2009-2010 Annual Report
In 2009-10, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) continued its growth and accomplishments. Faculty continued to be involved in a balanced combination of research and teaching so as to fully benefit the students. The Department’s vision remains to have the best undergraduate program in the State of Florida and to be internationally recognized with its graduate program driven by excellent research that responds to the needs of the State of Florida, in particular, and the nation in general. Furthermore, serving our community and maintaining our mission in providing excellence in undergraduate education so that our graduates become critical thinkers, creative problem solvers and lifelong learners. Student enrollment was slightly down from the previous year, although the doctoral program continued to flourish. The department also graduated less students this year, but is has hopefully stabilized its decline. The biggest story for the department is its all-time record of research awards as $4.5M after few years of decline. This represented the highest funding amongst all units in the college.
Faculty and Research Highlights
In the Fall 2009 – the two new faculty members joined the department. Dr. Gang Quan as Associate Professor and Dr. Hai Deng as Assistant Professor. Dr. Quan brought his prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Award for his project of “Power Aware Scheduling for Real-Time Embedded Systems”. This research is one part of the integral effort from the research community in dealing with the power and thermal challenges for the future computing systems. Dr. Deng also brought a three-year research project of $280,000 from the Wright-Patterson Air Force Research Lab. The research aims to develop innovative signal processing algorithms to significantly improve target detection performance of MIMO radar in clutter and jammers.
Dr. Malek Adjouadi together with his Co-PIs, Dr. Armando Barreto and Dr. Naphtali Rishe received a $2.9M award from NSF for the Development of an Instrument for Information Science and Computing in Neuroscience.
Dr. Osama Mohammed received a $1.2M research Award from the Office of Naval Research from, January 2010-December 2012 entitled “Development of Physics-Based Models for Shipboard Power System Components for Operation, Control and Real-time Drive Simulations With Hardware in the Loop”. He also chaired the IEEE Conference of Electromagnetic Field Computation IEEE CEFC2010, May 9-12, 2010. This is one of the most important conferences of the IEEE Magnetics Society.
Dr. Grover Larkins and his associate Dr. Yuri Vlasov received a $894,000 research project from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for their work on Doped Graphene and Graphite as a Potential High Temperature Supercondutor.
Dr. Nezih Pala, was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for his research in “Nanoscale Multi-element Plasmonic Devices for Tunable Terahertz Detection Applications”. Dr. Pala also received an NPRP award from Qatar National Research fund. The total of $1.1M award will support a joint research between the University of Qatar, Florida International University, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Dr. Jeffrey Fan was invited to join the Editorial Board of i-manger Journal on Electronics Engineering for the upcoming academic year of 2010-2011. He was Associate Editor in IEEE 42nd Southeastern Symposium on System Theory (SSST ’10) in Tyler, Texas and the General Co-Chair of IEEE International Workshop on Intelligent Systems and Smart Home in Taiwan.
Student Activities and Achievement
ECE students have been offered internships by the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, Broadcom, Boston Scientific, amongst others. ECE students presented a paper and attended the SPIE Defense, Sensing and Security Conference in Orlando, Florida. Job opportunities for students continue to be offered by government agencies and the industry. Students collaborated in research activities in other Universities such as Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Dr. Osama Mohammed’s students conducted the National Engineers Week Future City Annual Competition for the Florida Region for the 11th consecutive year, January 23, 2010. More than 50 Junior High Schools participated and the winning school represented the State of Florida at the National Finals held in Washington D.C. during the Engineers week in February 2010.
The ECE Department continues to participate in the FIU Engineering EXPO. The expo is an exciting and dynamic educational experience that engages and exposes students from local schools to the wonders of Science and Engineering. The goal is to stimulate an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for future generations. Over 300 high school students and their teachers from neighboring public schools visited the FIU Engineering Center and the research labs in the department.
Nano Day is an event organized annually by the Miami Science Museum to introduce children and parents to nanotechnology. Dr. Nezih Pala gave a presentation on nanotechnology and THz technologies and their possible applications. Hundreds of visitors including children of all ages attended to hear the talk and to experience the hands on demonstrations.