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Issue 5






The nation’s focus on increasing STEM enrollments and growing

that broadly covers EE fundamentals, while others effectively

the high tech-ready workforce is making progress. This is evident

counter in support of a much smaller core. But this discussion

in the enrollment in the USF College of Engineering, which has

is also about exciting and motivating students to engage in

grown nearly 50% in just the past 4 years. Similar expansion in

their education process, to better understand what engineering

engineering colleges is occurring across the country. At the

is about in order to become better engineers. With the new

same time, high profile applications that include the Internet

curriculum students can gain depth of knowledge in selected

of Things, 5G wireless communications, and autonomous and

specialties of interest and consequently have more opportunities

connected vehicles promise many exciting challenges and career

to tackle real-world challenges in their courses. For example,

opportunities for electrical engineers. So this is a time of great

a student interested in microwave engineering will be able to

visibility for STEM majors in general, and rapidly growing demand

take several courses in this area and complete a tape-out ready

for EEs in particular.

integrated circuit design before completing the BSEE program. This is the type of experience that allows a student to stretch the

It has also been an appropriate time to look closely at our

boundaries of their skills and knowledge that has been difficult to

curriculum and make sure we are doing the best job possible

provide with the previous curriculum.

preparing students for an increasingly diverse profession. Today, electrical engineers are leading the way in areas that

I’d like to close with some numbers that reflect the growing

span development of new electronic materials for additive

impact of our department. In the last five years our faculty and

manufacturing to statistical learning algorithms that will help keep

students have submitted 113 invention disclosures and been

the power grid secure. This clearly is not the EE profession of

awarded 61 U.S. patents. These patents have in turn produced

40 years ago! Consequently, a modernized curriculum is needed

28 license or option agreements, and been tied to four start-up

that will prepare our students to compete successfully in the

companies. And the department is now ranked by U.S. News and

job market. And after three years of careful planning, we are

World Report in the top 50 of all EE/ECE departments among

very excited to launch a completely revamped BSEE curriculum

public institutions in the U.S. I hope you enjoy this issue of the

in fall 2017 that aims to meet this need. Details about the new

USF EE newsletter and reading about the exciting events and

curriculum are included within, but in short, our undergraduate

milestones of the last few months.

students will now have more than double the number of technical electives and the core required curriculum has been dramatically reduced.

TOM WELLER, Ph.D. Department Chair

This curriculum change has sparked a healthy “breadth versus depth” discussion. Some argue the importance of a large core



Department Chair Named Fellow in National Academy of Inventors T

hree University of

along with USF alumnus

in the USF College of

South Florida faculty

Israel Morejon, will be

Engineering and has 29

inventors whose work

formally inducted as part

patents in communications

has led to advances in

of a 175-member fellows

systems engineering. He

electronics, biometrics and

class at the sixth annual

cofounded the USF spinoff

anticancer drugs, as well

NAI conference in Boston

company Modelithics, whose

as a USF alumnus who has

in April. Induction is

customers include major U.S.

created a range of cutting-

considered the highest

defense contractors Harris

edge technologies, have

professional distinction

Corp., Northrop Grumman

been selected as fellows in

specifically accorded to

and Raytheon.

the National Academy of

academic inventors who have

Sarkar, chair of the


demonstrated a “prolific

department of computer

spirit of innovation.�

science & engineering in the

Faculty members Thomas


USF College of Engineering,

Weller, Sudeep Sarkar

Weller chairs the department

developed a new imaging

and Nicholas Lawrence,

of electrical engineering

device that can be used to


collect data about the physical

organic molecules to act as

Trademark Office, enhance the

characteristics of human skin

anticancer agents.

visibility of academic technology

critical in diagnosing diseases

And Morejon, chief technology

and innovation, encourage

such as melanoma. He also

officer at enVerid Systems, is

the disclosure of intellectual

pioneered the area of gait

an inventor and manufacturer

property, educate and mentor

biometrics, which analyzes the

of LED lighting and guided

innovative students, and translate

unique characteristics of the ways

missile technologies. He is a

the inventions of its members to

in which individuals walk.

USF alumnus with a degree in

benefit society.

Lawrence is a professor in

engineering and member of the

the department of oncologic

board of directors for the USF

USF now has 18 faculty members

sciences at USF and a senior

Research Foundation.

who are NAI fellows. With the

member of Moffitt Cancer

election of the 2016 class,

Center’s drug discovery

The NAI was founded at USF

there are now 757 NAI fellows

department, where he has

in 2010 to recognize and

representing 229 research

made important contributions

encourage inventors with patents

universities and governmental

in designing and synthesizing

issued from the U.S. Patent and

and nonprofit research institutes.

EE students receive IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Scholarship Plus Initiative Four undergraduate students in Electrical Engineering were selected to receive $2000 scholarships this year from the IEEE Power and Energy Society. Two Hundred and thirty (230) PES Scholarship recipients were selected from 110 U.S., Puerto Rico & Canadian universities for the 2016-17 academic year. The Initiative recognizes undergraduate students who have declared a major in electrical and computer engineering, are high achievers with strong GPAs with distinctive extracurricular commitments and are committed to exploring the power and energy field. This year’s awardees were Christopher Noah, Tristan Siebold, Kyle Swezey and Alexander Tremper. Congratulations to all of these students for their hard work and dedication to the power and energy field.

Visit for more information on the program The SOURCE


Two Associate Deans Announced by College of Engineering Dr. Fred Mannering is named associate dean of research and Dr. Sanjukta Bhanja is named associate dean for academics and student affairs. Robert H. Bishop, Dean of the College of

track with our strategic plan and fulfills our support

Engineering at the University of South Florida

pillars of impactful discovery and educational

recently appointed faculty members to the position


of associate dean. The appointments fill two positions that have been open for more than a year.

Fred Mannering, who will serve as associate dean of research, is professor of civil and environmental


“I am pleased to have these leadership positions

engineering and a nationally recognized

staffed with such high-caliber, dedicated faculty,”

transportation researcher whose specialty is in the

said Bishop. “Our student population has grown

application of statistical and econometric methods

more than 50 percent over the past five years and

to study highway safety, transportation economics,

filling these positions helps keep the College on

automobile demand, and travel behavior. His


research has been published widely and cited

driven uncertainties, trade-off of error, power, and

thousands of times. He received his Ph.D. from the

reliability at various levels of design abstractions.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She also is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award. She received her Ph.D. in computer science and

Sanjukta Bhanja, a professor in the Dept. of

engineering from the University of South Florida.

Electrical Engineering, will serve as associate dean for academics and student affairs. Her primary

Mannering’s appointment is effective starting

research focus is in non-CMOS nano-computing,

in September 2016. Bhanja, who is currently on

exploring novel state variables, alternate

sabbatical, will assume her duties by the end of

computing paradigm with heterogeneous devices,

December 2016.

VLSI design automation with emphasis on data-

Michael Grady Receives Best Research Poster Award Michael Grady, a doctoral student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Center for Wireless and Microwave Information Systems (WAMI), received the Best Student Research Poster Award during the 2016 IEEE MTT-S Wireless and Microwave Technology Conference (WAMICON) from April 11-13, held in Clearwater Beach, FL. Grady presented on “Towards the Realization of Human Core Body Temperature Extraction using a Standalone Radiometric Model”. He is advised by Thomas Weller, professor and chair in the Department of Electrical Engineering.



Design of an all-SiC DBS electrode

Silicon Carbide as a Robust Neural Interface Electrical engineering researchers from University

nervous system. Unfortunately INI microelectrodes

of South Florida (S. E. Saddow and E. Bernardin)

have not shown appropriate long-term reliability

and University of Texas at Dallas (C. L. Frewin)

due to biological, material, and mechanical issues.

have demonstrated a next generation robust all-

Silicon carbide (SiC) is a semiconductor that is

silicon carbide intercortical neural interface (INI)

completely chemically inert within the physiological

for advanced bionics and brain-machine interfaces

environment and can be micromachined using


the same methods as with Si microdevices. We are proposing that an all SiC material system may

Researchers from the University of South Florida

provide the improved longevity and reliability for

(USF) and the University of Texas Dallas (UTD) have

INI devices. The design, fabrication, and preliminary

demonstrated a highly novel all-semiconductor

electrical and electrochemical testing of an all-SiC

intracortical neural interface (INI) for brain-machine

prototype microelectrode array based on 4H-SiC,

interface (BMI) applications. BMI devices offer

with an amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC) insulator

the possibility of improved physiological and

has been performed and shows a promising level of

neurological functionality for patients suffering


from severe trauma to the central or peripheral 6


Comparison of all-SiC prototype electrode performance alongside electrodes of platinum (Pt), titanium nitride (TiN), and sputtered iridium oxide (SIROF). The all-SiC electrode, in this first attempt, already outperforms Pt, the gold-standard neural electrode interface!

The prototype was placed within

the potential range of -0.6V and

be featured as an invited paper

a 1 molar solution of phosphate

+0.8V at 50 mV/ s versus an

at the 2016 ECS conference

buffered solution (PBS) balanced

Ag|AgCl reference electrode.

(Honolulu, Hawaii) and won

to 7.4 pH. Electrochemical

Voltage transient to a cathodal

a best presentation award at

impedance spectroscopy (EIS)

first constant current pulse

this year’s MRS Spring Meeting

was measured using an Ag|AgCl

were also measured using a

(Phoenix, AZ). SiC epitaxial

reference electrode and a

constant current stimulator and

material on 4H-SiC provided by

platinum (Pt) counter electrode

demonstrated that the all-SiC

Dr. J. Hassan, U. of Linkoping,

against the SiC electrodes. EIS

electrodes would be suitable for

Sweden and the device

was performed using a 0.1 Vpp

neural stimulation in addition

fabrication was performed in the

sinusoidal excitation around

to recording. The electrodes

USR NREC with the assistance of

the open circuit potential with

were initially held to a 0.6 V

R. Everly. Translation of this result

frequency ranging from 100

anodic bias and the current that

to cubic SiC on Silicon (3C-SiC)

kHz to 1Hz. Cyclic voltammetry

polarizes the electrode to -0.6V

is being performed at USF with

was used to determine charge

was used to calculate the charge

subsequent in-vitro and in-vivo

storage capacity and was

injection capacity and determine

testing to be performed at UTD.

performed by sweeping through

electrode efficiency. This work will

For more information, please contact Dr. S. E. Saddow:



Summer 2016 Internship Provides Critical Skills for Underrepresented Minority Students and Helps a Local Startup Tech Company Tristan Powell and Jordan Smith, Electrical Engineering students at the University of South Florida, gained critical job skills and gave a solid boost to a local tech startup. Both men are from the U.S. Virgin Islands, and were excited to gain practical, hands-on experience. They landed their internship with Intelemed Technologies, a company developed to support the biotech initiatives in Tampa and the state of Florida. Dr. Catherine (“Cat�) Divingian, CEO and USF medical student, provided the guidance and direction to the students during summer 2016 internship. Working with Graig Alpert, also a medical student; the team started developing medical devices and intelligent apps to support the health of our community heroes, the firefighters and soldiers. Bernard Batson’s expertise was crucial for securing the Florida-Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance Minority Program (FGLSAMP) support for the internship. Through this opportunity, Powell and Smith gained the experience that will give them an advantage in the marketplace. The students learned engineering project management, team work, cost analysis, methods for developing schematics and printed circuit boards, and generating bills of materials. Most importantly, they discovered the value of maintaining a mission orientation by creating technologies that are expected to save lives.



Abhishek Dey Receives IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society (APS) PhD Fellowship Award Abhishek Dey, a PhD candidate

Dey has performed research

in the Department of Electrical

on biosensors, radio-frequency

Engineering and the Center

(RF) devices and antennas using

of Wireless and Microwave

novel materials and microfluidic

Information Systems (WAMI)

reconfiguration techniques.

has been selected to receive an

His current publication track

IEEE Antennas and Propagation

consists of 8 journal papers

Society (APS) PhD Fellowship

and 5 conference papers that

award. He is advised by Gokhan

appeared on flagship journals

Mumcu, associate professor in

and conferences of their related

the Department of Electrical

research areas. In addition to


the IEEE APS PhD fellowship, he received 2014 student

Each year, IEEE APS awards

research award from Florida

up to ten $2,500 fellowships to

with microfluidic reconfiguration

High Tech Corridor Council,

encourage students to pursue a

techniques. The envisioned

2013 USF College of Engineering

career in area of electromagnetics.

microfluidic based interrogation (i.e.

Research week poster award, student

This competition is announced in the

read-out) mechanism is expected to

paper finalist (top 15 out of 144

IEEE APS magazine, APS webpage,

provide a significant cost advantage

student papers) in 2013 IEEE APS

and open to the graduate students

in construction of high resolution

Symposium, and 2011 USF Provost

across the world. Students are

arrays by removing the need for

PhD Fellowship. He was with Qorvo,

evaluated based on the creativity and

active RF control components

FL in summer 2015 as an acoustic

quality of their research proposals,

such as switches. The system will

filter design intern. He is currently

discussion of their technical interests,

also offer a higher speed and

with Qorvo, FL as a senior acoustic

skills, publication tracks, and the

repeatability advantage over a

filter design engineer.

recommendation letters they receive

conventional imaging system that

from their advisors.

utilizes mechanical raster scanning of a single pixel over the imaging area.

Abhishek’s research proposal

The IEEE APS Education Committee

focused on the design, construction,

commended Abhishek for his high-

and evaluation of a novel high-

quality proposal.

resolution microwave imaging system that will be based on sub-

Since joining USF in 2011, Abhishek

wavelength resonators interrogated The SOURCE


2016-2017 Electrical Engineering Teaching Awards The Electrical Engineering

during the preceding academic

the fall semester of 2012 as an

Department at USF recognizes

year. Contributions considered

instructor. Since then, he has

and rewards outstanding

include significant innovations

been teaching a wide range of

performance in academic

in course development and/

students and from freshman to

instruction, specifically with two

or course delivery methods,

graduate courses. Dr. Jeong

awards that are annually given to

outstanding student evaluations,

believes strongly that a key

a faculty member and a graduate

education-related grant funding

factor to a student’s success

teaching assistant.

or external support, and

to mastering knowledge and

education-related publications.

skills is dependent on the

Significant student interaction in

accessibility of the instructor to

the form of mentoring, project

the student. He incorporates

Engineering Educator Award

advising and other similar

an online approach to create

is given to a faculty member in

activities is also considered.

an ubiquitous presence for his

the USF Department of Electrical

The 2016-2017 recipient of

students. Dr. Jeong is currently

Engineering in recognition of

this prestigious award is Dr.

serving on the EE Department

significant contributions to the

Chung Seop Jeong. Dr. Jeong

curriculum committee and the

department’s teaching mission

joined the EE department in

General Education Council for the

The Keysight Technologies Outstanding Electrical



University of South Florida.

with 6 + years of R&D expertise in the self-assembly of organic/

In addition to the Faculty Educator

inorganic semiconductors and device

award, the department issues an award

fabrication with advanced experimental

to outstanding Graduate Teaching

characterizations, including 3+ years

Assistants. The Electrical Engineering

of teaching laboratories for MEMSI

Teaching Assistant (TA) Award

& II, Integrated Circuit Technology,

was created to provide TAs a visible

and Advanced IC technology. Javad

incentive to develop a commitment

graduated in the summer of 2016 with

to student success and excellence in

his PhD under Dr. Zhixin Miao and is

undergraduate instruction. This award

now an Assistant Professor at Penn State

encourages talented TAs to develop

University at Harrisburg. His research

electronic teaching portfolios that

interests include grid integration

document and demonstrate their

of renewable energies, modeling,

teaching commitment and effectiveness,

optimization and control of Microgrids/

and allows the department to formally

Smart Grids (Islanded and Grid

acknowledge them for outstanding

Connected), and HVDC and FACTS. He

instructional accomplishments, publicize

has solid software and hardware hands-

the accomplishments of our TAs and to

on experience on Dynamic modeling

enhance the esteem in which teaching

and analysis of power systems,

by graduate students is held as an

as well as experience in teaching

integral component of the professional

Electromechanical Systems, Complex

preparation of graduate students.

Analysis, and many Power classes in at USF. At USF Smart Grid Power Systems

The 2016-2017 Electrical Engineering

Lab, he conducted research projects

Teaching Assistant Award was dually

using real-time digital simulators (OPAL

earned by Radwan Elzein and Javad

RT-LAB) and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL)

Khazaei, both doctoral students in the


Electrical Engineering program at USF. Radwan is currently finishing up his PhD under Dr. Rudy Schlaf’s direction and has dual Masters in Science and Engineering



Juan De Dios Castro Receives MTT-S Graduate Fellowship Juan De Dios Castro, a doctoral

demonstrate high academic

Juan De Dios Castro received the

candidate in the Department

achievement and ability to

Best Paper Award in the Applied

of Electrical Engineering and

perform independent research

Physics / Electrical and Computer

the Center for Wireless and

in microwave engineering.

Engineering session during the 2016

Microwave Information Systems


Society of Hispanic Professional

(WAMI), has been awarded a

Juan is studying novel

Engineers (SHPE) Engineering

prestigious Microwave Theory

microwave materials for

Science Symposium. Juan’s paper

and Techniques Society (MTT-S)

additive manufacturing of RF

was titled “High-k and Ultra Low-

Graduate Fellowship for 2016.

and Microwave components.

Loss Electromagnetic Composites

Juan will receive his certificate

His other awards include Best

Based on Sintered Titanates for

during the International

Graduate Student Research

Fused Deposition Modeling of Ku-

Microwave Symposium (IMS)

Poster during the 2014

Band Antennas and Filters.”

2016 Student’s Luncheon in San

HENAAC Conference, 2015

Francisco on May 26, 2016.

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society’s

The other co-authors on the

Love of Learning Award, and

paper are Eduardo Rojas-

The IEEE Microwave Theory

Outstanding Student Paper

Nastrucci, a doctoral candidate

and Techniques Society (MTT-S)

at the 2015 International

in the Department of Electrical

is a transnational society with

Symposium on Microelectronics

Engineering; Jing Wang, associate

more than 11,000 members

(IMAPS 2015). Juan is advised

professor in the Department

and 150 chapters worldwide.

by Jing Wang, associate

of Electrical Engineering; and

The Society promotes the

professor in the Department

Thomas Weller, professor and chair

advancement of microwave

of Electrical Engineering, and

in the Department of Electrical

theory and its applications,

Thomas Weller, professor and

Engineering, and director of the

including RF, microwave,

chair in the Department of

Center for Wireless and Microwave

millimeter-wave, and terahertz

Electrical Engineering. He is the

Information Systems (WAMI).

technologies. The fellowship

fifth WAMI student to receive

program was created to

a MTT-S graduate fellowship

support graduate students who

since 2009.


A New BSEE Curriculum with EndlEss Opportunities T

here is an old saying that “Engineers are not good at

subtraction.� Granted, it may be true of many professions and walks of life, but it is certainly true in engineering. And the saying seems to elicit unworldly deference when it comes to curriculum. So great discipline is needed when a department executes on a mission to completely overhaul an entire degree program. Our aim was to convert from a centralized expansive core to a cross-linked distributed model with several optional tracks, and introduce enhancements such as more hands-on learning, and offer

There were many drivers for the new curriculum. Shifting

greater opportunities for professional development. But

some focus away from the core (breadth) and elevating

this needed to be accomplished without breaching the

the importance of the specialty tracks (depth) gives

128 credit hour boundary and faculty needed to concede

students the opportunity to pursue areas of strong

that some courses were simply no longer going to be

interest within the discipline. Moreover, students have

required – this is the subtraction part. And this is what

to make specific choices about the specialty tracks

the Department of Electrical Engineering has managed

they will choose; to make these choices they will

to do over the past four years, with impressive vision and

have to take greater responsibility to understand the

collegiality from a diverse curriculum committee (Lingling

profession. The new curriculum also can readily adapt

Fan, Chung Seop Jeong, Wilfredo Moreno, Gokhan

to the expanding domain of electrical engineering. For

Mumcu, Arash Takshi, Ismail Uysal) with outstanding

example, our department has recently added several

leadership (Christos Ferekides).

faculty members with expertise in the security of cyber physical and communications systems and we are

In the new curriculum, effective fall semester 2017, the

already planning to add a new specialty track that covers

electrical engineering core (now just 28 credit hours)

these areas. Another significant change introduced

funnels into an elective core where students choose

with the new curriculum is the improved distribution

4 courses out of 6 options. Two of the courses in the

of general education courses across the 4 years of the

elective core are selected by students as gates into their

program, which allows us to expose students to electrical

preferred specialty track where they will concentrate

engineering courses in the freshman/sophomore year.

technical electives. In total there are 27 credit hours of technical electives in the new curriculum, more than double the number in the previous program. The SOURCE


Golden Bull Award Congratulations to MSEE student Sayed Abdullah Sadat for being awarded with the 2017 Golden Bull Award! The Golden Bull Award is one of USF’s highest honors given annually (in the spring semester) to up to 20 deserving undergraduate and graduate students who encompass the spirit of USF and have demonstrated its values. Recipients must exemplify exceptional leadership and service to the University and the community and meet the following criteria to apply for the award: Must have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours for undergraduate or 12 hours for graduate by the Fall semester of the year that you apply. All authorized credits toward degrees count in this tabulation, including dual enrollment and transfer credits. •

Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Must be in good standing with the university.

Must have demonstrated a commitment to the values of USF and leadership on campus.

The University of South Florida is dedicated to excellence and the Golden Bull recipients embrace and epitomize the following values of the institution: •

Leadership within the community

Engagement with the community and public service

Success and academic achievement through research, pursuit of knowledge and critical thinking skills

Enhanced global experience and understanding of cultural and ethnic diversity

Development of personal and professional potential

Demonstrated commitment to respect, integrity, and civility

Student Affairs supports these values through programs, services, and activities that enhance the student’s out of classroom experience and recognizes students through this award that have lived these values during their tenure at USF.

Congratulations to our USF SoutheastCon team who performed exceptionally in Ethics, Hardware, and Software! IEEE USF made incredible improvements this year with Ethics and Software in particular: Diego Serrano Reinel, Ivan Chekerov, and Victoria Leppold placed 3rd out of 32 teams in the Software Competition. This year, the competition was a 12- hour Hackathon, featuring IBM’s Watson and IoT technologies. The host was IBM’s own David Jaramillo, Senior Technical Staff for CIO Cloud Engineering Services.



Advisory Board Daryl Barry, ‘92

Joel Johnson, ‘05 Ph.D.

William Ostrowski, Jr.

Vice President of Research and

RF Systems Engineering

VP US Sales & Business Development


Harris Corporation

FLIR Systems, Inc.

William Kamenos, ‘98

Craig Sapashe, ‘85

Senior Design Engineer

Account Manager

GE Aviation

Keysight Technologies, Inc.

Dan Levis

Alan Sowada, ‘02 MSEM

Knowles Corporation Catherine Chandler, ‘03 MSEE Technology Development Program Manager Qorvo

Regional Chief Technologist

Director Engineering, Space Applications

Ken Church

Engineering Fellow

Honeywell Aerospace


Network Centric Systems

Sciperio, Inc.

Raytheon Company

J.B. Wright, ‘05 BSIE Manufacturing Engineering Manager

Paul Crimi

Robert Mamazza, Ph.D

Duke Energy (retired)

President and CEO MtronPTI

Debra Delise

Lockheed Martin Dave Wright Engineering Leader

Senior Director

Steven W. McLaughlin, Ph.D

Service Delivery

Secure Tech Group

Steve W. Chaddick School Chair & Professor

The Nielsen Company

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Larry Geis, ‘96 MSEE

Georgia Institute of Technology

Hardware Manager KEYW Corporation

Randall Miranda, ‘02 Manager of Grid Management Duke Energy

Facts and Figures



Thank you to our generous corporate sponsors and all the individuals who have contributed to the advancement of our department


II-VI Foundation


International Education Agency

NextEra Energy, Inc.


Raytheon Company

Keysight Technologies, Inc.

RCA Solutions, Inc.


Produced by Electrical Engineering Dr. Thomas Weller, Chair Cherie Dilley, Editor University of South Florida 4202 East Fowler Ave, ENB 118 Tampa, FL 33620 V: 813-974-2369 F: 813-974-5250 Editorial Contact:

USF EE Newsletter 2017  
USF EE Newsletter 2017