ECE Assistant Professor Yon Visell’s RE Touch Lab first to map touch sensation using custom hand sensors

August 18th, 2016

video of visell research
College of Engineering video highlights Assistant Professor Yon Visell’s haptics research

Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Yon Visell’s haptics and robotics research group catalogs patterns of vibration on the skin of the hand that are at the foundation of how we sense the world through touch. Visell’s research is the first of its kind to map the fast propagation of touch, designing custom sensor networks worn on the hand that capture displacements of the skin at a very fast resolution.

"UCSB Engineers First to Map Mechanics of Touch Sensation" (COE Video)

"Haptics engineers first to map touch sensation using custom hand sensors" (COE News Release)

Visell's COE Profile

ECE Professor John Bowers receives the 2017 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Award

August 3rd, 2016

photo of John Bowers
Award recognizes Bowers’s “pioneering research in silicon photonics, including hybrid silicon lasers, photonic integrated circuits and ultra low-loss waveguides”

Bowers, who holds the Fred Kavli Chair in Nanotechnology and is an internationally renowned authority on optoelectronics, has focused his expertise on silicon photonics and optoelectronics, with the goals of developing energy-efficient technology for the next generation of optical networks. “Silicon photonics has the potential to revolutionize photonics and electronics by enabling low-cost, high-volume manufacturing of optical interconnects with a path toward embedding high-capacity fiber optics on circuit boards and eventually on electronic chips.”

“This is a major award,” said Rod Alferness, dean of the UCSB College of Engineering, who received an IEEE Photonics Award in 2005, before coming to UCSB. “The IEEE Photonics Award is the most prestigious recognition of contributions to the field of photonics and optics. John Bowers’ work in integrated silicon photonics is leading the way to the future of electronics and telecommunications.”

Bowers, who came to UCSB in 1987, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors, a fellow of the IEEE, Optical Society of America (OSA) and the American Physical Society. He is a recipient of the OSA Holonyak Prize, and the IEEE LEOS William Streifer Award. He and colleagues received the 2007 Annual Creativity in Electronics Award for Most Promising Technology for the hybrid silicon laser.

The UCSB Current "A Leader in Light" (full article)

IEEE Photonics Award

Bowers's Optoelectronics Research Group

ECE Ph.D. candidate Jiahao Kang’s work with 2D materials among most cited articles in Applied Physics Letters (APL)

August 1st, 2016

aip and apl illustration ECE Professor Kaustav Banerjee’s research group have made pioneering contributions to the domain of contacts and interfaces to 2D semiconductors, which are critical to harnessing their full potential for electronics, optoelectronics, and spintronics applications

ECE Ph.D. candidate Jiahao Kang has been one of the earliest to study and decode the nature of electrical contacts to 2D semiconductors. Recently, one of his early papers published in the journal American Institue of Physics (AIP) | Applied Physics Letters (APL) has been highlighted among the most cited articles of that journal in 2015.

2D materials belonging to the graphene family, various transition metal dichalcogenides including molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) and tungsten diselenide (WSe2), as well as other 2D semiconductors such as monolayer Black Phosphorus have displayed unique potential in overcoming the limitations of conventional bulk materials (such as silicon and III-V semiconductors) for a number of exciting applications in electronics and optoelectronics, as well as spintronics and valleytronics. However, ensuring low-resistance or optimal contacts to such materials is the primary hindrance to using this technology.

In 2015, Jiahao also co-authored a comprehensive review article on contacts to atomically-thin 2D semiconductors in the prestigious journal Nature Materials. His doctoral research is being carried out in the Nanoelectronics Research Lab under the tutelage of Professor Kaustav Banerjee.

With 222,233 citations, APL is the most cited journal in applied physics in 2015.

Most Cited APL Articles in 2015

"High-performance MoS2 transistors with low-resistance molybdenum contacts" (full article)

Banerjee's Nanoelectronics Research Lab (NRL)

ECE Ph.D. Alumni and Project Scientist Milan Mashanovitch and Research Scientist Leif Johansson and co-founders of Freedom Photonics receive $1 million grant

July 28th, 2016

illustration freedom photonics Freedom Photonics among three Central Coast companies to receive the newest series of United States Department of Energy grants awarded to small businesses to encourage clean energy research and technology development

Freedom Photonics, whose research and production facilities are located in Santa Barbara, prides itself on the business of energy efficiency — through computer communication. Founded in 2005 by electrical engineering PhD’s Leif A. Johansson and Milan L. Mashanovitch, the team of 25 creates photonic integrated circuits, the same technology that allow servers for sites like Google, Facebook, and Amazon to communicate with each other. “Overheating is always an issue when working with so many servers,” said Mashanovitch about the airplane-hanger-sized facilities that house the Internet’s largest. The team plans to use its $1 million grant to fund research on solving such overheating issues and also developing circuits that emit less energy. Through its research, the company continues to pave inroads for hardware used by the Department of Defense, NASA, and private companies touting fiber optic “fencing.”

The $1 million grants were awarded by the Department of Energy to businesses across the United States as part of the 2016 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

Santa Barbara Independent "Three Companies Receive Clean Energy Awards" (full article)

Freedom Photonics

The Coldren Group

UCSB Nobel Laureate Shuji Nakamura elected to Taiwan’s most prestigious academy

July 13th, 2016

nakamura in the lab
Materials and ECE Professor Shuji Nakamura has been elected to Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s preeminent research institution, and is among 22 new scholars and scientists elected to the prestigious academy at its biennial Convocation of Academicians earlier this month

“I am so proud and honored to congratulate Professor Nakamura on his election to the prestigious Academia Sinica,” said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang, who was himself elected to the academy in 1992. “Dr. Nakamura has forever changed the world through the impact of his LED inventions, from energy-efficient lighting and displays to optical storage to innovative medical applications, with more still to come. His election as an Honorary Academician is a testament to his global leadership in advancing the frontiers of science and technology, as well as his humanitarian contribution to our world.”

Academia Sinica collaborates with 31 research institutes across three divisions: Mathematics and Physical Sciences; Life Sciences and Humanities of Social Sciences.

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

ECE Assistant Professor Alberto Giovanni Busetto selected Big Data Chair of the Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering

June 16th, 2016

photo of alberto giovanni busettoBusetto selected as the Big Data Chair of JAFOE by the National Academy of Engineering in conjunction with the Engineering Academy of Japan

He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science (courtesy). He is also a member of the Center for Control, Dynamics and Computation and the Center for Bio-image Informatics.

General Research Interests: are interdisciplinary and include the areas of statistical learning, computing systems, information theory, and computational science.

Current Activities:

  • data-driven modeling
  • of complex dynamical systems for control and identification,
  • optimal experimental design
  • in computational science, engineering and personalized medicine.
  • computing and communication
  • to perform noise- and fault-tolerant information processing

The Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering aims to bring together outstanding, early-career Japanese and American Engineers from industry, universities, and other research institutions to introduce their areas of engineering research and technical work, thereby facilitating an interdisciplinary transfer of knowledge and methodology that could eventually lead to collaborative networks of engineers from the two countries.

The Frontiers of Engineering program brings together a select group of emerging engineering leaders from industry, academe, and government labs to discuss pioneering technical work and leading edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors. The goal of the meetings is to introduce these outstanding engineers (ages 30-45) to each other, and through this interaction facilitate collaboration in engineering, the transfer of new techniques and approaches across fields, and establishment of contacts among the next generation of engineering leaders.

Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

Busetto's Intelligent & Predictive Systems Laboratory

The American Institute for Manufacturing Photonics (AIM Photonics) at UC Santa Barbara

June 15th, 2016

AIM UCSB Director John Bowers
AIM Deputy Chief Executive Officer & ECE Professor John Bowers and ECE Electronics & Photonics faculty featured in AIM Photonics at UC Santa Barbara video

In June 2015, the Obama Administration selected AIM Photonics to lead research and manufacturing of integrated photonic technology. In collaboration with AIM lead university SUNY, UCSB is the West Coast headquarters of the public-private partnership.

AIM Photonics’ goal is to create an end-to-end integrated photonics manufacturing system in the United States and plans to bring government, industry, and academia together to better position the U.S. in the global market.

AIM Photonics at UCSB (video)

West Coast Headquarters of AIM Photonics at UCSB (website)

The UCSB Current – "UCSB Becomes West Coast Hub for National Photonics Manufacturing Institute" (news release – July 27, 2015)

ECE’s Dr. Deblina Sarkar receives the Winifred and Louis Lancaster Dissertation Award for Math, Physical Science and Engineering

June 14th, 2016

Honors in Letters and Science recognize recipients of Dean’s award and other prizes of achievement in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and fine arts

photo of deblina sarkarFour undergraduate and four graduate students in the College of Letters and Science at UC Santa Barbara have been selected to receive awards for outstanding academic achievement.

ECE’s Deblina Sarkar, who has completed her Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering, is the recipient of the Winifred and Louis Lancaster Dissertation Award for Math, Physical Science and Engineering. At UCSB, Sarkar was member of the Nanoelectronics Research Lab (NRL) and advised by Professor Kaustav Banerjee. She is presently a Postdoctoral Researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Dr. Sarkar’s research, combines the interdisciplinary fields of engineering, physics and biology, aims to bridge the gap between nanotechnology and synthetic biology to create a new paradigm for computational electronics as well as to invent disruptive technologies for neuroscience.

Her doctoral research addressed one of the burning issues that plagues the Electronics Industry and threatens the environment: the exponential increase in power dissipation with technology scaling.

Sarkar’s present research focuses on understanding the brain which when decoded, can not only open up new avenues for treatment of neuronal disorders but can also transform the way electronic computations are performed today. Her ultimate aim is to augment the brain with nano-bio hybrid prosthetics to create smarter and healthier minds.

Dr. Sarkar was recognized at the 2016 Graduate Division commencement ceremony held on Sunday, June 12 on the Faculty Club Green.

The UCSB Current – "Honors in Letters and Science" (full article)

Sarkar's MIT webpage

Hua Lee & John Johnson receive “Outstanding Faculty” honors at the 2016 College of Engineering “Senior Send-Off”

June 13th, 2016

photos lee and johnson
College of Engineering (CoE) celebrates the undergraduate class of 2016 on June 10th at their annual “Senior Send-Off” event

The event program and reception included honoring seniors, teaching assistants and faculty members.

The following faculty received “Outstanding Faculty” recognitions from the graduating seniors in their program:

Hua Lee — Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)
John Johnson — Computer Engineering (CE)

2016 Senior Capstone Best Projects – ECE 188 and ECE 189 awardees

June 13th, 2016

On June 2nd ECE 189 Computer Engineering students and June 3rd ECE 188 Electrical Engineering students presented their Capstone Senior Projects


Electrical & Computer Engineering – Senior Electrical Engineering Project (ECE 188)

The EE Capstone Project gives ECE students the opportunity to put their education into practice. Students, working in small teams, design, build, and present a challenging engineering design project. The design challenges, of which each team selects one to tackle, are proposed and supported by UCSB faculty research groups or by industry. Projects typically involve design and implementation of both hardware and software systems.
project logos for flashlight hyperloop bulb
Most Innovative: FLIR Flashlight (abstract)
EE Team (multidisciplinary w/ CE & ME): Lorena Covarrubias, Zachary Schmidt, Vishaal Varahamurthy, Anna Wu

Best Technical: UCSB Hyperloop (abstract)
EE Team (multidisciplinary w/ CE & ME): Mary Alice Callaghan, Juan Castillo, Elena Georgieva, Christopher Johnson, Terrence Tran

Faculty Choice Award: SONOS Bulb (abstract)
EE Team (multidisciplinary w/ CE & ME): Nicholas Bottomley, Zhengshuang Ren, Zhanming Zhang

ECE 188 Senior Capstone Project Course
ECE 188 Capstone Projects
ME / EE Design Fair and Year-End Celebration
ME / EE Design Showcase


Computer Engineering – Senior Computer Systems Project (ECE 189)

The CE Capstone Project gives Computer Engineering students the opportunity to put their education into practice. Students, working in small teams, design and engineer innovative hardware and software systems using techniques from robotics, distributed systems, circuit design, networking, and real-time systems to tackle problems and create a final “tangible” project.

soil smart logo
Best Project: Soil Smart – a wireless sensor network that monitors and records soil conditions
Team: Jacob Adams, James Cornell, Jesus Vega, Peter Marcelo, Ricardo Morones

• ECE & CS 189 Senior Capstone Course
ECE & CS 189 Capstone Projects
ECE 189 Event
ECE 189 Capstone Event Album