News & Events

Winter 2016 eNewsletter: Message from the Chair

Dear EE Community:

Winter quarter is in full swing and our faculty, staff and students are hard at work making UW EE one of the premier electrical and computer engineering departments in the nation. Building on our department’s strengths in entrepreneurship, we launched a new multi-quarter entrepreneurial capstone design option this quarter, enabling students to work in teams on industry-sponsored projects with companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Plugable and more. We are excited to equip our students with entrepreneurial skills while they gain real-world industry experience. Professors Payman Arabshahi and John Sahr are the founding members of this initiative.

I am tremendously pleased to announced new professorships, which will expand research into biomedical devices and systems as well as the power and energy field. Thanks to the generosity of visionary alum Dr. Cherng Jia (CJ) Hwang and his wife, Elizabeth, two new professorships will advance rehabilitation technologies for spinal cord injury. This gift comes at an excellent time. The UW Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering recently received $16 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, which will fund the transformative work of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, including Professors Howard Chizeck, Matt Reynolds, Joshua Smith, Blake Hannaford, Chris Rudell and Visvesh Sathe. The research conducted at the CSNE is specifically targeted at developing implantable devices that can restore movement and improve the overall quality of life for people with spinal cord injury or stroke.

Our department led exciting discussions about smart and connected communities. In mid-January 2016, 50 smart city leaders from around the world gathered at the UW Seattle campus for a two-day National Science Foundation workshop to discuss the future of smart and connected communities. I had the honor of serving as chair and principal investigator of the workshop, which provided an opportunity for various stakeholders to connect, including municipalities, states, cities, universities, industry, federal government and private foundations. Creating smart communities is emerging as a way to address a variety of problems facing both busy urban centers and rural communities.

Faculty continue to receive support for their cutting-edge research. Two faculty projects recently received CoMotion Innovation Funding, which supports projects that are in the early stages of development and have a strong likelihood of being commercialized. Professor Howard Chizeck received CoMotion Innovation Funding to support development of a new method for authenticating online transactions and Professor John Sahr, together with Affiliate Faculty Member Tony Goodson, received support for their OneRadio project, which will revolutionize the radio industry by creating a single radio that is capable of performing multiple functions.

In the past few months we have celebrated several new awards. Professor Scott Hauck was honored as UW EE’s 25th IEEE Fellow, recognized for his contributions to Field-Programmable Gate Array based systems. I am delighted to share the great news that in addition to alum Louis Scharf’s (Ph.D. ’69) recent IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal, he has also received a 2016 College of Engineering Diamond Award for distinguished achievements in academia.

I look forward to celebrating more good news for our department in the coming months. The UW EE community is strong, thanks to the collaboration and hard work of our faculty, students and alums. Thank you for being part of building UW EE as a premier electrical and computer engineering department in the nation. I invite you to renew your connection and commitment to UW EE.

Best to all,

Radha Poovendran
Professor and Chair
Department of Electrical Engineering

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