News

January 2017

This month's Electrical Engineering staff recognized for their outstanding effort include Marsha Dillon, Sue George, Kenny Green, and Teresa Nguyen. Each were nominated by peers, faculty and/or students for professionalism that went above and beyond their everyday roles. Gift card recipients continue to make profound and positive impact in EE's everyday work and academic environment.

 

Please join us in congratulating Marsha, Sue, Kenny, and Teresa. Excerpts from their nominations follow.

 

Marsha Dillon, Executive Assistant to the Chair

  • "Marsha was able to identify exactly what was needed by untangling a vague request, and identifying the actual goal."
  • "She never hands back a request; instead, she is always willing to help. She's a strong asset to EE."

Sue George, Administrative Associate, Computer Science

  • "Sue always makes time to answer questions; she is quick to followup, and willing to spend time finding an answer she doesn't know."
  • "It is always a pleasure to work with her."

Kenny Green, Facilities and Health & Safety Manager

  • "Kenny is always very helpful."
  • "He has been a great resource — especially with our new labs, greater number of students, and managing improvements and requests."

Teresa Nguyen, Student Financial Officer

  • "Teresa has a terrific understanding of Stanford's financial system. She also remembered my name!"
  • "She is extremely capable; I never worry about leaving things in her hands."

 

The Staff Gift Card Bonus Program is sponsored by the School of Engineering. Each year, the EE department receives several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond their role. Each month, staff are chosen from nominations received from faculty, students, and staff. Past nominations are eligible for future months.

 

Nominate a deserving staff person or group today! We encourage you to nominate individuals or groups that have made a profound improvement in daily work life. Each recipient receives a $50 Visa card. Nominations can be made at any time.

January 2017

Jonathan Fan was awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Announced by President Obama in early January, Fan and 101 other scientists and researchers were honored with the PECAS. "I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work," Obama said. "These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy."

Jonathan is an assistant professor and director of the ExFab at the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility. He recently won the prestigious 2016 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, which funds the most promising early-career professors in fields ranging from physics and chemistry to engineering.

Two other Stanford faculty also received the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE): Jacob Fox, professor of mathematics, and Marco Pavone, assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics.

 

Related news:

 

January 2017

 "It's all in the name," state Professors Jonathan Fan and Roger Howe.

"Experimental fabrication. We want to change the way that people go from thinking about a device to making it in the lab. With ExFab, we will make that process faster and cheaper, with fewer restrictions on materials. It will allow the rapid prototyping of microscale and nanoscale devices in a time scale not typically associated with microelectronic fabrication, and it will bring together researchers from in engineering, medicine, and the basic sciences.

"With our investment in the tools and space, we can explore how it's used, and let that guide us in how to develop the space into the future."

ExFab emerged from a two-year process of faculty brainstorming about how best to address the need for new tools and processes for research in materials, electronics, and photonics. In addition, faculty also wanted to study how the new tools and space are used. The goal was to create an accessible space for faster, cheaper fabrication of a wider range of materials and processes.

Strategically located in the Allen Building near the engineering quad and the David Packard building, and across from the Medical School, ExFab is open to all: Stanford students and postdocs from all departments and schools, as well as researchers from other universities and industry.

Repurposing existing space, ExFab boasts several new tools, including those that can translate computer-generated images into physical microscale and nanoscale patterns within minutes. Many of these tools are housed in a reconfigured cleanroom. Complementing the System Prototyping Facility (SPF) – just a few steps away – students can easily utilize both areas to integrate fabricated devices into electronic systems.

In Spring, ExFab will be fully outfitted with equipment enabling researchers to define structures from the nanoscale (two-photon 3D printing) to the milli-scale (3D wax printing) and in between (direct-write lithography, aerosol jet printing) as well as to machine and meld disparate materials (laser cutting, CNC micromilling, grinding, bonding.) This toolset supports heterogeneous materials processing for emerging applications such as stretchable electronics, micro-batteries, photovoltaics, and microfluidics. With lower materials restrictions than a typical microelectronics fab, we anticipate the processing of a broad range of materials into devices and systems, including traditional semiconductors, soft materials, polymers, and bio-materials.

Nine months ago, excited for the potential of this proposed lab, over 30 faculty pledged they would use ExFab for their research, thus seeding this program. Now ExFab is a reality, and available to all. If you are an interested researcher or faculty, please email snf-access@stanford.edu or check out the website, snf.stanford.edu to learn more.

 

Pictured below (left to right) Jon Fan, Mary Tang, and Roger Howe in a nearly completed ExFab space.

Amin Arbabian
January 2017

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced projects selected as part of the Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (ROOTS) program funding opportunity. ROOTS is a new program of the Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

Amin Arbabian's project, "Thermoacoustic Root Imaging, Biomass Analysis, and Characterization," has been awarded $2 million by the ROOTS program. The team also includes, (Pierre Khuri-Yakub EE, José Dinneny and David Ehrhardt, Carnegie Institution for Science) and will develop a non-contact, high throughput, thermoacoustic root imaging system where ultrasonic signals from roots are generated by radio signals and then recorded by a novel sensor array. The Stanford team will demonstrate use of the system across a variety of soil and root types in the field to map the root architecture of plants. If successful, the project will be the first low-cost, large-scale, field-based plant phenotyping solution for eventual use with a fully autonomous measurement system.

The Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (ROOTS) program seeks to develop advanced technologies and crop cultivars that enable a 50 percent increase in soil carbon accumulation while reducing N2O emissions by 50 percent and increasing water productivity by 25 percent. Since 2009, ARPA-E has funded over 400 potentially transformational energy technology projects.

ROOTS projects will tackle the growing problem of soil "carbon debt" by developing sensing technologies to help farmers choose crop varieties that better capture carbon molecules from the atmosphere and store them in their root systems.

 

Arpa-E Roots Program: https://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-programs/roots

ROOTS program project descriptions (PDF) 

December 2016

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, the world's leading computing society, has named the 2016 ACM Fellows. Recognized for major contributions in areas including artificial intelligence, cryptography, computer architecture, high performance computing and programming languages. The achievements of the 2016 ACM Fellows are accelerating the digital revolution, and affect almost every aspect of how we live and work today.

Please join us in congratulating professors Dan Boneh and Christos Kozyrakis for this well-deserved recognition.

  • Dan Boneh's main research area is applied cryptography and network security. His focus is on building security mechanisms that are easy to use and deploy. He has developed new mechanisms for improving web security, file system security, and copyright protection. He contributed to the security and performance of the RSA cryptosystem and contributed to the study of cryptographic watermarking.
  • Christos Kozyrakis' research focuses on making computer systems of any size faster, cheaper, and greener. His current work focuses on the hardware architecture, runtime environment, programming models, and security infrastructure for warehouse-scale data centers and many-core chips with thousands of general purpose cores and fixed functions accelerators.

ACM will formally recognize its 2016 Fellows at the annual Awards Banquet, to be held in San Francisco on June 24, 2017. Additional information about the 2016 ACM Fellows, the awards event, as well as previous ACM Fellows and award winners is available on the ACM Awards site.

 

 

Read more, ACM Press release.

November 2016

Clarivate Analytics, formerly the Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, announced the publication of its annual Highly Cited Researchers. The list is a citation analysis identifying scientists – as determined by their fellow researchers – whose research has had significant global impact within their respective fields of study.

More than 3,000 researchers, in 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences, were selected based on the number of highly cited papers they produced over an 11-year period from January 2004 to December 2014.

The Stanford EE faculty are

The 2016 Highly Cited Researchers list can be seen in its entirety by visiting: http://hcr.stateofinnovation.thomsonreuters.com

Excerpted from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/clarivate-analytics-names-2016-highly-cited-researchers-300362643.html

November 2016

Congratulations to Olav Solgaard on his elevation to IEEE Fellow. IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. Less than 0.1% of voting IEEE members are selected annually for this member recognition. IEEE Fellows will be formally announced by the IEEE at end of the 2016.

Professor Solgaard's research interests include optical MEMS, Photonic Crystals, optical sensors, microendoscopy, atomic force microscopy, and solar energy conversion. He has authored more than 350 technical publications and holds 60 patents. Olav came to Stanford with the support of a Royal Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Fellowship in 1986 and was named a Terman Fellow at Stanford for the period 1999-2002. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters, and the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences.

 

November 2016

Stephen P. Boyd has been awarded the 2017 IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal. The award is given for a career of outstanding contributions to education in the fields of interest of IEEE.

 

The James H. Mulligan Jr., Education Medal acknowledges:

  • Excellence in teaching and ability to inspire students,
  • Leadership in electrical engineering education through publication of course materials and writings on engineering education,
  • Leadership in the development of programs in curricula or teaching methodology,
  • Contributions to the engineering profession through research, engineering achievements, and technical papers, and
  • Participating in the education activities of professional societies. 

Stephen has received many awards and honors for his research in control systems engineering and optimization. In 2016, he also received Stanford's highest teaching honor, the Walter J. Gores teaching award for his signature course, Convex Optimization, and was named as a 2016 INFORMS Fellow. He is the author of many research articles and three books: Convex Optimization (with Lieven Vandenberghe, 2004), Linear Matrix Inequalities in System and Control Theory (with L. El Ghaoui, E. Feron, and V. Balakrishnan, 1994), and Linear Controller Design: Limits of Performance (with Craig Barratt, 1991). His group has produced many open source tools, including CVX (with Michael Grant), CVXPY (with Steven Diamond) and Convex.jl (with Madeleine Udell and others), widely used parser-solvers for convex optimization.

Stephen is the Samsung Professor of Engineering, and Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Information Systems Laboratory at Stanford University. He has courtesy appointments in the Department of Management Science and Engineering and the Department of Computer Science, and is member of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. His current research focus is on convex optimization applications in control, signal processing, finance, and circuit design.

For nearly a century, the IEEE Awards Program has paid tribute to researchers, inventors, innovators, and practitioners whose exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions have made a lasting impact on technology, society, and the engineering profession.

The IEEE Honors Ceremony will be held in San Francisco, May 2017.

 

Please join us in congratulating Stephen!

November 2016

Sachin Katti and Pengyu Zhang, a postdoctoral researcher in Katti's lab, announced "HitchHike" this week at the ACM SenSys Conference. HitchHike is a tiny, ultra-low-energy wireless radio.

"HitchHike is the first self-sufficient WiFi system that enables data transmission using just micro-watts of energy – almost zero," Zhang said. "Better yet, it can be used as-is with existing WiFi without modification or additional equipment. You can use it right now with a cell phone and your off-the-shelf WiFi router."

HitchHike is so low-power that a small battery could drive it for a decade or more, the researchers say. It even has the potential to harvest energy from existing radio waves and use that electromagnetic energy, plucked from its surroundings, to power itself, perhaps indefinitely.

"HitchHike could lead to widespread adoption in the Internet of Things," Katti said. "Sensors could be deployed anywhere we can put a coin battery that has existing WiFi. The technology could potentially even operate without batteries. That would be a big development in this field."

The researchers say HitchHike could be available to be incorporated into wireless devices in the next three to five years.

The Hitchhike prototype is a processor and radio in one. It measures about the size of a postage stamp, but the engineers believe that they can make it smaller – perhaps even smaller than a grain of rice for use in implanted bio-devices like a wireless heart rate sensor (see video).

"HitchHike opens the doors for widespread deployment of low-power WiFi communication using widely available WiFi infrastructure and, for the first time, truly empower the Internet of Things," Zhang said.

 

 

Excerpted from Stanford Engineering News. Original article by Andrew Myers

 

November 2016

Lab64, a new electrical engineering laboratory and workspace located on the bottom floor of Packard, held its grand opening October 19. The workspace, also known as the Packard makerspace, is open 24 hours, seven days a week for any Stanford students interested in building electronics.

The full space consists of a series of rooms in Packard that have been retooled expressly as a makerspace. Cleaned out and filled with various electronic equipment, the walls are for writing on and brainstorming ideas.

Students of all majors can use the space after they view a short lab safety presentation and email the Lab64 manager. To further promote safety, lab64 has a buddy system that requires students to work in pairs when they use the space.

"Whether you're an electrical engineer or an art major who wants to use lights in your art pieces, we want everyone working here," said lab64 course assistant Sam Girvin '16.

The lab is currently equipped with what Girvin calls "typical lab bench stuff," including oscilloscopes, power supplies, soldering irons and a 3D printer. A laser cutter is also expected to be purchased in the coming weeks.

Lab64 was created because the electrical engineering department has wanted to help create a "maker" culture at the University for years, according to Girvin. Students now have a place to build whenever they have project ideas; they can go beyond building for class assignments.

"When I came to Stanford as a freshman, there wasn't an easy place to make things," Girvin said. "So I'm really excited about this."

During the opening event, students chatted over pizza and cookies and listened to presentations about the space. Attendees were then split into two workshop groups to explore the lab's capabilities: One group built a working AM/FM radio and the other, a functioning game console that plays the game Snake.

"This is a way to get into building important personal projects," said Zach Belateche '20, a prospective electrical engineering major and lab64 visitor. "Whether it's right after class or midnight on a Sunday, I can come here and work on things I care about."

Packard's makerspace has a team of mentors who can guide students to use the equipment effectively and safely. lab64 can be used by anyone, not just electrical engineers.

"We're trying to get as many different people to come in as we can," Girvin said. "We're willing to teach as much as people are willing to learn."

The lab supplies all equipment and basic materials for free, but a "Maker Store" is also set to open soon in Packard. It will sell more specific items that students may need to complete their projects.

Lab64 is not just a place to work with electrical equipment. Ultimately, the goal is to create a community where people can work, chat and talk about projects. 

 

 

 

Excerpted from The Stanford Daily, October 21, 2016. Original article by Max Pienkny

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February 2014

Three staff members each received a $50 Visa card in recognition of their extraordinary efforts as part of the department’s 2014 Staff Gift Card Bonus Program. The EE department received several nominations in January, and nominations from 2013 were also considered.

Following are January’s gift card recipients and some of the comments from their nominators:

Ann Guerra, Faculty Administrator

  • “She is very kind to students and always enthusiastic to help students… every time we need emergent help, she is willing to give us a hand.”
  • “Ann helps anyone who goes to her for help with anything, sometimes when it’s beyond her duty.” 

Teresa Nguyen, Student Accounting Associate

  • “She stays on top of our many, many student financial issues, is an extremely reliable source of information and is super friendly.”
  • “Teresa’s cheerful disposition, her determination, and her professionalism seem to go above and beyond what is simply required.”

Helen Niu, Faculty Administrator

  • “Helen is always a pleasure to work with.”
  • “She goes the extra mile in her dealings with me, which is very much appreciated.”

The School of Engineering once again gave the EE department several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond. More people will be recognized next month, and past nominations will still be eligible for future months. EE faculty, staff and students are welcome to nominate a deserving staff person by visitinghttps://gradapps.stanford.edu/NotableStaff/nomination/create.

Ann Guerra  Teresa Nguyen  Helen Niu

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