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Bouncing light with hypersound on a chip

Researchers, including ECE professor Mo Li demonstrate promising applications in microwave applications.

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Bouncing light with hypersound on a chip Banner

Three ECE faculty receive prestigious NSF CAREER awards

Arka Majumdar, Lillian Ratliff and Visvesh Sathe each won a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award

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Three ECE faculty receive prestigious NSF CAREER awards Banner

ECE student gains experience through UW Facilities' Engineering Services

UW Facilities has helped Trinh Ha land her dream job

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ECE student gains experience through UW Facilities' Engineering Services Banner

ECE student's love of music shaped his engineering career

Jordan Drew strives to use technology to improve the quality of our communications, especially for people who use wearable hearing technology such as hearing aids

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ECE student's love of music shaped his engineering career Banner

Celebrating student innovation and entrepreneurship

ECE's 2019 ENGINE showcase highlighted the impressive solutions students are creating to make the world better

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Celebrating student innovation and entrepreneurship Banner

ECE students create robot to help farmers for ENGINE program

Semi-autonomous ground vehicle used to assess health of crops

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ECE students create robot to help farmers for ENGINE program Banner

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https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/bouncing-light-with-hypersound-on-a-chip/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/three-ece-faculty-receive-prestigious-nsf-career-awards/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/ece-student-gains-experience-through-uw-facilities-engineering-services/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/ece-students-love-of-music-shaped-his-engineering-career/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/celebrating-student-innovation-and-entrepreneurship/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/ece-students-create-robot-to-help-farmers/
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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_15047" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Acoustic wave Acoustic wave[/caption]

A team of researchers led by Mo Li, associate professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, has demonstrated, for the first time, using the hypersonic sound wave to bounce light

[caption id="attachment_14094" align="alignright" width="222"]Mo Li Mo Li[/caption]

backward in an integrated photonic circuit. The new devices will lead to promising applications in microwave photonics, an emerging technology that combines fiber optics and wireless communications, as well as quantum information processing.

The team made the circuit with aluminum nitride, a type of piezoelectric materials—materials that change shape when an electrical voltage is applied. The group electrically excited sound wave with a frequency as high as 16 GHz such that the sound wavelength is only 500 nm, even less than the wavelength of light. On the chip they made in the Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF), they engineered a conduit—a waveguide—of only 0.8 micrometer wide for both light and sound. They showed that, in this waveguide where light and sound are confined in the same narrow space, the hypersound could bounce light very efficiently backward and at the same time shift the light frequency, a phenomenon called backward Brillouin scattering. The efficiency of the scattering process peaks at the so-called phase-matching conditions within a narrow range of combined optical and sound frequencies. Therefore, their device can be used as a tunable microwave filter, as well as an optical modulator that can convert a wireless signal to a light signal that can be transmitted on optical fibers.

Their research paper, titled “Electromechanical Brillouin scattering in integrated optomechanical waveguides,” was published earlier this month in “Optica”, the Optical Society of America (OSA)’s flagship high-impact journal. Besides Li, the authors include Qiyu Liu, a senior graduate student in ECE, and Huan Li, a senior postdoctoral associate. Both are members of the Laboratory of Photonic Devices.

The project was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

 
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                    [post_content] => ECE professors Arka Majumdar, Lillian Ratliff and Visvesh Sathe each won a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, one of the nation’s most coveted honors for early-career faculty.

The NSF selects the award recipients based on faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

[caption id="attachment_1313" align="alignleft" width="150"] Arka Majumdar[/caption]

Majumdar’s award is for his research in Van der Waals material integrated ultra-low power silicon nitride nanophotonics. His research interests focus on emerging nanophotonic devices with computational algorithms to build compact optical sensors to support the growing infrastructure of the Internet of Things. He is also a recipient of a 2014 Young Investigator Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and 2015 Intel Early Career Faculty Award.

Majumdar received his Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Majumdar completed his master’s degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Stanford University, working on solid-state quantum optics.

 

 

[caption id="attachment_2298" align="alignleft" width="150"]Lillian Ratliff Lillian Ratliff[/caption]

Ratliff’s award is for her work in the co-design of information incentives in societal-scale cyber-physical systems. Her research interests lie at the intersection of game theory, optimization and statistical learning. She applies tools from these domains to address inefficiencies and vulnerabilities in next-generation urban infrastructure systems.  Ratliff is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

She obtained her Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

 

 

[caption id="attachment_2277" align="alignleft" width="150"]Visvesh Sathe Visvesh Sathe[/caption]

Sathe’s award is for his work in transforming implantable neural interfaces through computing from circuits to systems. His research focuses on covering circuits and architectures for low power computing and biomedical systems. He serves as a member of the Technical Program Committees of the Custom Integrated Circuits Conference and has previously served as a guest editor for the Journal of Solid-State Circuits. Prior to joining ECE, he served as a member of technical staff in the Low-Power Advanced Development Group at AMD, where his research focused on inventing and developing new technologies for next-generation microprocessors.

His doctoral thesis was selected as the best dissertation for 2007 in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and was also nominated for the university’s Rackham Graduate School Distinguished Dissertation Award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="239"]Trinh Ha Trinh Ha[/caption] By: Nancy Gardner Trinh is among the many UW students who’ve worked with UW Facilities units across campus. For some, the experience isn’t just a part-time job but a blueprint to a new career. Tacoma native Trinh Ha, who graduates in June with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, credits her experience with UW Facilities’ Engineering Services with helping her land her dream job at Stantec, a consulting and engineering design firm. From drafting and updating electrical drawings into AutoCAD for the High Voltage Shop to developing a proof of concept for the fire alarm system, Trinh’s been very busy. “When I went through the interview process, I felt incredibly fortunate because my internship with Facilities made me a very competitive candidate,” Ha says. “My interviewers knew my supervisor [Tony Fragada] because they’ve done a lot of work with him and the University. The interview felt more like a conversation because we already had that common connection.” Cesar Escobar was one of Trinh Ha’s supervisors and says her willingness to learn meant she soon became one of the team at Engineering Services. “I was able to task Trinh with projects that started from a basic level to more complex over a short amount of time. It made me very proud when she shared the news that she’d landed a position at a major consulting firm.”
[post_title] => ECE student gains experience through UW Facilities' Engineering Services [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ece-student-gains-experience-through-uw-facilities-engineering-services [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-10 11:06:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-10 18:06:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=15000 [menu_order] => 3 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14980 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2019-06-07 13:47:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-07 20:47:35 [post_content] => By: Tess Wrobleski [caption id="attachment_14981" align="alignleft" width="221"]Jordan Drew Jordan Drew[/caption] Developments in communication technology have mostly focused on the quantity — perhaps to the detriment of the quality — of our communication. But Jordan Drew, a Ph.D. candidate in Electrical & Computer Engineering, has a different goal: to use technology to improve the quality of our communications, especially for people who use wearable hearing technology such as hearing aids. His interest in communication stems from his love of music, he says. “I think music is a really amazing way to communicate,” he explains. “I find that my closest friends are those I can connect to through music. So when there aren’t words to express how we’re feeling we can share songs with each other and communicate that way.” Jordan didn’t always connect his love of music to a career. His early career plan was to become an FBI Agent. At West Virginia University, he pursued a degree in biometrics systems, a degree he chose because it aligned with his skills in math and science and would set him up for a career with the FBI. His career plans took a drastic turn when, on the recommendation of  a mentor, he pursued a research position in a lab working in signal processing. There, he fell in love with research and with the field of signal processing — loosely, using pattern recognition to improve process and fix signal errors. Buoyed by his love of research and intrigued by the similarities between computers and the brain, Jordan decided to do his senior capstone project in a neuroscience lab. When he graduated, Jordan’s career trajectory looked vastly different from the FBI career he had envisioned for himself as a freshman. With his sights on eventually pursuing a graduate program in neuroscience, Jordan accepted a research position at the National Institutes of Health working in computational experiments on the brain. “It was cool because we were studying the electricity that moves through a neuron, which was a perfect fit for my background in engineering and my interests in the brain,” he says. “But I realized that Neuroscience was so biology-heavy, and I missed the mathematics emphasis I had in my engineering degree.” Although the research wasn’t a perfect fit for Jordan’s interests and skills, this work taught him about cochlear implants. [caption id="attachment_14988" align="alignright" width="300"]Jordan Drew Jordan shovels mulch at a 2018 volunteer effort led by GO-MAP on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. With GO-MAP, Jordan has found a community away from home, he says.[/caption] “I thought this technology was the perfect crossroad to use my interest in audiology and grow my skills as an engineer,” he says. So he applied to several graduate programs, seeking a signal processing program where he could continue to focus on auditory signals but with a computational approach. The UW was one of his top choices, but moving from Maryland to Seattle presented some challenges and concerns. “It was incredibly daunting to think about moving across the country,” particularly when it came to finances, Jordan recalls. “So when I came to visit and they offered me the ARCS Fellowship it was a sign that I could come to the UW and not worry about money. That was huge.” Jordan had already accepted his admissions offer at the UW when he learned that he had received a GO-MAP Fellowship as well. The GO-MAP Fellowship allows Jordan to focus on projects and ask questions he is interested in, rather than being tied to a certain project due to funding. As an incoming student, “it was incredibly empowering to have that freedom to really follow my passions,” he says. The freedom to study what most interests him has led Jordan to research wearables. Wearables pair with hearing technology (currently emerging as “hearables”), such as headphones and cochlear implants, to help people with moderate hearing loss improve their communication ability. Jordan’s research focuses on improving the sound quality of hearing aids. Everyone who endures hearing loss experiences it at different frequencies; Hearing aids work to amplify specific frequencies that go missing. The downside of this process is that when the device amplifies certain regions of signal, those regions require more processing and therefore take longer to process. This causes distortion to the signal, which, in Jordan’s experiments, has lead to the sounds coming across as “watery” and “unclear,” he says. “We’re investigating how much distortion can be handled before it’s noticeable and before it has an impact on perception,” he says. “Hopefully long-term we can give that information to hearing aid manufacturers to improve the way they build their devices.” Jordan says one of the reasons he applied to the UW was for its reputation of encouraging interdisciplinary work. That the UW allows for collaborations between departments is critical to Jordan’s project, as his primary advisor, Les Atlas, is in Electrical & Computer Engineering and his co-mentor, Adrian KC Lee, works in the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. In his first quarter as a graduate student, Jordan felt extreme pressure to succeed. “I was like, they’re giving me all this money to show up, so I better be amazing,” he says. He worked up to 12 hour days for the whole first quarter, until, by winter break, he was exhausted.For Jordan, getting to graduate school required hard work, networking, and reflecting to find ways his passions and skills connect. But thriving in graduate school has forced him to learn a new skill — self-care. After that first quarter, Jordan recognized the need to form a routine and to set boundaries around his time for work, rest and play. Developing a routine has helped him find balance in his work. Now, his number one piece of advice for incoming graduate students is to form a routine that includes time for self-care. Finding community in Seattle has also been important to Jordan’s transition to graduate school. GO-MAP and the ARCS Fellowship have been critical to that process. The ARCS Fellowship holds a yearly banquet so donors and fellows can meet. Jordan has found the donors “really care about hearing what we’re doing inside and outside of school. They care about us as people. It’s really incredible to be able to feel that kind of support,” he says. And with GO-MAP, Jordan has found a second home. “For my first two years of my graduate education I’ve been the only African American among the master’s and Ph.D. daytime students in my department. That can be pretty isolating. So whenever I need community, whenever I need to see people of color, I have GO-MAP. I also have Carolyn Jackson (a GO-MAP staff member), who is like my campus mom. She’s so amazing. I can go to her with anything.” For Jordan, mentorship — especially peer mentorship — has been critical to his success. Now, he’s involved in outreach with GO-MAP: sitting on panels and talking with prospective students as an “Outreaching Grad” (OG). He tells a story of speaking on an early-morning panel for prospective graduate students of color. Later that day, he ran into a prospective student who had attended the panel. She thanked Jordan for sharing his story with prospective students, saying it had been really impactful. “It meant the world to me because I thought I had been really tired and boring at the panel,” Jordan, who is “not a morning person,” says. “Knowing that I actually helped someone with my presence and with my story was really empowering.” Jordan also tutors undergraduate students through the STARS program, which helps students from underserved schools in Washington prepare to succeed in the College of Engineering. Jordan is looking to do more one-on-one and small group mentoring, he says, to have even more of an impact. “Telling my story is one thing, but helping people navigate and tell their own story is a whole other thing,” he says. [post_title] => ECE student's love of music shaped his engineering career [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ece-students-love-of-music-shaped-his-engineering-career [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-10 09:35:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-10 16:35:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=14980 [menu_order] => 4 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14968 [post_author] => 22 [post_date] => 2019-06-06 15:39:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-06 22:39:43 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_15012" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Group photo Students, faculty and industry partners pose for a 2019 ENGINE group photo.[/caption] On Monday (June 3), the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering hosted its annual ENGineering INnovation and Entrepreneurship (ENGINE) showcase. The program gives students the opportunity to work in teams on industry sponsored projects. This year, nearly 50 teams of students worked on projects with a societal impact. Students’ projects covered an array of electrical and computer engineering areas including healthcare, power and energy, transportation, the environment and artificial intelligence. [caption id="attachment_14971" align="alignleft" width="300"]Wininng team Tianning Li, Hong Zhang and Shen Yuan Lao showoff their ENGINE project.[/caption] One particular group, sponsored by Zetron, whose business is creating mission-critical communications, was chosen by industry sponsors, as the winning team. Tianning Li, Hong Zhang and Shen Yuan Yao, won for their project called, the “Internet of Life Saving Thing for Firefighters (IoLST).” Advised by ECE professor James Peckol and Zetron employee Len Cayetano, the group developed an Internet of Things environmental sensing and communication system for fire rescue operations. But none of the evening would be possible without the industry sponsors, who mentored students as a part of the UW Electrical Engineering Entrepreneurial Capstone Program (ENGINE), and Milton (BSEE ’60) and Delia Zeutschel. Through endowing the ENGINE program, the Zeutschels are helping to secure the futures of UW EE engineers and promoting local and statewide innovation. Check out more photos of the event on our Flickr page.   [post_title] => Celebrating student innovation and entrepreneurship [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => celebrating-student-innovation-and-entrepreneurship [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-11 13:32:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-11 20:32:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=14968 [menu_order] => 5 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14960 [post_author] => 22 [post_date] => 2019-06-05 10:35:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-05 17:35:53 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_14962" align="alignright" width="225"]Pollen 5 Pollen 5, the unmanned vehicle taking images of crops. Photo credit: Pollen Systems[/caption] Four undergraduate students in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering created a semi-autonomous ground vehicle to evaluate the volume and health of thousands of acres of crops, as part of the department’s entrepreneurial capstone program, ENGINE. Justin Ngo, Yibo Cao, Maggie Fagan and Jonathan Ananda Nusantara designed, built and tested this unmanned vehicle for Pollen Systems, a Bellevue, Washington corporation focused on farming solutions. ECE teaching assistant Yana Sosnovskaya and faculty advisor Howard Chizeck helped guide them through the venture. The department’s ENGINE program was created to enable students to work in teams on industry sponsored projects. Pollen Systems pitched a project to ECE students to help them develop a robotic scouting vehicle that would drive down rows of crops, take pictures and analyze the plants so farmers would be more informed about the health and volume of their plants. The students created Pollen 5, which can do exactly that. While Pollen Systems has already created drones and robotic scouting vehicles to help farmers, the ground images taken by Pollen 5 give a more detailed view of the crops than from above, and can be combined with aerial imagery for a comprehensive assessment of crop health and soil moisture. 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https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/bouncing-light-with-hypersound-on-a-chip/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/three-ece-faculty-receive-prestigious-nsf-career-awards/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/ece-student-gains-experience-through-uw-facilities-engineering-services/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/ece-students-love-of-music-shaped-his-engineering-career/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/celebrating-student-innovation-and-entrepreneurship/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/ece-students-create-robot-to-help-farmers/
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The new devices will lead to promising applications in microwave photonics, an emerging technology that combines fiber optics and wireless communications, as well as quantum information processing. The team made the circuit with aluminum nitride, a type of piezoelectric materials—materials that change shape when an electrical voltage is applied. The group electrically excited sound wave with a frequency as high as 16 GHz such that the sound wavelength is only 500 nm, even less than the wavelength of light. On the chip they made in the Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF), they engineered a conduit—a waveguide—of only 0.8 micrometer wide for both light and sound. They showed that, in this waveguide where light and sound are confined in the same narrow space, the hypersound could bounce light very efficiently backward and at the same time shift the light frequency, a phenomenon called backward Brillouin scattering. The efficiency of the scattering process peaks at the so-called phase-matching conditions within a narrow range of combined optical and sound frequencies. Therefore, their device can be used as a tunable microwave filter, as well as an optical modulator that can convert a wireless signal to a light signal that can be transmitted on optical fibers. Their research paper, titled “Electromechanical Brillouin scattering in integrated optomechanical waveguides,” was published earlier this month in “Optica”, the Optical Society of America (OSA)’s flagship high-impact journal. Besides Li, the authors include Qiyu Liu, a senior graduate student in ECE, and Huan Li, a senior postdoctoral associate. Both are members of the Laboratory of Photonic Devices. The project was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.   [post_title] => Bouncing light with hypersound on a chip [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bouncing-light-with-hypersound-on-a-chip [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 15:13:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-14 22:13:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=15046 [menu_order] => 1 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15034 [post_author] => 22 [post_date] => 2019-06-13 16:29:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-13 23:29:10 [post_content] => ECE professors Arka Majumdar, Lillian Ratliff and Visvesh Sathe each won a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, one of the nation’s most coveted honors for early-career faculty. The NSF selects the award recipients based on faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. [caption id="attachment_1313" align="alignleft" width="150"] Arka Majumdar[/caption] Majumdar’s award is for his research in Van der Waals material integrated ultra-low power silicon nitride nanophotonics. His research interests focus on emerging nanophotonic devices with computational algorithms to build compact optical sensors to support the growing infrastructure of the Internet of Things. He is also a recipient of a 2014 Young Investigator Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and 2015 Intel Early Career Faculty Award. Majumdar received his Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Majumdar completed his master’s degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Stanford University, working on solid-state quantum optics.     [caption id="attachment_2298" align="alignleft" width="150"]Lillian Ratliff Lillian Ratliff[/caption] Ratliff’s award is for her work in the co-design of information incentives in societal-scale cyber-physical systems. Her research interests lie at the intersection of game theory, optimization and statistical learning. She applies tools from these domains to address inefficiencies and vulnerabilities in next-generation urban infrastructure systems.  Ratliff is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She obtained her Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.     [caption id="attachment_2277" align="alignleft" width="150"]Visvesh Sathe Visvesh Sathe[/caption] Sathe’s award is for his work in transforming implantable neural interfaces through computing from circuits to systems. His research focuses on covering circuits and architectures for low power computing and biomedical systems. He serves as a member of the Technical Program Committees of the Custom Integrated Circuits Conference and has previously served as a guest editor for the Journal of Solid-State Circuits. Prior to joining ECE, he served as a member of technical staff in the Low-Power Advanced Development Group at AMD, where his research focused on inventing and developing new technologies for next-generation microprocessors. His doctoral thesis was selected as the best dissertation for 2007 in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and was also nominated for the university’s Rackham Graduate School Distinguished Dissertation Award.               [post_title] => Three ECE faculty receive prestigious NSF CAREER awards [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => three-ece-faculty-receive-prestigious-nsf-career-awards [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-13 16:38:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-13 23:38:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=15034 [menu_order] => 2 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15000 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2019-06-10 11:05:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-10 18:05:17 [post_content] =>
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="239"]Trinh Ha Trinh Ha[/caption] By: Nancy Gardner Trinh is among the many UW students who’ve worked with UW Facilities units across campus. For some, the experience isn’t just a part-time job but a blueprint to a new career. Tacoma native Trinh Ha, who graduates in June with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, credits her experience with UW Facilities’ Engineering Services with helping her land her dream job at Stantec, a consulting and engineering design firm. From drafting and updating electrical drawings into AutoCAD for the High Voltage Shop to developing a proof of concept for the fire alarm system, Trinh’s been very busy. “When I went through the interview process, I felt incredibly fortunate because my internship with Facilities made me a very competitive candidate,” Ha says. “My interviewers knew my supervisor [Tony Fragada] because they’ve done a lot of work with him and the University. The interview felt more like a conversation because we already had that common connection.” Cesar Escobar was one of Trinh Ha’s supervisors and says her willingness to learn meant she soon became one of the team at Engineering Services. “I was able to task Trinh with projects that started from a basic level to more complex over a short amount of time. It made me very proud when she shared the news that she’d landed a position at a major consulting firm.”
[post_title] => ECE student gains experience through UW Facilities' Engineering Services [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ece-student-gains-experience-through-uw-facilities-engineering-services [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-10 11:06:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-10 18:06:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=15000 [menu_order] => 3 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14980 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2019-06-07 13:47:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-07 20:47:35 [post_content] => By: Tess Wrobleski [caption id="attachment_14981" align="alignleft" width="221"]Jordan Drew Jordan Drew[/caption] Developments in communication technology have mostly focused on the quantity — perhaps to the detriment of the quality — of our communication. But Jordan Drew, a Ph.D. candidate in Electrical & Computer Engineering, has a different goal: to use technology to improve the quality of our communications, especially for people who use wearable hearing technology such as hearing aids. His interest in communication stems from his love of music, he says. “I think music is a really amazing way to communicate,” he explains. “I find that my closest friends are those I can connect to through music. So when there aren’t words to express how we’re feeling we can share songs with each other and communicate that way.” Jordan didn’t always connect his love of music to a career. His early career plan was to become an FBI Agent. At West Virginia University, he pursued a degree in biometrics systems, a degree he chose because it aligned with his skills in math and science and would set him up for a career with the FBI. His career plans took a drastic turn when, on the recommendation of  a mentor, he pursued a research position in a lab working in signal processing. There, he fell in love with research and with the field of signal processing — loosely, using pattern recognition to improve process and fix signal errors. Buoyed by his love of research and intrigued by the similarities between computers and the brain, Jordan decided to do his senior capstone project in a neuroscience lab. When he graduated, Jordan’s career trajectory looked vastly different from the FBI career he had envisioned for himself as a freshman. With his sights on eventually pursuing a graduate program in neuroscience, Jordan accepted a research position at the National Institutes of Health working in computational experiments on the brain. “It was cool because we were studying the electricity that moves through a neuron, which was a perfect fit for my background in engineering and my interests in the brain,” he says. “But I realized that Neuroscience was so biology-heavy, and I missed the mathematics emphasis I had in my engineering degree.” Although the research wasn’t a perfect fit for Jordan’s interests and skills, this work taught him about cochlear implants. [caption id="attachment_14988" align="alignright" width="300"]Jordan Drew Jordan shovels mulch at a 2018 volunteer effort led by GO-MAP on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. With GO-MAP, Jordan has found a community away from home, he says.[/caption] “I thought this technology was the perfect crossroad to use my interest in audiology and grow my skills as an engineer,” he says. So he applied to several graduate programs, seeking a signal processing program where he could continue to focus on auditory signals but with a computational approach. The UW was one of his top choices, but moving from Maryland to Seattle presented some challenges and concerns. “It was incredibly daunting to think about moving across the country,” particularly when it came to finances, Jordan recalls. “So when I came to visit and they offered me the ARCS Fellowship it was a sign that I could come to the UW and not worry about money. That was huge.” Jordan had already accepted his admissions offer at the UW when he learned that he had received a GO-MAP Fellowship as well. The GO-MAP Fellowship allows Jordan to focus on projects and ask questions he is interested in, rather than being tied to a certain project due to funding. As an incoming student, “it was incredibly empowering to have that freedom to really follow my passions,” he says. The freedom to study what most interests him has led Jordan to research wearables. Wearables pair with hearing technology (currently emerging as “hearables”), such as headphones and cochlear implants, to help people with moderate hearing loss improve their communication ability. Jordan’s research focuses on improving the sound quality of hearing aids. Everyone who endures hearing loss experiences it at different frequencies; Hearing aids work to amplify specific frequencies that go missing. The downside of this process is that when the device amplifies certain regions of signal, those regions require more processing and therefore take longer to process. This causes distortion to the signal, which, in Jordan’s experiments, has lead to the sounds coming across as “watery” and “unclear,” he says. “We’re investigating how much distortion can be handled before it’s noticeable and before it has an impact on perception,” he says. “Hopefully long-term we can give that information to hearing aid manufacturers to improve the way they build their devices.” Jordan says one of the reasons he applied to the UW was for its reputation of encouraging interdisciplinary work. That the UW allows for collaborations between departments is critical to Jordan’s project, as his primary advisor, Les Atlas, is in Electrical & Computer Engineering and his co-mentor, Adrian KC Lee, works in the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. In his first quarter as a graduate student, Jordan felt extreme pressure to succeed. “I was like, they’re giving me all this money to show up, so I better be amazing,” he says. He worked up to 12 hour days for the whole first quarter, until, by winter break, he was exhausted.For Jordan, getting to graduate school required hard work, networking, and reflecting to find ways his passions and skills connect. But thriving in graduate school has forced him to learn a new skill — self-care. After that first quarter, Jordan recognized the need to form a routine and to set boundaries around his time for work, rest and play. Developing a routine has helped him find balance in his work. Now, his number one piece of advice for incoming graduate students is to form a routine that includes time for self-care. Finding community in Seattle has also been important to Jordan’s transition to graduate school. GO-MAP and the ARCS Fellowship have been critical to that process. The ARCS Fellowship holds a yearly banquet so donors and fellows can meet. Jordan has found the donors “really care about hearing what we’re doing inside and outside of school. They care about us as people. It’s really incredible to be able to feel that kind of support,” he says. And with GO-MAP, Jordan has found a second home. “For my first two years of my graduate education I’ve been the only African American among the master’s and Ph.D. daytime students in my department. That can be pretty isolating. So whenever I need community, whenever I need to see people of color, I have GO-MAP. I also have Carolyn Jackson (a GO-MAP staff member), who is like my campus mom. She’s so amazing. I can go to her with anything.” For Jordan, mentorship — especially peer mentorship — has been critical to his success. Now, he’s involved in outreach with GO-MAP: sitting on panels and talking with prospective students as an “Outreaching Grad” (OG). He tells a story of speaking on an early-morning panel for prospective graduate students of color. Later that day, he ran into a prospective student who had attended the panel. She thanked Jordan for sharing his story with prospective students, saying it had been really impactful. “It meant the world to me because I thought I had been really tired and boring at the panel,” Jordan, who is “not a morning person,” says. “Knowing that I actually helped someone with my presence and with my story was really empowering.” Jordan also tutors undergraduate students through the STARS program, which helps students from underserved schools in Washington prepare to succeed in the College of Engineering. Jordan is looking to do more one-on-one and small group mentoring, he says, to have even more of an impact. “Telling my story is one thing, but helping people navigate and tell their own story is a whole other thing,” he says. [post_title] => ECE student's love of music shaped his engineering career [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ece-students-love-of-music-shaped-his-engineering-career [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-10 09:35:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-10 16:35:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=14980 [menu_order] => 4 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14968 [post_author] => 22 [post_date] => 2019-06-06 15:39:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-06 22:39:43 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_15012" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Group photo Students, faculty and industry partners pose for a 2019 ENGINE group photo.[/caption] On Monday (June 3), the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering hosted its annual ENGineering INnovation and Entrepreneurship (ENGINE) showcase. The program gives students the opportunity to work in teams on industry sponsored projects. This year, nearly 50 teams of students worked on projects with a societal impact. Students’ projects covered an array of electrical and computer engineering areas including healthcare, power and energy, transportation, the environment and artificial intelligence. [caption id="attachment_14971" align="alignleft" width="300"]Wininng team Tianning Li, Hong Zhang and Shen Yuan Lao showoff their ENGINE project.[/caption] One particular group, sponsored by Zetron, whose business is creating mission-critical communications, was chosen by industry sponsors, as the winning team. Tianning Li, Hong Zhang and Shen Yuan Yao, won for their project called, the “Internet of Life Saving Thing for Firefighters (IoLST).” Advised by ECE professor James Peckol and Zetron employee Len Cayetano, the group developed an Internet of Things environmental sensing and communication system for fire rescue operations. But none of the evening would be possible without the industry sponsors, who mentored students as a part of the UW Electrical Engineering Entrepreneurial Capstone Program (ENGINE), and Milton (BSEE ’60) and Delia Zeutschel. Through endowing the ENGINE program, the Zeutschels are helping to secure the futures of UW EE engineers and promoting local and statewide innovation. Check out more photos of the event on our Flickr page.   [post_title] => Celebrating student innovation and entrepreneurship [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => celebrating-student-innovation-and-entrepreneurship [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-11 13:32:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-11 20:32:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=14968 [menu_order] => 5 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14960 [post_author] => 22 [post_date] => 2019-06-05 10:35:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-05 17:35:53 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_14962" align="alignright" width="225"]Pollen 5 Pollen 5, the unmanned vehicle taking images of crops. Photo credit: Pollen Systems[/caption] Four undergraduate students in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering created a semi-autonomous ground vehicle to evaluate the volume and health of thousands of acres of crops, as part of the department’s entrepreneurial capstone program, ENGINE. Justin Ngo, Yibo Cao, Maggie Fagan and Jonathan Ananda Nusantara designed, built and tested this unmanned vehicle for Pollen Systems, a Bellevue, Washington corporation focused on farming solutions. ECE teaching assistant Yana Sosnovskaya and faculty advisor Howard Chizeck helped guide them through the venture. The department’s ENGINE program was created to enable students to work in teams on industry sponsored projects. Pollen Systems pitched a project to ECE students to help them develop a robotic scouting vehicle that would drive down rows of crops, take pictures and analyze the plants so farmers would be more informed about the health and volume of their plants. The students created Pollen 5, which can do exactly that. While Pollen Systems has already created drones and robotic scouting vehicles to help farmers, the ground images taken by Pollen 5 give a more detailed view of the crops than from above, and can be combined with aerial imagery for a comprehensive assessment of crop health and soil moisture. Details of the success of their project were published in GeekWire on June 3.         [post_title] => ECE students create robot to help farmers for ENGINE program [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ece-students-create-robot-to-help-farmers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-05 16:14:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-05 23:14:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=14960 [menu_order] => 6 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 6 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15046 [post_author] => 22 [post_date] => 2019-06-14 15:13:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-14 22:13:02 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_15047" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Acoustic wave Acoustic wave[/caption] A team of researchers led by Mo Li, associate professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, has demonstrated, for the first time, using the hypersonic sound wave to bounce light [caption id="attachment_14094" align="alignright" width="222"]Mo Li Mo Li[/caption] backward in an integrated photonic circuit. The new devices will lead to promising applications in microwave photonics, an emerging technology that combines fiber optics and wireless communications, as well as quantum information processing. The team made the circuit with aluminum nitride, a type of piezoelectric materials—materials that change shape when an electrical voltage is applied. The group electrically excited sound wave with a frequency as high as 16 GHz such that the sound wavelength is only 500 nm, even less than the wavelength of light. On the chip they made in the Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF), they engineered a conduit—a waveguide—of only 0.8 micrometer wide for both light and sound. They showed that, in this waveguide where light and sound are confined in the same narrow space, the hypersound could bounce light very efficiently backward and at the same time shift the light frequency, a phenomenon called backward Brillouin scattering. The efficiency of the scattering process peaks at the so-called phase-matching conditions within a narrow range of combined optical and sound frequencies. Therefore, their device can be used as a tunable microwave filter, as well as an optical modulator that can convert a wireless signal to a light signal that can be transmitted on optical fibers. Their research paper, titled “Electromechanical Brillouin scattering in integrated optomechanical waveguides,” was published earlier this month in “Optica”, the Optical Society of America (OSA)’s flagship high-impact journal. Besides Li, the authors include Qiyu Liu, a senior graduate student in ECE, and Huan Li, a senior postdoctoral associate. Both are members of the Laboratory of Photonic Devices. The project was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.   [post_title] => Bouncing light with hypersound on a chip [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bouncing-light-with-hypersound-on-a-chip [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 15:13:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-14 22:13:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=15046 [menu_order] => 1 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 652 [max_num_pages] => 109 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => 1 [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 0f87fe429e20a1f4e53778b54d8d4588 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) ) )
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