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ECE NEWS :The Electrical & Computer Engineering Department Newsletter


Year in Review 2009-2010

Featured Articles

BRIGHT IDEAS: Undergrad competition showcases ECE student ideas and inventions

BRIGHT IDEAS: Recycled electrification system will light up developing nations

New semiconductor laser structure

Nam Sung Kim

Katherine Compton

Focus on New Faculty:
Nader Behdad

Focus on Alumni:
Meet the ECE Visiting Advisory Board

Dean Foate receives Distinguised Acheivement Award

Andrew Hanson:
Transferring entrepreneurship from classroom to company

Michael Splinter: Blending engineering, business and social responsibility

In Memoriam

Regular Features

Message from the chair

Department News

Student News



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Nanion Technologies, a bio- and microtechnology company co-founded by Lynn H. Matthias Professor Robert Blick, won the 2009 Deutscher Gruenderpreis award. Given to outstanding entrepreneurs in Germany, the award recognizes entrepreneurial role models.

Nanion is a spin-off company from the Center of Nanoscience at the University of Munich, Germany, that develops and manufactures sophisticated instrumentation for the analysis of ion channels, the pore-forming proteins that help establish and control the small voltage gradient across the plasma membrane of all living cells by allowing the flow of ions down their electrochemical gradient. The company’s automated patch clamp platforms increase the efficiency of drug discovery and are used by pharmaceutical companies and leading academic institutions globally.

The Optical Society has awarded Philip Dunham Reed Professor Dan Botez the Nick Holonyak Jr. Award in recognition of his fundamental contributions to high-power semiconductor lasers including active photonic-crystal structures for high coherent power generation; single-lobe grating-surface-emitting distributed-feedback lasers; and high-power, high-efficiency sources based on aluminum-free technology.

The Nick Holonyak Jr. Award was established in 1997 and recognizes significant contributions to optics based on semiconductor-based devices and optical materials, including basic science and technological applications. Botez joins an exceptional group of 12 past Holonyak Jr. Award recipients.

Associate Professor Hongrui Jiang will lead a multi-university, multidisciplinary research program to develop biology-inspired intelligent micro-optical imaging systems with a four-year, $2 million National Science Foundation grant through the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation program. With state-of-the-art technologies in microsystems, nanotechnology and computer vision, Jiang’s team will incorporate elements of natural visual systems into integrated, intelligent, micro-imaging systems without anatomic and physiological constraints.

Specifically, they will develop spherical multi-micro-camera arrays integrating light field photography for panoramic videos with large depth of field, artificial-reflecting-superposition compound eyes for high-transmittance and low-chromatic-aberration imaging over a wide spectrum, and bio-inspired multi-fovea coordination software for efficient processing of visual information.

The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Seed Grant provided the initial project grant.

Associate Professor Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma received a three-year, $360,000 U.S. Department of Defense grant to develop new near-infrared and midwave-infrared lasers using nanomembranes technologies. Traditional near-infrared (1.55 mm) lasers can only be made on III-V substrates, such as indium phosphide. Ma will work with colleagues at the University of Texas to develop such lasers on any substrates, including the desired silicon substrates. The success will lead to the implementation of optical interconnects for densely packed silicon integrated circuits. The team also will develop 3-5 mm midwave-infrared lasers employing a similar principle.

Ma says the midwave-infrared lasers have been difficult to make but would be very useful for target seeking, sensing and laser radars.

Professor Luke Mawst and Chemical and Biological Engineering Milton J. and A. Maude Shoemaker Professor Tom Kuech have received a two-year $330,000 grant from the Army Research Lab to study high-efficiency tandem solar cells employing dilute-nitride materials grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. One goal of the project is to increase the efficiency of multi-junction solar cells through the development of new materials to access key parts of the solar spectrum.

Professor Emeritus Donald Novotny received a 2009 Nikola Tesla Award from IEEE. The award recognizes Novotny for pioneering contributions throughout the last 40 years to the analysis and understanding of AC machine dynamic behavior and performance in adjustable-speed drive.

McFarland-Bascom Professor Rob Nowak has been elected an IEEE fellow for contributions to statistical signal and image processing. Each year, following a rigorous evaluation procedure, the IEEE Fellow Committee recommends a select group of recipients for elevation to fellow, one of the institute’s most prestigious honors. The recipients are taken from an international pool of applicants. The 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.

The 2009 San Diego Microgrid Symposium, held September 17-18, brought together 25 organizations at the University of California, San Diego to discuss switching the San Diego electrical grid to a digital smart grid by 2011. Professor Giri Venkataramanan served on the steering committee, and PhD student Patricio A. Mendoza Araya presented at the conference on evolving microgrids work in Chile.

Computer Sciences and ECE Professor Mark Hill received a UW-Madison Kellet Mid-Career Award and $60,000 research award supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. Hill has been recognized for his research on advancing parallel computer hardware.



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Date last modified: Monday,20-December-2010
Date created: 20-December-2010



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