new course ECE Design Challenges made these printed circuit boards.

affirmative action employer and Title IX institution. For the University’s complete non-discrimination statement, please visit

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Electrical Engineering Computer Engineering


Cybersecurity Bioelectrical Engineering Electrical & Computer Engineering

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Cybersecurity Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

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4,500 ft.²










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





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

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

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



Signal Processing, Communications & Controls Nanoelectronics, Electromagnetics & Photonics

MAJOR RESEARCH PARTNERSHIPS NIST National Cybersecurity FFRDC, American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), Delaware Direct Digital Manufacturing Institute (3DMI), US Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground, JPMC and the


$3.5M Raised in lead-up to ECE’s 125th anniversary, funding junior chairs, iSuite, VIP, and summer research

Financial Services Industry

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


A CURRICULUM DESIGNED FOR TOMORROW’S LEADERS Our modern curriculum pairs fundamental engineering principles with the entrepreneurial skills that 21st-century engineers need. Learn more about our innovative offerings.

EMPHASIZING ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND DESIGN We recently introduced two new courses to teach engineers how to turn their ideas into useful and marketable products. ELEG398, Design in Entrepreneurship, was taught by associate professors Rick Martin and Steve Hegedus and professors Mark Mirotznik and Charlie Boncelet. “Students today are more often going to startups than behemoth companies after graduation,” said Martin, so it’s more critical than ever to equip students with foundations in entrepreneurship. Student teams were asked to identify an unmet need in the market for products to help senior citizens live independently. Students learned about customer discovery, intellectual property, business structures, funding sources and more. After market research, which for some included a visit to a local senior center, each team developed a product design to meet the identified need.

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“It’s important for students to learn how to start with a market need and figure out how to meet it versus making a widget and figuring out how to use it,” said Qaizar Hassonjee, a UD MBA graduate and president at Hass Tech Associates who evaluated the students’ designs. Students used computer-aided design software and fabricated prototypes using 3D printers and laser cutters in the department’s iSuite, a state-of-the-art teaching laboratory. The technologies included a pill bottle that lit up and unlocked at dosing time, a sensor that could detect when someone fell out of bed, a sensor worn on a belt that could sense a fall and contact help via text message, and a dispenser for blood sugar test strips that logged inventory. Amjed Hallak, a rising senior, was part of the team that produced the blood sugar test strip dispenser. “Throughout the course, we had the opportunity to dive into the concepts revolving around entrepreneurship and business, topics which aren't strongly emphasized among a typical engineering

curriculum,” said Hallak. “Covering subjects such as patents, business plans and models, and having sources of immediate feedback from experienced professors gave us a near-realistic experience of what it'd be like to realize the matter of entrepreneurship in engineering.” The teams pitched their prototypes to their professors, Hassonjee and Sean Wang, UD ECE alumnus, Entrepreneur in Residence and founder of multiple firms including BW Tek. In another new course, ELEG298 or ECE Design Challenges, students learned component selection, circuit design and simulation, printed circuit board design and manufacturing, and soldering. The course was taught by a team of professors, including Martin, as well as teaching assistants and lab/component support. Students made custom circuit boards, an important skill for much of today’s technology. “A lot of the students had never soldered before,” said Martin. “For many of them, it was the first time they’d made a circuit.”

The seven teams now in operation include: Cloud-Crypto, VIP:VR, Embedded System Design, High-Performance Computing, Artgineering, the ScooterV2.0 team and a drone team called FLIE. In each team, undergraduate and graduate students work together with faculty to solve problems and develop innovative technologies. For example, the Cloud-Crypto team is working on a locally based cryptocurrency that could be used to revitalize urban centers. Students in the ScooterV2.0 team are working on self-driving technology. The High-Performance Computing team is developing code for machines at Oak Ridge National Lab, home of the world’s most powerful supercomputer. These projects involve both undergraduate and graduate students. They give graduate students an opportunity to refine their mentoring skills and give undergraduates a glimpse into the challenges and rewards of research. “Study after study shows that what matters to your success is grit,” said Andrew Novocin, VIP Program Director. “This is why programs like VIP are so important. Students come out as more gritty humans who are are ready to make things happen.” What’s more, these interdisciplinary teams, which can comprise students of any major, are microcosms that exemplify what students might find in industry jobs. On May 5, 2018, UD hosted the first-ever VIP: MidAtlantic Invitational in Evans Hall. Five teams from New York University presented their projects alongside UD VIP students. The event was sponsored by JP Morgan Chase, which provided cash prizes for the teams.

LEARNING TO DETECT AND DESTROY CYBER THREATS There’s bad news coming out about cyber crime practically every day, but here’s some good news: At the University of Delaware, students are learning how to keep information secure online. Students of cybersecurity are regularly exposed to challenges that will help them stay up-to-date in this ever-evolving field.

WORKING IN INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAMS The University of Delaware’s Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program links undergraduate students to the cuttingedge research of faculty mentors. The VIP program is designed to build long-lasting, multi-disciplinary teams of students to work on projects centered around the work of faculty.

For example, on May 7, 2018, a group of engineering students and members of UD’s Cyber Scholars Program, a cybersecurity training program open to students of any major, participated in a competition to test and enhance their skills. In this Capture the Flag event, students were asked to solve problems in security, cryptography, open source intelligence, reverse engineering, web applications security, and more. The questions in the game were created by the cybersecurity group at Raytheon called Raytheon Cyber Security Innovations (CSI), giving students a unique opportunity to engage with an industry partner. A group of 11 students also put their skills to the test at the Delaware Cyber Security Camp 2018 from July 23 to 27, 2018. This camp, held this year at Wilmington University’s Dover campus, featured

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


a Capture the Flag competition on the last day. The agenda also included industry security training taught by instructors from the SANS Institute, the largest source for information security training and certification in the world. What’s more, a team of UD students started offering their cyber expertise to area businesses in fall 2017. "There is a very high demand for security services," said David Geron-Neubauer, a senior computer science major, with a cybersecurity minor, from Wyncote, Pennsylvania, "especially in this day and age when we are seeing many more cyber attacks on major players such as Equifax, the Democratic National Committee, the WannaCry ransomware, the Wikileaks CIA vault - and those were all just this past year. Unfortunately many businesses think they have no reason to be targeted, don't have the resources to pool into security, don't know where to look for help, or are concerned about asking for it. Everybody needs to have security in mind. The majority of malactors will go for the easiest target."

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The team - known as GMSecurity - includes high-level UD computer science students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, many of whom have industry experience. All are skilled in assessing systems, developing protective processes and helping businesses take steps to strengthen security. The team works under the direction of UD Assistant Professor Andrew Novocin, an expert in cryptography, through the VIP group “Crypto-Cloud.” The studentled team has expertise in encryption, malware detection and cleanup, password practices and data storage. In addition to Geron-Neubauer, the core of the team now includes Teddy Katayama, a doctoral student from Virginia Beach, Virginia, with experience in network security, and two other senior undergraduates - John Roberts (management information systems), who has experience in software development, and Ryan Barbera (computer and information science), who has experience in full-stack web development, both of Newark, Delaware.

In their first visit to a client’s business, students talk with the owner or manager to learn about their concerns and get an inventory of the office computer network and how it operates. Later, they test systems and programs, looking for vulnerabilities and weaknesses that should be addressed. They work in confidence throughout the project, protecting data, proprietary and personally identifiable information. And they offer an intrusion detection system that can automatically notify the team when something happens that requires attention. All of that requires a level of trust that the team's association with Novocin and UD and its growing menu of cybersecurity programs helps to provide. UD's Cybersecurity Initiative has been designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity by the U.S Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Administration. UD offers an undergraduate minor in cyberscurity, a master's degree, professional certification and other customized training opportunities.

Just three weeks after earning bachelor’s degrees, four UD engineers experienced another milestone. They watched in awe as a device they had worked on for nearly a year shot into space on a sounding rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia. “It was a surreal feeling,” said Ryan Beneck, a 2018 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. “I kept having to remind myself that something we built was actually inside there.” The team constructed the device as part of Senior Design—a capstone course that requires senior electrical and computer engineering students to solve real-world problems and function like small companies.


When it was time to select a Senior Design project, Lu learned about an opportunity to build material fit for space flight through NASA’s RockSat-C program for college students. In 2016, advisor Chase Cotton, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, had worked with a team that sent material to space through the program. Lu was intrigued. “I thought, ‘when else are you going to get to fly things up in space this early on?’” said Lu. He called upon three of his classmates: Beneck, Anton Vasilyev and Ben Steenkamer. All four knew each other from classes and undergraduate research projects. The teammates worked together to design hardware to house a new type of optical integrated circuit made of graphene and silicon. They surrounded the chip with circuits to measure the current flowing through it.

Since childhood, Aric Lu, a 2018 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, has been fascinated by outer space. However, during most of college, he focused on other priorities, like class work, undergraduate research in additive manufacturing, and positions as an Honors Program Writing Fellow and Regional Coordinator of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


“The breadth and depth of this project were a lot more than any project we’d come across before,” said Steenkamer, a recent graduate with a degree in computer engineering. Lu learned a lot about project management along the way. “In the spring semester, probably about a quarter of my time awake was devoted to this,” said Lu.

The team’s goal was to test foundry processed silicon photonic chiplets with tens of optoelectronic devices integrated on a 2-by-3-millimeter-square area, which aligns with the research efforts of Tingyi Gu, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. The team also built a platform and a navigation system to track the rocket’s acceleration and rotation. The system was constructed to constantly record and save data to an SD card that the team could recover after the launch for analysis. To make the system’s mechanical parts, the team utilized the expertise of the Machine Shop in UD’s Spencer Lab, which has computer numerical control (CNC) machines. They refined the electrical components in the Evans Hall iSuite, a 4,500-square-foot facility that features a makerspace equipped with 3D printers and other machines to help students conceive, design, prototype and test their ideas and systems. The device was packaged for use in a circuit at UD’s Nanofabrication Facility, which has world-class capabilities in lithography, deposition, etch, thermal processing, characterization and device packaging. These engineers are accustomed to challenging coursework, but this was a whole new level of difficulty. University of Delaware

The team spent the week before the flight at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility preparing the payload for launch, and the weekend before the launch, they nearly suffered a setback. During spin and vibration tests, the experiment almost fully separated from its holding canister, said Vasilyev, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. “We tried to make all the possible changes we could to give our payload the greatest probability of surviving the actual launch,” he said. It was a long night of repairs, some of which included glue and masking tape. The efforts paid off. On June 21, before sunrise, the teammates watched the rocket lift off. With their view about a mile from the launchpad, they were close enough to physically feel the launch, said Lu. “That, coupled with the knowledge that we had something that was on its way to space, gave a certain gravitas to the whole thing,” he said. The rocket soon vanished from sight, leaving only a trail of smoke and steam behind. “You realize just how small the world is, and for a second we were able to (metaphorically) reach out beyond it,” said Lu. But the experience was also nervewracking. There was a chance that their device would not survive the launch. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Later, the rocket landed in the ocean, and the team took their device apart and retrieved the SD card, which had recorded more than 1.5 million data points over the course of four hours. “There were probably 15-20 people crowded around the table we were working at, and the moment we took

off the skin of the enclosing canister, I think everyone had a sigh of relief,” said Lu. “Actually being able to hold the payload knowing that it had gone to space and back brought a lot of closure to all the trials and tribulations we had over the course of the year.” For Lu, the project was a primer on the trials and rewards of research. “None of us knew anything about what building space flight hardware is like,” he said. “None of us knew anything about how to characterize these little devices that are so small that you can barely see them. We did a lot of learning, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of reaching out to various people to see who could help us out.” Lui is now pursuing a doctoral degree in electrical engineering at Harvard University, and Beneck is pursuing a doctoral degree in electrical engineering at Penn State. Vasilyev is searching for a job, and Steenkamer is earning a master’s degree at UD. “This RockSat-C effort is but one of many challenges that student teams accomplish each year in Electrical and Computer Engineering’s year-long Senior Design class sequence,” said Cotton. “Drawing from ideas provided by industry or their own interests, the teams design and fabricate a variety of complex systems including robots, smartphone applications, cloud computing systems, quadcopters, medical devices, and recently have been incorporating computer vision and machine learning into their projects.” Most capstone design projects are relatively low budget, but the rocket effort has launch costs of about $7,000. The UD team’s efforts could only have been realized with the generous support of the Delaware Space Grant Consortium , which underwrote the cost of this launch as well as the prior 2016 class launch. Sean Wang, alumnus and Entrepreneur in Residence for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, supported travel expenses for the students through a generous gift to the Senior Design Program.

Her Research is Taking Off

sensing and communications. Prof. Gu, her students, and collaborators are applying their expertise to addressing one of society's most important challenges — exploring what lies beyond earth's boundaries.”

generation, amplification, modulation, and detection of optical signals. “Its unique structure gives it unique electronic properties not enabled by bulk materials,” said Gu.

UD Professor Tingyi Gu wins major grants to develop hybrid materials for communications devices and study 2D material based optoelectronic devices.

In 2017, Gu was also one of 43 scientists nationwide to receive a grant through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Program to develop “nextgeneration hybrid optical communications”— small, lightweight devices for efficient light generation and transportation, enabling high speed and low power optical interconnects, which is an interface between electronic signals in computers and optical fiber communication signals.

In 2010, the pioneers of graphene research, located at the University of Manchester, won the Nobel Prize in Physics. Since then, “two-dimensional materials have been a hot area of research,” said Gu. Gu isn’t just making devices—she is testing them in order to improve speed, performance, and scalability of devices made with these materials. These could be the basis of nextgeneration optical interconnect systems in Air Force infrastructures, she said.

To build devices for optical communications, Gu first uses software to design the devices, optimizing their optical, electronic and thermal properties. Then, she works with the team at the UD Nanofabrication Facility to make the devices.

“Together we are doing very sharp engineering in combination with hot science,” said Gu. “This grant gives me more opportunity to tap the potential of my research.” Gu’s students will also benefit from this award.

An electrical engineering professor at the University of Delaware makes material fit for an interplanetary mission — take NASA’s word for it. Tingyi Gu, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, received an Early Career Faculty (ECF) Award from NASA for her research using integrated photonic devices for low power space photonic communication and sensors for space weather observations. Gu is developing lightweight silicon photonic chips that can withstand harsh atmospheric conditions in space, monitor gamma ray and UV radiation, and send communication signals between space and the ground. “We have to sort of invent these nanoscale radiation-hardened building blocks from scratch, by incorporating new materials onto the silicon photonic platform” she said.

The devices start with silicon, a material commonly used in photonics. Then graphene, a two-dimensional material made from a single layer of atoms, is bonded onto silicon chips. Graphene can improve chip performance, including

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get trained to understand the process from beginning to end,” she said, “which is critical for their future careers.”

Gu isn’t just working with one NASA award. She is also collaborating with Prof. Bennett A. Maruca from the Physics and Astronomy department, under guidance of William H. Matthaeus, director of the Delaware Space Grant Consortium, on research being funded through NASA’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) International Space Station (ISS) Flight Opportunity Cooperative. This will allow Gu to send her photonic devices to space in a launch within five years. Kenneth Barner, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said: “Prof. Gu is a true innovator in nanofabrication, photonics, and devices. Her novel approaches will directly advance ground-to-space and space-to-ground Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering



On September 4, 2018, the University of Delaware launched its new Data Science Institute before a full house in Gore Recital Hall. The institute links faculty and students from all of UD’s seven colleges, including health sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, behavioral and social sciences and public policy. Partnerships with industry, government, military officials and other institutions also are in the works. The value of data cannot be overstated, especially in this age of questionable information. And data science is the power tool that helps researchers make sense of the world’s perpetual tsunami of numbers, measurements, graphics, statistics and all manner of experimental, theoretical and computational findings. That kind of analysis leads to insights and knowledge that would otherwise be inaccessible. “This is really a momentous day for the entire University of Delaware,” UD President Dennis Assanis said in opening remarks at the launch. “One of

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the primary missions of a major research university like UD is to not only create knowledge in particular disciplines, but to be an intellectual intersection — a hub of discovery — that combines and amplifies the work of multiple disciplines.” Cathy Wu, the Unidel Edward G. Jefferson Chair in Engineering and Computer Science, is the Data Science Institute’s founding director. Wu specializes in bioinformatics and computational biology and has been a pioneering force, developing international resources such as the Protein Information Resource and UniProt, as well as new ways to analyze biomedical data for disease and drug discovery. She and her new and growing team of experts have much raw material to work with, and Assanis put some numbers to that. “We have more information and more data points about our world than ever before,” he said. “Just a couple of years ago, global internet traffic hit 1 zettabyte per year — that’s a trillion gigabytes of data zooming around the global networks. By next year, we’ll double that amount. And a few years later, we’ll double it again.

“Cathy is going to ask Robin and me for a bigger computer.” Five researchers have been added to the institute’s resident faculty, with more negotiations continuing. The cluster hire includes biomedical informatics expert Rahmat Beheshti, astrophysicist Federica Bianco, neural data expert Austin Brockmeier, astrophysicist/urban scientist Gregory Dobler and information theorist Xiugang Wu. “Access to information has become very flattened across this globe,” said Charles G. Riordan, UD’s vice president for research, scholarship and innovation. “If one has access to a computer or a smartphone and you’re sitting in a café in Mumbai or Seaford, Delaware, or anywhere else for that matter — we all have access to the same information. So the value of higher education is what skills are we imparting to students to help them leverage that information, take that information and derive value and problem solve.”

from complex data. I've worked with neural signals from the brain, where the goal is to understand how the brain is representing different intentions and sensory stimuli. I’ve also been working on automatic methods for organizing large collections of scientific abstracts, which need to be searched for evidence-based research. For me the interesting part is connecting the real-world problem with the data and designing the algorithms and models to achieve this. When I toured the campus, I was impressed by the support and enthusiasm across numerous colleges. Everyone had a data science story to share from their field. I think it will become a contact point for researchers, industry and other organizations. In terms of education, data science literacy is increasingly important. Both subject-specific and interdisciplinary courses are going to be in demand. This is an exciting time to be involved.

The U.S. Army’s Communications– Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) at Aberdeen Proving Ground signed a Joint Work Statement with UD’s Data Science Institute an hour before the launch.

Learn about two new DSI resident faculty:


First, I’m broadly interested in information and data science, and I’m mainly concerned with questions such as how to efficiently communicate data and how to effectively infer and learn from data.


I am interested in approaches to gain insights

Since our world is becoming increasingly interconnected, I want to look at the above-mentioned questions, especially in the network scenario. For example, in the rapidly growing Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications, how to operate the wireless networks so as to provide the capacity

needed for transporting big data? How to extract useful information from big data, particularly in a distributed fashion, when the data sets could be distributed over different places across the network? These questions are of paramount importance today and are most compelling in my opinion. The most appealing part of the Data Science Institute here at UD lies in that it really creates an ideal environment for people from different disciplines — math, statistics, electrical engineering and computer science, etc. — to collaborate and solve big problems in the big data era. I consider myself a person who has been mainly focused on the theoretical foundation of data science in the past and also who wants to explore more on practical applications of data science in the future. To further my research on the foundation side, I could really benefit from the discussions with people in math and statistics. In fact, one of my proudest works I have done previously is to use geometric tools to solve a threedecade open problem in information theory, and here at UD we do have worldrenowned experts in geometry from the math department who can really help me to further my research in this line. On the other hand, to broaden my research on the application side, there are also a lot of people and resources I could draw on, especially in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer and Information Sciences, and the potential research topics for collaborations have a wide range, from social networks, to bioinformatics, to computer vision and natural language processing, just to name a few. I really hope that the Data Science Institute becomes a platform for coordinating data science-related classes between different departments, encouraging joint funding proposal writing from people with different backgrounds, and finally and most important facilitating the collaboration across the University toward solving big questions together in the big-data era.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering



In the old days, a slingshot, BB gun, rifle or cannon was only as smart as the marksman taking aim. Now, many weapons are guided to their targets with the precision of infrared sensors and lasers. The technology continues to advance, but testing technology has lagged behind, leaving new generations of weapons and their tactical advantages unavailable to today's troops. Closing the gap between infrared sensor technology and testing technology was the challenge accepted by Chip Design Systems (CDS), a business founded by University of Delaware Prof. Fouad Kiamilev (electrical and computer engineering), who had some smart weapons of his own: a lab packed with sharp, young researchers and a team of expert collaborators. Kiamilev, CDS Research Engineer Rodney McGee and collaborators from the University of Iowa, Firefly Photonics,

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ON Semiconductor and Teledyne Scientific now have patented technology for a new testing device that matches the advanced capability of infrared sensors. Infrared sensors are used to detect objects that emit heat or reflect infrared light. These sensors capture data and provide essential information even in dark or foggy conditions and can detect humans and other objects behind doors or walls. A new generation of sensors can detect smaller, faster targets, even in complex backgrounds. Working with the /Air Force Office of Sponsored Research (AFOSR) , CDS has designed a new short-wave infrared LED (light-emitting diode) projector to test those new sensors. The projector produces infrared scenes with unprecedented resolution, double the speed and much higher brightness than existing technology. Its circuits allow each pixel to be programmed.

A prototype with the new technology called the Night Glow Short Wave Infrared LED Image Projector (or NSLEDS, for short) - has been used for hundreds of hours already in evaluation at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. It has proven the work is going in the right direction, according to Ron Rapp, senior research engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Eglin AFB. "This 1 megapixel prototype has exceeded expectations during beta testing at AFRL," Rapp said. "This gave us the confidence that we could do it. The next generation coming down the pike is going to be HD [high definition] and we're going to need a 4 megapixel projector. That will get us at least 5-10 years of capability." About 30 people were involved in development of the successful prototype, and CDS now has a contract to develop that 4 megapixel infrared projector. The project has received more than $2.5 million in support from the U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program (SBIR/STTR). "This successful collaboration between the Air Force Research Laboratory, small business and academia is a visible example of how the SBIR/ STTR program works," Rapp said. The infusion of government support allows for development of new technology, a costly enterprise that otherwise would be far beyond the reach of a small-but-innovative company such as CDS, Kiamilev said. "It's hard to get a venture capitalist to fund a 10-year study," said Kiamilev, who joined UD's faculty in 1999. "And I'm thankful for an environment in our department and the University as a whole that enables faculty and students to take their ideas beyond programs and into projects. Our department has a rich history of commercialization." UD's Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (OEIP) worked closely with Kiamilev and CDS to license the technology and make

it available to the Air Force. And now the products of solid research can be put to good use. Future commercial applications could include inspection of manufacturing processes, biological imaging, recycling of plastics. The existing technology is about 20 years old and showing its age, Kiamilev said. It uses microresistor arrays and cannot achieve the brightness or efficiency of LEDs. Infrared LEDs, which are common to such things as remote control devices and night-vision goggles, are much cooler. Sustainability is central to Kiamilev's broader research objectives. He and Prof. Willett Kempton developed the V2G (vehicle-to-grid) electric vehicle technology that allows vehicle owners to send and receive energy from their vehicles to the electric grid, reducing costs and increasing energy supplies. That technology now is spreading around the world. He and his students also participate in the University's VIP program Vertically Integrated Projects - in which collaborative teams of undergrads, graduate students, post-docs and faculty work together to address problems.

Kiamilev said the project needs two or three more years of refinement by his small-but-focused team. "We're a lean, mean organization," he said. "If a $6 billion enterprise wants to take you over - well, large organizations are so set in their ways. We just want to innovate." And there is much more room for innovation. Rapp said a 16 megapixel projector will be on the drawing board sometime in the future and there is strong interest in developing infrared O-LEDs LEDS made of carbon - but that technology is not ready. When it is, he said, a wall can become your TV. "It's cool stuff," he said, "and working with academics is really a breath of fresh air. They don't know what they can't do. And if you don't know what you can't do, you might just do it."

His CVORG lab in Evans Hall includes eight professional staff, 12 doctoral students, six master's students and more than a dozen undergraduate students in electrical and computer engineering. They call themselves CVORGIANS - though the acronym (CMOS VLSI Optimization Research Group) covers only a small portion of the group's projects - and many have tackled pieces of this Air Force project. Doctoral student Tyler Browning, for example, has been working on getting data and video onto the projector. Miguel Hernandez, another doctoral student, has been testing the chip and working to code pixels. The new projector could save the military millions of dollars in materials and hours. "Instead of flying an actual jet - spending man hours and fuel - you can do the same test in the lab," said Waite.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


Prather Named NAI Fellow

UD electrical engineer honored by National Academy of Inventors Dennis Prather, Engineering Alumni Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). “Dr. Prather is a world leader in the development of new radiofrequency photonics technologies, including pioneering work which enables visualization of radiofrequency signals through real-time imagery,” said Bradley J. Yops, Director of UD’s Technology Transfer Center.

radar. He has developed computational electromagnetic models, fabrication methods, and integration processes for radiofrequency-photonic devices such as ultra-high bandwidth modulators, silicon photonic radiofrequency sources, photonic crystal chip-scale routers, meta-material antennas, and integrated radiofrequency-photonic phased arrays.


For the last five years, Prather and his team have focused on a first-of-its-kind radiofrequency photonic system they call an “imaging receiver.” Prather compares it to a video camera for cell phone frequencies or an antenna that “sees.”

Prather, who joined the UD faculty in 1997, holds more than 60 patents and invention disclosures. He studies radiofrequency photonic elements and their integration into systems for imaging, communications and

“We’re the only group in the world that’s ever been able to make this work,” he said. Prather hopes this device will enable researchers to use radiofrequency millimeter waves in new ways. Usually antennas that capture these

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waves can’t separate them spatially. Prather’s device can, allowing for enhanced spatial selectivity and thereby increased data capacity, when applied to communication systems. For example, this technology could be a critical component of the next wave of cellular communications technology, commonly known as 5G. In 2016, the Federal Communications Commission opened up new spectrum for wireless broadband use with a goal of advancing the development of 5G networks and technologies. “This technology is moving faster than I’ve ever seen before and we are hoping our technology will be one that contributes,” Prather said.

Prather’s system could be used in security applications, since millimeter waves pass through solid objects. It has been shown to help pilots land safely in dusty conditions—millimeter waves cut through the dust, providing real-time see-through capability. In other words, this technology has the potential to save lives, something that is not lost on Prather, who enlisted in the Navy two weeks after graduating high school and is still active in the Navy Reserve. “Having served myself, providing safety and security to my colleagues who have and are serving in war zones is what drives me more than anything else,” he said. Prather and his team are now commercializing and scaling up production of their system. “We have innovated to the point where we have interest in commercial transition,” he said. “As a researcher, that is the holy grail.” Commercialization will happen through Phase Sensitive Innovations (PSI), a company Prather cofounded with colleagues Shouyuan Shi, Christopher Schuetz, Janusz Murakowski, Garrett Schneider, and Peng Yao (Leo), all research associates in electrical and computer engineering. Prather shares credit for his success. “This honor is a ‘team award’ and I’m extremely fortunate to work every day with people who continuously inspire and motivate me to be better than I ever thought possible,” he said. This honor from the National Academy of Inventors puts an exclamation point on a philosophy Prather often shares with students. “Engineers solve problems,” he said. “One way to do that is to innovate, which when successful, naturally leads to invention.” John Elias, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Wayne Westerman, who earned a doctoral degree in electrical and computer engineering at UD, were named NAI Fellows in 2013.

INTERNATIONAL SCHOLAR, IDEAL ROLE MODEL Prather honored with Outstanding Graduate Advising and Doctoral Mentoring award Professor Dennis Prather received the University of Delaware’s 2018 Outstanding Doctoral Graduate Advising and Mentoring Award. To his students, Prather is known as an ideal role model and a humble individual whose “unbridled passion for research and engineering advancement” is matched only by his “unwavering dedication to bringing each graduate student up to their full potential.” Since joining UD in 1997, Prather has mentored 55 master’s and doctoral students. Joseph Deroba, who earned his doctoral degree in 2017, noted Prather’s tireless drive and cheerful disposition among the things he will remember most of the man he said, “helped shape me as a researcher, engineer, friend and father.” “Failure is part of research, and it can be debilitating to a young researcher, yet, Dr. Prather has a way to rally one’s psyche with his constantly positive attitude,” said Deroba, adding that Prather views his team as an extension of his family. “He teaches loyalty, respect, integrity and personal courage all by his own example.” The students noted Prather’s willingness to go “above and beyond” to help his students’ projects succeed. While his bank of stored knowledge is deep, they said, Prather also is adept at learning new subject matter alongside his students in order to provide insight on challenges they may be facing in their research. When they fail, as is inevitable in research, he picks them up and encourages them to press on. Sometimes this means a quick “keep up the good work” and other times it’s a motivational speech or private talk.

This positive reinforcement and recognition may seem like a small thing, but his students say it matters deeply and it is among the reasons that they work so hard. “He will always celebrate successes of each graduate student, no matter how small a feat the student thinks it is,” said graduate research assisant Dylan Ross. “I will truly miss receiving exuberant email responses to results, which primarily consist of all capitalized letters and an unnecessary amount of exclamation points.” But Prather can seem like a taskmaster, too, as he’s working to develop his students’ abilities and teaching them to run a lab, delegate workloads and mentor students of their own. Presentation and writing skills are a key part of this development so that the work they each do can reach, and appeal to, a wider audience. These skills are honed through weekly group meetings. The task of preparing new students to attend weekly group meetings is reserved for a senior team member designated by Prather—a U.S. Navy captain—as the Bull ensign, a naval rank adopted in 1862 to designate the senior ensign of the naval command. The year he served as Bull ensign, Konkol recalled preparing a new team member for his first group meeting with equal parts seriousness, humor and support. “I think what I told that student summarizes well the rigorous academic community that Dr. Prather seeks to develop in his group, and of which his students are so proud,” said Matthew R. Konkol, now a senior engineer with Phase Sensitive Innovations. “I said: ‘Make sure your fonts are consistent, your axes labelled, but most importantly make sure you never present anything you don’t understand. And if you absolutely have to, make sure you have a plan. And if you don’t have a plan, then we need to figure one out together right now.’ ”

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


DAN WEILE NAMED IEEE FELLOW UD professor recognized for computational electromagnetics Daniel Weile, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, has been named a Fellow of IEEE for his contributions to computational electromagnetics. He writes software to explain and simulate electromagnetic waves, often focusing on waves that can be transmitted or received through antennas or are scattered from objects like cars or airplanes. “To have the people who know the most about computational electromagnetics say that my work is important enough to be recognized in this way is a great honor,” he said. Electromagnetic waves can be explained using four expressions known as Maxwell’s Equations. Often these are solved as differential equations one frequency at a time. However, Weile has a different approach. He models them as integral equations with time as the independent University of Delaware

variable. These are called time-domain integral equations, and Weile has used them to explore a variety of problems. Using Einstein’s theory of relativity, Weile is developing a method to solve Maxwell’s Equations for waves perturbed by mechanical forces. “Relativity has a reputation of being this ‘out-there’ concept that doesn’t matter unless things are moving at the speed of light,” he said. But that’s not true, according to Weile’s calculations, and Einstein’s original paper. “Einstein introduced relativity to correct Newtonian mechanics so that it would be consistent with Maxwell’s Equations.” He’s working on a new algorithm to simulate movement of charged bodies in electromagnetic fields. “Dan’s election to Fellow of the IEEE is a thoroughly well deserved honor,” said Peter Monk, Unidel Professor of Mathematical Sciences at UD. “Dan and I worked on two NSF (National Science Foundation) funded projects in computational electromagnetism to develop a new method for solving Maxwell’s equations. Dan is an innovative and original thinker who was able to spot connections between our method and other approaches in the literature that helped us to improve the method. He is

a consummate coder who implemented the method very rapidly to allow us to demonstrate the utility of the scheme. He is also a knowledgeable and enthusiastic user of mathematics which was very helpful in developing our collaboration.” Weile has always loved crunching numbers—he double majored in mathematics and electrical engineering as an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Applied Computational Electromagnetic Society and has published more than 140 papers and conference proceedings. Weile has shown versatility over the duration of his career, applying his expertise to a wide variety of problems. This curiosity extends to his personal life, too. In his 30s, after losing 65 pounds, Weile took up a new hobby: running. He has completed four half marathons and two marathons over the last five years.

DISCOVERING HOW CELLS DIVIDE UD professor part of NIH grant to understand mechanisms controlling cell division Abhyudai Singh, an associate professor, is part of a three-year, $675,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to understand cellsize control in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Chlamydomonas). This is a joint project with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, one of the world’s largest independent plant science institutes. Singh, an expert in mathematical modeling, is working with James Umen, Ph.D., Joseph Varner Distinguished Investigator and member, Enterprise Rent-a-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Danforth Center, who is an expert in algal cellular and molecular biology. The groups aim to begin unraveling the “counting” mechanism that underlies Chlamydomonas cell division, in which a period of uninterrupted growth (by as much as twenty-fold in size) is followed by a series of rapid successive divisions to

produce daughter cells that return to a uniform starting size. For this mechanism to operate properly, larger mother cells must “count out” more divisions than smaller mother cells; but the division system exhibits imperfections. For example, two different Chlamydomonas mother cells of the exact same size won’t always execute the exact same number of divisions; but the reasons for differing cell behaviors in the face of seemingly identical starting conditions are unknown. “Diverse organisms from bacteria to humans employ size control strategies to ensure that their cells do not become abnormally large (or small),” said Singh. “This grant facilitates a joint computational-experimental collaboration to uncover size control principles in a unique model system, the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. For the first time, real-time cell size tracking of individual cells will be performed together with expression measurements of key size regulators. The overall goal is to combine these single-cell assays with mechanistic mathematical models to elucidate biomolecular circuits mediating size control in Chlamydomonas.” Although human cells don’t divide exactly the same way, they also make yes/no decisions about cell division that affect human health and disease. For example,

cancer and other human diseases of cell proliferation occur when cell division decisions are made incorrectly. In addition, some of the same molecular mechanisms controlling cell division in Chlamydomonas are also found in humans and in plants, so this research may yield insights into how cell division is controlled in more complex organisms where it is more difficult to study the impacts of noise on cellular decision making. “Noise or stochasticity in decision making permeates biology, but the sources of noise and how they interact with more deterministic aspects of cellular control systems are poorly understood,” said Umen. “This grant will enable us to model and better understand how noisy decision-making impacts cell division in Chlamydomonas, and may also provide insights into other areas of biology that are impacted by stochastic behavior.” The grant will also support an educational component aimed at exposing students to topics at the interface of mathematics and systems biology through collaborative training of graduate students, summer workshops at the University of Delaware, and the National Science Foundation funded Research Experience for Undergraduates summer internship at the Danforth Center.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


Then the chamber is filled with a fluid called methyl salicylate—an inexpensive wintergreen extract that happens to be the active ingredient in some over-the-counter pain relief creams. This liquid has optical properties, or interaction with visible light, that match the optical properties of the retroreflective plastic. When combined, the light can pass through, and the system becomes transparent. This is called refractive index matching. Goossen’s smart glass system can switch from transparent to reflective a thousand times without degrading, as shown in a paper published in 2017 in the journal Optics Express.

SMART GLASS Engineers develop eco-friendly panels that switch from transparent to opaque

Someday we won’t need curtains or blinds on our windows, and we will be able to block out light—or let it in—with just the press of a button. At least that’s what professor Keith Goossen hopes. Goossen and Daniel Wolfe, who earned a doctoral degree from UD in 2017, developed panels that can switch between allowing light in and blocking it out. This “smart glass” technology could be utilized in eco-friendly windows, windshields, roof panes and building envelopes, absorbing light and heat in the winter and reflecting it away in the summer. Although Goossen isn’t the first scientist to make smart glass, his team’s invention is about one-tenth the price of other versions. It is also more transparent in its transparent state and more reflective in its reflective state than competitors, he said. Goossen shared his latest smart glass prototype on March 5, 2018 in a keynote address at the SPIE Smart Materials and Nondestructive Evaluation for Energy Systems IV conference in Denver.


The principles behind this smart glass technology are surprisingly simple. It starts with two sheets of plastic separated by a thin cavity. The plastic contains tiny cube-shaped structures that make the material retroreflective, meaning that it bounces light back to its source, like a bicycle reflector does. University of Delaware

At the March 2018 conference, Goossen revealed a new, improved design. Instead of utilizing cubes, this smart glass relies on the total internal reflection of one-dimensional structures layered perpendicularly. It is highly reflective at up to a 60-degree angle of incidence, an improvement over the previous prototype. “It performed better than we thought it would based on our theoretical understanding,” he said. Goossen uses 3D printing to make his prototypes, but this technology could eventually be manufactured at a high volume and low cost using injection molding. He is now testing his system over a wide range of temperatures to see how it performs, especially as it approaches temperatures that could cause the fluid within to freeze, which will be between 3 and 16 degrees Fahrenheit, depending upon the eventual fluid that is used. Every time Goossen talks to a roomful of engineers about this project, hands go up with questions. “There is a lot of interest in the capability this might represent,” he said. Commercialization may eventually follow— something Goossen is already well versed in. An author of 82 issued patents, he founded a startup company in 2001 that was later acquired. He passes his knowledge along to students as a co-teacher of High Technology Entrepreneurship, a course for undergraduate and graduate students that focuses on financial, legal, scientific and engineering issues facing tech startups.

LEADING THE WAY IN 3D PRINTED ELECTRONICS Professor Mark Mirotznik and graduate student Zach Larimore are laying the groundwork for the 3D printing of electronic components. Their lab team recently developed a novel method to 3D print a microwave antenna, and they also print spatially graded dielectric electromagnetic systems—which could be utilized to print functional electronic devices.

TEACHING HONOR Assistant professor Andrew Novocin received the College of Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award in 2018 for his commitment to teaching and to students, his innovation in promoting learning and understanding, and his long-lasting impact upon students and their educational development. He directs UD’s Vertically Integrated Projects and Cyber Scholars programs.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


NEW FACULTY We are pleased to welcome five new faculty members to our department in 2018.

Austin J. Brockmeier is developing machine learning theory and algorithms that yield interpretable descriptors, visualizations, and models for complex data with applications in natural language processing and neuroscience. Brockmeier was previously a research associate at the University of Liverpool and received his doctoral degree from the University of Florida. Steven S. Hegedus is a continuing track professor in electrical and computer engineering and a senior scientist at the Institute of Energy Conversion, which he joined in 1982. He studies device processing, device characterization, accelerated stability and more. He received his doctoral degree from University of Delaware. Swati Singh investigates novel optomechanical detectors for gravitational waves and uses atomic systems to mediate optomechanical effects, understanding spin bath dynamics in solid-state qubits, and quantum thermodynamics. She was previously an assistant professor at Williams College and received her doctoral degree from the University of Arizona. Nektarios Georgios Tsoutsos studies information security, applied cryptography, computer architecture, hardware security, and encrypted computation. Tsoutsos was previously a postdoc with New York University’s Modern Microprocessor Architectures laboratory, and he received his doctoral degree from NYU. Xiugang Wu studies information theory, networks, data science, and the interplay between them. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow in electrical engineering at Stanford University and a recipient of the 2017 NSF Center for Science of Information (CSoI) Postdoctoral Fellowship. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Waterloo.

University of Delaware


A BANNER YEAR FOR BLUE HEN RACING University of Delaware Formula SAE team captures highest finish yet

If you dream of building or driving a race car, you can do it at the University of Delaware— all while earning an engineering degree.

Nelan was one of five drivers. Four of the five drove during the 2017 competition as well, so they were well prepared this year.

Just ask Sean Nelan. The recent graduate, who earned a degree in electrical engineering, led UD’s Formula SAE team, which builds a prototype race car, to its best-ever finish in competition this year. At the annual Formula SAE competition in Lincoln, Nebraska, held from June 20 to 23, 2018, UD finished 23rd, up from 43rd in 2017. Although UD’s Formula SAE team was founded in 1996, they took a hiatus from competition for several years and booted back up 2017.

This year’s team included engineers from various disciplines as well as students in majors such as finance and hotel management. The students crafted their car in UD’s Spencer Lab, using 3D printers, a new computer numerical controlled (CNC) mill and much more.

a solid design utilized in competition previously. The vehicle’s chassis must be built from scratch each year, but other parts and systems can be re-used, he said. “In 2018 the students focused on optimizing existing designs, rather than starting over from scratch, for most subsystems,” he said. “The focus was more on making it work and designing for durability than for trying completely new (and risky) approaches.”

For the Formula SAE competition, student teams work together to build cars that are cost-effective and fuel-efficient without sacrificing performance. Cars were judged on cost, presentation, design, acceleration, braking, skidpad (a tight figure-8), autocross (one run down a track) and endurance (a two-driver, 30-lap event). Some teams opt to skip some of the events, but the team from UD completed them all. “Our big goal this year was to finish all the events,” said Nelan. “We designed our car primarily for reliability, and we met that goal well. In the future, the team will focus even more on the cost, design and business presentations.” Nelan drove the car during the acceleration test. The team had a problem with the car’s spark coil at one point, but they fixed it within about 15 minutes and kept going. “It was a bit unnerving at first, but it felt good to push through the engine issues,” he said.



The team also partnered with the Center for Composite Materials to utilize carbon fiber material in the body of the vehicle. The team was advised by Steve Timmins, a mechanical engineering faculty member, who said that this year’s team was successful in part because they built upon

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


MADE IN THE ISUITE: A 3D-PRINTED TANK Undergraduate students Andrew Shi and Theo Fessaras spent over 100 hours making a 3D-printed tank. They used Stratasys and Ultimaker 3 devices from the department’s iSuite, a state-of-the-art makerspace, teaching laboratory and collaboration space. The tank is controlled using a Hobbyking quadcopter controller. The original design was by Andre Klaus and is available on Thingiverse.

UNDERGRADUATE SUMMER RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: PROGRAMMING A TRANSPORTATION REVOLUTION Undergraduate electrical engineering students Samuel Matylewicz and Jenny DeFriece spent the summer of 2018 working on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, a pioneering transportation technology developed at UD. Electric vehicles with V2G technology can charge or discharge their batteries back to the electric grid. The visionary behind the V2G technology is Willett Kempton, research director of UD’s Center for Carbon-free Power Integration and a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE). He worked with a team of UD researchers and students including Fouad Kiamilev, a professor in UD’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Rodney McGee, graduate student and lead electrical engineer on the project, to develop the software and hardware to make V2G happen. Under the leadership of Kiamilev, Matylewicz and Defriece work alongside engineers from Nuvve, a Delaware company based in California, which gained exclusive global rights to market V2G technology in 2016.

University of Delaware

STUDENT ORGANIZATION SPOTLIGHT: THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE CLUB For students interested in alternative fuel vehicles, there’s the Electric Vehicle Club, which has about 15 active members. This team aims to build a fully electric FSAE car, and so far, they have a working motor and a nearly complete vehicle design. Next up is fabrication and testing. The car may see competition eventually, but that’s not the focus right now. “My vision for the Electric Vehicle Club is to teach people about electric cars, to demonstrate what they can do, and to get as many people involved in building it as possible,” said club president Theo Fleck. “I don't care about the competition as long as people enjoy working on the car and learning something.”

SPOTTING HAPPY FACES IN THE CROWD A team led by doctoral student Xin (Cindy) Guo scored first place in the Group-level Emotion Recognition subchallenge, one of three sub-challenges in the 6th Emotion Recognition in the Wild (EmotiW 2018) Challenge. Winners were announced at the ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction 2018, which was held in October 2018. Teams were given a set of images picturing a group of people and tasked with developing an algorithm that could classify the peoples’ facial expressions as happy, neutral, or negative. Teams had a month and a half and seven attempts to produce the most accurate algorithm possible. The UD team’s winning solution, titled “Group-Level Emotion Recognition using Hybrid Deep Models based on Faces, Scenes, Skeletons and Visual Attentions,” will be published by ACM. The group used machine learning and deep learning with neural networks and fused eight different models together to develop their winning solution.

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: MILLIMETER WAVE ACTIVE ILLUMINATION In their award-winning undergraduate research, William Beardell, Cooper Hurley, and Kyle Weidmann developed a lightbulb that can generate millimeter waves, under the guidance of Engineering Alumni Professor Dennis Prather. Their impressive results started with a modest pile of spare parts. “Dr. Prather told us that he had a couple of amplifiers left over from a project that had ended a couple years ago that he wanted to repurpose,” said Beardell. “We took them and manufactured them into this array that gives us illumination in a different sense than visual light.” The teammates made their own circuit boards to power their device, a skill they learned during their undergraduate internships with Dr. Prather. Prather helped the students understand how electric fields worked in their system and guided them through the process. Beardell and Hurley are staying on for doctoral degrees at UD.

The goal of such work? To automatically classify images uploaded to websites. “When people search, they would see the images they are looking for because the algorithm would run and label whether people are happy or not,” said Guo. “It could be used to analyze the emotions of a group of people pictured at a protest, a party, a wedding, or a meeting, for example. This technology could also be developed to determine what kind of event a given image shows.” The team also included doctoral student Bin Zhu, alumnus Luisa F. Polanía, professor Charles Boncelet, and department chair and Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Kenneth E. Barner. Barner has guided the work and is Guo’s advisor. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.1319598.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


Non-Thesis MS Graduates Abdurhman Adsimani Aishwarya Arrabelli Richard Bernard Vaughn Brantley Ryan Dailey Yizhu Duan Vincent Fedetz Stefy Gheewala Botao Huang Yifan Jiang John Kacvinsky Christopher Kerwien Joseph Klein Nitya Krishnan Yunzhi Li Hongzhi Liang Haopeng Ling Quanzhen Liu Changyu Liu Ning Lyu David Manley Jules Mbasso Caleb Mencia Evan Millman Craig Myers Joseph Plishka Jin Qian James Romesberg James Shannon Lin Shi Yang Song Yizhou Wang Chengda Wang Zilun Wang Rachel Watkins Yan Wu Zezhi Xu Haochen Yang Wenhao Yang Linjian Zhang Qinxin Zhang Rui Zhang Di Zhao Pengcheng Zhou Yuxun Zhou Wei Zhou

University of Delaware

Master Theses CNN-Based Single Image Super-Resolution Network and Biomedical Image Applications SAMET BAYRAM Advisor: Barner Prediction and Control of Projectile Impact Point Using Approximate Statistical Moments CENK DEMIR Advisor: Singh Fusion of Hyperspectral and Depth Data Using Morphological Image Processing for Pixel-Based Classification ABDULLAH GOKER Advisor: Arce Large Scale Captcha Survey MECHEAL GREENE Advisor: Wang Electric Vehicle Fingerprinting– Identification Through Charging Behavior REBEKAH HOUSER Advisor: Cotton Improved Depth Map Upsampling Using Iterative Joint Trilateral Filter YUKSEL KARAHAN Advisor: Arce Control the Intra and Inter Mode Coupling in Microring Resonators HWASEOB LEE Advisor: Gu

Design Optimization of the Double Delta Doping HEMT MINCHEOL LEE Advisor: Zeng LED-Based Compressive Spectral Temporal Imaging XIAO MA Advisor: Arce Physical Vapor Deposition Methods for Fabricating Dielectric Gratings MORGAN MCELHINEY Advisor: Prather Features and Architecture of the Modern Cyber Range: A Qualitative Analysis and Survey ISHAANI PRIYADARSHINI Advisor: Cotton The Optimization and Performance Evaluation of Ray Tracer on GPU XIN SONG Advisor: Li Designing Analysis and Tools to Measure the Longevity of Infrared LED Scene Projectors JEFFREY VOLZ Advisor: Kiamilev An Information System for Rumors Checking HAO XU Advisor: Fang

PhD Dissertations Iterative Sparse Recovery From High-Dimensional Measurements JUAN BECERRA GONZALEZ Advisor: Arce Software Simultaneous Multithreading Through Compilation YUANFANG CHEN Advisor: Li Optical Coding in Compressive Spectral Imaging Systems and the Multi-Resolution Reconstruction Problem CLAUDIA CORREA-PUGLIESE Advisor: Arce Spatial-Spectrum Estimation and Filtering of Radio Frequency Arrays Via Elemental Photonic Up-Conversion and Coherent Optical Processing JOSEPH DEROBA Advisor: Prather Compressive Polar Spectral and Polarization Imaging CHEN FU Advisor: Arce Coded Aperture Design in Compressive Spectral Imaging LAURA GALVIS-CARRENO Advisor: Arce On Moments and Timing–Stochastic Analysis of Biochemical Systems KHEM RAJ GHUSINGA Advisor: Singh Analog Joint Source Channel Coding for Multi Terminal and Non-Linear Channels MOHAMED HASSANIN Advisor: Garcia-Frias

The Growth of Strain Engineered Germanium Tin Alloys for MidInfrared Detectors by Molecular Beam Epitaxy RYAN HICKEY Advisor: Kolodzey Optical and Electrical Properties of Narrow Gap Germanium-Tin Alloys with High Tin Contents for Middle and Far Infrared Applications DOMINIC IMBRENDA Advisor: Kolodzey High-Power Photonic Antenna Arrays MATTHEW KONKOL Advisor: Prather Characterization of Rare Earth and III-V Nanostructured Materials Using Experimental and Novel pData Analysis Techniques ANAGHA KULKARNI Advisor: Doty Analysis and Management of Intra-and Inter-System Interference in Wireless Communications Systems LI LI Advisor: Cimini A Hybrid Analog-Digital Coding Scheme for Digital Sources LU LI Advisor: Garcia-Frias Understanding and Detecting Newly Emerging Attack Vectors in Cybercrimes DAIPING LIU Advisor: Wang

RF Photonic Apertures DYLAN ROSS Advisor: Prather Compressive Coded-Aperture Multimodal Imaging Systems HOOVER RUEDA-CHACON Advisor: Arce Stochastic Hybrid Systems with Renewal Transitions MOHAMMAD SOLTANI Advisor: Singh Cell Size Homeostasis and Optimal Viral Strategies for Host Exploitation CESAR AUGUSTO VARGAS-GARCIA Advisor: Singh Low Cost Controllable Optofluidic Smart Glass for Energy Efficiency, Thermal Management, and Privacy Applications DANIEL WOLFE Advisor: Goossen Junction Engineering and Device Design for Silicon Heterojunction and Interdigitated Back Contact Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells LEI ZHANG Advisor: Hegedus Infrared and Terahertz Dual Band Semiconductor Development and Spin Orbitronics Based on Semiconductors and Insulators DAINAN ZHANG Advisor: Xiao

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


CA P STO N E DESIGN EVENT Students, their families, project sponsors, mentors and faculty members gathered in May for the annual senior capstone celebration lunch and poster session. Department Chair Kenneth Barner and Professor Chase Cotton spoke at the event. Senior Capstone Design is a six-credit, year-long capstone course structured to imitate the scenario a young engineer will experience in the workforce. Teams select a project, discover customer wants, benchmark the best practices for

Senior Capstone Design Award winners Team ROCKSAT, from left to right: Ryan Beneck, Aric Lu, Ben Steenkamer and Anton Vasilyev each desired function, generate design concepts, build and test a prototype and make improvements, as necessary.

The course provides a realistic industrial management structure and professional background for the design project activities.


TEAMS BIGPRINT Mobile 3D Printing Matthew Cox, Owen Duff, Abraham McIlvaine, and Collin Wallish



Nolan Conway, Jake Jesi, Jeff Kappers, and Dan Sullivan

Smartphone Controlled Vehicle with Video Feedback Michael Hendricks, Rohail Malik, Ajay Mani, and Aaron Mears

Project LODESTAR BLE based Object Tracking Device Dylan Sillart, Edwin Ortiz, and Kuan Wu

DRAGON An Autonomous Follow-me Drone Ryan Hebling, Samantha Hoffman, FJ Morton, and William Rocker



Image Segmentation Through the Use of Deep Learning Alexis Deputy, Kemba Hall Awah Ndingwan, and Jacob Smith

An NFC Banking Application Justin Jagielski, Kaeini Ekong, Trent Davis, and Matthew Mott


INCADESCENT Thomas Kananen, Thomas Wartzack, Russell Stump, and Kyle McParland

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Environment-Navigating Autonomous Vehicle Kaleb Burd, Elton Mwale, Nick Rife and Sam Wendt

ROCKSAT Design and Assembly of Spaceflight Hardware Ryan Beneck, Aric Lu, Benjamin Steenkamer, and Anton Vasilyev

See N’ Seek A Distributed Systems Approach to Video Processing and Analytics Dikshant Adhikari, Vincent Fierro, Patrick Nicholson, and Nazim Karaca

Signal Jamming Digital and Analog Techniquest Dalton Ashley, Josh Johnson, Billy Mullins, and Justin West


2018 ECE RESEARCH DAY The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering recognized outstanding students and alumni at ECE Research Day on May 2, 2018. “ECE Research Day demonstrates the breadth of student innovative projects and research, as well as the accomplishments of alumni,” said Ken Barner, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and chair of the department. The following students received awards: PATRICK CRONIN, in collaboration with YONGPAN LIU and advised by CHENGMO YANG, won the computer engineering award for the

DYLAN D. ROSS and CONOR J. RYAN, in collaboration with JANUSZ MURAKOWSKI, GARRETT J. SCHNEIDER, and CHRISTOPHER A. SCHUETZ and advised by DENNIS PRATHER, won the nanoelectronics, electromagnetics and photonics award for their project titled: RF Imaging Based on k-Space Tomography. WILLIAM BEARDELL, COOPER HURLEY, JONATHAN CHANN, BRIAN KUNGL, JAMES HOLYOKE, and MOHAMMED BAKSH, advised by KEN BARNER, won the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) award for their project titled: FLIE – Flying Labs employing Intelligent Engineering.

project titled: A Collaborative Defense Against Wear Out Attacks in Non-Volatile Processors.

WILLIAM BEARDELL, COOPER HURLEY, and KYLE WEIDMANN won the undergraduate award for their project titled: Millimeter Wave Active Illumination.

ANGELA CUADROS, advised by GONZALO ARCE, won the signal processing award for the project titled: Compressive Spectral X-ray CT Based on K-edge Coded Apertures

ARIC LU, RYAN BENECK, BEN STEENKAMER, and ANTON VASILYEV won the Senior Capstone design award for ROCKSAT: Design and Assembly of Spaceflight Hardware.

left to right: Patrick Conroy, Awah Ndingwan, Darsh Patel, Zack Zaloga, Mauricio Ferrato

left to right: Peyman Barakshan, Fateme Hosseini and Ramin Ramizi

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering


2017–18 ADVISORY COUNCIL Dr. Karen Bloch, EE ’85, M ’97, PhD ’04 AC Chair Engineering Manager, DuPont Company Dr. Fil Bartoli Professor and Chair, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Lehigh University Mr. Terrance Bowman, EE’95 Recruiting Manager, JPMorgan Chase Mr. Bradley Cain, EE’95, MEE’97 Senior Architect, F5 Networks Dr. Edward Coyle, EE’79, M’81 Arbutus Chair, Integration of Research & Ed., ECE Dept., Georgia Institute of Technology Mr. Daniel Grim, EE’70, MEE’72, PhD’76 Chief Technology Officer, Info. Technologies, University of Delaware Dr. Charles Johnson-Bey, M’93, PhD’94 Senior Manager and Baltimore Site Lead for Engineering, Lockheed Martin Corporation Dr. Daniel Lau, PhD’99 Professor, University of Kentucky

University of Delaware

Mr. Michael Lombardi Deputy Director, Intelligence & Information Warfare Directorate, U.S. Army CERDEC

Make the



Mr. Thomas McCormick, EE’81 President and CEO, American Electrical, Inc. Mr. Mark Melillo, EE’82 President and CEO, Melillo Consulting, Inc. Mr. Ray Sokola, EE’76 Vice President, Phase Sensitive Innovations, Inc.


Dr. Rick Taylor Chair, IEEE Delaware Bay Section Dr. Wayne Westerman, PhD’99 MultiTouch Architect, Apple Computer Dr. John C. Zolper EE’85, PhD’88 Vice President, Research and Innovation, Raytheon Company


ALUMNI & FRIENDS ECE alumnus supports entrepreneurship: Raymond Chen Chen, who earned a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of Delaware, is Director of Intellectual Property with Didi Chuxing, a major Chinese ride-sharing, A.I. and autonomous technology conglomerate headquartered in Beijing that provides transportation services for more than 450 million users across over 400 cities in China. He is a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is a registered attorney in Washington, D.C. Pei was recruited into his current position from his previous role as Senior IP Counsel with Faraday & Future, an electric autonomous automobile start-up based in Los Angeles. He worked at the company from May 2015 until August 2016, traveling between Beijing, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley. Previously, he spent almost five years at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP in Washington, D.C. starting as a Student Associate/ Patent Agent before becoming an Associate Attorney. Prior to Finnegan, he was a Patent Agent at Leydig Voit & Mayer and a Biomedical Engineer at Radiology Imaging Associates. Pei received his J.D. with honors from The George Washington University Law School (2011 – 2014) and his Bachelors of Engineering degree in Automotive Engineering from Tsinghua University (1995-2000).

FOUR ALUMNI WINNERS Every day, we are impressed by the accomplishments of our outstanding alumni. We recognized these four with awards in 2018. Guru Parulkar, PhD CS ’87,

received the Distinguished Achievement award, the most prestigious alumni award bestowed by the department. Individuals receiving this award have distinguished themselves through significant contributions in engineering research, practice, education or business. Parulkar is Executive Director of Open Networking Foundation, Stanford Platform Lab, and Consulting Professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, where he helped create three programs: OpenFlow / SoftwareDefined Networking, Programmable Open Mobile Internet 2020, and Stanford Experimental Data Center Laboratory. Kenneth J. Lutz, BEE ’64, 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. Honorees recognized by this award have set a strong example to their fellow alumni through their exceptional contributions to scholarship, teaching or other improvements for ECE faculty and students. Lutz is an Affiliated Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UD. He created a new course on the Smart Grid, which he has been teaching since 2014. His research interests focus on the smart grid as a complex system of systems that integrate power systems, communications systems, and information technologies to create a modern electrical infrastructure to supply reliable power.

Rishi Khan, BS ’00, PhD ’07,

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. Khan is the founder and CEO of Extreme Scale Solutions (ESS), a firm specializing at nexus of high performance computation and data analytics. On the research front, ESS works with Qualcomm and DARPA on designing the next generation of computers to solve extremely large graph analytics problems. For enterprises, ESS helps migrate large fleets of databases to public or private clouds. ESS has migrated thousands of databases at several large financial firms and has built a product, Nubrado, which automates this process. Jill Desmond, HBEE ’09, received

the Young Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes alumni who have graduated within the past 15 years and have excelled in their chosen professions. Desmond is a Data Scientist at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a University Affiliated Research Center focusing on complex research and engineering problems that are critical to our nation’s security. At APL, Desmond focuses both on deep learning applied to image classification and on speech processing technologies in acoustically challenging environments. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Delaware Honors Program in 2009, she went on to earn her Ph.D. from Duke University in 2014, developing statistical models and machine learning algorithms to mitigate the effects of reverberation in cochlear implants.

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

College of Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering 140 Evans Hall Newark, DE 19716