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INFORMs INSIDE Faculty Spotlight - Dr. Selcuk Kose p. 11 Student Honors p. 5 USF Welcomes New Dean p. 2

USF Faculty Awarded National Science Foundation Grant The National Science Foundation awarded a grant of $259,819 to the University of South Florida. The support was awarded to the project called “EAGER: Development of a rectenna for energy harvesting and detection applications.” The project is under the direction of Elias K. Stefanakos, Manoj Ram, and Yogi Goswami. Total research expenditures for the EE Department in 2014-2015 exceeded $2.9M.

Message from the Chair I am very pleased to welcome our new College of Engineering Dean, Dr. Robert Bishop, to USF and as our newest member of the Department of Electrical Engineering. Dean Bishop is a highly accomplished researcher in the area of controls, and has a deep commitment to advancing undergraduate education. He is wasting no time getting involved in the EE Department’s teaching mission, either, offering his first course in the Spring 2015 semester. In fact, the entire department is focused on improving the quality of our BSEE program. Last fall the faculty met in downtown Tampa for a Curriculum Retreat to brainstorm ideas for modernizing the curriculum and for helping our students to compete and succeed in the engineering profession. The faculty was joined by students, members of our External Advisory Board and individuals from across the campus who share interest and expertise in developing teaching skills and improving learning environments. It was a successful event by all measures, generating innovative ideas for creating a more student-centric program, experiential learning opportunities, expanded and modernized student advising and mentoring, and partnerships with colleges across the USF campus. The retreat was only a first step in a longer process to implement the best of the ideas that were generated, and I expect the first innovations to be in place for the Fall 2015 semester. Although, a component of the ‘new BSEE’ program is already making a significant impact on our students – the MAKE Course started in Spring 2014 by Professor Rudy Schlaf. Based in the new Mini Circuits Design for X Lab http://www.eng., Dr. Schlaf’s course follows the Do-Then-Learn model and gives students the opportunity to design, create, program and test their own Arduino-controlled robotic systems. The course is wildly popular with students, and is generating just the type of enthusiasm for engineering that we aim to infuse into the entire EE curriculum. For more details on Dr. Schlaf’s course please see Send me a note ( if you’d like to learn more about our plans for curriculum reform, or have some ideas of your own for preparing students for the 21st century. Otherwise please stay tuned for exciting changes to come.

USF Welcomes New Dean of the College of Engineering The University of South Florida is delighted to

fill workforce gaps in information technology, and

welcome Dr. Robert H. Bishop, previously Opus Dean

managing increased student demand and enrollment

of Marquette University’s College of Engineering, as

while making gains in student retention.

the new Dean of the USF College of Engineering. “We are so grateful for Dean Perez’s leadership Recognized as a distinguished teaching professor and proven researcher in aerospace

the past year, which makes possible the additional successes we anticipate in the

engineering, Bishop is a specialist

years to come,” said USF Provost

in the application of systems

Ralph Wilcox. “USF’s College

and control theory to modern

of Engineering exemplifies the

engineering products. He works

entrepreneurial spirit central to

with NASA on advanced navigation

USF’s mission. I know Dr. Bishop

algorithms for test flight vehicles;

shares that focus and will inspire our

his picosatellite has been launched

students to achieve great things.”

into space. He also co-authors one of the world’s leading undergraduate

The USF College of Engineering

textbooks in control theory, among

currently enrolls more than

a myriad of other internationally

4,600 students, employs 150

recognized published works. He

faculty members and garners

joined USF on August 8, 2014.

more than $25 million in annual research expenditures. Its research focuses on

“Dr. Bishop’s expertise, experience and enthusiasm

energy, sustainability, robotics, nanotechnology,

make him a perfect fit to lead the USF College of

materials, transportation, water, computer system

Engineering,” said USF President Judy Genshaft. “The

design, security, pattern recognition, analytics

innovative research and creative work of this college

and optimization, biomedical, health systems and

is crucial to the future of USF. Under Dr. Bishop’s

communications. As Dean of the College, Bishop will

leadership and through the hard work of our talented

continue the development and realization of strategic

students and faculty, we know the future is very

goals and promote and advocate for the College


locally, statewide, nationally and globally.

Bishop takes over for Dr. Rafael Perez, who has been leading the USF College of Engineering as

“I am honored to join a team that is dedicated to

Interim Dean for the past year. During that time,

student success and strategically focused on positively

Perez has kept a steady hand on the college’s

impacting the future,” Bishop said. “The University of

strategic direction – successfully maintaining ABET

South Florida is an exciting and dynamic place. I can’t

accreditation (Accreditation Board for Engineering and

wait to see what we accomplish together.”

Technology), earning a coveted TEAm Grant from the Board of Governors and Florida Legislature to help


USF and Electrical Engineering study to help U.S. military feed soldiers in the Middle East technology, said Ismail Uysal. “We have a program developed in which the information from the wireless trackers from the MREs is stored,” he said. Uysal said the RFID technology allows effective decision-making in terms of which food should be shipped out and at what time. This will also ensure that the shelf life of foods is estimated more accurately, hence reducing food-related sickness and decrease the amount of food wasted, said Nunes. Shelf life is predicted by examining information gathered by the storage protocol that was designed USF researchers.

Due to prolonged military involvement in the Middle East, the U.S. Army has granted USF researchers, lead by Ismail Uysal, a USF professor of electrical engineering and postdoctoral associate, $6.7 million for a five-year study to develop technology to improve the shelf life of military rations. This technology will notify military officials when rations expire and if they can survive the environment of their shipping destination. This will result in the military being able to make informed decisions as to when and where food should be shipped.

Properties such as change in chemical composition, color and appearance were studied, she said. Food loses much of its nutritional value for the troops when spoiled due to poor conditions. Some of the tested rations included chipotle bread, mangopeach applesauce, raisin trail mix, beef ravioli, pork sausage and gravy, peanut butter and jalapeno cheese spread. “When exposed to hot temperatures, these selected items are most likely to go bad in a short time, and were the target of our investigation,” Nunes said.

The current rations distributed to U.S. troops, known as First Strike Rations (FSR) and Meals Ready to Eat (MRE), are designed to have an ideal shelf life of two to three years if kept at a temperatures of 80 degrees. However, Cecilia Nunes, a USF professor of molecular biology and microbiology, said the poor conditions in the Middle East directly cost the U.S. military millions of dollars in spoiled rations.

A national study from August 2012 by the National Resource Defense Council discovered that more than 40 percent of all food manufactured in the United States is wasted yearly. Uysal hopes that the current tools for determining shelf life of military rations can be adapted to a larger commercial scale. Food companies can benefit from the technology too, Uysal said. A grocery store would retain product and therefore increase profit.

“When MREs are exposed to the temperatures in hot desert areas, their shelf life is significantly reduced to a few weeks,” she said.

“We would like to see the big retail stores (such as Publix and Wal-Mart) take interest in this technology to efficiently manage their supplies and food distribution,” he said.

USF researchers have developed a method to track the shelf life of MREs by developing technology that monitors the environmental conditions around the rations. The temperature monitoring system relies on radio frequency identification


IMS 2014 Project “Connects” Undergraduate Student to the Microwave Field At the 2014 International Microwave Symposium (IMS) held in Tampa, the inaugural Project Connect program was held. Twenty undergraduate students were selected and invited to participate in this 3-day IMS immersion experience. With support from IMS 2014 and The National Science Foundation, Project Connect’s aim is to increase the talent pool in the RF/microwave/wireless fields and establish this as a model program to broaden participation within IEEE. The students, from underrepresented populations, participated in a variety of activities to educate them about educational and career opportunities in the field. Based on the feedback from the participants, this objective was met! The students were well engaged, the energy level was high, academic and industry participation was terrific, and a great deal of momentum was generated to carry Project Connect into IMS 2015 and beyond. The inaugural success of Project Connect has ensured that the program will again be offered at IMS 2015. Organizers, sponsors, educators, and most of all the students felt that Project Connect had a tangible impact. As summed up by one student, Project Connect was a “Once in a life time experience! Definitely worth it!” As the bright future of wireless technology unfolds, this program and others like it cultivate an inclusive community and enhance opportunities for innovation and technical excellence. The IMS is the flagship conference of the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) with an annual attendance around 10,000 and an exhibition that features over 500 companies. Dr. Larry Dunleavy was General Chair of IMS 2014. Project Connect was initiated by faculty members and graduate students in the EE Department and we are proud that the tradition is continuing into 2015.


Student Honors Tylar Murray Awarded Draper Fellowship Tylar Murray, doctoral student in electrical engineering has been awarded the Draper Fellowship. The Draper Laboratory Fellow (DLF) Program typically sponsors 50–60 graduate students each year through a Research Assistant position at the student’s university. Tylar has a background in physics and computer science. Since coming to USF, he has been studying ways to apply dynamical systems principles to the design of user-avatar interaction. At Draper Tylar will be working with Fed Giovannetti to create virtual characters that motivate people to make healthy choices. Through this work he hopes to create more advanced modeling tools for behavioral engineers and behavioral intervention designers looking to use avatars. The DLF appointment provides full tuition coverage and a monthly stipend for the duration of the student’s degree program. In return, the student carries out his/her thesis research in collaboration with a Draper technical staff member on a project that is of mutual interest to the student, the university faculty advisor, and to Draper Laboratory.

Maria Cordoba Erazo Receives MTT-S Graduate Fellowship Maria Cordoba Erazo, a doctoral student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, was awarded the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Graduate Fellowship for 2015. Maria will receive her certificate at the IMS 2015 Student’s Luncheon in Phoenix on May 21, 2015. The IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) is a transnational society with more than 11,000 members and 150 chapters worldwide. The Society promotes the advancement of microwave theory and its applications, including RF, microwave, millimeter-wave, and terahertz technologies. Maria is advised by Professor and Dept. Chair Thomas Weller. She is the fourth student of Professor Weller’s to receive this fellowship since 2009.


Fabiola Cespedes Araujo Awarded Schlumberger Fellowship Maria Cordoba Erazo, a doctoral student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, was awarded the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Graduate Fellowship for 2015. Maria will receive her certificate at the IMS 2015 Student’s Luncheon in Phoenix on May 21, 2015. The IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) is a transnational society with more than 11,000 members and 150 chapters worldwide. The Society promotes the advancement of microwave theory and its applications, including RF, microwave, millimeter-wave, and terahertz technologies. Maria is advised by Professor and Dept. Chair Thomas Weller. She is the fourth student of Professor Weller’s to receive this fellowship since 2009.

Michael Grady Awarded IEEE Fellowship Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTT-S) Fellowship Michael Grady, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, has been selected as one of two winners from a nationwide pool of applicants to receive the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTT-S) Graduate Fellowship for Medical Applications for 2014. The purpose of the prestigious award is to recognize and provide financial assistance to graduate students who show great promise in applying microwave engineering towards medical applications. Michael, a member of the Center for Wireless and Microwave Information Systems (WAMI), was chosen for the award based upon his proposal “Towards the Real-time Measurement of the Subsurface Temperatures of Pressure Sores.” The objective of his research is to perform the preliminary steps in engineering a diagnostic tool designed to monitor human health. The approach taken will be to design and characterize a biomedical radiometer, and provide models to account for electromagnetic interactions between the human body and the monitoring device system. Michael is advised by Thomas Weller, professor and chair in the Department of Electrical Engineering. In addition to receiving a fellowship award of $6,000, Michael was recognized at the Student Awards Luncheon during the 2014 International Microwave Symposium (IMS2014) in Tampa, FL.


Engineering Students Recognized by NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Three USF engineering

Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW)

students and one

initiative and professional career development with

recent graduate have

federal internships provided through the Graduate

been recognized by

Research Internship Program (GRIP). Fellows and

the 2015 National

students with Honorable Mention designation may also

Science Foundation

be eligible for access to cyberinfrastructure resources

Graduate Research

to support their research-training through the NSF

Fellowship Program

supported Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery

(GRFP) competition. Ileana Wald, Brian Wright, and

Environment (XSEDE) and for Facilitation Awards for

Jesse Brizzi were awarded fellowships and Cheng Wei

Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED)

Lin received Honorable Mention Recognition. The NSF GRFP supports outstanding graduate students in

Brian is a graduating senior in the Department of

NSF- supported science, technology, engineering, and

Electrical Engineering. Last December, he earned his

mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests

based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited

include haptics and touch perception, human-machine

United States institutions. It is a critical program in

interfaces, sensory augmentation and substitution,

NSF’s overall strategy to develop the globally-engaged

control systems, robotics, rapid prototyping, wearable

workforce necessary to ensure the nation’s leadership

electronics, and online education. In the College of

in advancing science and engineering research and

Engineering’s REU program, Brian volunteered in


the labs of Nathan Crane, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Kyle Reed,

The GRFP provides three years of financial support

assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical

within a five-year fellowship period ($34,000 annual

Engineering. During the 2014-2015 academic year, he

stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to

served as Tau Beta Pi Professional Development co-

the graduate institution) for graduate study that leads to

chair. For nearly four years, Brian was on active duty

a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in science

as an infantryman in the United States Marines Corps

or engineering. In addition, fellows have opportunities

(USMC). He plans to attend University of Pennsylvania

for international research collaborations through the

in August for the Ph.D. to study Robotics.

Texas Instruments Donates to USF Texas Instruments donated 13 new boards to the USF Electrical Engineering Department. The boards are for use in the Lab I and Lab II courses. The boards cost $100 a piece for a total donation of $1300.


Frank Alexander, Jr. Receives Whitaker Award Frank Alexander, Jr., a doctoral candidate

(postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates) in

in the Department of Electrical

the field of biomedical engineering.

Engineering, has been awarded a prestigious Whitaker International Program

Frank is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research

Scholarship grant. He will conduct

Fellowship Program (GRFP) and the NSF Florida-

postdoctoral research at cellasys GmbH

Georgia LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate fellowship

a biomedical engineering company in

program. During his doctoral program, he

Munich, Germany. Frank will work on

participated in NSF supported summer biomedical

the development of several organ-on-a-

engineering internships with Optofluidics, Inc.

chip models for in vitro drug testing and

(2013) in Philadelphia, PA, and Time Medical (2010)

analysis. He is the first USF student to be

in Shanghai, China. Frank’s dissertation research

supported by the Whitaker International

seeks to combine bioimpedance spectroscopy

Fellows and Scholars Program.

measurements of three dimensional (3D) tumor cell models with simultaneous pH measurements to correlate

Beginning in 1975, the Whitaker Foundation supported the

morphological changes with environmental changes for a more

development and enhancement of biomedical engineering in the

accurate drug screening platform.

United States, contributing nearly $700 million to universities. When the foundation closed in 2006, it committed its remaining

Frank has been advised by Shekhar Bhansali, professor and chair

funds to the Institute of International Education to create the

in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at

Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program. Its goal is

Florida International University, and Andrew Hoff, professor in the

to enhance international collaborative ties between U.S. emerging

Department of Electrical Engineering at USF.

leaders in biomedical engineering (bioengineering) or related fields and their counterparts abroad. Since its inception in 2006, the Whitaker International program has supported over 200 grantees

Weize Yu Wins USF Presidential Doctoral Fellowship Weize Yu, incoming Ph.D. student in

the opportunity to nominate their

the Electrical Engineering Department

top recruit for the academic year. Of

has been awarded the prestigious

those nominees, a maximum of five

Presidential Doctoral Fellowship. The

students are offered the fellowship.

Presidential Doctoral Fellowship is

Mr. Yu will be working with Dr.

a recruiting tool aimed at attracting

Selcuk Kose, Assistant Professor of

outstanding doctoral students who have

Electrical Engineering, on hardware

demonstrated potential for excellence

security to develop next generation

in research and scholarly/creative

on-chip power delivery systems.

activity. Each department at USF has


Spring 2015 Capstone Design Poster Competition Winners The Spring 2015 Capstone Design Poster Competition was held on Friday, April 24th in the Mini Circuits Design for X laboratory following a productive Advisory Board Meeting. Twelve teams, most with 3-4 students each, were competing in the event which was attended by the faculty, industry judges, current USF students and competitor families.

The top ranked posters were: 1st place Haptic Ball (Nathaniel Eanes,

2nd place Solar Swarm (Joseph Lawlor,

The next poster competition is

Matthew Katte, Sean Murphy, and Brian

John Murray, Matthew Olson, and

scheduled for Friday, December 4th.


Christopher Perry) 3rd place Smart

These events are open to the public

Power Strip (Ryan Gittens, Sean Kolanowski, and Jason Sweeney)

Muhammad Saqib Jamil selected to represent USF in 8th Annual Florida International Leadership Conference Muhammad Saqib Jamil, an MSEE student, was selected to represent USF at the 8th Annual Florida International Leadership Conference. Mr. Jamil was among 10 sponsored students from INTO USF selected, and the only student from and Engineering department. The conference is held annually at Florida State University and is attended by international and U.S. study abroad students from more than 20 Florida universities and colleges. When asked about his experience Jamil stated, “It was a wonderful experience of representing USF at a place having around 200 participants from 61 different countries. I am really thankful for the experience.�


Alumni News A Recently published paper, Symmetry breaking of magnetic vortices before annihilation, by Javier Pulecio, et. Al., PhD ’10 appeared on the cover of the September 29, 2014 issue of Applied Physics Letters, Volume 105, Issue 13. The research investigates how magnetic quasi-particles known as vortices breakdown under high energy configurations. Using state-of-the-art Lorentz transmission electron microscopy imaging techniques with resolution down to 5 nanometers, they were able to directly observe the transition and unique asymmetrical states produced under applied magnetic force fields. Pulecio is a research associate at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory within the Department of Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science in the Electron Microscopy and Nanostructure Group. Javier received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering under the supervision of Sanjukta Bhanja, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. In 2011, he was awarded a USF Outstanding Dissertation Award. His other awards include the NSF Florida-Georgia LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Minority Graduate scholarship, and the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship.

Ralph Fehr Receives Outstanding Engineer Award from IEEE Ralph Fehr, instructor of electrical engineering, recently received the 2014 Outstanding Engineer award from the IEEE Power and Energy Society, Florida West Coast Chapter for his contributions to the chapter and to the engineering community in 2013.


Faculty Spotlight – Dr. Selcuk Kose Dr. Selcuk Kose, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, has been awarded the NSF CAREER Award. The NSF CAREER Award is a five-year CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Kose’s award totals $450,000 over the five years. The title of the project is “Regulator-Gating (ReGa): A New On-Chip Power Delivery Architecture.” The ultimate goal of this project is to revisit and fundamentally tailor the design and management of on-chip power delivery infrastructure. As compared to the conventional schemes where the power network is designed targeting the full utilization of the overall chip area, the proposed research will provide an adaptive power delivery infrastructure that is tailored to provide high voltage conversion efficiency during both fully-utilized and underutilized modes of operation. Novel voltage regulation techniques and support circuits, physical design of power delivery networks, and power management schemes will be developed. The research component of this project has broad implications across all sub-areas of semiconductor-related research as power efficiency has become the primary bottleneck. The education component of this project will provide guidelines on how different teaching techniques can be integrated in undergraduate and graduate level courses to enhance the engineering education.

Electrical Engineering Professor Ravi Sankar Awarded Fulbright Electrical Engineering Professor Ravi Sankar has been selected to receive a Fulbright award to Brazil for 2015-2016. This is a research award whose primary purpose is to conduct United States-Brazil cooperative research with the Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP) at São Carlos School of Engineering, the largest and highest ranked university in Brazil. The collaborative research focuses particularly on the use of sensor networks and signal processing to improve healthcare that is mutually beneficial to both the countries. Another mission of this Fulbright-Brazil Scientific Mobility Program is to foster bilateral cooperation between USF and the host institutions, including the University of Sao Paulo and University of Campinas, two of the largest and two of the top-ranked institutions in Brazil.


EE News Vol. 03, Issue 03 Spring 2015

Produced by Electrical Engineering Dr. Thomas Weller, Chair Jessica Procko, 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 Electrical Engineering INFORMs Newsletter  

Issue 3