News

Connie Chang-Hasnain elected Vice-President of Optical Society of America

EE alumna and Prof. Connie Chang-Hasnain (Ph.D. '87) has been elected 2019 Vice-President of the Optical Society of America (OSA).   Since 1916, OSA has been the world’s leading champion for optics and photonics, uniting and educating scientists, engineers, educators, technicians and business leaders worldwide to foster and promote technical and professional development. Chang-Hasnain currently serves as Associate Dean for Strategic Alliances in the College of Engineering,  The position of OSA vice-president requires a four-year commitment to OSA's Board of Directors: one year each as vice president in 2019, president-elect in 2020, president in 2021, and past-president in 2022. “Connie’s international and strategic experience is a perfect fit for the OSA’s officer position,” said Elizabeth Rogan, CEO of  OSA.  “Her numerous and effective volunteer roles reflect her strong connection with the photonics industry.”

David Wang and Samantha Wathugala named 2019 Siebel Scholars

CS graduate students David Wang and Samantha Wathugala have been named to the Siebel Scholars Foundation’s 2019 class.  The Siebel Scholars program recognizes top students at the world’s leading graduate schools of bioengineering, business, computer science and energy science, and comes with a $35,000 award.  Wathugala applies state-of-the-art deep learning techniques to object detection, grasping and manipulation in an unstructured domain, using a toy-collecting robot.  Wang uses deep learning to build accurate, reliable systems for precision irrigation and autonomous driving.


Diamond dust enables low-cost, high-efficiency magnetic field detection

Researchers including EE Prof. Sayeef Salahuddin and postdoc Dominic Labanowski (Ph.D. '17) have created a device that dramatically reduces the energy needed to power magnetic field detectors, which could revolutionize how we measure the magnetic fields that flow through our electronics, our bodies, and our planet.   The researchers found a new way to excite the tiny nitrogen-infused diamond nonocrystals in their magnetic sensor with microwaves, using 1,000 times less power than is required by traditional sensors.  “Our sensors could replace those more-difficult-to-use sensors in a lot of applications from navigation to medical imaging to natural resource exploration,” said Labanowski.

Leslie Field joins panel for Global Climate Action Summit

EE alumna Leslie Field (M.S./Ph.D. '1991), the first woman to earn a Ph.D. from the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC), will be participating in a panel on "Restoring the Climate: Achievable Solutions" at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit.  Field is the founder and CEO of Ice911, an organization devoted to mitigating climate change by using reflective sand as a natural heat shield to restore ice in the Arctic.  The panel will "explore the mission of climate restoration and some of the solutions that can get us there, creating jobs and economic benefit in the process."  The Global Climate Action Summit will run from September 12-14 in San Francisco.

Constance Chang-Hasnain wins prestigious Okawa Prize

Alumna and EE Prof. Constance Chang-Hasnain (M.S. '84/Ph.D. '87) has won the 2018 Okawa Prize "for pioneering and outstanding research of VCSEL photonics through the development of their novel functions for optical communications and optical sensing."  The Okawa Prize recognizes "persons who have made outstanding contributions to research, technological development and business in the information and telecommunications fields, internationally."  Chang-Hasnain is Associate Dean for Strategic Alliances in the College of Engineering, Co-director of theTsinghua-UC Berkeley Shenzhen Institute, and the Chair of the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Graduate Group.  Her research interests range from semiconductor optoelectronic devices to materials and physics, with current foci on nano-photonic materials and devices for chip-scale integrated optics.

Audrey Sillers wins Wil Zeilinger Staff Excellence Award

Director of Student Diversity and EECS Undergraduate Affairs, Audrey Sillers, is the recipient of the 2018 EECS/ERSO Wil Zeilinger Staff Excellence Award.  The Zeilinger Award is the most prestigious staff honor in the EECS department and is presented annually to the staff member who best embodies "a spririt of service cheerfully given for the general good."  Over the course of Audrey's 12 year career in EECS, she has worked her way up through 5 positions,  sharing her calm, focus, warmth and dedication with everyone she has encountered.  Among her many achievements is the creation of the EECS Wellness Committee, designed to find ways to help people feel more welcome, comfortable, and supported in the department. 

Charles Susskind remembered at L.A. Museum of the Holocaust

Late EE Prof. Charles Susskind, who passed away in 2004, is one of 10 children featured in an exhibit at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust titled Childhood Left at the Station: A Tribute to the Children of the Kindertransport, as well an accompanying L.A. Times article titled "Child separation during World War II: How an exhibition at L.A.'s Museum of the Holocaust resonates today."  Susskind caught one of the last Kindertransport trains out of Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1939--just a few weeks shy of his 18th birthday (at which time he would have been ineligible for the program) and the onset of the war.   Kindertransport was an international, non-denominational rescue effort that got Jewish children out of Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland between 1938-1939.  The suitcase he carried will be on display, bearing the green, hand-painted number that identified him as a child refugee.  “It’s tiny,” curator Jordana Gessler says. “Probably 18 by 14 inches. That suitcase is all he brought with him.”

Key role of micron-scale strain distributions in magnetoelectric multiferroic devices revealed

A research study led by EE Prof. and Associate Chair Jeffrey Bokor and post-doctoral research associate Roberto Lo Conte, among others, on the influence of nonuniform micron-scale strain distributions on electrical reorientation of magnetic microstructures has been highlighted on the news site Advances in Engineering.  The work, which was conducted in the Center for Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems (TANMS), is the first to thoroughly characterize the micron-scale strain and magnetic response, as a function of an applied electric field, in a composite multiferroic system. Their goal was to come up with a comprehensive behavior and understanding of these materials using direct imaging of both the electrically induced magnetic behavior and the piezo-strain.  These materials systems are of broad technological interest, since they offer a path toward the development of ultralow power magnetoelectric devices which can be useful for manipulation of micro and nano-scale objects such as biological cells. Their work is published in the research journal, Nano Letters.

Gary May claims another rare engineering distinction

EECS alumnus Gary May (M.S. '88/Ph.D. '91, advisor: Costas Spanos), currently serving as the Chancellor of UC Davis, is one of the subjects of a Philadelphia Tribune article titled "ACROSS AMERICA: Three African-Americans Claim Rare Engineering Accomplishment."   May, along with two other African-Americans, was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) class of 2018.  NAE membership counts among the highest professional distinctions in engineering.  May was inducted "for contributions to semiconductor manufacturing research and for innovations in educational programs for underrepresented groups in engineering." “We need more diversity in engineering so that we solve problems that take into account all experiences and perspectives," he said. "I encourage young people who are interested in engineering to seek mentors who can help them get on a path that works for them."

The Art of Innovation: George Crow’s Path from Cal to Apple

EECS alumnus George Crow (B.S. '66) is the subject of a California Magazine article titled "The Art of Innovation: George Crow’s Path from Cal to Apple."  Crow was lured away from a job at Hewlett-Packard in 1981 to take charge of the team responsible for developing the power supply and display for what would become the pathbreaking Mac personal computer.  Crow discusses his time at Berkeley and Apple, founding NeXT with Steve Jobs, and going back to Apple before retiring in 2006 to devote his time to the arts.