Department of

Electrical Engineering

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Department News

Aylin Yener

Aylin Yener, professor of electrical engineering, received the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society Premier Research Award. This award recognizes and rewards an individual whose contributions to scientific knowledge through research are exemplary and internationally acclaimed. A single award is presented annually.

Yener has been the principal investigator on a number of grants from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense. Her research interests are in fundamental limits of wireless networks, green communications, information security and network science. She has more than 200 publications in books, journals, and conference proceedings.

Yener currently serves on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Information Theory Society as its Treasurer. Previously, she was the chair of the Student Committee of the IEEE Information Theory Society in the years 2007-2011, an editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications in the years 2009-2012, and an editor and a member of the editorial advisory board of the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications in the years 2001-2012. Dr. Yener has also served as the technical program-chair for several symposia in IEEE conferences in years 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2014.

Pam Stauffer

Pam Stauffer, administrative support coordinator for the department, recently was honored with the 2014 Award for Administrative Excellence. The award, established in 1970, is given to a faculty or staff member whose performance, methods and achievements exemplify the highest standards of administrative excellence.

Stauffer also recently won the Outstanding Staff Award from the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society. This award recognizes and rewards outstanding service by staff employees in the College of Engineering.

Pam Stauffer joined the Department of Electrical Engineering as the administrative support coordinator in February 2010. She began her Penn State career in the Office of the Dean in the College of Engineering shortly after she graduated from Bald Eagle Area High School in 1986. After several years, she joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering and, in 1991, accepted an administrative position in Nuclear Engineering at the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor.

Stauffer left Penn State in 1999 to be at home with her two young sons but returned to Penn State in 2000 in the Department of Geography as administrative support coordinator. Stauffer serves as vice president of Penn State Educational Office Professionals and will step up to president in July. She also serves on the Commission for Women and the Employment Issues subgroup. Within the College of Engineering, she served on the steering committee  and currenlty serves helping to develop the Staff Advisory Committee.

Julio Urbina

Julio Urbina, associate professor of electrical engineering, has been selected to receive a Fulbright award to Peru. As a Fulbright scholar, Urbina strives to build an educational training program that leverages teaching between Universidad Nacional de Ingeniera (UNI) in Lina, Peru and Penn State. He will teach two project-based, experiential learning courses in the field of electrical engineering at UNI. Ultimately, Urbina will identify common goals and cooperative projects to sustain and maintain both an exchange of scholars and students between Peru and the United States. Urbina’s research at Penn State has been focused on developing radar systems using open source hardware and software tools, which includes a prototype of the next generation of meteor radars to study meteor reflections and its effect on the Earth’s upper atmosphere and also on space weather. The Fulbright program, established in 1946, was created to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of the more than 150 countries that currently participate in the Fulbright program. The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide.

Noel Chris Giebink

Noel Chris Giebink, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, was recently awarded a grant through Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program. The program is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. The objective of this program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.

Caitano daSilva

The research work presented by EE graduate student, Caitano da Silva, at the Fall 2013 meeting of the American Geophysical Union that was held in December 2013 in San Francisco, CA, received an outstanding student paper award. da Silva's work is devoted to model interpretation of formation of long lightning leaders in the Earth's atmosphere. His full length paper on this subject has recently been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research. da Silva is working on his Ph.D. degree in Professor Victor Pasko's research group.

Arecibo Observatory

The Arecibo Observatory (AO) located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, is the world’s largest and most sensitive radiotelescope used for atmosphere, astronomy and planetary research. In recognizing its 50th year of service to the scientific community, the AO celebrated with a science symposium “50 Years of Scientific Achievement and Future Directions at Arecibo Observatory”.
The Department of Electrical Engineering had six attendees: James Breakall, professor; John Mathews, professor; Anthony Ferraro, distinguished professor emeritus; Julio Urbina, associate professor; Lynn Carpenter, associate professor emeritus and Thomas Collins, retired director of the electronics design services. Breakall, Mathews, Ferraro, and Urbina presented papers relating to the history of the facility.

Srinivas Tadigadapa

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has named Srinivas Tadigadapa, professor of electrical engineering, an IEEE fellow. Tadigadapa was cited for contributions to microeletromechanical systems for fluidic and biochemical sensors.

Penn State announced that Amr Salah Elnashai will serve as the new dean in the College of Engineering, pending approval by the University Board of Trustees at the Nov. 22 meeting. Read the whole article about the new dean.

Suman DattaProfessor Suman Datta will participate in a Penn State led multi university research initiative that is working to develop a computer prototype that can see the surroundings in the same fashion as the human brain's visual cortex with improved energy efficiency. With a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Datta’s research team is part of a seven-university group that will receive an NSF CISE Expeditions in Computing award, the largest single investment the foundation makes in computing science. The project envisions a holistic design of a machine vision system that will approach or exceed the capabilities and efficiencies of human vision, according to the foundation. This technology will enable computers to interprete visual content at three orders of magnitude enhanced efficiency than current technologies. Datta’s team is funded by more than $500,000 of the total grant. His team is harnessing many body interaction in correlated materials to fabricate analog processing elements as building blocks for next generation vision processing systems. Collaborating institutions include University of Southern California, Stanford University, York College of Pennsylvania, University of California-San Diego, University of California-Los Angeles and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Read the whole story about Suman Datta's research initiative here.