Research News

In this research, Kulkarni, the principal investigator, along with his collaborator from Vanderbilt University plans to explore novel Phase Transition Materials (PTM) to improve the radiation hardness of CMOS logic and memory circuits. 

Prof. Alex Dimakis and his collaborators have investigated a potential threat to text-comprehension AIs. “When we deploy these AIs and we have no idea what they’re really doing, I think it’s a little scary,” Dimakis says.

The study was led by Shijia Wei, a Ph.D. candidate in the Cockrell School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; his adviser, assistant professor Mohit Tiwari; and colleagues, professor Michael Orshansky and associate professor Andreas Gerstlauer. 

Christine Julien and Edison Thomaz are part of a team creating an app game that will focus on increasing exercise and weight monitoring in heart failure patients. 

Lucas Holt, a UT postdoctoral researcher who worked on the project, said if incorporated into current implantable defibrillators, this new technology would allow them to be more accurate by measuring both blood flow and electrical activity from the heart.

Dr. Alex Huang and his colleagues Drs. Surya Santoso and Hao Zhu of Texas ECE are part of the Solar Critical Infrastructure Energization (SOLACE) System project led by EPRI.

Daniel Wasserman, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, led the team that built the physical system, developed the measurement technique capable of achieving this level of sensitivity and successfully demonstrated its improved performance. Their work was reported today in Nature Communications.

The system is a result of research work that resulted in a myriad of sensing devices for LIDAR, low-concentration biomarker detection, heavy metal detection, air-and water-pollution sensing, 40 Gbit/sec EO modulator, and wide band RF sensors. 

The grant is part of a $7.5 million initiative by the DOE to support the research and development of innovative designs that will strengthen the resilienxe of the U.S. power grid. 

The research proposes "novel SRAM technology aimed at decoupling the conflicting low leakage power and low supply voltage design requirement using emerging nano-devices such as memristor and selector switches."

Prof. Jaydeep Kulkarni and Prof. Sanjay Banerjee are co-principal investigators on a new National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to explore the advancement of energy efficient design in integrated circuits. 

Together with collaborators at the University of California, Riverside they have been awarded a $1M grant to study application of machine learning techniques for performance and power prediction in early design stages of future computer systems. 

The proposed research effort will "advance the state-of-the-art in collaborative sensing systems which are expected to benefit the field and society more broadly, through planned efforts in education innovation, achieving diversity, engaging the community and industry, and disseminating results to a wider public."

Prof. Seth Bank is involved in two new multi-university million dollar multi-disciplinary projects from the National Science Foundation aimed at fostering collaboration in quantum information and computation research. 

Teaxs ECE Prof. Alex Huang, who directs the Semiconductor Power Electronics Center in the Cockrell School and works with the UT Center for Electromechanics, is the lead principal investigator for this DOE-funded project. He believes the M4 Inverter will create efficiencies in a variety of ways.

Prof. Suzanne Barber and her research team developed PrivacyCheck to give users a quick and easy way to understand privacy policies. PrivacyCheck is a browser plugin using a data mining algorithm to highlight 10 important factors in privacy policies and help inform users before they click “I Agree."

The findings are part of a two-part research report concerning biometric authentication technology from the Center for Identity at The University of Texas at Austin.

Prof. Edison Thomaz of Texas ECE has received a Google Faculty Research Award for his proposed research work on "Identifying Acoustic Biomarkers of Mental Health and Well-Being in Voice-Based Interactions with Conversational Assistants in the Home".

Engineers worldwide have been developing alternative ways to provide greater memory storage capacity on even smaller computer chips. Previous research into two-dimensional atomic sheets for memory storage has failed to uncover their potential — until now.

Prof. David Soloveichik, along with Niranjan Srinivas, have successfully constructed a first-of-its-kind chemical oscillator that uses DNA components — and no proteins, enzymes or other cellular components — demonstrating that DNA alone is capable of complex behavior.

Evdokia Nikolova, Assistant Professor in Texas ECE, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for her work on "AitF: Collaborative Research: Algorithms and Mechanisms for the Distribution Grid.”  

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin have received a $15.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to discover and advance new types of materials for use in many applications including energy storage, medical devices and information processing.

Robert Heath, Texas ECE professor, has received the European Association for Signal Processing (EURASIP) 2017 Technical Achievement Award for Significant Contributions to Signal Processing in MIMO Communication Systems. 

A team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, has developed the first all-solid-state battery cells that could lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld mobile devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage.

Milos Gligoric, Texas ECE assistant professor, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for his work on "Advancing Regression Testing: Theory and Practice."

Engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the AMOLF institute in the Netherlands have invented the first mechanical metamaterials that easily transfer motion effortlessly in one direction while blocking it in the other, as described in the Feb. 13 issue of Nature.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a four-year, $2 million grant to Andrea Alù of the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin to break the conventional ways in which light and acoustic waves propagate.

Together, Prof. Alù and Monticone have established quantitative physical limitations on the performance of cloaking devices, a technology that allows objects to become invisible or undetectable for electromagnetic waves, such as radio waves, microwaves, infrared and visible light.

To help mobile device users maximize their limited battery storage, electrical and computer engineering professor Vijay Janapa Reddi and graduate student Yuhao Zhu have developed what they are calling “GreenWeb."

Prof. Ray Chen has been awarded a Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) award in Attojoule Nanooptoelectronics.

Prof. Andrea Alù along with postdoctoral fellows Yakir Hadad and Jason Soric, discuss their non-reciprocal antenna’s design and capabilities in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Andrea Thomaz appeared at stARTup Studio to present Diligent Droids, a company that seeks to provide aid to healthcare providers through robotic technologies.

Prof. Milos Gligoric has been named the recipient of a Google Faculty Research Award. He was selected for his proposal  "Multi-Language Regression Test Selection."

A research team led by Mechanical Engineering assistant professor Yuebing Zheng and including Texas ECE associate professor Deji Akinwande has invented a way to handle these small particles and lock them into position without damaging them.

Prof. John Pearce has been selected as a recipient of an Editor's Choice award for 2015 by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Journal of Biomechanical Engineering.

ACS spoke to Prof. Akinwande on his development of electronic devices that rely on atom-thin sheets known as two-dimensional (2-D) materials.

Texas ECE professor Ananath Dodabalapur is a part of a team that recently was awarded a grant of $2 million over the next four years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research and develop thin, flexible semiconductors that might eventually lead to bendable computer screens and wearable electronics.

Prof. Ananth Dodabalpur and his research team have recently published findings on his work involoving inkjet printed electronic devices as a low-cost, high throughput manufacturing method for electronic systems and circuits.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will provide $81 million over five years to support 16 sites and a coordinating office as part of a new National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI).

Prof. Al Bovik has received a $450,000 grant over three years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) entitled “Tasking on Natural Image Statistics: 2D and 3D Object and Category Detection in the Wild.”

Prof. Al Bovik has received a grant to develop methodologies for testing the perceptual quality of images delivered by microwave, submillimeter wave, millimeter-wave, x-ray, infra-red, and optical imaging devices commonly deployed in security applications.

Prof. Lizy Kurian John along with Prof. Andreas Gerstlauer have received a grant for their project titled, ‘Adaptive Energy-Efficient Designs for Next Generation Smart Phone CPUs’ from Samsung Electronics through its 2015 Global Research Outreach (GRO) Program.

Prof. Alan Bovik along with Lark Kwon Choi have developed a no-reference perceptual fog density prediction model and a perceptual image defogging algorithm that are based on natural scene statistics (NSS) and fog aware statistical features.

Nan Sun and David Pan received a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Computing and Communication Foundations for their research project titled, ‘Automation for Synthesizable and Scaling Friendly Analog and Mixed-Signal Circuits’. 

Nan Sun and Nanshu Lu received a grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate and implement stretchable planar antenna modulated by integrated circuit for the near field communication of epidermal electrophysiological sensors.

Prof. Robert Heath is collaborating with Prof. Todd Humphreys and graduate students on the development of a centimeter-accurate GPS-based positioning system that could revolutionize geolocation on virtual reality headsets, cellphones and other technologies, making global positioning and orientation far more precise than what is currently available on a mobile device.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law, an observation that every couple of years, computer chip manufacturers manage to squeeze twice as many transistors onto a computer chip. Moore’s Law embodies the exponential increase in raw computing power that unleashed a blizzard of tech innovations.

Texas ECE undergraduate Ankit Sharma worked on a research project that looks at nanowalls as a potential material for light sensors. Ankit has worked with Prof. Deji Akinwande on a project called “The Optoelectronic Properties of CVD-grown MoS2 Nanowalls.” 

Ray T. Chen, professor in the school’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his team, developed a new method and demonstrated a flexible photonic crystal cavity which can be bent to a curvature of 5 mm radius without sacrificing the performance.

Prof. Deji Akinwande has created the first transistors out of silicene, the world’s thinnest silicon material. This new “wonder material” could make computers and other electronics more efficient.

UT ECE professor Andrea Alù and a team of researchers have achieved a milestone in modern wireless and cellular telecommunications, creating a radically smaller, more efficient radio wave circulator that could be used in cellphones and other wireless devices, as reported in the latest issue of Nature Physics.

UT ECE professor Joydeep Ghosh has received two research awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) totalling more than $1 Million focusing on topics in complex data modeling in the healthcare field.

Prof. Michael Orshansky and Prof. Sriram Vishwanath of UT ECE have received a research grant as part of the Secure, Trustworthy, Assured and Resilient Semiconductors and Systems (STARSS) program.

Prof. Ananth Dodabalapur along with researchers at Northwestern University have demonstrated a new method to improve the reliability and performance of transistors and circuits based on carbon nanotubes.

UT ECE Professor Andreas Gerstlauer has been awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research on "Network-Level Design of Cyber-Physical Systems."

UT ECE professor Emanuel Tutuc and graduate student Kayoung Lee have developed a novel device structure that can measure the level of electrons in graphene bilayers.

Prof. Ray T. Chen  has been awarded a $1.1 Million grant from the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to work on 3D printing phased array antennas.

Prof. Michael Becker of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UT Austin (UT ECE) and Prof. Desiderio Kovar of UT Mechanical Engineering have received a National Science Foundation (NSF) award for work on "A Manufacturing Process for Producing Thick Films with Controlled Microstructures."

Prof. Neal Hall and his graduate students have developed a tiny, low-power device that mimics a fly’s hearing mechanism.

UT ECE professors Andrea Alù and Mikhail Belkin  have created a new nonlinear metasurface, or meta mirror, that could one day enable the miniaturization of laser systems.

Prof. Ranjit Gharpurey, along with a colleague, Prof. J. C. Rudell from the University of Washington, has received a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

Prof. Andrea Alù has been named the recipient of the the 2014 Outstanding Young Engineer award from the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.  The Outstanding Young Engineer Award of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) recognizes an outstanding young MTT-S member who has distinguished himself/herself through a sequence of achievements which may be technical (within the MTT-S Field of Interest), may constitute exemplary service to the MTT-S, or may be a combination of both.

A team of researchers led by Prof. Andrea Alù has built the first-ever circulator for sound. The team’s experiments successfully prove that the fundamental symmetry with which acoustic waves travel through air between two points in space (“if you can hear, you can also be heard”) can be broken by a compact and simple device.

Researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin (UT ECE) have demonstrated the ability to perform nanoscale chemical analysis of molecular films with unprecedented sensitivity by detecting molecular photoexpansion.

UT ECE professors Dr. Robert Heath and Dr. Alan Bovik have each received a Best Paper Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society for 2013.

UT ECE professor Alexis Kwasinski in collaboration with the Rochester Institute of Technology has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant as part of the CyberSEES program for work on investigating techniques to power cellular network base stations from renewable sources such as wind turbines and photovoltaic modules.

A team of researchers that includes UT ECE Professors Lizy K. John and Andreas Gerstlauer has been awarded a $750,000 grant from NSF's Exploiting Parallelism and Scalability (XPS) program. The project is led by Prof. George Biros and further includes Prof. Robert van de Geijn.

UT ECE professor Vijay Garg has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for his work on developing new synchronization mechanisms for concurrent programs. The project aims to develop new synchronization mechanisms with the goal to make synchronization as simple and intuitive as possible for programmers.

UT ECE graduate student Francesco Monticone received an IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Doctoral Research Award for his project proposal entitled "Molding the Scattering Response with Metamaterials and Plasmonics."

UT ECE professor Sarfraz Khurshid has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his work on "Mera: Memoized Ranged Systematic Software Analyses."

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin (UT ECE) has joined a strategic partnership with BP to support several leading-edge oil and gas industry research projects. BP has committed $4 million to the partnership with the potential for increased contributions as new studies are identified in the future.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has selected UT ECE assistant professor Zheng Wang as a 2013 Packard Fellow for Science and Engineering. Wang is one of 16 of the nation’s most innovative young scientists and engineers receiving the Packard Fellowship this year. Each Packard fellow will receive a grant of $875,000 over five years to pursue research.

The Wireless Networking and Communications Group in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin is part of a team that has been awarded a $1.4 million grant for the development of a Tier 1 University Transportation Center (UTC) by the USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA).

UT ECE students Bei Yu, Xiaoqing Xu, Jhih-Rong Gao and their advisor Prof.  David Z. Pan received the William J. McCalla Best Paper Award at the 2013 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer Aided Design (ICCAD). The title of the paper that received the award is “Methodology for Standard Cell Compliance and Detailed Placement for Triple Patterning Lithography.” The award will be presented at the opening session for ICCAD 2013, on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. ICCAD is the premier conference devoted to technical innovations in electronic design automation.

UT ECE graduate student Francesco Monticone and his advisor Prof. Andrea Alu received the Best Student Paper Award at Metamaterials 2013 in Bordeaux, France. The title of Francesco’s paper with Andrea is 'On the Physical Bounds of Cloaking and Invisibility'. Metamaterials 2013 is the most visible international conference in the field of artificial materials and metamaterials, and this year it celebrated its 20th anniversary.

A group of UT Austin and Stanford faculty members led by Prof. Gustavo de Veciana in collaboration with Profs. Sanjay Shakkottai, Lili Qiu, and Ramesh Johari have recently been awarded an NSF grant totaling $978,000. This project supports research in 5G wireless networks.

UT ECE graduate student Zhuoran Zhao has won a Best in Session Award at the 2013 SRC TECHCON Conference held in Austin, Texas on September 9-10, 2013. Zhao won for his submission "Automated, Retargetable Back-Annotation for Host Compiled Performance and Power Modeling." TECHCON 2013 highlights the best of SRC-sponsored research, while showcasing the students performing the research. 

Zhuoran is a graduate student in UT ECE studying under Dr. Andreas Gerstlauer in the Integrated Circuits and Systems area.

The University of Texas at Austin has cleared a major hurdle in its effort to build the new Engineering Education and Research Center, with the UT System Board of Regents today approving a $310 million funding plan for the building.

Prof. Suzanne Barber of UT ECE, along with co-PIs Prof. Lauren Meyers of the Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation and Andy Ellington of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, have been awarded a grant by the Department of Defense Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) for their work titled "Surety BioEvent App." The grant is worth nearly $3 Million over three years.

Prof. Sujay Sanghavi and Prof. Sanjay Shakkottai of UT ECE have received a National Science Foundation (NSF) award for their work on "NeTS: Small: Inverse Problems from Cascades: Structure, Causation and Opinions." Professors Sanghavi and Shakkottai aim to develop a new theoretical and algorithmic understanding of these classic processes.

Flexible electronic circuits would make possible radical new kinds of devices, like water-resistant tablet computers that can be rolled or folded. A group of academic and industry researchers has now demonstrated one of the most important components for this fully flexible future: graphene radio-frequency electronics that are speedy enough to produce, receive, and process telecommunication signals.

ECE professors Dr. Christine Julien, Dr. Sarfraz Khurshid, and Dr. Miryung Kim, along with Mechanical Engineering professor Dr. Raul Longoria, have been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for their work titled "CPS: Synergy: Physically-Informed Assertions for CPS Development and Debugging."

Engineers from Prof. Mikhail Belkin’s group at The University of Texas at Austin in collaboration with Prof. Markus Amann’s group at the Technical University of Munich have demonstrated the first broadly-tunable electrically-pumped semiconductor source of coherent terahertz radiation (or T-rays) that operates at room-temperature.

Prof. Brian Evans gave a keynote talk at the International Conference on Communications and Information Technology on June 20, 2013, in Beirut, Lebanon, entitled "Smart Grid Communications".

Smart Grid systems intelligently monitor and control energy flows in order to improve efficiency and reliability of power delivery. A local utility would receive customer load profiles from smart meters, and adjust power generation and energy distribution accordingly. Smart meters could transmit usage data over powerline or wireless links once per minute.

Prof. Deji Akinwande has received a 3-year grant from the Army Research office (ARO) to fund new material and device research based on silicene, a two-dimensional form of silicon which was invented in the last few years. This 2D silicon promises to be of greater impact than graphene with direct compatibility with existing silicon vlsi technology.

Prof. Jeff Andrews and his students Sarabjot Singh and Harpreet Dhillon for receiving a Best Paper Award at the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Communications in Budapest, Hungary.

Profs. Sanjay Banerjee, Emanuel Tutuc, Frank Register, Deji Akinwande, Rod Ruoff (ME) and their collaborators have received a five-year, $7.8 million nanoelectronics grant from SRC and NIST.

UT ECE Professor Andreas Gerstlauer's student Ardavan Pedram (co-advised with Prof. Robert van de Geijn in Computer Science) has received the Best Poster Award at the Ph.D. Forum of the 27th IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS).

IPDPS is the flagship conference of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Parallel Processing (TCPP) and among the premier venues for parallel, distributed and cloud computing. It was held May 20-24, 2013 in Boston.

A new paper by Prof. Alex Dimakis and others is currently featured on Facebook Publications, which collects scientific papers written by Facebook employees and researchers. The paper on XORing Elephants: Novel Erasure Codes for Big Data developed a new coding scheme for Facebook storage servers. The paper was co-written by Maheshwaran Sathiamoorthy, Megasthenis Asteris, Dimitris Papailiopoulos, Ramkumar Vadali, Scott Chen and Dhruba Borthakur.

Until now, the invisibility cloaks put forward by scientists have been bulky devices - an obvious flaw for those interested in Harry Potter-style applications. However, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a cloak that is just micrometers thick and can hide three-dimensional objects from microwaves in their natural environment, in all directions and from all of the observers’ positions.

Two researchers at The University of Texas at Austin are making it possible for smart phone users on the Forty Acres to take a “Gander” at the digital space around them.

Thanks to a new mobile application and search engine called Gander, students, faculty and staff will be able to access instant, useful information about coffee shop traffic or school assignments that they wouldn’t otherwise get from a website.

“The Invisible Man,” H.G. Wells’ 1881 novella, describes invisibility and invisibility cloaking concepts that are currently being explored and discovered at the Cockrell School of Engineering. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering assistant professor Andrea Alú uses Wells’ story as a base for explaining his unique and innovative cloaking technique to make three-dimensional objects invisible. Alú takes “The Invisible Man” approach in his February TedxAustin talk.

UT ECE professor Deji Akinwande and his research group have made a breakthrough with state-of-the-art flexible graphene field-effect transistors with record current densities and the highest power and conversion gain ever. The transistors also show near symmetric electron and hole transport, are the most mechanically robust flexible graphene devices fabricated to date and can be immersed in a liquid without coming to any harm.

Dr. Christine Julien and the Mobile and Pervasive Computing Group, along with collaborators, are working on redefining search based on locality though Personalized Networked Spaces. “In the future you might want to search very new information from the physical environment,” says Jonas Michel, a researcher working on the Gander project. “Your information needs are very localized to that place and event and moment.”

The University of Texas at Austin has been selected to receive an $18.5 million grant over the next five years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create and lead a nanosystems engineering research center.

The Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies (NASCENT) will develop innovative nanomanufacturing, nanosculpting and nanometrology systems that could lead to versatile mobile computing devices such as wearable sensors, foldable laptops and rollable batteries.

UT ECE graduate student Chris Slaughter and his five-person engineering team are developing software for a 3-D modeling camera that can capture and help accurately render all the 3-D surfaces in a room. Chris has participated in the Austin Technology Incubator Student Entrepreneur Acceleration and Launch (SEAL) program to help turn his ideas into a company, Lynx Laboratories.

Chris has worked with UT ECE professor Sriram Vishwanath, who teaches and encourages business-minded young engineers.

39 years ago today, UT ECE professor Bob Metcalfe was a part of the team at XEROX who helped develop Ethernet. Dr. Metcalfe recently sat down to discuss the formation of Ethernet and how it has evolved over the past 39 years.

Read More at Silicon Hills News

Prof. Andrea Alù’s research on cloaking a three-dimensional object, making it invisible from all angles, for the first time, has received attention from the BBC News and other major news sources. The idea, outlined in New Journal of Physics, could find first application in high-resolution microscopes.

Prof. Alexis Kwasinski of UT ECE travels to the worst natural disaster sites around the world to assess the damage inflicted on communication networks and electric power grids. Dr. Kwasinski has surveyed the aftermath of three major Gulf Coast hurricanes, including Katrina, and stood in the rubble caused by earthquakes in Chile, New Zealand, and Japan.

UT ECE professor Andrea Alù and colleagues at the UT Applied Research Labs have successfully created a cloaking device capable of hiding a 3D object in free space from microwaves. To create the device, the team used a plasmonic metamaterial shell to cover the object being cloaked. The cloak, based on a plasmonic metamaterial, can hide a cigar-sized cylinder from microwaves – it currently only operates for one microwave polarization.

There has been tremendous interest in cloaking technology using metamaterials, and Andrea Alù's group in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, has been very active in the field, putting forward two exciting possibilities to obtain drastic scattering reduction from moderately-sized objects.

The human face does more than help us tell each other apart. Studies have suggested that our perceptions of attractiveness and personality traits — even intangible qualities such as trustworthiness and sincerity — could be based on instinctive responses to certain facial features.

But breakthroughs in facial recognition technology have been used in recent years to screen for criminals, to catch cheaters at casinos and even to recommend products at vending machines.

Cardan Samples has two favorite prime-time T.V. shows: "The Office" and the science fiction series "Fringe."

But between classes and homework at McCombs School of Business, the Management Information Systems junior doesn't have time to watch them when they air.

Instead, once or twice a week he uses the 15-20 minute bus ride from The University of Texas at Austin campus to his apartment on Riverside Drive to catch up on episodes by streaming them on his 4x2-inch cell phone.

UT ECE professor Ross Baldick recently addressed the historic failure of electric generators and recent rolling blackouts associated with ERCOT.

As posted on

On Wednesday, February 2, 2011, ERCOT found it necessary to initiate rolling blackouts to cope with increased demand due to extremely cold temperatures and numerous unexpected power plant trips. Here on the UT campus the blackouts went unnoticed, as the UT Austin campus is powered by its own power station, but UT ECE Professor Mack Grady was hard at work analyzing real time grid data. On February 7th, Prof.

A message from Dean Gregory L. Fenves:

With the new year underway I want to reflect on what the Cockrell School of Engineering accomplished in 2010 and some of the challenges ahead. The accompanying video presents a sample of the amazing work by our students and faculty over the past year. I am proud of their achievements and am grateful to our alumni and friends for your support of the Cockrell School.

Dr. Robert M. Metcalfe, an icon of entrepreneurial engineering and inventor of today's local-area networking standard, Ethernet, has been selected to lead innovation initiatives at The University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering.

Metcalfe will be professor of innovation, fellow of the Clint W. Murchison, Sr. Chair of Free Enterprise and professor of electrical and computer engineering. He begins his appointment in January 2011.

By Dr. Miryung Kim (Principal Investigator)
Collaborator: Dr. Kathryn S. McKinley (UT CS)

Graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin will play an integral part in the development of the power grid of the future for the Pecan Street Project, a leading sustainable energy research partnership between the University, Austin Energy, the City of Austin and high-tech companies, among others, that's aimed at reinventing how we get and use energy.

UT ECE faculty are tackling a big-picture wireless initiative, Network of Systems Vision, combining communication and computation in never-before-imagined ways.

The University of Texas at Austin Solar Vehicles Team camped, pulled all-nighters and ran into some unique mechanical issues on their seven-day, solar-powered road trip adventure. Unlike other road warriors, these travelers spent the previous four years building their solar car together. And for the first time in 15 years, a UT car completed the 1,100 mile American Solar Challenge cross-country race.

By Gautam S. Muralidhar, PhD student, with Professors Alan C. Bovik and Mia K. Markey

By Prof. Ted Rappaport with students Felix Gutierrez and James Murdock

In June, a group of engineering undergraduate students will drive from Tulsa to Chicago in a vehicle they designed, constructed, and tested. Running out of gas is one thing they won’t worry about.

UT ECE Professor Alexis Kwasinski traveled to Chile following the February earthquake to inventory damage and share ideas on how to better prevent future power failures.

Watch an audio slide show to learn more about Kwasinski&#39

Professors Baldick, Patzek and Edgar discuss the policy barriers, vivid realities and future strategies to close the gap between the need for diversified, sustainable energy and the steps toward that goal.

Understanding the Policy Barriers to Renewable Energy

A study of subjective scores and objective algorithms

By Anush Krishna Moorthy and Alan Conrad Bovik
Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering (LIVE)
The University of Texas at Austin

By Jinyang Liang
Professor: Michael F. Becker;
Affiliation: Optical Signal Processing Laboratory (OSPLab)

By Prof. Jeff Andrews

Femtocells will be assuming a massive role in expanding the capabilities of today’s cellular networks, and enabling them to satisfy people’s increasing demands for anytime, anywhere data. A femtocell is basically a small base station that people put in their home and attach to their wired internet connection just like a wireless LAN. However, it works just like a base station and seamlessly allows roaming, voice calls, and the increasing number of things people like to do with their cell phones.

By Drs. Christine Julien and Sriram Viswanath (Principal Investigators)
Drew Stovall (Post-Doctoral Fellow)
Nicholas Paine (Ph.D. Student)

By Rudrajit Datta, Graduate Research Assistant, Prof. Nur Touba’s Group

UT-ECE’s Professors Sanjay Banerjee, Frank Register, and Emanuel Tutuc along with Prof. Allan MacDonald, UT Physics Department, and ECE graduate student Dharmendar Reddy designed a novel graphene-based BiSFET device that could revolutionize the chip design industry. This device is discussed in more detail in a recent IEEE Spectrum article.

Cell phone antennas, radio receivers and GPS devices may one day go incognito. In a paper to appear in Physical Review Letters, Andrea Alù and Nader Engheta propose a new cloaking method that cancels out the electromagnetic waves bouncing off an object. The concept may ultimately lead to surreptitious sensors that can collect and send messages without detection.

Professors Sanjay Banerjee and Emanuel Tutuc have demonstrated, for the first time, that centimeter-square areas of copper foils can be covered almost entirely with mono-layer graphene bringing this intriguing material one step closer to commercial viability. Graphene, formed with carbon atoms linked together like nanoscopic chicken wire, holds great potential for nanoelectronics. It also shows promise for electrical energy storage, for use in composites, for thermal management, in chemical-biological sensing, and as a new sensing material for ultra-sensitive pressure sensors.

ECE professor, Dean Neikirk, just received funding for a 5-year program to use wireless sensors to identify failing bridges, lower the cost of monitoring those bridges, and improve the safety of new bridges. The $6.8M project addresses a chronic problem for the aging American highway infrastructure. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, deferred maintenance has left one-quarter of the nation’s bridges deficient. Congress mandated 2-year inspections in 1971, but at least 17,000 bridges did not meet the requirement in 2008, including 3 out of every 100 freeway bridges.

Dr. Mattan Erez's research focus is computer architecture. Specifically, he is interested in the critical aspects of locality, parallelism and bandwidth constraints to overcome the limitations of today's architectures. One goal is to improve cooperation between the hardware, compiler and programmer in order to enable new levels of performance, efficiency and code-portability.

Professor Christine Julien is solving persistent problems posed by delay-tolerant networks (DTNs)—heteterogeneous networks with spotty connectivity. DTNs are the norm in remote areas with inadequate energy resources and mobile nodes, complicating search and rescue operations and third world communications.

Dr. Seth Bank's research into III-V compound semiconductors could cool down your laptop, increase the capacity and speed of fiber-optics, and make solar cells more efficient. Bank hopes to improve III-V compound semiconductors—used for everything from cell phone transistors to LED's in traffic lights—by embedding semi-metal nanoparticles in them.

Professor David Pan and UT graduate students, Ashutosh Chakraborty and Anurag Kumar, took home the $25,000 Grand Prize in the eASIC Placement Design Challenge. The worldwide competition was to create a tool that determines the most efficient placement of components on a structured application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) platform. Placement with shorter wirelength translates to better performance and less power consumption. Their placement tool, RegPlace, outperformed the second place team from the University of Michigan by 15% in total wirelength.

Dr. Robert Flake has discovered the first non-sinusoid signal that doesn’t undergo dispersion on transmission lines that would normally distort a signal. The waveform, “Speedy Delivery” (SD), helps to pinpoint the exact location of a crack in a foundation when sent through a metal cable encased in the foundation.

ECE professors, Mack Grady and Surya Santoso, are collecting the data needed to truly integrate wind power into the existing power grid—and creating the first university-lead phasor measurement network in the country.

University of Texas professors, Mack Grady and Surya Santoso, are another step closer to truly integrating wind power into the existing power grid. They are heading a consortium of private and public entities to create the first university-lead phasor measurement network in the country.

Professor Jake Aggarwal's research is in computer vision, specifically in smart surveillance systems that identify suspicious activity and alert humans to follow-up. His approach has evolved from the basic problems of determining movement of a 3-dimensional object from 2-dimensional images to a sophisticated system that can recognize aggressive activity even with multiple players and a cluttered background.

The tongue can be a powerful tool, but also a highly subjective one. Dr. Dean Neikirk developed what amounts to an artificial tongue. When food companies want to create the same flavor every time, they turn to Neikirk's electronic tongue to analyze liquids and pick out their exact chemical make-up. Neikirk's tongue uses microspheres, tiny sensors that change color when exposed to a specific targets, such as certain kinds of sugars. The result is a system that can't replace the person who says, This tastes good! but can make sure the chemistry of good taste is reliably replicated.

Hurricane Katrina helped ECE power researcher, Alexis Kwasinski, formulate a new plan for the U.S. telecom system: a de-centralized telecom architecture that would have kept the lights and the phones on in New Orleans.

Dr. Derek Chiou displays a motherboard that includes reconfigurable hardware he is using to develop a simulator that is thousands of times faster than current simulators. Once developed, the new simulator will enable computer architects and users to better evaluate the complex behavior of computer systems. Chiou received a $300,000 Department of Energy grant for the research.

Prof. Sriram Vishwanath is working on a novel solution to the wireless bandwidth needs of the future. Wireless multimedia applications require significant bandwidth, some of which will be provided by third-generation (3G) services. Even with substantial investment in 3G infrastructure, the radio spectrum allocated to 3G will be limited.

Professors Jon Valvano and John Pearce are testing an enhancement to pacemakers that measures heart volume. For many, heart disease is a cycle: the heart swells, the lungs get wet, and drug therapy in a hospital is the treatment. Early detection of increased heart volume could drastically reduce medical expenses and dramatically improve a patient's quality of life.

Dr. Joydeep Ghosh applies data mining techniques to remotely sensed and GIS data to develop a comprehensive framework for efficient and accurate mapping, monitoring, and modeling of land cover and changes in usage over large regions.

Dr. Arjang Hassibi's research focuses on new approaches to sense, detect, and analyze biological systems using integrated systems and advanced signal processing techniques. His interdisciplinary research group addresses technical challenges at the interface of engineering and biotechnology.

His current research focuses on developing ultra-high throughput, ultra-low cost portable biosensors. These devices will lead to a significant cost-savings, throughput increases, and enable heretofore infeasible biological assays making in the field biological testing a reality.

Professor Alan Bovik, ECE alumni Dr. Umesh Rajashekar, UT psychology professor Larry Cormack, and Dr. Ian van der Linde are attempting to answer 2 fundamental questions on the way to creating intelligent artificial sight: What do people look at? and What do people look for?

Professor Ray Chen received an Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) award worth $4.75 million. Dr. Chen is the lead in a collaborative project to build a laser system.  The system can be used for biomedical sensors and air-borne and space-borne communications.Three other colleges are involved. Fabian Pease at Stanford will work on 3D nano-membrane lithography.

ECE professor Constantine Caramanis and colleagues at MIT are working on a air traffic system which would track rapidly changing conditions over airports. There is currently no unified decision-making framework for air traffic flow optimization, said Dr. Caramanis.

The complicated nature of the process, and the need to make quick adjustments when changes occur, will best be addressed with a mathematical model that combines theories and calculations from probability, statistics, optimization modeling, economics and game theory.

U.S. Representative Lamar Smith announced early this year he had obtained a $1.2 million appropriation for ECE researchers to create advanced wireless communications devised for military use. The research will be a collaborative effort by Computer Engineering Research Center (CERC) professors Jacob Abraham and Ranjit Gharpurey and Wirelss Networking and Communications Group (WNCG) professors Ted Rappaport and Sriram Vishwanath.

As the Texas’ electric grid operator prepares to add power lines for carrying future wind-generated energy, Dr. Surya Santoso is developing improved methods for determining the extent to which power from a wind farm can displace a conventional power plant, and how best to regulate varying wind power.

Professor Hao Ling and his team are developing algorithms that would use radar to detect human activities inside an enclosed space, such as inside a building. The algorithms would convert the radar signals to virtual renderings similar to that of a video game. Eventually, the technology could end up in a device that could be mounted on a vehicle and would monitor activities in a building as it traveled down a street.