News

November 2015

Professor Arbabian and research professo Khuri-Yakub's research was spurred by a challenge posed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), best known for sponsoring the studies that led to the Internet. DARPA sought to develop a system to detect plastic explosives buried underground – improvised explosive devices (IEDs) – that are currently invisible to metal detectors. The task included one important caveat: The detection device could not touch the surface in question, so as not to trigger an explosion.

Professor Arbabian and research professor Khuri-Yakub detail their latest step toward developing such a device through experiments, which are detailed in Applied Physics Letters and presented at the International Ultrasonics Symposium in Taipei, Taiwan.

The work grows out of research designed to detect buried plastic explosives, but the researchers said the technology could also provide a new way to detect early stage cancers.

"We've been working on this for a little over two years," Khuri-Yakub said. "We're still at an early stage but we're confident that in five to ten to fifteen years, this will become practical and widely available."

 

The research team includes graduate students Hao Nan, Kevin Boyle, Nikhil Apte, Miaad Aliroteh, Anshuman Bhuyan and senior research associate Amin Nikoozadeh.

 

Excerpts from Stanford Report.

October 2015

Stanford EE is pleased to have hosted the first sustainability focused make-a-thon: Earth Hacks. During the 21-hour event, which began Friday, October 30th, teams and individuals were challenged to imagine and make novel solutions to current environmental issues. The event welcomed nearly 100 students from several departments. 

Participating teams demonstrated their projects to judges from faculty and industry during the final leg of the event. "It was impressive to see the intensity and productivity of the students," Professor Bob Dutton said. "After working less than 24 hours, the students presented some quite amazing results."

Because electrical engineering intersects a number of disciplines, the EE department is an ideal makerspace hub. The event kicked off with an Arduino workshop sponsored by Atmel. The Atmel Tech On Tour truck provided a lively, fully equipped makerspace. Tech On Tour also provided technical support for the duration of the event.

"I was also glad to see EE students offering to teach their friends skills like programming and Arduino and soldering," said Earth Hacks organizer, Gary Lee (EE, B.S. '17). 

"The best part about Earth Hacks was having the parts, tools, and a mentor from Atmel to explore Arduino freely," said Anna Zeng (CS, B.S. '18). "Suddenly gaining access to a full-fledged makerspace really changed my attitude towards tackling hardware. Additionally – and quite remarkably – what I found curiously liberating was the lack of the pressure of a hack-a-thon, as everyone around me was learning about the platform just as I was."

Earth Hacks first place

Judging took place on Saturday afternoon. Earth Hacks judges included Stanford professors Bob Dutton and Juan Rivas-Davila; aerospace reliability consultant, Gary Swift; and Y.C. Wang, Atmel's University Program Manager.

First place went to Zero Fire team, who fully integrated sensors with an Atmel microcontroller and Bluetooth wireless hardware to create a heat/smoke/combustibles detection system; the software then relayed warnings and initiated first-responder calls. 

The 'Zero Fire' team included Rubi Mendoza (MS&E, M.S. '17), Fabian Badillo (ME, B.S. '19) and Valerie Garcia (CS, B.S. '19). "We had a lot of fun developing our 'zero fire' project", said Rubi Mendoza, a first year MS&E graduate student. "We were encouraged to come up with a crazy idea and make it happen."

The opportunity to move beyond the design stage and into implementation gave the students confidence in new areas, allowing them to expand their comfort zone. 

"I did not have any experience in electrical engineering before participating," said Fabian Badillo (ME, B.S. '19). "This was definitely a rare opportunity to be able to imagine what the future may hold as I become more involved in the maker culture."

Valerie Garcia (CS, B.S. '19) shared this perspective. She said, "I'd never built anything before and I knew next to nothing going into Earth Hacks. But the resources there were amazing. Bob, Atmel's 'Arduino guy' taught me so much and it was a great experience to get to build something, basically from scratch, and see it working and actually being functional."

Earth Hacks 2nd place
Second place went to Anna Zeng (CS, B.S. '18) whose project measured and reported on varying humidity levels, allowing the user to manage percent of humidity in an environment.

Third place went to three students who built an energy conservation system. The team included Monica Chan (ME, B.S. '17), Mary Cirino (CS, B.S. '17) and Qian Li (CEE, M.S. '17). "It was our first time experiencing the magic of Arduino, and we all had a great time solving a real problem using what we had learned about hardware and software," said Qian Li.

The concept behind their energy conservation project developed an advanced illumination system for buildings on Stanford's campus. The basic idea consisted of two main sensors: the photo sensor and the pressure sensor. When there is enough daylight, the lights in the buildings automatically turn off. Otherwise, the lights will turn on only when someone touches the door at the entrance.

Earth Hacks 3rd place

Winning teams received prizes from sponsors, and included Myo armbands, a drone copter, Fitbits, and Kindle Fire tablets. Y.C. Wang, Earth Hacks sponsor and judge thanked the Electrical Engineering department and Stanford Robotics Club for making the event possible. "We were very excited to sponsor the Make-A-Thon at Stanford and really appreciated the opportunity to interact with the many talented students," Wang said. "We are extremely grateful for their support in bringing the Atmel Tech On Tour truck on campus."

Other Earth Hacks sponsors included Stanford IEEE Student Chapter, Red Bull, and DigiKey.

October 2015

Recent articles published by EE Professors Eric Pop and H.S. Philip Wong describe advances in memory and data storage using graphene. The three experiments demonstrate post-silicon materials and technologies that store more data per square inch and use a fraction of the energy of today's memory chips.

The unifying thread in all three experiments is graphene, an extraordinary material isolated a decade ago but which had, until now, relatively few practical applications in electronics.

"Graphene is the star of this research," said Eric Pop, associate professor of electrical engineering and a contributor to two of the three memory projects. "With these new storage technologies, it would be conceivable to design a smartphone that could store 10 times as much data, using less battery power, than the memory we use today."

Professor H.-S. Philip Wong and Pop led an international group of collaborators who describe the graphene-centric memory technologies in separate articles in Nature Communications, Nano Letters, and Applied Physics Letters.

"Data storage has become a significant, large-scale consumer of electricity, and new solid-state memory technologies such as these could also transform cloud computing," Wong said.

Pop and Wong agree that these studies show that graphene is far from a laboratory curiosity. The material's unique electrical, thermal and atomically thin properties can be utilized to create more energy-efficient data storage. Such properties do not exist in the silicon world, yet could potentially transform the way we store and access our digital data in the future.

 

Excerpts from the Stanford Report

October 2015

Professor Jelena Vuckovic was elected as an American Physical Society (APS) Fellow by the APS Council in October. The election is based on exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise.

Professor Vuckovic's research areas include nanotechnology and NEMS/MEMS, energy harvesting and conversion, photonics, nanoscience and quantum technology, as well as biomedical devices and systems. She leads the Nanoscale and Quantum Physics Lab, and is a faculty member of the Ginzton Lab, Bio-X, and the Pulse Institute.

 

Her citation reads, "For major and field opening contributions to nano photonics and its application to information science; including the design and fabrication of 2D photonic crystals with integrated quantum dot structures."


 

October 2015

Two groups were awarded the 2015 NEC C&C Foundation Awards for their contributions to the development of big data technologies and network virtualization technologies.

Professor Nick McKeown, Dr. Martin Casado (PhD, '07) and Scott Shenker (Berkeley) are the originators of the Software-defined networking (SDN) movement, and OpenFlow protocol which was created as an interface to program the communication devices.

The NEC C&C citation reads, "For Pioneering Research in Advancing Networking Technology and Outstanding Contributions Promoting the Development of Software-Defined Networking".

They have combined their various talents and taken leadership roles in developing technologies for SDN and OpenFlow. The team developed various open-source platforms and tools. In addition, by involving academia, device vendors, telecommunications carriers, and service providers in research at an early stage, they have been able to cultivate and operate eco-systems that have led to widespread practical application of the SDN concepts. They also promoted the development and adoption of SDN by leading the standardization movement and encouraging the open-source community. Their achievements as ICT infrastructure innovators are highly remarkable.

The prize ceremony and acceptance speeches will be held on Monday, December 21 from 15:00 at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo.

 

Excerpts from the NEC C&C press release.


Read EE Spotlight, featuring Professor Nick McKeown

 

 

September 2015

EE Professor Shanhui Fan, research associate Aaswath P. Raman, and doctoral candidate Linxiao Zhu describe their research in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The group's discovery, tested on a Stanford rooftop, addresses a problem that has long bedeviled the solar industry: The hotter solar cells get, the less efficient they become at converting the photons in light into useful electricity.

Their solution is based on a thin, patterned silica material laid on top of a traditional solar cell. The material is transparent to the visible sunlight that powers solar cells, but captures and emits thermal radiation, or heat, from infrared rays.

"Solar arrays must face the sun to function, even though that heat is detrimental to efficiency," Fan said. "Our thermal overlay allows sunlight to pass through, preserving or even enhancing sunlight absorption, but it also cools the cell by radiating the heat out and improving the cell efficiency."

In 2014, the same trio of inventors developed an ultrathin material that radiated infrared heat directly back toward space without warming the atmosphere. They presented that work in Nature, describing it as "radiative cooling" because it shunted thermal energy directly into the deep, cold void of space.

In their new paper, the researchers applied their previous work to improve solar array performance when the sun is beating down.

The Stanford team tested their technology on a custom-made solar absorber – a device that mimics the properties of a solar cell without producing electricity – covered with a micron-scale pattern designed to maximize the capability to dump heat, in the form of infrared light, into space. Their experiments showed that the overlay allowed visible light to pass through to the solar cells, but that it also cooled the underlying absorber by as much as 23 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Excerpts from the Stanford Report.

 

September 2015

The Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ) presented their Funai Achievement Award to Professor Bill Dally, recognizing his accomplishments in computer architecture, particularly in the areas of parallel computing and Very Large Scale Integration processing. The IPSJ noted that Dally has made major contributions in education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and in industry as NVIDIA's chief scientist.

Dally is the first non-Japanese scientist to receive the award since the first two awards were given out in 2002 to Alan Kay (a pioneer in personal computing) and in 2003 to Marvin Minsky (a pioneer in artificial intelligence).

"I'm honored to be selected for one of the world's major prizes in computer science. It's particularly rewarding to be in the company of computer science luminaries like Alan Kay and Marvin Minsky," said Dally, who received the award at an IPSJ event in Matsuyama, Japan. "I'm grateful to the IPSJ for acknowledging the importance of my research in parallel computing."

Professor Shuichi Sakai, dean of the Computer Science Department at the University of Tokyo, said, "Bill Dally has always been a revolutionary rather than a revisionist in computer science."

Dally's achievements across more than 30 years of work and research include developing the system and network architecture, signaling, routing and synchronization technology found in most large parallel computers today. He also introduced the Imagine processor, which employs stream processing architecture, providing high performance computing with power, speed and efficiency.

Prior to joining NVIDIA in 2009, Dally served as chairman of Stanford's Computer Science department from 2005-2009, where he taught beginning in 1997. Previously, he led the group at MIT that built the J-Machine and M-Machine, parallel machines that pioneered the separation of mechanism from programming models.

 

Excerpts from NVIDIA press release.

August 2015

The first fully internal method of delivering optogenetics has been established. Miniature implanted devices are being wirelessly powered by a special power source that transmits frequencies that resonate in certain lab mice.

The device dramatically expands the scope of research that can be carried out through optogenetics to include experiments involving mice in enclosed spaces or interacting freely with other animals. The work is published in the Aug. 17 edition of Nature Methods.

Professor Ada Poon states, "This is a new way of delivering wireless power for optogenetics. It's much smaller and the mouse can move around during an experiment." See video.

The device can be assembled and reconfigured for different uses in a lab, and the design of the power source is publicly available. "I think other labs will be able to adapt this for their work," Poon said.

This novel way of delivering power is what allowed the team to create such a small device. And in this case, size is critical. The device is the first attempt at wireless optogenetics that is small enough to be implanted under the skin and may even be able to trigger a signal in muscles or some organs, which were previously not accessible to optogenetics.

The team says the device and the novel powering mechanism open the door to a range of new experiments to better understand and treat mental health disorders, movement disorders and diseases of the internal organs. They have a Stanford Bio-X grant to explore and possibly develop new treatments for chronic pain.


Professor Poon's lab recently sponsored a summer program for local female high school students, providing them a chance to explore several introductory concepts of EE. View article.

Excerpts are from the Stanford Report. View full article

July 2015

Stanford Professor Ada Poon gave 22 female high school students a chance to explore introductory concepts about electricity and electronics during a week-long program called Girlz Gone Wireless (GGW).

Offered for the first time this summer at Stanford, the program was hosted Professor Poon and her lab members in the Stanford Electrical Engineering (EE) department. The week-long workshop gave the 9th and 10th grade students a chance to build various projects using the lab equipment, tools, and kits.

The five day program culminated with each student building their own cell phone charger and a wireless speaker.

Professor William Cruz of Los Medanos College and Stanford EE PhD candidate Kamal Aggarwal (pictured below, back row) led the daily sessions. EE's Instructional Labs Manager, Steven Clark, provided hardware and tools.

Other Stanford faculty, staff, and researchers also presented lectures and shared personal experiences at the Girlz Gone Wireless sessions, covering topics like solar cells, wireless medical devices, and interaction design.

Anjali Datta and Irena Tammy Fischer-Hwang, both EE PhD candidates, encouraged the participants to consider joining organizations that would help them grow as students and professionals. They introduced the GGW to three relevant groups: WEE (Women in Electrical Engineering), WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), and SWE (Society of Women Engineers).

Girlz Gone Wireless was free and open to local students with a minimum 3.5 GPA interested in engineering.

Participants were enthusiastic about experiencing the lab environment, and learning and applying the concepts. "On Monday I didn't know what any of the tools or meters were for, and now I know what they are and how to use all of them," one student said.

Professor Poon hopes that many of the young women will set their sites on studying electrical engineering.

"I hope they'll find the lessons interesting and experience fewer hurdles with studying EE or any other engineering field," Poon said. "So many girls applied for the program but we had to limit it because of the size of our lab," she added. "I know it's a commitment for the students and their parents to come every day, especially during their summer."

Professor Poon closed the program by giving each participant a certificate and encouraging them to continue to grow their interest in engineering.

Several Girlz Gone Wireless participants pose with Professor Ada Poon (far right, front row), Prof. William Cruz of Los Medanos College, and Stanford EE PhD candidate Kamal Aggarwal (back row).

View more photos

 


Professor Poon's Lab works on implantable bio-medical devices. The wireless, rechargeable devices may assist in controlling prosthetic limbs for amputees; providing medicine or therapeutic relief; and possibly treating diseases with electronics rather than medication.

Visit EE Student Organizations page to learn more about WEE (Women in EE) and other student organizations.

Stanford's Office of Science Outreach (OSO) assisted in this program.

August 2015

Stanford's Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) has awarded Professor Shanui Fan's group funding to develop new techniques for cooling buildings.

Fan reported the energy-saving breakthrough in the journal Nature. Using a thermal photonic approach, the material reflects sunlight and emits heat, demonstrating new possibilities for energy efficiency. The photonic radiative cooler consists of seven alternating layers of hafnium dioxide (HfO2) and silicon dioxide (SiO2) of varying thicknesses, on top of 200 nm of silver (Ag), which are all deposited on top of a 200-mm silicon wafer.

This passive energy source, which exploits the large temperature difference between space and Earth, could provide nighttime lighting without batteries or other electrical inputs.

GCEP is an industry partnership that supports innovative research on energy technologies to address the challenge of global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project includes five corporate sponsors: ExxonMobil, GE, Schlumberger, DuPont and Bank of America.

 

View full Stanford Report article.

Pages

January

No content classified for this term

February

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

Pages

March

No content classified for this term

April

No content classified for this term

May

No content classified for this term

June

No content classified for this term

July

No content classified for this term

August

No content classified for this term

September

No content classified for this term

October

No content classified for this term

November

No content classified for this term

December

No content classified for this term

Story

No content classified for this term

Stanford

No content classified for this term

Test

No content classified for this term

Subscribe to RSS - News