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

ECE graduate student, Anisa Myzaferi, featured in The UCSB Current article “Filling a Gap”

June 12th, 2016

photo of Anisa Myzaferi
With a Ph.D. from UCSB, newly minted electrical engineer Anisa Myzaferi sets off on new adventure in education

On June 12, Anisa Myzaferi will pick up her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UC Santa Barbara. Soon after she’ll depart for a postdoctoral stint in Malaysia with the not-for-profit entity CREST (Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science & Technology), which unites industry, academia and government in electrical and electronics research, development and design. UCSB is collaborating with CREST on an effort to advance Malaysia’s LED sector.

It’s the next destination in Myzaferi’s educational journey, which first began in Europe. Born and mostly raised in Albania, as a teenager she relocated to Chicago with her parents, who wanted her to have access to U.S. universities. When it came time for college, she stayed close, earning both undergraduate and master’s degrees from Northwestern University.

“When I looked for another place for my Ph.D., UCSB won out on all fronts — from the facilities on campus to the professors I get to work with,” Myzaferi said recently. “And the beach, of course. I really wanted to leave Chicago. It was freezing.”

She warmed quickly to the interdisciplinary culture at UCSB, where she eventually landed in the research group led by Steven DenBaars at the Solid State Lighting & Energy Electronics Center. It’s been her academic home ever since, fostering her growth from student to full-fledged scientist. Her doctoral work, in layman’s terms, centered on the “use of materials science and electrical engineering to design high-power, high-efficiency blue III-nitride laser diodes.”

“I feel very fortunate for my time here, and working with Steve DenBaars has been amazing,” Myzaferi said. “I felt this implicit trust that I would find my way as long as I produced results, and he left me to come into my own. That’s an ongoing process but it’s nice to not be tethered, to have someone just say, ‘Go do it.’ I really appreciate that he trusts students that way, and I’m forever grateful.

“My time at UCSB has been pretty rewarding,” she added. “I love how collaborative the professors are here. Students as well. There is no ‘us versus them,’ no hiding your project from the lab next door. I’m very grateful for that atmosphere. That’s been the biggest takeaway for me from UCSB — the collaborative spirit.”

Asked about the ever-growing push to get females, from ever-younger ages, interested in science and engineering, Myzaferi argued the imperative to first flip the script and “change the language of the conversation.”

“I think the current language is wrong — I don’t want to be called a ‘woman engineer,’” she said. “I’m an engineer. I’m a scientist. I happen to be a woman. To really drive change forward we’re going to have to do away with this distinction. It’s a limiting factor that puts women on a defensive track from the get-go, in my opinion. If I could help change something it would be to change the language of the conversation, because the conversation is going to be there for a while.”

The UCSB Current – "Filling a Gap" (full article)

Miller and Segal receive “Outstanding Teaching Assistant” honors at the 2016 College of Engineering “Senior Send-Off”

June 10th, 2016

photos miller and segal
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 graduate students received “Outstanding Teaching Assistant (TA)” recognitions from the graduating seniors in their program:

William Miller — Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)
Carrie Segal — Computer Engineering (CE)

ECE and CE Seniors to be honored at the College of Engineering “Senior Send-Off” event

June 9th, 2016

senior send-off and coe logos Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Engineering students will be recognized for Academic Honors and Scholarships Awarded in 2015-16 at the CoE “Senior Send-Off” event on Friday, June 10th from 2:30-4:00 in the Bren Hall Courtyard


College of Engineering Academic Honor
Awarded to the student with the highest grade point average of the College of Engineering graduating class as of the winter quarter, who was enrolled as a full-time, matriculated UCSB student through the spring quarter, and is expected to complete all degree requirements as of the spring quarter

Matthew Thornton (EE)

Outstanding Seniors

Computer Engineering – Cameron McCarthy
Electrical Engineering – Matthew Thornton

College of Engineering Honors Program for Academic Excellence

Celeste Maureen Brunhofer Bean (CE), Alice Callaghan (EE), Juan Camilo Castillo (EE), Blake Landon Heffner (EE), Cameron Andrew McCarthy (CE), Zhengshuang Ren (EE), Jonathan Michael Sladewski (EE), Vishaal Varahamurthy (EE), Jiafu Wu (EE), Hongjie Zhang (EE), Zhanming Zhang (EE)


Glen Culler Scholarship
Awarded to outstanding undergraduate students in honor of the late Dr. Glen Culler, former Professor of Electrical Engineering and Mathematics (1959-1969), one of the creators of the Internet, as well as a recipient of the National Medal of Technology.

Albert Chen (CE)
Ryan Kaveh (CE)
Cameron McCarthy (CE)

William R. Hearst Foundation Scholarship
Awarded to outstanding undergraduate students, based upon academic achievement and need

Ricardo Leon Chavez (CE)
Lester Dela Cruz (CE)
Kendall Esparza (EE)
Chet Koziol (CE)
Saman Salari (EE)
Jiafu Wu (EE)
Shibo Zhong (EE)

Harold J. and Mary E. Miller Scholarship
Awarded for outstanding academic achievement, in honor of the late Harold J. Miller, Professor of Industrial Arts (1946-66), and Mary E. Miller

Jesus Vega (CE)

Professor Joseph J. Sayovitz Scholarship
Awarded for outstanding academic achievement in Electrical Engineering, in honor of the late Joseph J. Sayovitz, Professor of Industrial Arts and lecturer in Electrical Engineering

Vashaal Varahamurthy (EE)
Jiayi Jiang (EE)

Dr. Robert and Susan Talley Scholarship
Awarded to an outstanding College of Engineering student based upon academic achievement

Kyle Carson (CE)

Student Affairs Scholarship
Awarded to outstanding undergraduate students, based upon academic achievement and need

Alice Callaghan (EE)

Northrop Grumman
Awarded to outstanding undergraduate students, based upon academic achievement and need

Matthew Thornton (EE)

Charles S. Chapman
Awarded to an outstanding undergraduate student, based upon academic achievement and need, in honor of Charles S. Chapman.

Molly Smith (CE)

UCSB College of Engineering’s multidisciplinary Senior Capstone Project team and The Journey of the Hyperloop

June 8th, 2016

ucsb hyperloop videoWhat began as an idea for a senior capstone project has quickly become a dream opportunity for College of Engineering students. After advancing to the final round of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, UCSB Hyperloop has been working relentlessly to bring their novel technology and design to life.

What is the Hyperloop?: The Hyperloop is a proposed advanced method of high speed transportation between cities that are less than about 900 miles apart (e.g. Los Angeles and San Francisco). The system uses a capsule that is propelled through a low pressure steel tube as it rests on frictionless air bearings or magnets.

Who We Are: UCSB’s Hyperloop is an interdisiplinary team of 30 students, professors, mentors and supporters competing in SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition. The competition involves designing and building a pod to be tested on a track constructed at SpaceX’s Hawthorne headquarters for the Hyperloop Pod Finals this summer.

UCSB Hyperloop Senior Capstone Project Teams:

  • Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE 188) – Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ilan Ben-Yaacov, Grad Student Advisor: Stephanie Johnson, and Students: Mary Alice Callaghan, Juan Castillo, Elena Georgieva, Christopher Johnson, Terrence Tran
  • Computer Engineering (ECE 189) – Faculty Advisor: Dr. John Johnson, Grad Student Advisor: William Miller, and Students: Celeste Bean, Connor Buckland, Benjamin Hartl, Cam McCarthy, Connor Mulcahey
  • Mechanical Engineering
    Aerodynamics & Levitation – Faculty Advisor: Dr. Greg Dahlen, Grad Student Advisor: Brian Gibson, and Students: Sarah Conley, Dasun Hemachandra, Annie Kim, Kristine Lai, Daniel Vong
    Structures & Integration – Faculty Advisor: Dr. Tyler Susko, Grad Student Advisor: Petros Serbana, and Students: Trevor Fritz, Kyle Collett, Lucas Dewey, Viraj Khatri, Nathan Ransom
  • Economics & Accounting – Finances & Marketing: Christian Arita and Ivan Gouvea

Supporters: Ingersoll Rand, Jonathan Siegel, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Tenon Intersystems, Tattu, California Chamber of Commerce, UCSB Economics Dept, UCSB Associated Students, UCSB College of Engineering

UCSB Hyperloop

Senior EE Project (ECE 188) "Capstone" course

Senior Computer Systems Project (ECE 189) "Capstone" course