ECE Associate Professor Jonathan Klamkin receives a NASA 2015 Early Stage Innovation (ESI) award

November 24th, 2015

nasa logo
Klamkin and UC, Santa Barbara awarded for proposal on “PICULS: Photonic Integrated Circuits for Ultra-Low Size, Weight and Power”

NASA has selected 15 university-led proposals for the study of innovative, early stage technologies that address high priority needs of America’s space program.

The Early Stage Innovations awards from NASA’s Space Technology Research Grants Program are worth as much as $500,000 each. Universities have two to three years to work on their proposed research and development projects.

“The agency’s space technology research areas lend themselves to the innovative approaches U.S. universities can offer for solving tough science and exploration challenges,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. “NASA’s Early Stage Innovations grants align with NASA’s Space Technology Roadmaps and the priorities identified by the National Research Council, helping enable NASA’s exploration goals including robotic missions to Mars and the outer planets, and ultimately human exploration of Mars.”

The proposals selected under the Early Stage Innovations 2015 solicitation address unique, disruptive or transformational technologies, including: payload technologies for assistive free-flyers; robotic mobility technologies for the surfaces of icy moons; integrated photonics for space optical communication; computationally guided structural nanomaterials design; and atmospheric entry modeling development using flight data from the Orion’s first flight test in space last December called Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1).

NASA Early Stage Innovations Awards

2015 ESI Awardees

Klamkin's CoE Profile

IEE Executive Director & ECE Professor David Auston receives the UC Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award for the Carbon Neutrality Initiative

November 24th, 2015

photo of David Auston
David Auston, executive director of UC Santa Barbara’s Institute for Energy Efficiency, Center for Energy Efficient Materials and ECE Adjunct Professor, is among 10 University of California faculty members to receive the award from UC President Janet Napolitano

The award recognizes Auston and faculty members from UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Davis, UC San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz for demonstrating outstanding leadership on UC President Janet Napolitano’s systemwide initiatives. They range from increasing student access and diversity, enhancing campus entrepreneurialism, achieving carbon neutrality, promulgating healthy and sustainable food systems around the world and furthering UC’s engagement with Mexico.

Auston is a member of Napolitano’s Global Climate Leadership Council and co-chair of the council’s Applied Research Working Group. Within months of the creation of the council, he helped to convene two workshops on how UC research could be deployed to help meet the systemwide goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. He also played a leading role in organizing a carbon neutrality research summit that included Napolitano, Gov. Jerry Brown and other state leaders, top administrators, sustainability managers and researchers from UC.

“This is a very special honor,” said Auston. “It has been — and continues to be — a great pleasure to work with all the members of the Global Climate Leadership Council and the many faculty, staff and students from the 10 UC campuses, the three national laboratories and UCOP, who are workingto advance the Carbon Neutrality Initiative.”

The UCSB Current – "Presidential Recognition" (full article)

UC Systemwide – "Faculty Honored for Contributions to UC Initiatives"

The Institute for Energy Efficiency

Professor Kaustav Banerjee’s work on nano-carbon interconnects receives ICCAD’s ’10 Year Retrospective Most Influential Paper Award’

November 6th, 2015

photo of banerjee and award The award selection committee credited the paper for being judged the most influential on research and industrial practice in computer-aided design of integrated circuits over the ten years since its original appearance at ICCAD

At the recently concluded 34th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer Aided Design (ICCAD), held in Austin, Texas, the executive committee of the conference presented the prestigious ICCAD 2015 Ten Year Retrospective Most Influential Paper Award to Professor Kaustav Banerjee and ECE alum, Dr. Navin Srivastava.

For over 34 years, ICCAD has been the world’s premier conference devoted to technical innovations in electronic design automation. The selected paper that was published in the 2005 Proceedings of ICCAD is titled “Performance Analysis of Carbon Nanotube Interconnects for VLSI Applications.” The article’s co-author, Dr. Navin Srivastava, carried out his doctoral research in Professor Banerjee’s Nanoelectronics Research Lab and received the PhD degree in Spring 2009. He is currently an R&D engineer at Mentor Graphics Corporation, Wilsonville, Oregon.

The semiconductor industry has been looking for alternative interconnect solutions to replace copper due to their increasing resistivity and limited current carrying capacity. Professor Banerjee’s early work highlighting the prospects of carbon nanomaterials (including carbon nanotubes and graphene nano-ribbons) as interconnects and passives is now being pursued in many industrial R&D labs and research groups around the world.

ICCAD 2005 – "Performance Analysis of Carbon Nanotube Interconnects for VLSI Application" (abstract & article)

2015 International Conference On Computer Aided Design (ICCAD) – Awards

Nanoelectronics Research Lab

UCSB’s Madhow, Rodwell, Buckwalter and Zheng among researchers receiving $2.4M in NSF funding for millimeter wave band research

November 3rd, 2015

3 illustrations of mm wave band research
UCSB researchers take aim at the potential bottleneck created by the growing flood of shared multimedia content on wireless networks

“According to industry projections that are widely quoted, mobile broadband data demand will grow by a thousandfold between 2010 and 2020,” says Upamanyu Madhow, a professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “We are in the middle of this period, and wireless carriers and equipment providers are scrambling to come up with solutions.” The demand, he said, is driven by bandwidth-hungry multimedia applications, such as streaming services, games and cloud storage, as well as web conferencing and remote desktop services. Should the network become overloaded, Madhow noted, users of these apps would experience the familiar and very frustrating slowdown of service.

However, with the help of $2.4 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, Madhow and fellow UCSB researchers Jim Buckwalter, Mark Rodwell and Heather Zheng, along with Amin Arbabian of Stanford University and Xinyu Zhang of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, plan to investigate an emerging approach to wireless connectivity. Their research focuses on what is called the “millimeter wave band,” an area of the electromagnetic spectrum that operates at a much higher frequency than the radio waves used in conventional wireless communications.

The UCSB Current — "The New Wave in Wireless Communications" (full article)

ECE Professor Clint Schow elected as a 2016 Optical Society (OSA) Fellow

November 3rd, 2015

photo of clint schow
Schow elected for his contributions to high capacity optical interconnects

OSA Fellows are selected based on their overall impact on optics, as gauged through factors such as specific scientific, engineering, and technological contributions, a record of significant publications or patents related to optics, technical leadership in the field, business leadership, and service to OSA and the global optics community.

Drawing from nominations from current fellows, the OSA Fellow Members Committee recommends candidates to the OSA Board of Directors. This process is highly competitive, as no more than 10 percent of the OSA Membership may be Fellows.

Optical Society Fellow Members

Schow's CoE Profile

Professor Kaustav Banerjee’s work on 2D transistors among selected papers at IEDM 2014

October 27th, 2015

iedm logo
Selection to this kind of “IEDM Hall of Fame” is significant because for over 60 years, IEDM has been the world’s leading forum for reporting innovation, discovery, and breakthroughs in electron device technology.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), the technical program committee of the conference last December selected the eleven most significant contributions from over 220 papers presented in IEDM 2014 in San Francisco, CA, for a special section in the IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices (T-ED). The special section appears in the November 2015 issue of the journal and is aimed at commemorating 60 years of IEDM.

Prof. Banerjee’s selected paper in T-ED that was presented at the 2014 IEDM by ECE PhD candidate Wei Cao is titled “2D Semiconductor FETs–Projections and Design for Sub-10 nm VLSI”. The paper is co-authored by several other members in his Nanoelectronics Research Lab.

IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices Article

International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM)

Nanoelectronics Research Lab

‘To the Stars and Beyond’ — ECE Alumnus José Hernández honored at the Dream Luncheon

October 27th, 2015

photo of Jose Hernandez with students
Dream Luncheon celebrates NASA astronaut and distinguished UCSB alumnus José Hernández and the campus’s Hispanic community

Hundreds gathered at this weekend’s Dream Luncheon honoring NASA astronaut José Hernández with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association. The event also celebrated UCSB’s achievement as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and was a benefit for the Dream Scholars Fund for underprivileged and underrepresented UCSB students.

The son of migrant farmers, Hernández was 12 years old when he learned to speak English. A first generation college student, Hernández graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering in 1986. He went on to the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory where he developed digital equipment to detect breast cancer.

Pursuing a childhood dream inspired by watching the first moon landing on television, Hernández tried — and failed — 11 times to become a NASA astronaut. On his 12th attempt, Hernández was assigned to the crew of the Space Shuttle mission STS-128, sent to orbit the Earth in 2008.

Congressman Tony Cárdenas, also a UCSB engineering alumnus, described Hernández as the embodiment of the American dream. “The sky’s the limit, we always say,” said Cárdenas. “But José has proved the sky is not the limit. Very few people can say ‘I’ve orbited the Earth.’ The sky is no longer the limit.”

“Anything is possible as long as you have the perseverance,” said Hernandez after he accepted the Distinguished Alumni Award. “The sky’s not the limit — the stars are. I’m living proof of that.”

The UCSB Current "To the Stars and Beyond" (full article)

The UCSB Current — UCSB Alumni Association Honors NASA Astronaut (full article)

ECE Profile of Distinction — José Hernández

National university rankings highlight UCSB’s commitment to middle- and low-income students

October 12th, 2015

ucsb's henley gate
With nine undergraduate campuses across the state, the University of California is dedicated to providing top quality education to all of California’s eligible high school graduates and community college transfer students.

Rankings of the nation’s top colleges and universities consistently place UC Santa Barbara among the country’s elite institutions of higher education, and a number of 2015-16 rankings have recognized UCSB for its efforts to achieve economic diversity as well.

“We are committed to ensuring that our students are able to enjoy the best living and learning environment with the greatest opportunity for success,” said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “We are honored and grateful for these national recognitions.”

In its 2015 College Guide, Washington Monthly identified UCSB as one of 10 “Access Improvers” — colleges and universities that have increased their enrollments of federally funded Pell Grant students while maintaining strong student outcomes.

In addition, UCSB was ranked number 6 among public universities in U.S. News & World report’s 2016 list of colleges and universities that offer students the best education value based on academic quality and net cost of attendance.

Also, UCSB placed number 3 in The Upshot’s College Access Index published recently in The New York Times. The index is based on the share of students receiving Pell grants (which typically go to families making less than $70,000 per year); the graduation rate of students on Pell grants; and the net cost, after financial aid, that a college or university charged low- and middle-income students.

The UCSB Current "Education for All" (full article)

NYT The Upshot "Top Colleges Doing the Most for Low-Income Students"

U.S. News & World Report "Best Value Schools"

UC Santa Barbara’s International Year of Light Symposium includes 4 Nobel Prize laureates

October 12th, 2015

international year of light logo
Light and its myriad uses and benefits were the focus of UCSB’s International Year of Light Symposium. Speakers included UCSB’s Nobel Prize laureates Herb Kroemer (Physics ’00 / ECE & Materials Depts), Alan Heeger (Chemistry ’00 / Chemistry & Materials Depts) and Shuji Nakamura (Physics ’14 / Materials & ECE Depts) and Dr. Steven Chu (Physics ’97 / former U.S. Secretary of Energy)

The best and brightest in lighting and light-based research came together Thursday, October 8, for UC Santa Barbara’s International Year of Light symposium. The daylong event at UCSB’s Corwin Pavilion highlighted the science and engineering behind the technology that has come to dominate not only communications and energy efficiency, but also medicine and entertainment.

“Today we have some of the most distinguished speakers, including our own faculty,” said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang in his opening remarks. “You are international leaders in developing light-based technology, so we’re going to have an exciting day.”

The event, hosted by the UCSB College of Engineering and the campus’s Institute for Energy Efficiency (IEE), was part of the worldwide celebration of the International Year of Light designated by the United Nations. Featured speakers, all on the cutting edge of lighting and light-based technology, included three of UCSB’s Nobel laureates — Herbert Kroemer, Alan Heeger and Shuji Nakamura. Each lectured on his work, while other symposium speakers discussed the many other advances and aspects of light-based research.

“There really isn’t an area that is not touched by UC Santa Barbara in terms of the excellence, the entrepreneurship, the commitment and leadership,” Allan Wilner, president of the Optical Society of America and professor at the University of Southern California, said in his welcome. “It’s truly amazing.”

Several UCSB faculty also spoke at the symposium including John Bowers (IEE Director / ECE Dept) and Steven DenBaars (SSLEEC Co-director / ECE & Materials Dept).

The UCSB The Current "The State of Light" (full article)

2015 International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies

UCSB Nobel Laureates

ECE Professor Art Gossard among 10 UCSB researchers named to Thomson Reuters’ 2015 list of Highly Cited Researchers

October 7th, 2015

thomson reuters logo
The annual list recognizes researchers in the sciences and social sciences from around the world whose work has had major impact in their fields. The list includes scientists whose papers rank in the top 1 percent by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science.

UCSB’s highly cited researchers for 2015 are:

• Guillermo C. Bazan, Materials
• Steven D. Gaines, Environment/Ecology
• Arthur C. Gossard, Physics
• Craig J. Hawker, Chemistry
• Alan J. Heeger, Chemistry, and also Materials
• Kevin D. Lafferty, Environment/Ecology
• Samir Mitragotri, Pharmacology & Toxicology
• Daniel Moses, Materials
• Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, Materials
• Joshua P. Schimel, Agricultural Sciences

According to Thomson Reuters, the 2015 list is generated through the compilation of data from 2003 to 2013, which included 120,793 highly cited papers.

The UCSB Current "Citations of Excellence" (full article)

UCSB faculty on TR's 2015 Highly Cited Researchers List

Gossard's CoE Profile