Skip to main content

Bringing Fun Back into the Circuit Design: From Academic Ideas to Startup Challenges

Ehsan Afshari


There are plenty of intriguing physical phenomena around us: from wave propagation in ocean to the movement of roller-coasters. These everyday examples can be used as inspiration in analog and RF circuit design. In this talk, we will show three examples of novel circuits that can achieve a much better performance compared to the conventional circuit topologies. The examples are focused on high speed, broadband, and low noise circuits. I will also show how these ideas can lead into commercial applications and starting new businesses.


Prof. Afshari received his Ph.D. EE from Caltech in 2006 and joined the ECE department of Cornell University. Ten years later, he joined the EECS department of the university of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His team is engaged in the theoretical foundations, design and experimental validation of analog, RF, mm-wave, and THz integrated devices, circuits and systems for a variety of applications including communications, imaging, and sensing. His work is funded by federal agencies such NSF, DARPA, ONR, and ARL as well as industry such as Intel, TI, Raytheon, and Qualcomm. He has been the recipient of several awards and honors, including a 2008 DARPA Young Faculty Award, a 2010 NSF CAREER Award, a first place at Stanford-Berkeley-Caltech Innovation Challenge in 2005, and several best paper awards at the leading conferences in his field. He has also served as a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society. He is selected as one of 50 most distinguished alumni of Sharif University. His doctoral students have also received several prestigious awards and fellowships, including the 2018, 2017, 2012, 2011, and 2010 Solid-State Circuit Society Predoctoral Achievement Award, 2011, 2013, and 2017 IEEE MTT-S Microwave Engineering Graduate Fellowships, Cornell Best Ph.D. Thesis Award in 2011 and 2014, as well as many best paper awards. The Ph.D. graduates of his group are the leaders of the field including faculty members at MIT, UC Davis, UC Irvine, Penn State University, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, Fudan University, and KFUPM, and companies such as Apple, Bell Labs, Qualcomm and Broadcom.

He has started two companies based on his research. Airvive Scientific is founded in 2017 and has raised more than $22M and has won a number of start-up awards. Lassen Peak has started in 2019 and has raised more than $31M. This compnay is providing law enforcement with a safe and less contentious alternative to the legacy method of a hands-on weapon “pat down”. It provides various solutions to detect concealed weapons and other hidden objects.

Ehsan Afshari Headshot
Ehsan Afshari
University of Michigan
ECE 125
14 Nov 2023, 10:30am until 11:30am