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ECE Newsletter: Summer 2017

Message from Kris Hollot

Hi, UMass Amherst ECE alumni and friends:

I hope this email newsletter finds you all well-rested after summer vacations!

For the newest of ECE alums (May of 2017 grads), this will be the first September in 16-plus years that they are not returning to school!

May 2017 Grads
(Do you remember your first
September without school?

In our last newsletter, we requested that alums tell us about their successes, and we heard from:

  • Amir Amini (BSEE, ’83), who was elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering;
  • Marc Hildebrant (BSEE, ’71), who had been featured in IEEE Spectrum’s "Geek Life" about his work in restoring old music;
  • Henning Schulzrinne (PhD, ’92), who has been working at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, most recently as CTO, on loan from Columbia University.

Please keep this information coming.

It was also great to see the increasing number of alums attending Senior Design Project (SDP) Demo Days (please mark your calendars for SDP18 Demo Days, Friday/Saturday, April 27 and 28, 2018). On this note, I would like to recognize:

  • Father/son alums Thomas Erb (BSEE, ’81) and Sam Erb (BSEE, ‘11), who, like clockwork, attend SDP demo days.
  • Tom Kopec (BSEE, ’80, MSECE, ’85), who missed SDP17 Demo Days (a rare miss), and who graciously volunteers his time and effort to a number of M5 design activities, including mentoring and judging at HackUMass.

Finally, did you know that:

  • ECE will be the first department on campus to offer its M.S. Degree to international students via live streaming? Our first lectures stream August 28, 2017, to students in Shanghai and cover topic areas such as embedded systems, computer system security, computer networks, and the Internet of Things.

I hope you enjoy the following departmental news stories and have a safe and productive Fall of 2017.



C.V. Hollot
Professor and Head

Ciesielski and Yu Win International HACK@DAC Contest

Professor Maciej Ciesielski of our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and his former graduate student Dr. Cunxi Yu – currently a post-doctoral researcher at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland – won the 2017 Hardware Security Contest (HACK@DAC) at the Design Automation Conference, the world’s number one conference in the area of electronic design automation (EDA). The Design Automation Conference was held from June 18 to 22 at the Austin Convention Center in Texas. See conference website

Read more …

ECE Alumna Making Big Radar Waves at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Group Supervisor Dragana Perkovic-Martin, who earned her Ph.D. from the UMass Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department in 2008, is currently leading DopplerScatt (for Doppler Scatterometer), a NASA Instrument Incubator Project in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) in Pasadena. DopplerScatt was featured in the NASA Earth Science Technology Office's 2016 Annual Report (see Page 3). See NASA press release about DopplerScatt »

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Research Opens Way for Low-cost Mass Production of Silicon-based Memristors as Building Blocks for Next Generation of Computing Systems

Professor Qiangfei Xia of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst leads a multi-institutional group of researchers who have invented a new kind of memristor entirely based on silicon materials, which could act as a promising building block for the next generation of memory and neuromorphic computing systems. “The current work opens up opportunities for low-cost mass production of 3D memristor arrays on large silicon and flexible substrates without increasing circuit complexity,” as the research team summarizes its research.

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ECE Alum Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering has announced the pending induction of UMass alumnus Amir A. Amini, a professor and holder of the Endowed Chair in Bioimaging, Electrical, and Computer Engineering at the University of Louisville, to its College of Fellows. The AIMBE College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. According to a national press release issued by the AIMBE, Dr. Amini was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellowsfor outstanding contributions to cardiovascular imaging, medical image analysis, and magnetic resonance imaging of flow and motion.”

Read more …

ECE Seniors Demonstrate Savvy Engineering Inventions

On Friday, April 28, seniors from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst displayed and demonstrated 28 creative electronic inventions for the public. ECE hosted its 27th annual Senior Design Project Day on campus, when 28 teams of seniors unveiled a high-tech floor show for the electronics of the future. The public review of these senior design projects happened at the Gunness Engineering Student Center of Marcus Hall on the UMass Amherst campus from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., when students displayed their devices, demonstrated their functions, and answered questions from visitors on an individual basis. See full descriptions of all projects.

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ECE Undergrad Receives Prominent Scholarship from the IEEE

Senior electrical engineering major Minwo Wang has received a Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Undergraduate/Pre-graduate Scholarship for Spring of 2017 from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Wang’s research, as supported by this $1,500 scholarship, will help improve calibration inside cryostat and cryogenic noise measurement, a specialty of Associate Professor Joseph Bardin, Wang’s research advisor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

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Carol Craig, MS ECE '06 receives 2017 “Making a Difference” award

Congratulations to alumna Carol Craig, MS ECE '06, president and CEO of Craig Technologies, on receiving the 2017 “Making a Difference” award by the The American Business Women’s Association Oceanside Charter Chapter, in Florida.

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Two College of Engineering Finalists Win Prizes in Inaugural Three Minute Thesis Contest

Two of the three prize-winners in the Graduate School’s recent inaugural Three Minute Thesis (3MT) contest were from the College of Engineering, which also boasted five of the 10 finalists. The runner-up, whose prize was $500, was Seydeh Shirin Montazeri of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, and her 3MT dealt with “Future Telescopes Will Reveal the Hidden Universe.” The People’s Choice Award of $500 was taken by Destenie Nock of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, doing a 3MT on “Where Should Our Electricity Come From?”

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The College of Engineering Welcomes Five Talented and Accomplished New Faculty Members

This fall, the UMass Amherst College of Engineering welcomes five new faculty members: Ashish Kulkarni – Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering Department; Yeon Sik Noh – Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; Yadi Eslami – Senior Lecturer, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; Jun Yao – Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; and Chengbo Ai – Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Read more about their backgrounds and accomplishments.

Read more …