University of Colorado
Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOULDER
ECEE Update
Spring 2014
IN THIS ISSUE:
Greetings from the Chair, Michael Lightner

PolarCube Comes to Life
Student Feature: Eric Simley
Alumni Update: Choonghoon Hyun (MS EE '10)
Alumni Class Notes
Greetings from the Chair, Michael Lightner
This is an exciting time for the Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering Department at CU-Boulder! We have three faculty searches underway: two in bioengineering and one in controls. This should add considerable strength to the department, and we hope to announce new hires in the next edition of this newsletter. We have also seen great success in both funding and research since the last newsletter. Associate Professor Richard Han and Assistant Professor Eric Keller were awarded $750,000 for "Elasticizing the Linux Operating System for the Cloud." Professor Keller was also awarded $500,000 for "Liquid Networking." Professor Rafael Piestun received a $360,000 NSF grant for "A new paradigm in optical design: infinitely linear refraction artificial materials."

More great news: A CU team led by Assistant Professor Milos Popovic and including Jeffrey Shainline, Mark Wade, and Kareem Nammari in collaboration with MIT and Micron Technology has achieved back-to-back breakthroughs in on-chip optical interconnects, enabling optical modulators for the first time in both silicon-on-insulator and bulk silicon native, advanced CMOS microelectronics processes. The research is a significant step towards enabling full photonic communication links between CPU and memory chips that may overcome the energy bottleneck of current microelectronics. The results are detailed in two research papers in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal Optics Letters.

We close this edition with a major transition: The individual who has done more to build the department than anyone in its history has announced plans for retirement. Yes, Distinguished Professor Frank Barnes will retire this year. He intends to stay involved in research and continue to work with faculty and students, and we are planning a celebration of Frank's accomplishments at the end of the semester. You are encouraged to send in greetings or memories for his album; please send these to Nora Van Leuvan.

While we hope to keep you connected to the department through this newsletter, nothing beats a visit to campus and the department. We are always happy to provide tours of our teaching and research facilities to alumni, potential students and their families, and those simply interested in the department. We look forward to sharing the accomplishments of our amazing students, faculty, and staff and to seeing you in the future.

Wishing you all the best,
Michael Lightner
Professor and Chair

PolarCube Comes to Life
Professor Al Gasiewski will bring high-resolution global weather forecasting one step closer to reality with the PolarCube satellite, which has been awarded a launch slot on one of NASA's upcoming CubeSat satellite launches. This launch slot was awarded as a result of collaboration between the ECEE Center for Environmental Technology, the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

PolarCube is a polar orbiting microsatellite designed to study the sea ice, temperature, and cloud structure of the polar regions, specifically the Arctic. It has been designed to provide images of the polar surface and atmosphere using microwaves to probe the atmosphere and see through the cloud cover that obscures visible and infrared sensors. Microwave sensors can reveal the temperature profile of the atmosphere, which is critical for determining the flow of heat in the Arctic, the radiative impacts of clouds, and the growth or decay of Arctic sea ice.

Prof. Gasiewski worked with three capstone student groups on this project. Each group improved on the microwave hardware to the point where they are ready to now build a flight qualified radiometer. Along with these three capstone groups, ECEE graduate students in remote sensing and microwave engineering also took part in the project, and about 40 undergraduate and graduate students contributed through the Space Grant program.

PolarCube is anticipated to usher in a new era of low-cost, high-resolution observations of the Earth - and, despite the name, isn't limited to polar observations. This demonstration has the potential to enable CU to launch and control fleets of small, low-cost weather sensing satellites to better understand the Arctic climate and enable more accurate, lower-cost weather forecasts.

 

Student Feature: Eric Simley
Fourth-year PhD student Eric Simley (MS EE'10) joined the BS/MS program at CU-Boulder during his senior year. He researched the detection of acoustic noise on wind turbine blades, a project sponsored by the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). During his undergraduate and master's degree, Simley focused on signal processing, communications, and controls.

Simley won a Fulbright Fellowship for a recent research project focused on the accuracy of wind speed measurements using computer simulations with LIght Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) models. He chose the Danish Technical University's Wind Energy department, one of the world's leaders in developing and field-testing LIDAR for wind speed measurements, after meeting two DTU professors through his CU-Boulder research group.

Simley also was awarded third place in the 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) New Faces of Engineering program, an honor that enabled him to publicize the engineering profession to younger students through demonstrating the varied career paths of young engineers.

So, what's next for Simley? Among other research and professional activities, time on the Boulder campus after returning from his Fulbright. He credits the friendly and supportive work environment, as well as opportunities to work with engineers and scientists at NREL, Colorado School of Mines, and others in the large wind energy research community of Colorado, for his motivation for a PhD at CU-Boulder.

 

Alumni Update: Choonghoon Hyun (MS EE '10)
Choonghoon Hyun (MS EE '10) was one of five Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy officers chosen by the navy in 2007 to receive a study abroad opportunity, a highly competitive process in which work performance, career path, and leadership potential were evaluated.

Hyun chose to attend CU-Boulder to get his master's in electrical engineering because of the university's proximity to the Rocky Mountains and the ECEE Department's reputation as a top engineering program. After receiving an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the ROK Naval Academy, Hyun realized that radar system areas would be important to his career as a naval officer because radar and antenna systems are essential for surveillance, target searching, and tracking.

At CU-Boulder, Hyun learned about project management, systems, and programs while deepening his understanding of electromagnetic characteristics and its application on ship-mounted radar systems. With this knowledge, Hyun worked on the navy's KDX-III Aegis ship project and became a naval project manager of the KDX-I Class Destroyer Upgrade program, a cornerstone of the naval power improvement for future threats. In the meantime, he also has been promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Hyun is thankful for the support he received from ECEE faculty during his master's program, and one day he plans to return to CU-Boulder to complete his PhD.

 

Alumni Class Notes
Linda Seltzer (ElecEngr '78) is active as a consultant in audio digital signal processing algorithms and algorithm software.

Teddy Weverka (PhD ElecEngr '06), a licensing associate with CU's Office of Technology Transfer, is running for a seat representing Boulder on the University of Colorado's Board of Regents. The election will be held in November 2014.

Do you enjoy hearing about what your former classmates in the department are up to now? We wager that they'd like to hear about you, too! We're compiling updates from EE and ECE graduates of all eras for upcoming editions of this newsletter - anything from new jobs to retirements, career moves to kids. Got an update of your own? Please send it our way! Submit your Class Notes update today and we'll include it in an upcoming edition.
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