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Issue 4





SOURCE INSIDE Introducing AAUW p. 2 Faculty Spotlight - Rudy Schlaf p. 6 Keysight Lab Dedication p. 10

Message from the Chair

EE Professor recognized at IEEE Power and Energy Meeting

Approaching the Future of EE in a Systematic Way The fall 2015 semester was filled with outstanding accomplishments by the electrical engineering faculty in research, teaching and service – the pillars of the academic community. Among other notable accolades, Dr. Sanjukta

Prof. Lingling Fan was invited to present research on dynamic system estimation using synchrophasor data in IEEE Power and Energy meeting held in Denver in July 2015. She was also recognized for her service as a Technical Committee Program Chair for IEEE PES Power System Dynamic Performance committee.

Bhanja’s work in next generation computing architectures was recognized in a cover article in Nature Nanotechnology; Dr. Rudy Schlaf received the USF Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award as well as the EE Department’s Keysight Technologies Outstanding Electrical Engineering Educator Award; and, Dr. Sylvia Thomas received the USF Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award. These awards are evidence of the vibrancy of the department, and it is deeply satisfying knowing that we are constantly improving the educational experience provided to our students. As important as it is to recognize today’s achievements, it is also a very interesting time to look forward as the EE discipline undergoes a transformation that will shape its future over the coming decades. The domain of electrical engineering is often described as spanning from “atoms to information” and we have a proud heritage that includes many of the greatest inventions of mankind: electrification, electronics, radio & television, computers, telephony, imaging, and more. Today’s electrical engineers are enabling a new class of interconnected technologies that will improve our health, safety and productivity in areas such as intelligent highways, autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things, networked personal health devices and smart power grids. So an intriguing question to ask is “What is the vision for EE for the next 50 years?” I’m excited to report a glimpse of our EE future. Recently, department heads from across the country were asked to describe their view of “50 years down the road” and from these responses the word cloud shown in the figure above was assembled. The message is evident: electrical engineering departments must continue our student-centric focus while addressing new challenges in future electrical systems and next generation computer technology. The USF EE Department is already well-positioned for this future, with strengths in 5G communications systems, intelligent power distribution systems, robust control systems, embedded systems, and wireless systems. In 2016 we are focused on heightening our educational and research emphasis on electrical systems, as well as secure computer and network technologies. As the saying goes, the future begins today.

Introducing the Newest School of Engineering Student Organization- AAUW By Shamara Collins


merican Association of University Women (AAUW) in Engineering is one of the newer organizations at the University of South Florida (USF). AAUW is an organization for the students by the students. It was founded in the Fall of 2014 by students in our School of Engineering. Some of the founding members include, Drs. Jayita Das and Kemi Akintewe. These two were both sitting presidents, in 2014 and 2015 (respectively). Dr. Das is now


an electrical engineer at Intel and the Dr. Akintewe is a post-doctoral fellow in Boston. Dr. Bhanja of the Electrical Engineering Department is the Academic Advisor for the USF AAUW chapter. The AAUW-USF chapter’s goal is “…to empower women to grow as future leaders in the workforce...” by aiming to “…create a support system and a lifelong network among women professionals…” The organization does this by fostering professional development through

peer mentoring, discussions, invited speakers, leadership opportunities, events, webinars, and workshops. Although the organization is for the empowering of women, it welcomes fully the support and membership of other underrepresented minorities and male colleagues. AAUW was, as many minority groups, formed out of the sense of isolation and it thrives as minority groups do from installation of community

strength. The founding members had a few things in common: being women and graduate students pursuing careers in fields where they are underrepresented. These odds create space for cultural differences. Cultural differences which include, transitioning from an international school system or from a collaborative basedhistorically black institution, to a program focused on independence. Competitive lab space and classrooms, often create a space of isolation resulting in anxiety, depression and lack of productivity. A 2015 study from the University of California Berkeley found that 47% of graduate students suffer from depression. (www. Recognizing these needs in ourselves and many others, AAUW was founded and pledges to bring the community moral to our institution. In this AAUW community, we plan to celebrate accomplishments, provide comfort in rejection, a platform for preparation and resources to counsel in strategic career moves. As graduate students in Engineering, we are the catalyst to societal change. A requirement for the PhD is, contributing to your fields through publications in peer-reviewed journals. The peer-reviewed journal publication process is daunting, and one of the things AAUW champions is being a sounding board during this process. We do this in many ways, by creating writing groups, eyes for editing and support from sad rejections or happy acceptances. We also help with presentation perfecting and career choices. Career choices graduate students have to make

Academic leadership. We also help with things that address our community, like negotiation and interviewing skills. Minorities and Women are the less likely to negotiate for salary and job responsibilities within the working world. AAUW Think Tank Series, is a new platform inspired by the TEDx Talks and the emerging idea of collaborative work space. In the Tech Series, we provide a setting for members to give presentations and receive constructive feedback. Shamara Collins was the first to present in this series on “Introduction to CdTe Thin Film Solar Cells” and Emma Lopez also used this platform to practice her PhD proposal on “Performance of Modified Bioretention Systems for Management of Nitrogen in Stormwater”, which she subsequently passed with flying colors. The AAUW organization looks forward to making this Think Tech Series more popular across campus and receiving help from faculty and staff in the coming Spring 2016 term. While this group focuses on women in Engineering, many issues we discuss applies to all graduate and undergraduate students. We have members who are not woman and who are not from the School of Engineering. We welcome everyone interested to participate in our events like Think Tank, Pathways to academia and pathways to Industry, and our outreach endeavors.

include, academic versus industry and more recently, entrepreneurial endeavors- consulting or start-ups. These are hard paths to navigateso two ways AAUW is addressing this need, is through Academic panels (Spring) and Industry Panels (Fall). The industry panels include inviting speakers from local industry companies as well as well-known companies. The academic panels, include roundtable discussion from female professors and Deans who help with the roads to


EE Alumni Highlight


oe Register is a recent graduate from the University of South Florida obtaining his Doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering in 2014. The main focus of his work was using SiC for optical sensing and brain machine interfaces for improved in vivo sensors to be implanted into the human body. While at USF he also the founded the successful student organization “Xlabs” which inspires young students and teaches engineering principals though hands-on education. Since graduating he has gone on to open his own business “E5 Engineering” located here in the Tampa Bay area. His company helps early-stage hardware startups with technology product development. His company consults with businesses ranging from Silicon Valley clients to local Tampa Bay startups. E5 Engineering provides design services, market analysis, R&D planning, and engineering management services. This provides a much-needed spark in the Tampa technology ecosystem. An example of their work is the 2.4 Ghz wireless mesh networking system. A local public safety company desired a meshing alarm box that would extend the range of there current product. E5 Engineering implemented a 2.4 Ghz wireless mesh networking system to “hop” messages from one alarm to the next thereby allowing for extremely large

networks (100+ Alarm Units) without the added expensive infrastructure. Solar options and rechargeable batteries were also offered to the client for a reconfigurable system. Custom PCB boards, assemblies, and cable harnesses were made for a deployable, outdoor, solution. Joe Register is one example of successful graduates that have graduated from the Electrical Engineering department here at the University of South Florida. He has been a valuable resource to our community while he was at USF and since he has been gone, and has done a great job with his new company. We wish him the very best in his future pursuits in Electrical Engineering!

Sylvia Thomas Receives USF 2015 Faculty Graduate Mentor Award Dr. Sylvia Thomas, Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department, received the Faculty Graduate Mentor Award for her impressive mentoring style as well as the number of graduate students she has mentored and the professional success of those students. Engineering faculty and graduate students were honored at the USF Scholars of Excellence 2015 awards ceremony on October 19, 2015. Dr. Thomas received her award from Dr. Dwayne Smith, Senior Vice Provost & Dean, Office of Graduate Studies and Dr. Ruth Bahr, Interim Assistant Dean, Office of Graduate Studies.


Student Honors

Juan Castro Receives EE TA Award The Electrical Engineering Teaching Assistant (TA) Award was created to provide TAs a visible incentive to develop a commitment to student success and excellence in undergraduate instruction. This award encourages talented TAs to develop electronic teaching portfolios that document and demonstrate their teaching commitment and effectiveness, and allows the department to formally acknowledge them for outstanding instructional accomplishments, publicize the accomplishments of our TAs and to enhance the esteem in which teaching by graduate students is held as an integral component of the professional preparation of graduate students. The 2014-2015 Electrical Engineering Teaching Assistant Award was earned by Juan Castro, a doctoral student in the Electrical Engineering program at USF. Prior to coming to USF, Juan was in industry, working with Jabil (Sr. Quality Engineer), COVIDIEN (Quality Control Supervisor) and Panasonic (Quality Control Engineer). Juan has TA’d for courses in the department that include the Wireless Circuits and Systems Lab, Integrated Circuit Technology

and Advanced Integrated Circuit technology. Juan’s primary objective as a teacher of a laboratory course is that he ensures the students taking his classes receive the best support from him as an instructor to facilitate the learning process, preparing them with a qualified engineering background either for industry or for a research position in academia. His teaching strategy combines approaches based on his personal experience as a Ph.D. student at USF in the RF-MEMS, and experience working as a professional in industry. He combines the theory learned in class and experiments learned in the laboratory, relating them with real problems occurring in the semiconductor and RF/ Microwave industries.

EE Student Receives 2015 Outstanding Dissertation Award Jayita Das, who received her PhD in electrical engineering in 2014 received a 2015 Outstanding Thesis & Dissertation Award. Dr. Das received her award from Dr. Dwayne Smith, Senior Vice Provost & Dean, Office and Graduate Studies and Dr. Ruth Bahr, Interim Assistant Dean, Office of Graduate Studies. Dr. Das’s Dissertation “Auxiliary Roles in STT-MRAM Memory” was overseen by Electrical Engineering Associate Professor, Dr. Sanjukta Bhanja, and can be found in the University Scholar Commons.


Faculty Spotlight - Dr. Rudy Schlaf


r. Rudy Schlaf, Full Professor of Electrical

Dr. Schlaf is also driving an effort to attract more

Engineering has been awarded The Keysight

fresh(wo)men into the EE profession through a hands-on

Technologies Outstanding Electrical Engineering

experiential learning based extracurricular effort (see

Educator Award. This award is given to a faculty for more info).

member in the USF Department of Electrical Engineering in recognition of significant contributions

Dr. Schlaf’s other major areas of interest include Spray

to the department’s teaching mission during the

based deposition of macro-molecular thin films and

preceding academic year. Contributions considered

interfaces, photoemission spectroscopy on organic

include significant innovations in course development

semiconductor/bio-materials interfaces, work function

and/or course delivery methods, outstanding student evaluations, education-related grant funding or external support, and educationrelated publications. Significant student interaction in the form of mentoring, project advising and other similar activities is also considered. Dr. Schlaf initiated the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in the USF College of Engineering and was Director of the program for over a decade. He is also an entrepreneur, and collaborated with a high-tech start-up to successfully commercialize electrospray technology developed in his USF laboratory.

measurements, directed assembly of macromolecular

It was during this entrepreneurial experience that he

materials, biosensors, thin film photovoltaics, and

became passionate about making electronic products.

electronic structure and growth phenomena of atomic

Combining this passion with his strong interest in

layer deposition thin films.

hands-on undergraduate learning, he developed and launched a very innovative and successful new course titled “Make: A Hands-On Introduction to Engineering Design” (see for more information), which is the basis for this award.


USF Smart Grid Power Systems Lab Update The USF Smart Grid Power Systems (SPS) group has been very busy this year. SPS currently has 12 full time Ph.D. students enrolled and course sizes are averaging around 45 students per session. This includes classes such as Electromechanical Systems, Power System Analysis, and AC Machines and Drives. SPS students actively participated EE reunion by presenting research project posters and showing alumni the SCADA system in the teaching lab.

USF SPS also took the lead in an Energy Storage project. A 400 kWh Lithium-ion battery has been installed. SPS lab is working hard to setup a control center at the Tampa campus that enables remote control of the battery for peak shaving and valley filling. USF SPS also launched collaboration with Jabil to setup a communication network for synchrophasors and facilitate demand response by smart inverters using synchrophasor signals.

Alumni in the News - Electrical Engineering Reunion! The EE Department held its first-ever Alumni Reunion during USF’s 2015 Homecoming Week on October 9 and 10. About 150 alums, some with their families, were welcomed in the Hall of Flags by EE staff and faculty. There were also a couple dozen current students on-hand providing tours of the teaching labs, giving outstanding demonstrations in the new Design for X maker space, and discussing their latest research with poster presentations. It was a busy two days, filled with reconnecting and good conversation. Very special thanks are due to TRAK Microwave for sponsoring the brunch on Saturday morning, and to Keysight Technologies for their sponsorship of the round-up at Café Don Jose. Cherie Dilley, the department’s Academic Services Administrator, was the master planner and was expertly assisted by Jessica Procko (Graduate Program Assistant) and Judy Hyde (Administrative Assistant) – the department is indebted to all of them for their efforts. Some attendees remarked “Let’s do it again next year!” We’ll have to see if the planners have recovered by then…


Dr. Salavatore Morgera is Bell Labs Prize Finalist USF electrical engineering professor, Salvatore

well as forming a core element of brain enhancement

Morgera, PE, FIEEE, was selected a finalist in the 2015

methods for the aging and mentally disabled. The

Bell Laboratories Prize competition. The competition,

Bell Labs Prize is an international competition to

a long, three-stage process, began with 250 entrants

solicit game-changing and impactful ideas that have

from 33 countries ending with seven finalists. Morgera’s

the potential to change the way we live, work and

project titled “The Wireless Neurological Network�

communicate with each other. The finalist were

is a wireless networking model of the brain and

honored at dinner event on December 8 in New Jersey.

central nervous system that represents a paradigm

Dr. Morgera previously taught at McGill University

shift in thinking. The new model goes beyond existing

in Montreal and Florida Atlantic University, where

connectome-based methods to explain more accurately

is a professor emeritus. He earned his PhD at Brown

how humans perform cognitive tasks that require


both local and global brain activity, and provides new insights into neurodegenerative dysfunctions such as Multiple Sclerosis and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The model was viewed as a game changer that will enable noninvasive diagnosis treatment of these disorders as


Faculty Reads

If you are looking for some new reading material, a number of our faculty have published books this year. Check it out! Dr. Fan and Dr. Miao: Modeling and Analysis of Doubly Fed Induction Generator Wind Energy Systems A monograph on wind generator modeling and analysis this may. The book is the first one of a series research books on Sustainable Electric Power and Energy Systems launched by Elsevier. Lingling Fan, Zhixin Miao

Dr. Ralph Fehr: Industrial Power Distribution This new edition of Industrial Power Distribution addresses key areas of electric power distribution from an end-user perspective, which will serve industry professionals and students develop the necessary skills for the power engineering field Industrial Power Distribution, 2nd Edition Ralph Fehr ISBN: 978-1-119-06334-6

Dr. Stephen Saddow: Silicon Carbide Biotechnology: A biocompatible Semiconductor for Advanced Biomedical Devices and Applications Silicon Carbide Biotechnology explores the popular biocompatible semiconductor for advanced biomedical applications, from heart stent coatings and bone implant scaffolds to neurological implants and in vivo biosensors. Edited by Dr. Stephen Saddow: Advanced Silicon Carbide Devices and Processing

Dr. Arthur Snider: Fundamentals of Matrix Analysis with Applications An accessible and clear introduction to linear algebra with a focus on matrices and engineering applications Fundamentals of Matrix Analysis with Applications Edward Barry Saff, Arthur David Snider ISBN: 978-1-118-95365-5


Lab Dedication Celebrates Largest In-Kind Gift in USF History

Virtual Software Provides Real-World Experience for Engineering Students



he USF College of Engineering celebrated its 20-

ADS software allows students to design and predict the

year partnership with Keysight Technologies, Inc.,

performance of high frequency circuits before they are

with a Lab Naming Ceremony on Friday, January 22.

built, saving both money and time “We are so pleased

The donation of Advanced Design System, or ADS

with the incredible generosity of Keysight Technolo-

Software, is the largest in-kind donation ever in the

gies,” said Joel Momberg, CEO of the USF Foundation.

history of the University. In honor of the donation, the

“This gift means access to software that makes our Engi-

Center for Wireless and Microwave Information Sys-

neering graduates highly sought after in the workforce.”

tems (WAMI) is being renamed renamed the Keysight

The College of Engineering has a long history using

Technologies Wireless Laboratory. Thanks to Keysight,

the ADS software. Since 1996 – when ADS became

students in the Electrical Engineering Department have

one of the first computer-aided engineering programs

access to this powerful simulation tool, currently used

on the market – the Electrical Engineering Department

throughout the RF/microwave and wireless industries

implemented it. Now, the software is embedded in

and in research labs and universities across the world.

USF electrical engineering coursework and is installed

in all computer labs. “This long-term commitment by

software donations – has been a top donor to USF, with

Keysight is a validation of the quality of the engineering

software donations totaling more than $203 million.

program here at USF,” said Dr. Robert H. Bishop, dean

“Keysight is dedicated to meaningful collaboration with

of the College of Engineering. “Armed with this expe-

researchers and educators around the world,” said Todd

rience, out students are moving quickly into the work-

Cutler, vice president and general manager of Keysight

place and creating the next technological advances.”

Technologies. “We are proud to partner with USF to help its students and researchers become industry-ready

The WAMI lab was founded 20 years ago with an


equipment grant from Keysight and matching funds from the National Science Foundation. Through the years that followed, Keysight – through its in-kind


EE News Vol. 04, Issue 04 Spring 2016

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:

Profile for USF Engineering

The Source issue #4  

The Source issue #4