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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON

ECE NEWS
DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL & COMPUTER ENGINEERING YEAR IN REVIEW

2010-2011

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

Monroe manufacturer partners with WEMPEC on electric truck


onroe, Wisconsin, is a small city with a big reputation for its cheese. Now, a partnership between manufacturer Orchid Monroe and UW-Madison engineers may expand the citys expertise to include innovative clean vehicle technology. Orchid Monroe is providing support for researchers from the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC) to develop a particularly rugged experimental electric vehicle: a Ford F-150 pick-up truck.

A matter of timing:
New strategies for de-bugging electronics
Davoodi he components that make up the integrated circuits in electronic devices are nano-sized and number in the billions. Sometimes bugs lurking in these complex systems can emerge and cause significant performance errors. One category of electronic bugs that can occur after a chip is fabricated is known as timing errors. These errors can cause components to slow down and take longer to execute operations. As components continue to become smaller, the process of preventing and solving timing errors is becoming ever more complex, increasing the time it takes to send new products to market. Assistant Professor Azadeh Davoodi is one of the first people to look at solutions for timing errors, and she has received a 2011 Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) and grant from the National Science Foundation. Integrated circuits go through a rigorous testing process to find and correct bugs that can cause performance errors. However, the small size and sheer volume of components mean chips realistically cannot be entirely validated before fabrication. These errors occur, not because the circuit isnt functioning correctly, but because it fails to operate correctly at the desired speed, Davoodi says. The nanoscale components in the chip are so small they can have weird physical behaviors that can only be detected after they are fabricated. The validation process involves manually opening up a chip and examining billions of transistors, which is extremely time-consuming. Timing errors often are interdependent, meaning they emerge only when certain operations are performed together. Testing for timing errors requires predicting the chips behavior during a vast number of possible operations and combinations of operations. It can take several months to find errors and alter chips during the validation process. Most of this time is spent dealing with timing errors. Davoodis team will develop special sensor components that can be added to a chips design, as well as methods to analyze measurements from the components. The new components will provide custom timing information for a particular chip design, allowing developers to predict, detect and even solve errors more quickly. Instead of manually opening up and examining chips, developers simply could use data from the sensor components as a compact representation of important areas of the design that may be causing timing errors. In addition to supporting cutting-edge research, CAREER awards also fund innovative outreach programs. Davoodi is developing technical coursework to introduce students to sophisticated software programming and creating a unique course module that explores the One Laptop Per Child project. The module will be incorporated into InterEgr 102: Introduction to Societys Engineering Grand Challenges.
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WEMPEC researchers are converting a truck into an electric vehicle with Orchid Monroe engineers.

Once graduate students and Orchid Monroe engineers convert the truck to an electric vehicle powered by an Orchid-built traction motor and custom integrated motor controller package, the vehicle will become an up-to-date test bed for a wide range of battery and powertrain performance experiments by WEMPEC researchers. Orchid Monroe manufactures laminated electrical-grade steel components and assemblies for the automotive, electric motor, generator, lighting, transformer and wind power industries. In the past two years, the company has expanded into developing and manufacturing an electric traction drive system for buses and other large vehicle applications. (Continued on back page)

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www.engr.wisc.edu/ece

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR


reetings from ECE! Times of John Booske, Chair remarkable change are times for remarkable opportunity, and 2416 Engineering Hall over the last year we have experienced these 1415 Engineering Drive opportunities at the department, college and Madison, WI 53706 campus level. Phone: 608/262-3840 First, were looking forward to connecting ecechair@engr.wisc.edu with some of you in the next few months at several regional visits. ECE faculty members will be in Chicago, Illinois, in July; San Diego, California, in August; and San Francisco, California, in October. Were scheduling additional visits in 2012 around the Midwest and East Coast. Stay tuned to the ECE Facebook page, www.facebook.com/uwece, or check out the new department website, www.engr.wisc.edu/ece, for more information. As for department changes: I want to thank those who responded to our recent graduate survey. Much of your feedback about your Visit our redesigned website: learning experience reinforces what weve also heard from our Visiting Advisory Board www.engr.wisc.edu/ece and student focus groups: You value the high quality of learning in ECE and on campus, yet you see room for better advising and more curricular freedom to take complementary courses outside of ECE and take advantage of study abroad or other beyond-classroom learning opportunities. In response to this feedback, our faculty members are hard at work on revamping our undergraduate curriculum with more free electives, hands-on learning and other important innovations. This revamping is an ongoing project, and we are still interested in feedback. If you have graduated in the last five years and have not yet submitted your comments about the ECE curriculum, please E-mail me at ecechair@engr.wisc.edu. The engineering campus itself also is under-going significant changes. The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery is now open for business, and a number of ECE faculty are closely involved in research happening there. The new Union South also has opened and is fast becoming a great place to hang out on campus. Union South hosted the inaugural run of the Qualcomm Wireless Innovation Prize, which the department was closely involved in establishing. Read more about this new innovation competition on p. 6.

A recent study shows UW-Madison is responsible for an economic impact of $12.4 billion per year in Wisconsin. Were proud to be part of this impact and are doing our part to live up to the Wisconsin Idea. One example is a new middle school outreach program led by Professor Amy Wendt that will develop effective methods to give Wisconsin students, especially girls and underrepresented minorities, an understanding of the engineering profession and how engineering is part of addressing societal grand challenges. Plexus Corporation, the National Science Foundation and the College of Engineering are supporting the initiative. Finally, I want to give a sincere thank you to the alumni and corporate partners who have been able to give financially to the department. Private support is critical for ECE to maintain its position of academic leadership. Your gifts are supporting a wide range of needs, including outreach, new technology and learning infrastructure, defraying textbook and travel costs, instructor awards and need-based financial aid. Id like to invite 2011 graduates to consider getting involved with UW-Madison philanthropy by participating in an initiative by alumni John and Tashia Morgridge. They have pledged to match each gift by a member of the graduating senior class through December 31, 2011. You can learn more at www.news.wisc.edu/19407. On Wisconsin!

Duane H. & Dorothy M. Bluemke Professor John H. Booske, Chair

Jack Ma: Record fast transistors and innovative imaging systems


Professor Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma received multiple grants in 2010 and 2011 to support his various nanomembrane and imaging research projects. In November 2010, Ma reported promising results in the journal Small from his project to develop thin-film transistors with a record speed of 12 gigahertz. Ma used a process that indicates the great potential of preselectively doped single-crystal silicon nanomembranes for flexible electronics. His work was funded by a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers and a grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
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Additionally, from the U.S. Department of Defense, Ma has received funding to develop silicon-based vertical cavity surface emitting lasers with collaborators at the University of Texas. If successful, the study could lead to complete silicon-based photonics systems, as silicon-based lasers are the last remaining barrier to entirely replacing the metal wires currently used to connect chips, boards or entire computers. The DOD also is supporting Mas work to develop multispectral imagers, including visible and near infrared wavelengths. Ma will develop a process to image lights at different wavelengths simultaneously, which could lead to a new generation of advanced imaging systems for defense applications.

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IN MEMORIAM
Professor Emeritus Franco Cerrina dies at age 62

DEPARTMENT NEWS
The Helically Symmetric eXperiment (HSX), directed by Professor David Anderson, has received a substantial U.S. Department of Energy grant, totaling $5.1 million over three years. Anderson, along with Engineering Physics Professor Chris Hegna, received an additional $900,000, three-year grant for a project to explore the future of stellarator research. HSX is one of two stellarators operating in the United States and is the only device of its shape. The Wisconsin State Journal featured Anderson and HSX in April. Read the article at http://tinyurl.com/3p7jyrw. Professor B. Ross Barmish was elected a fellow of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) for his contributions to robust control theory for systems with parametric uncertainty. The ceremony will take place at the 2011 IFAC World Congress in Milan, Italy. Professor Nigel Boston gave a keynote presentation at the 2010 IEEE IET International Symposium on Communication Systems, Networks and Digital Signal Processing. Held July 21 in Newcastle, England, the international symposium brings together engineers, scientists and young researchers to discuss progress and leadingedge information on communication systems, communication networks and DSP. Assistant Professor Stark Draper has received a collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation tied to a second grant awarded to collaborators from the University of Southern California to analyze cooperative routing in wireless ad-hoc networks, which consist of cheap, mobile nodes that operate in the absence of expensive, fixed infrastructure, such as base stations. In advanced relaying methods, several nodes can cooperate to forward information. Draper will analyze the interconnections between two key questions usually treated separately: design of cooperative communication techniques, and routing.

An entrepreneur and pioneer in applied physics, Professor Emeritus Franco Cerrina died in July 2010. After retiring from UW-Madison in January 2010, Cerrina joined Boston University as a professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. As a researcher, Cerrina applied physical sciences and engineering to manufacturing and biological challenges, focusing most recently on nanotechnology and biotechnology. Cerrina pushed the limits of photolithography for nanoscale applications ranging from fabricating devices on computer chips to DNA synthesis for biological research, drug and vaccine development, and genetic engineering. In particular, he applied semiconductor fabrication techniques to biological problemsa pursuit that yielded the maskless array synthesizer commercialized by NimbleGen Systems Inc., his first of five spin-off companies. Cerrina worked closely with the semiconductor industry and federal government on developing fabrication methods that will yield advanced processors and memory chips.

Philip Dunham Reed Professor Susan Hagness has been named one of 11 winners of the 2011 Kellet Mid-Career Award, supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The award recognizes outstanding mid-career faculty members who are five to 20 years past the first promotion to a tenured position. Each winner, chosen by a Graduate School committee, receives a $60,000 flexible research award. Hagness was recognized for her work in applied electromagnetics, with an emphasis on microwave detection and treatment of breast cancer. A team of faculty from across the College of Engineering has received a Madison Initiative for Undergraduates grant to build on the success of InterEgr 102: Introduction to Societys Grand Challenges. Led by Philip Dunham Reed Professor Susan Hagness, the team also includes Professor Amy Wendt (pictured) and Assistant Professor Stark Draper. The grant will extend the innovative introductory engineering course to students across campus, as well as develop second-year undergraduate research opportunities tied to engineering grand challenges. Associate Professor Hongrui Jiang is one of 13 faculty members receiving a 2011 Romnes Faculty Fellowship, supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The fellowship is provided to exceptional faculty members who have earned tenure in the last four years. Winners receive $50,000 in unrestricted research funds. Jiang was recognized for his research in microscale devices and systems,

with interests in biology-inspired approaches and the application of smart polymer materials for increased functionality, better performance, and simplification of devices and integrated microsystems. Professor Luke Mawst has been named an IEEE fellow, one of the most prestigious IEEE honors. Given to a select group of recipients after a rigorous evaluation procedure, the grade of fellow recognizes significant research contributions. Mawst was recognized for his contributions to semiconductor lasers. Professor Bill Sethares cowrote a new undergraduate textbook that was published in early 2011. The book, Software Receiver Design: Build Your Own Digital Communication System in Five Easy Steps, aims to help students learn to use Matlab by creating a workable receiver and exploring key concepts about telecommunication systems along the way. In recognition of his effective, innovative and inspiring teaching abilities, Professor Giri Venkataramanan has received the UW-Madison Chancellors Distinguished Teaching Award. His approach is based on constructivism and authenticity in education, and he is especially motivated by issues of sustainability. Venkataramanan also is active with students beyond the classroom, serving as faculty director for the UW-Madison chapter of Engineers Without Borders. He is one of 10 faculty members to receive a 2011 Distinguished Teaching Award.
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ssistant Professor Nader Behdad has received a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation. CAREER awards, which come with four-year grants of approximately $400,000, recognize faculty members who are at the beginning of their academic careers and have developed creative projects that effectively integrate advanced research and education.

Insect hearing inspires new approach to small antennas


Ormia ochracea is a small parasitic fly best known for its strong sense of directional hearing. A female fly tracks a male cricket by its chirps and then deposits her eggs on the unfortunate host. The larvae subsequently eat the cricket. Though it doesnt work out well for male crickets, such acute hearing in a tiny body has inspired Assistant Professor Nader Behdad as he studies new designs for very small, powerful antennas. Behdad has received a 2011 Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) award and grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue a novel approach to a challenge that has thwarted electromagnetic researchers for more than a half century. For a structure like an antenna to effectively transmit or receive an electromagnetic wave at a given frequency, the size must be comparable to the wavelength at that frequency. Making the structures aperture size physically smaller than a wavelength becomes a critical performance issue. These small antennas arent as efficient and dont work well beyond a narrow band of frequencies. Additionally, many applications, such as satellite TV and radar systems, require antennas that can distinguish signals from specific directions, and current small antennas dont have these precise directional capabilities. Designing small, directional antennas is one of those things we tell students cant happen, Behdad says. But the question is, what if it can be done? Behdad decided to address the challenge through a new lens, one not often used in his field. He is looking to nature for some design guidance, an approach known as biomimetics or biomimicry. He started by exploring the human auditory system. Humans are equipped with a fairly good sense of directional hearing, thanks to two ears separated by a head large enough

ECE grads receive college Distinguished Achievement Awards


These two ECE alumni were among eight grads honored at Engineers Day, October 8, 2010. Dawn Ann Harms, a Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, native was a first-generation college student. Her professional career is marked by a journey from design engineer to corporate leader and she now is vice president of marketing and sales at Space Systems/Loral, a world-leading manufacturer of communications satellites headquartered in Palo Alto, California. In her position, Harms is responsible for securing and sustaining more than $1 billion annually in gross sales of realistic satellite systems in a high-stakes, vital and vibrant international industry. In 1984, at age 25, Harms enrolled at UW-Madison and received a bachelors degree in electrical and computer engineering. She began her engineering career designing traveling wave tubes at Teledyne MEC in Palo Alto, California. In 1987, she became
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business director for the companys commercial communications product line. Harms joined Ford Aerospace, which became Space Systems/Loral, as a subcontract engineering manager in 1990. In this capacity, she specified and negotiated requirements for microwave components and provided technical oversight for the subcontracts with vendors worldwide. In 1993, she served as sales director of the companys Asia Pacific business development and then vice president of marketing and sales for the Americas in 1996 before advancing to her current position. In 2010, Harms was elected to the board of directors of the Society of Satellite Professionals International. She frequently participates in worldwide conference panels representing the satellite manufacturers perspective within the industry and in advanced engineering, management and leadership programs. She served on the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Industrial Advisory Board for five years and hosted events to foster relations between alumni and the ECE department. She is excited to rejoin the board beginning in 2011. Harms is a member of the Bay Area Badgers, Wisconsin Alumni Association, Special Need Children Center Foundation and a supporter of Habitat for Humanity. Harms resides in Sunnyvale, California, with her husband, Greg, who is also an engineer in the space industry. They are the proud parents of Alyson, Geoffrey and Derek. Alyson is currently in law school at the University of San Francisco and their twin sons, Derek and Geoffrey, are entering the first grade. Harms is a board member of Amazing Creations Preschool and Saint Andrews Episcopal School. In her free time she cherishes family time at their vacation home on the Pacific coast.

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Photo: Jpaur

to attenuate sound. Humans also have a brain complex enough to calculate the time difference between sound arriving in each ear and the intensity of the sound to determine its origin. Were like a large antenna, Behdad says. His research gradually led to smaller creatures, such as mice and insects, and eventually, he came across the Ormia ochracea. Some insects can hear in the same manner we can. But their body size is small, so the time difference of the sound arrival is significantly smaller, he says. Usually, an insects ears are not even located on the head, but instead are close together on its thorax or elsewhere, depend-

ing on the animal. Yet despite the small time and intensity differences, some insects have directional hearing capabilities surpassing those of humans. The parasitic fly, which appears to be among the smallest with superb directional hearing, can detect the direction of a chirping cricket with an accuracy of one to two degrees. These are small antennas that actually work better than large antennas, says Behdad, who took this knowledge and began designing circuits that could mimic an insects auditory system. Behdad has developed a proof-of-concept design for a type of antenna known as super

resolving, which is capable of distinguishing signals coming from different directions. If he can create very small, efficient super-resolving antennas, the technology could result in significantly more wireless bandwidth, better cell phone reception and other applications in consumer electronics, as well as new radar and imaging systems. Behdad also is interested in eventually using his CAREER research to explore small super-directive antennas, a class of antennas that could capture a lot of power coming from one direction. Though this type of antenna is still far from reality, the result could be a tiny antenna with the capabilities of a giant one.

Making waves with high-power materials


In addition to the CAREER award, Behdad has received two more prestigious young investigator awards. He has received funding from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the U.S. Office of Naval Research. The programs are designed to foster creative basic research in science and engineering and enhance early-career development of outstanding young researchers. For the U.S. Air Force program, Behdad is studying a class of synthetic structures known as metamaterials. The structures are composed of layers of metals, dielectrics and other materials that, when layered together, function as a distinct material as far as an electromagnetic wave is concerned. When a wave hits a material, what happens to it is determined by the materials index of refraction. By creating particular patterns in a synthetic structure, Behdad is able to engineer functional indexes of refraction out of materials robust enough to survive very high power levels.

These structures are a promising alternative to current materials that cannot withstand mega and gigawatt levels of electromagnetic power. Behdad is designing structures that could be used in high-power phased-arrays, radar systems and satellites. He also plans to study antenna apertures that can shape electromagnetic pulses and structures that could act as shields against enemy electromagnetic pulses. The U.S. Navy program is supporting a project by Behdad titled Closely coupled multimode radiators: A new concept for improving the performance of electrically small antennas.

Nitish V. Thakor is a professor of biomedical engineering (BME), electrical and computer engineering, and neurology at Johns Hopkins University. He now directs the Laboratory for Medical Instrumentation and Neuroengineering at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to carry out interdisciplinary, collaborative engineering research on technologies for basic and clinical neurosciences. Born in Nagpur, India, Thakor developed an early interest in both engineering and medicine. The first in his family to travel abroad and obtain a PhD, he completed a masters degree in biomedical engineering in 1978 and a PhD in electrical and computer engineering in 1981, both from UW-Madison. While an undergraduate in electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Thakor developed his first interest in medical electronics and instrumentation. His undergraduate thesis was inspired by now-BME Professor Emeritus John Websters research, and he eventually joined Websters lab at UW-Madison. It was here that he developed the first portable microcomputer-based abnormal heart rhythm monitoring instrument under the supervision of Webster and BME Professor Willis Tompkins. During his early career teaching at Johns Hopkins, Thakor carried out research on implantable defibrillators. He is now engaged in pioneering work on brain-monitoring technologies for neurocritical care, and more recently, on brain-machine interface and neural control of prosthetic limbs. He has published more than 200 refereed journal papers, edited one book, generated 11 patents, and co-founded three medical device companies. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal IEEE Transactions on Neural and Rehabilitation Engineering. He is also the director

of a National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering neuroengineering training program for doctoral students. He has supervised more than 50 graduate students and as many postdoctoral fellows and research faculty. He has given more than 25 keynote or plenary talks worldwide. Thakor is a recipient of a research career development award from the National Institutes of Health and the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and of IEEE and is a founding fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society. His honors also include the Technical Achievement in Neural Engineering Award from the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society and a distinguished alumnus award from the Indian Institute of Technology. He and wife, Ruchira, have four children: Mitali, Milan, Jai and Vir.
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STUDENT NEWS

Scrap metal wind turbine wins at Wiscontrepreneur


PhD students Dan Ludois (right) and Justin Reed participated in the 2011 Wiscontrepreneur 100-Hour Challenge, sponsored by the UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations. The pair won $300 and the award for most social value by building a wind turbine from scrap materials at UW SWAP, including a film reel and plastic syringes. Ludois and Reed have entered several innovation competitions at UW-Madison, and this was their last chance to participate before both graduated in spring 2011. This was a cool competitionyou get to make something out of nothing, says Reed. For Ludois, Wiscontrepreneur was simply about having fun. It was a chance to show off our creative spirit, he says.

ECE coordinates inaugural Qualcomm wireless competition


The ECE department was significantly involved in launching a new UW-Madison student innovation competition. The inaugural Qualcomm Wireless Innovation Prize, sponsored by the San Diego, California-based mobile technology company, was held April 28, 2011, and rewarded students who presented creative wireless technology products and well-developed business plans to make those products profitable. Every day we hear of one more idea that has really taken off, such as Facebook, Groupon, etc. This competition offers our students an opportunity to show their creativity in this area and encourages interdisciplinary teams to not only innovate on the technology front but also think about the business potential of their idea, says Professor Parameswaran Ramanathan, who co-coordinated the competition with Duane H. and Dorothy M. Bluemke Professor and Chair John Booske. ECE undergraduate student Tim McGowan (pictured) was one of the participants. He and and engineering physics student David Michaels invented Obsedis Technologies, an RFIDbased theft-deterrent system designed for student dormitories.

Twelve win prestigious Grainger Power Engineering awards


At an April 5, 2011, event, a group of accomplished ECE students received Grainger Power Engineering Awards and Fellowships. The awards, sponsored by The Grainger Foundation, recognize students for their academic success in the field of power engineering. From left (back row): Dean Paul Peercy, Andrew Rockhill, Daniel Molzahn, Mark Andrie, James Thomas, Benjamin Weight, Dalin Kim; (front row) Jonathan Jaeger, Brian Bradley, Patrick Schneider, Justin Reed, Steven Hanson, Jennifer Vining.

ECE student wins top prize in Climate Leadership Challenge


Undergraduate student Matthew Kirk is part of a team that claimed the top prize in the 2011 UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Climate Leadership Challenge. Kirks team, which won $50,000 and a one-year lease in the University Research Park Metro Innovation Center, developed a novel way to produce hydrogen from plant sugars in agricultural waste. Additionally, ECE undergraduate student Parikshith Lingampally is on a finalist team that developed a selfsustaining water purification system and won $2,000. Read more at www.news.wisc.edu/19313.

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ECE undergrad wins top prize in 2011 Innovation Days competition


Undergraduate student Ray Uhen won first place and $2,500 in the Tong Prototype Prize, one of a pair of competitions that make up Innovation Days, an event that rewards UW-Madison students for innovative and marketable ideas. Uhen invented Plane Balance, a slim flight-training tool that sits on top of the instrument panel and helps pilots monitor small aircraft coordination, or balance, via a system of color-coded LED lights. A pilot himself since age 16, Uhen says developing a feel for coordinated flight is among the most difficult tasks for students. Plane Balance will be easier for students to see and interpret than the current small level often located in a far corner of the instrument panel. Maintaining coordination is especially key during turns, where stalling can occur if the wings are off balance. Uhen also won fourth place and $1,000 in the Schoofs Prize for Creativity, the second major Innovation Days competition.

Graduate student Steve Kennedy won the Curtis Carl Johnson Memorial Award from the Bioelectromagnetics Society at the societys annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea, in June. Kennedy presented A locally constrained surface tension model based on plasmalemmal-cortical anchoring predicts stable electropore development.

He Ren, a graduate student in the plasma processing and technology lab, won the best poster award at the 2010 Synchrotron Users Meeting. The paper, titled Vacuum ultraviolet damage effects on dielectric films, will be published in the Journal of Applied Physics.

PhD student Jacob Shea received an international doctoral research award from the 2010 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society for his research project, Eigenanalysis for system optimization and spatial regularization in microwave breast tomography.

Cook receives DOE graduate fellowship


PhD student Carson Cook is among 150 graduate students given a prestigious U.S. Department of Energy Graduate Fellowship in Science, Mathematics and Engineering. The fellowship provides $50,500 per year for up to three years to cover tuition, living expenses, research materials and travel. Cook was selected from more than 3,000 applicants. Originally from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, Cook is studying computational plasma physics with Professor David Anderson at the Helically Symmetric eXperiment (HSX). Cook also collaborates with a pair of researchers at the Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory on software called SIESTA that analyzes powerful magnetic fields. Computational plasma physics was a natural next step for Cook after earning his bachelors degree in electrical engineering, physics and math from UW-Madison. He met Anderson in an introductory electromagnetics course as an undergraduate, and Cook realized working at HSX would allow him to combine skills and knowledge from all of his majors. The SIESTA code I am working on is currently being used to analyze current experimental machines that are studying plasma confinement, and it will also be used to help model and design new configurations for larger scale devices into the future, Cook says. The fellowship has been an invaluable help with my graduate research. Cook works with scientists from Tennessee-based Oak Ridge almost daily, and the fellowships travel support has helped him deepen these research relationships. Additionally, Cook attends a

conference every summer with the other fellowship recipients. Its a very nice opportunity to network with other young researchers in plasma physics and other areas of science and engineering, he says. The fellowships are funded in part by $12.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
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ECE NEWS

is a newsletter for alumni and friends of the UW-Madison Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Produced by: Engineering External Relations / Editor: Sandra Knisely / Design: Phil Biebl Paid for with private funds.

Send address changes and other correspondence to:

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering 1415 Engineering Dr. Madison, WI 53706

Monroe manufacturer partners with WEMPEC on electric truck


Led by graduate student Phil Kollmeyer (pictured), a group of graduate students approached the company in summer 2010. Orchid Monroe embraced the project, providing the truck and equipment, as well as setting aside facility space for students to use. The team will convert the truck with motors and software and let the students drive it for a couple of years at the university to collect data, says Will Lamb, Orchid Monroe engineering manager. The data will help Orchid Monroe assess the performance of its components as the company expands into supplying the electrical drive industry.
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(Continued from front page)

Moving Orchid Monroe into the electric vehicle industry could be beneficial for the broader Monroe community, says vice president of sales and marketing Keith Cornacchia. We have received an overwhelming amount of interest and encouragement, especially from the Green County Development Corporation, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and the City of Monroe, he says. We are fortunate to be part of a fantastic community. The new truck will use lithium-ion batteries, which are becoming standard in modern electric vehicles, as well as provide plenty of room for more instrumentation. The team will use the

truck to investigate battery characteristics, such as predicting energy stored in the battery and how battery performance changes over time. They will also evaluate the performance of the major powertrain elements, including the power converter and electric machine. WEMPEC researchers also plan to use the truck to explore future possibilities for electric vehicles. Were interested in a version of these electric vehicles that not only can be charged by a utility but also can deliver power back to that utility, says Thomas Jahns, WEMPEC co-director and the Grainger Professor of Power Electronics & Electrical Machines. When plugged in, these vehicles can be used as energy storage resources that supply some of their energy back to a smart grid when needed. Using the energy stored in electric vehicle batteries could help to fill in temporary dips in the power delivered by intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar and winds. Partnering with Orchid Monroe provides a wonderful win-win situation. There are opportunities for them to benefit in the near-term with their business plans, while creating a test bed for us to pursue research into techniques for solving our nations longterm energy supply problems.

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