, alumnus win IEEE best paper award<img alt="Arye Nehorai" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Nehorai_2017.jpg?RenditionID=7" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Mianzhi Wang, who earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from the McKelvey School of Engineering in 2018, received the IEEE Signal Processing Society’s 2019 Young Author Best Paper Award.<div><br/></div><div>His paper, "Coarrays, MUSIC, and the Cramér Rao bound," was co-written by Arye Nehorai, the Eugene & Martha Lohman Professor of Electrical Engineering. Nehorai was Wang’s doctoral and dissertation adviser. The paper has received more than 100 citations since its publication in February 2017.<br/></div>Danielle Lacey2020-01-27T06:00:00ZMianzhi Wang, a 2018 alumnus of the McKelvey School of Engineering, won the IEEE Signal Processing Society’s 2019 Young Author Best Paper Award. named Das Family Distinguished Professor <img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Sinopoli%20Das%20Distinguished.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>Bruno Sinopoli has been named the Das Family Distinguished Professor in Electrical Engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. He was installed Jan. 16, 2020. <br/></p><p>Sinopoli is professor and chair of the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering. He is a renowned expert in cyber-physical systems and control systems. His research focuses on robust and resilient design of cyber-physical systems, networked and distributed control systems, distributed interference in networks, smart infrastructures, wireless sensor and actuator networks, adaptive video streaming applications and energy systems. He also has an interest in social engineering issues, including investigating the mechanisms of influence of people on each other. He seeks to understand these mechanisms and to further this understanding in ways that can be beneficial to humanity.<br/></p><p>"Professor Sinopoli's research is at the intersection of control theory and cyber-physical and network-systems," said Aaron F. Bobick, dean of the McKelvey School of Engineering and the James M. McKelvey Professor. "This interdisciplinary work is dramatically relevant to the now ubiquitous deployment of computing devices controlling physical systems. In addition, I expect Bruno's leadership to continue the strong upward trajectory of the department in terms of strength and relevance.  All of us are truly grateful to Santanu, Kabita, Atanu and Arnab Das for supporting Bruno's research through this professorship."<br/></p><p>Sinopoli joined Washington University Jan. 1, 2019, from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and co-director of the Smart Infrastructure Institute. He also had appointments in the Robotics Institute and in Mechanical Engineering.<br/></p><p>In 2010, he received the George Tallman Ladd Research Award from the Carnegie Institute of Technology at Carnegie Mellon, as well as an NSF CAREER Award, which is awarded to junior faculty who model the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.<br/></p><p>He joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon as an assistant professor in 2007. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned master's and doctoral degrees. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Università di Padova in Padua, Italy.<br/></p><p>The family of Santanu Das, chairman of the board of DomaniSystems Inc. in Shelton, Connecticut, established the Das Family Distinguished Professorship in Electrical Engineering in appreciation of the world-class education he received at Washington University. Whatever professional success he achieved, Das says that his Washington University experience "made it all possible."<br/></p><p>Das came to Washington University in 1969 to pursue graduate study. His wife, Kabita, joined him in 1971. After earning a doctor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1973, he joined IIT Corp. in Columbus, Ohio, then moved to ITT's corporate research center in Shelton, Connecticut. In 1988, he and three colleagues founded TranSwitch Corp., based in Shelton, Connecticut. The international company developed and marketed innovative high-speed semiconductor solutions for telecommunications and data communications equipment markets.<br/></p><p>Das retired from TranSwitch Corp. in 2009 and now serves on the boards of six high-technology companies.  <br/></p><p>Strong supporters of education and generous donors to Washington University, the Das family also has endowed the Robert Gregory Scholars Program in the Engineering school. Das received the university's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001. He is a member of the National Council of the McKelvey School of Engineering and was a member of the university's Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2008. <br/></p><p>Mrs. Das, who earned an undergraduate degree in education from Calcutta University, has specialized in early childhood education. <br/></p><p>Sons Atanu and Arnab studied electrical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Atanu, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Illinois, earned a law degree at Loyola University Chicago. He lives with his family in the Chicago area, where he is a senior patent counsel with Guntin & Gust and also is a senior lecturer in residence at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he teaches several intellectual property courses. <br/></p><p>Arnab, who earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from Penn State University. He is a member of the senior professional staff at John Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. <br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p><br/></p><p><br/></p>(From left): Dean Aaron Bobick, Santanu Das, Bruno Sinopoli, Marion Crane. Photo credit: Whitney CurtisBeth Miller 2020-01-27T06:00:00ZBruno Sinopoli has been named the Das Family Distinguished Professor in Electrical Engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering. optical resonators gives researchers control over transparency<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/EITUpdate.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>In the quantum realm, under some circumstances and with the right interference patterns, light can pass through opaque media.</p><p>This feature of light is more than a mathematical trick; optical quantum memory, optical storage and other systems that depend on interactions of just a few photons at a time rely on the process, called electromagnetically induced transparency, also known as EIT.  </p><p>Because of its usefulness in existing and emerging quantum and optical technologies, researchers are interested in the ability to manipulate EIT without the introduction of an outside influence, such as additional photons that could perturb the already delicate system. Now, researchers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis have devised a fully contained optical resonator system that can be used to turn transparency on and off, allowing for a measure of control that has implications across a wide variety of applications.<br/></p><p>The group published the results of the research, conducted in the lab of Lan Yang, the Edwin H. & Florence G. Skinner Professor in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering, in a paper titled <a href="">Electromagnetically Induced Transparency at a Chiral Exceptional Point</a> in the Jan. 13 issue of <em>Nature Physics</em>.</p><p>An optical resonator system is analogous to an electronic resonant circuit but uses photons instead of electrons. Resonators come in different shapes, but they all involve reflective material that captures light for a period of time as it bounces back and forth between or around its surface. These components are found in anything from lasers to high precision measuring devices.</p><p>For their research, Yang’s team used a type of resonator known as a whispering gallery mode resonator (WGMR). It operates in a manner similar to the whispering gallery at St. Paul’s Cathedral, where a person on one side of the room can hear a person whispering on the other side. What the cathedral does with sound, however, WGMRs do with light — trapping light as it reflects and bounces along the curved perimeter.</p><p>In an idealized system, a fiber optic line intersects with a resonator, a ring made of silica, at a tangent. When a photon in the line meets the resonator, it swoops in, reflecting and propagating along the ring, exiting into the fiber in the same direction it was initially headed.</p><p>Reality, however, is rarely so neat.</p><p>“Fabrication in high quality resonators is not perfect,” Yang said. “There is always some defect, or dust, that scatters the light.” What actually happens is some of the scattered light changes direction, leaving the resonator and travelling back in the direction whence it came. The scattering effects disperse the light, and it doesn’t exit the system.</p><p>Imagine a box around the system: If the light entered the box from the left, then exited out the right side, the box would appear transparent. But if the light that entered was scattered and didn’t make it out, the box would seem opaque.</p><p>Because manufacturing imperfections in resonators are inconsistent and unpredictable, so too was transparency. Light that enters such systems scatters and ultimately loses its strength; it is absorbed into the resonator, rendering the system opaque.</p><p>In the system devised by co-first authors Changqing Wang, a PhD candidate, and Xuefeng Jiang, a researcher in Yang’s lab, there are two WGMRs indirectly coupled by a fiber optic line. The first resonator is higher in quality, having just one imperfection. Wang added a tiny pointed material that acts like a nanoparticle to the high-quality resonator. By moving the makeshift particle, Wang was able to “tune” it, controlling the way the light inside scatters.</p><p>Importantly, he was also able to tune the resonator to what’s known as an “exceptional point,” a point at which one and only one state can exist. In this case, the state is the direction of light in the resonator: clockwise or counter clockwise.</p><p>For the experiment, researchers directed light toward a pair of indirectly coupled resonators from the left (see illustration). The lightwave entered the first resonator, which was “tuned” to ensure light traveled clockwise. The light bounced around the perimeter, then exited, continuing along the fiber to the second, lower-quality resonator. </p><p>There, the light was scattered by the resonator’s imperfections and some of it began traveling counter clockwise along the perimeter. The light wave then returned to the fiber, but headed back toward the first resonator.</p><p>Critically, researchers not only used the nanoparticle in the first resonator to make the lightwaves move clockwise, they also tuned it in a way that, as the light waves propagated back and forth between resonators, a special interference pattern would form. As a result of that pattern, the light in the resonators was cancelled out, so to speak, allowing the light traveling along the fiber to eek by, rendering the system transparent. </p><p>It would be as if someone shined a light on a brick wall — no light would get through. But then another person with another flashlight shined it in the same spot and, all of a sudden, that spot in the wall became transparent.</p><p>One of the more important — and interesting — functions of EIT is its ability to create “slow light.” The speed of light is always constant, but the actual value of that speed can change based on the properties of the medium through which it moves. In a vacuum, light always travels at 300,000,000 meters per second.</p><p>With EIT, people have slowed light down to less than eight meters per second, Wang said. “That can have significant influence on the storage of light information. If light is slowed down, we have enough time to use the encoded information for optical quantum computing or optical communication.” If engineers can better control EIT, they can more reliably depend on slow light for these applications.</p><p>Manipulating EIT could also be used in the development of long distance communication. A tuning resonator can be indirectly coupled to another resonator kilometers away along the same fiber optic cable. “You could change the transmitted light down the line,” Yang said.</p><p>This could be critical for, among other things, quantum encryption.</p><p>The research team also included collaborators at Yale University, University of Chicago and the University of Southern California.<br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><br/><div><div class="cstm-section"><h3>Lan Yang<br/></h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <strong><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Lan-Yang.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Yang_Lan.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="Lan Yang" style="margin: 5px;"/></a> <br/></strong></div><ul style="text-align: left;"><li>Edwin H. & Florence G. Skinner Professor</li><li>Expertise: Photonics, optical sensing, microresonators, lasers, non-Hermitian physics, parity-time symmetry in photonics<br/></li></ul><p style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Lan-Yang.aspx">>> View Bio</a><br/></p></div></div><div class="cstm-section"><h3>Media Coverage<br/></h3><div> <strong>Photonics Media: </strong> <a href="">Tuned Resonators Allow Control of Electromagnetically Induced Transparency</a></div></div> <br/>Electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) is "tuned" by two particles on the optical resonator. (Image: Yang Lab)Brandie Jefferson has ramifications for quantum computing, communications and more<p>​Method has ramifications for quantum computing, communications and more<br/></p> graduate Karla Ramirez develops passion in communication technology<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/ramirez-karla-dual-degree.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​Karla Ramirez joined the <a href="" style="background-color: #ffffff;">United States Marine Corps</a> out of high school in 2005 and spent four years at <a href="" style="background-color: #ffffff;">Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton</a> in California, deploying twice to Iraq.</p><p>Serving, she says, was a calling.</p><p>It was that vocation that ultimately put her on path to the University of Missouri–St. Louis.</p><p>This December is the culmination of that journey as Ramirez graduates from the <a href="">UMSL/WUSTL Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program</a> on Saturday with BSN in electrical engineering. She hopes that her skills and experiences developed in the program will illuminate the next step in her course.</p><p>It was in the military that Ramirez first developed an interest in communications technology. She spent two years of her deployment working as an Electronic Key Management Systems Supervisor, responsible for all technology involving encrypted communications. She enjoyed the work, so at the end of her enlistment, she decided to stay in the field and went to work for Charter in the St. Louis area.</p><p>Ramirez did that for a year and a half and then realized she wanted to make a change.</p><p>"I was like, 'Well, this is what I want to do, but this isn't where I want to be doing it,'" she recalled. "What's the next step to get somewhere higher? Electrical engineering was it. I left Charter. I was like, 'OK, now's the time to go to school.'"</p><p>Ramirez took two years of community college engineering classes and then transferred to UMSL in 2017. She was drawn in by the joint program's unique structure, which allows students to work during the day and take classes at night. Another plus was the GI Bill, which would completely cover the cost of a public school.</p><p>She attended the joint program full time, and took advantage of the evening classes to do an internship at the airport, shadowing the single electrical engineer in the 13-person airport group. The experience taught Ramirez about the day-to-day of an engineer.</p><p>"It's really project management work," Ramirez said. "It was following him, seeing what's expected, what they do, how they do it and the system they use. It's a government entity, so they've got to go through three or four steps before anything gets paid out or approved. The engineer doesn't do the work, but they have to stay on top of the contractors. Every week they have meetings with the contractor: what's good, what's done, what's not done, are you on schedule? What changes may or may not need to be made? It's interesting, for sure."</p><p>A pair of experiences during her last year have given Ramirez further insight on what life looks like after engineering school: the Boeing Mentorship Program and the <a href="">Regional Business Council</a> mentorship program.</p><p>Her Boeing program mentor was Deborah Fisher, electromagnetic environmental effects (E3) engineer, with whom Ramirez found much in common. A graduate of the joint engineering program, Fisher is also former military. Fisher discussed what to expect in an engineering career and set up different opportunities, such as mock interviews. For the Regional Business Council mentorship program, Ramirez was delighted to be paired with <a href="">Richard Mark</a>, president and chairman of Ameren Illinois. Though Mark isn't an engineer, he introduced her to his team.</p><p>"It really piques my interest because they're doing a lot with the <a href="">Internet of Things</a>," Ramirez said. "It's a lot of wireless stuff. They're going more toward a self-sustaining system where their meters will talk back to their mini hubs, and their mini hubs will talk back to the main hub. If there's an issue somewhere along that line, they catch it before it becomes really big, so people don't lose service on a grand scale. If they do lose servers on a grand scale, it automatically tells customers, 'We know about this outage, we're fixing it, please be patient.'"</p><p>Balancing the increased workload of both programs with her school work was a challenge – she'd applied to both mentorships thinking she'd only get one – but Ramirez made it through while attending school full time.</p><p>Now that she's about to be done, she's thinking about her next steps and would like to return to military work in a private sector company. She hopes to eventually work in engineering management, but that's a long-term goal. For now, she's grateful for the education she received in the joint program.</p><p>"It's a good program," Ramirez said. "It's what you make of it."<br/></p>Jessica Rogen developing an interest in communications technology while serving with the United States Marine Corps, Karla Ramirez will graduate with a BS in electrical engineering through the UMSL/WashU Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program.‘I built that’<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/cyborg-locust-senior-design.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Each year, McKelvey Engineering students at Washington University in St. Louis culminate their studies with a semester-long project that seeks to solve a central problem in their field.<br/></p><p>As the semester wraps up, we spoke with a few seniors in electrical & systems engineering to find out what they learned from the experience.<br/></p><h2>Jason Christal and Anton Salem</h2><p>Project title: <a href="">Neurosurgery of Explosive Detecting Locusts via a Novel Automated Robotic Manipulator</a></p><p><strong>What new skills or valuable experiences did you gain in this class? </strong></p><p>Christal: I gained a lot of experience with computer-aided design through Solidworks, as well as learning how to 3D-print parts. Additionally, I learned more about the integration of software and hardware, and getting things to work together properly. The most valuable experience for me throughout this process was the opportunity to rapidly prototype the project and build things quickly.</p><p>Salem: Capstone was easily the most useful course that I took at WashU because it taught me how to truly problem solve and figure something out. It's an amazing feeling when your project starts coming together and you can say, "I built that."</p><p><strong>What advice do you have for future ESE senior design students?</strong></p><p>Christal: Getting started early is super helpful. Ask people for help when you're confused. We had many problems with the mechanics of our manipulator, so we would ask colleagues or professors for assistance. This is the one class in college you really should not focus on the grade. It's an opportunity to learn new things and build something you find interesting or are passionate about.</p><p>Salem: Pick a project that you are passionate about. Capstone is a time to deeply explore a technology or problem. If you work hard to identify a project that interests you, it's far more likely that you develop a great project and have fun.</p><h2>Serra Erdamar</h2><p>Project title: <a href="">Using Artificial Neural Networks to Predict Quantum Entanglement in Quantum Systems</a></p><p><strong>What new skills or valuable experiences did you gain in this class?</strong></p><p>This was my first time training a machine-learning model using Tensorflow in Python. It's a very accessible language and I'm grateful to have been able to apply it to a quantum systems-based project.</p><p><strong>What challenges did you face in completing your project?</strong></p><p>Deciding what my specific goal for a 14-week project was difficult. I ran into an unexpected error with the code I downloaded from an important paper, which made me reevaluate my problem statement to include implementing a gap the paper discussed.<br/></p><h2>Dean Choi</h2><p>Project title: <a href="">An FPGA Implementation of a Spiking Neural Network</a></p><p><strong>What challenges did you face in completing your project? </strong></p><p>We purchased analog-to-digital converters (ADC) and digital-to-analog converters (DAC) from Digikey, but the datasheet for these parts that we bought didn't have all the details we needed to integrate them into our project. We had to spend lots of time searching how to solve problems with ADC and DAC through other people's experiences online.</p><p><strong>What advice do you have for future ESE senior design students?</strong></p><p>Always plan ahead, and don't underestimate your schedule. If you think something is doable in one day, plan to work on it for at least a week.<br/></p><h2>Yuqi Liu<br/></h2><p>Project title: <a href="">Design of an Integrated Topological Circuit Array</a></p><p><strong>What challenges did you face in completing your project?</strong></p><p>My inexperience with the design library complicated the design process to the point that I needed to frequently and carefully go through the design manual to spot where I went wrong.</p><p><strong>What advice do you have for future ESE senior design students?</strong></p><p>Definitely try something you are interested in and make sure to devote enough time to it.<br/></p>Projects completed by ESE seniors include assisting with the development of a robot that will automate the surgery of cyborg locusts. File photoDanielle Lacey2019-12-19T06:00:00ZElectrical & systems engineering students reflect on their senior design capstone course.