News

ECE Assistant Professor Loai Salem receives a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award

May 8th, 2019

photo of loai salem To combat radio interference more efficiently and effectively, Salem intends to create the first fully integrated, self-adaptive radio receiver to facilitate high-quality communication

We’ve all felt the negative effects of radio interference, which has been with us since the days of the telegraph. It can show up as a minor annoyance such as radio static or as a major problem that renders wireless systems completely unusable. Society’s growing reliance on electronics has only amplified the issue because the number of potential sources of interference grows by the day.

Loai Salem, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at UC Santa Barbara, has proposed an innovative solution to silence the interference. His project, centered around his own invention, has so much potential that it piqued the interest of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). As a result, the DoD’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has presented Salem with its prestigious Young Faculty Award.

“I am very grateful to receive the award,” said Salem, who joined UC Santa Barbara in September 2018. “This will allow me to contribute to future generations with technologies I believe will greatly improve society and our quality of life.”

The DARPA Young Faculty Award program seeks to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions in an effort to develop the next generation of scientists who will address national security challenges. Award winners receive up to three years of grant funding and mentorship opportunities with DoD contacts.

“We are extremely proud of Professor Salem, and we congratulate him on this recognition of his outstanding research that could benefit anyone with a handheld device,” said Rod Alferness, dean of UC Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering. “He reflects the college’s strong tradition of hiring the best junior faculty, who go on to be recognized for their innovative research that addresses society’s biggest challenges.”

Salem’s research focuses on power management, radio frequency circuits and their applications. Power management integrated circuits (ICs) are responsible for regulating the direction and flow rate of electrical power taken from the platform battery in portable and wireless devices.

The UCSB Current – "Strong Signals" (full article)

Salem's COE Profile