Engineering excellence recognized at the University of Delaware


The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) recognized outstanding students and alumni at ECE Research Day on May 2, 2018.

“ECE Research Day demonstrates the breadth of student innovative projects and research, as well as the accomplishments of alumni,” said Ken Barner, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and chair of the department. Awards were given to the following alumni.

Guru Parulkar, PhD CS ’87, received the Distinguished Achievement award, the most prestigious alumni award bestowed by the department. Individuals receiving this award have distinguished themselves through significant contributions in engineering research, practice, education or business. Parulkar is Executive Director of Open Networking Foundation, Stanford Platform Lab, and Consulting Professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, where he helped create three programs: OpenFlow / Software-Defined Networking, Programmable Open Mobile Internet 2020, and Stanford Experimental Data Center Laboratory.

Kenneth J. Lutz, BEE ’64, received the Outstanding Service Award, which acknowledges alumni who, through dedication and exemplary volunteer service, illustrate broad leadership in support of the aims and objectives of the department. Honorees recognized by this award have set a strong example to their fellow alumni through their exceptional contributions to scholarship, teaching or other improvements for ECE faculty and students. Lutz is an Affiliated Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UD. He created a new course on the Smart Grid, which he has been teaching since 2014. His research interests focus on the smart grid as a complex system of systems that integrate power systems, communications systems, and information technologies to create a modern electrical infrastructure to supply reliable power.

Rishi Khan, BS ’00, PhD ’07, received the Entrepreneurial Innovation Award, which is conferred upon alumni who have created an innovative business, developed a new product, brought to market a new venture or expanded an existing business. Khan is the founder and CEO of Extreme Scale Solutions (ESS), a firm specializing at nexus of high performance computation and data analytics. On the research front, ESS works with Qualcomm and DARPA on designing the next generation of computers to solve extremely large graph analytics problems. For enterprises, ESS helps migrate large fleets of databases to public or private clouds. ESS has migrated thousands of databases at several large financial firms and has built a product, Nubrado, which automates this process.

Jill Desmond, HBEE ’09, received the Young Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes alumni who have graduated within the past 15 years and have excelled in their chosen professions. Desmond is a Data Scientist at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a University Affiliated Research Center focusing on complex research and engineering problems that are critical to our nation’s security. At APL, Desmond focuses both on deep learning applied to image classification and on speech processing technologies in acoustically challenging environments. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Delaware Honors Program in 2009, she went on to earn her Ph.D. from Duke University in 2014, developing statistical models and machine learning algorithms to mitigate the effects of reverberation in cochlear implants.

The following students received awards.

Patrick Cronin, in collaboration with Yongpan Liu and advised by Chengmo Yang, won the computer engineering award for the project titled: A Collaborative Defense Against Wear Out Attacks in Non-Volatile Processors.

Angela Cuadros, advised by Gonzalo Arce, won the signal processing award for the project titled: A Collaborative Defense Against Wear Out Attacks in Non-Volatile Processors.

Dylan D. Ross and Conor J. Ryan, in collaboration with Janusz Murakowski, Garrett J. Schneider, and Christopher A. Schuetz and advised by Dennis Prather, won the nanoelectronics, electromagnetics and photonics award for their project titled: RF Imaging Based on k-Space Tomography.

William Beardell, Cooper Hurley, Jonathan Chann, Brian Kungl, James Holyoke, and Mohammed Baksh, advised by Ken Barner, won the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) award for their project titled: FLIE – Flying Labs employing Intelligent Engineering.

William Beardell, Cooper Hurley, and Kyle Weidmann won the undergraduate award for their project titled: Millimeter Wave Active Illumination.

Aric Lu, Ryan Beneck, Ben Steenkamer, and Anton Vasilyev won the Senior Capstone design award for ROCKSAT: Design and Assembly of Spaceflight Hardware.