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College of Engineering News

UD welcomes Jamie Phillips from the University of Michigan

Jamie Phillips, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility at the University of Michigan, joins UD as the Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, effective September 1, 2020.

Professor Phillips joined the Michigan faculty in 2002 and served as Associate Chair of Undergraduate Affairs in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Division. He has research interests in the area of optoelectronic materials and devices based on compound semiconductors. Recent research activities are in photovoltaics energy harvesting in millimeter sized computers for the Internet of Things and bioimplantable devices, infrared detectors based on quantum structured materials, and subwavelength dielectric gratings for infrared optical filtering. He is the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award and DARPA/MTO Young Faculty Award, and he is a Senior Member of IEEE.

“Jamie is an outstanding scholar as well as a change agent who comes to us from one of the nation’s top electrical engineering departments,” said Levi Thompson, Dean of the College of Engineering. “He joins us at a perfect time as we aim to grow for impact.”

An electrical and computer engineering department on the rise

Prof. Phillips joins a UD department on the rise. The electrical and computer engineering department grew its student population by 66 percent from 2014 to 2019. What’s more, the department has a rich research ecosystem; faculty consistently garner millions of dollars for sponsored research programs. The innovative, entrepreneurial spirit of students and faculty is undeniable. In fact, alumnus Wayne Westerman and professor John Elias invented the touch tracking/sense and typing/gesture recognition technology in smartphones in a UD electrical engineering lab. The technology was later acquired by Apple.

Jamie looks forward to leading the department through its next phase of growth and the realization of several important initiatives. For example, members of the department will thrive in the new FinTech building, now under construction. The FinTech building will bring together experts in cybersecurity, human-machine learning, data analysis and other emerging financial technologies.

In addition, students and faculty will benefit from the completion of the DARWIN (Delaware Advanced Research Workforce and Innovation Network), a major computational and data resource at UD.  Electrical and computer engineering professor Rudi Eigenmann leads the DARWIN project.

“I am delighted to join the tradition of excellence at the University of Delaware and for the opportunity to help lead growth of ECE in interdisciplinary research and education to the benefit of society,” said Phillips.

A legacy of leadership

As department chair, Jamie follows Ken Barner, Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical Engineering, who led the department for the past 11 years. Barner returned to the faculty on July 1, and professor Mark Mirotznik served as interim department chair from July 1 to September 1.

“Ken demonstrated extraordinary dedication to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering over more than a decade as department chair,” said Thompson. “From bolstering our expertise in cybersecurity to launching online master’s programs to unveiling the iSuite space for student collaboration, Ken oversaw a range of impactful projects. We can not thank him enough for his contributions.”