Research

The Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering has a unique and long tradition of excellence in advancing basic science and solving cutting-edge engineering problems relevant to society. The second-oldest electrical engineering department in the country, it is dedicated to providing high-quality education and research.


 

 


Research Highlights

 

 

 

https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/HIVE-wins-$25,000-grand-prize-in-2019-Discovery-Competition.aspx1074HIVE wins $25,000 grand prize in 2019 Discovery Competition <img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Discovery-Competition-1230x431.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>A team of students that developed a way to monitor intravenous medication compliance has won the 2019 Discovery Competition sponsored by the McKelvey School of Engineering. The prize includes a $20,000 cash award, $5,000 in-kind services from Custom Technologies and $5,000 in in-kind legal services from Polsinelli, which has sponsored the Discovery Competition for the past five years. </p><p>Four teams competed this year for the prizes, which include six months of complimentary workspace from TechArtista, a collaborative workspace in the Central West End founded by McKelvey Engineering alumnus <a href="/news/Pages/Engineering-degree-positions-alum-to-solve-problems-as-entrepreneur.aspx">Chris Holt</a>. In addition to 24/7 access to the workspace, team members will have the opportunity to connect with the St. Louis professional community and increase access to the St. Louis ecosystem.</p><p>"This year's teams were a great mix of teams ready to hit the ground running with their products and teams with exciting potential technology development," said Dennis Mell, director of the Discovery Competition and professor of practice in electrical & systems engineering. </p><p>HIVE's technology is designed to monitor compliance with outpatient parental antimicrobial therapy (OPAT). The goal is to provide accurate, real-time data to physicians and insurance companies including but not limited to: when the patient takes their medication, how many times a day the patient takes their medication, and how long the patient takes their medication. The key aspect of its technology is that it will not require any additional steps by the user. OPAT costs about $300 per day, which is about 10 times less expensive than inpatient care. However, OPAT has a 25% unplanned readmission rate overall, with 9% of the 25% due to non-compliance. The group's market will be the physicians and pharmacists who re-admit noncompliant patients, and those who spend time following up with patients to ensure their compliance.</p><p>Team members include Joe Beggs (CEO/ engineer), a student majoring in biomedical engineering; Sai Dodda (clinical coordinator), a student at St. Louis College of Pharmacy; Allie Frank (clinical coordinator), a master's student in occupational therapy; Glen Kleinschmidt (engineer), a BS/MS student in biomedical engineering; and Chris Sleckman (engineer), a BS/MS student in biomedical engineering. </p><p>The team winning second place, which includes a $7,500 cash award, $2,500 in in-kind legal services from Polsinelli and an invitation to compete in the 2020 final Discovery Competition, was Dose To Go, which developed a smart vaccine patch designed to ensure accurate, localized and pain-free vaccine delivery to be administered at home. This vaccine patch integrates a bioreactive base, which allows for temporal progress tracking, accurate drug delivery confirmation, and automatic linkage to user's online health record for convenient vaccine record. Team members include Thao Cao, a student majoring in biomedical engineering; Noah Goldstein, a student majoring in computer science; and Christopher Sheffels, a student majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in materials science & engineering. </p><p>Tying for third place, which includes a $2,500 cash prize for each team and $2,500 in legal services from Intellect Law Firm, were the Flex.ai team and Mediband team. </p><p>Flex.Ai is a cloud-based platform designed to improve the life of all physical therapy patients. With advanced computer vision algorithms using posture recognition, the Flex.Ai app tracks a patient in real time and gives them feedback throughout each exercise. Through the use of automated reminders and progress tracking, patients with Flex.Ai will recover quickly and properly. Team members include Nick Cornejo, a student majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science; Michael Greer, a student majoring in computer engineering with a minor in robotics; and Jack Leshem, a student majoring in computer science with a second major in finance. </p><p>MediBand is working to make medication management easy through a low-cost Internet of Things (IOT) bracelet that manages a patient's prescriptions right on their wrist. Its technology serves individuals who are prescribed time-sensitive medication by integrating their medication into a consistent part of their daily lives. The team is seeking funding to build a low volume of bracelets that to give to prospective users to further explore market needs. Team members include Sam Margolis, a student majoring in computer science; Anton Salem, a student majoring in systems science & engineering; and James Swingos, an undergraduate student at Harvard University.<br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p> </p><p><br/></p>Beth Miller 2019-05-03T05:00:00ZMedical technology team HIVE wins Discovery Competition, which includes a $20,000 cash prize.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/We-do-research-to-help-people.aspx1068‘We do research to help people’<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/190409_sjh_guangming_zhao_05-1-1200x600.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Guangming Zhao says it repeatedly: “I’m just a normal person.” He doesn’t understand why anyone would be interested in talking to him, a 29-year-old PhD candidate in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, who just wants to create the best imaging sensor in the world.</p><p> And there’s a good chance he’ll be successful.</p><p>“At first, I didn’t believe it,” he said of the research’s potential to impact the world around him. “But now I do believe it. I believe that what we do here can change the world.”<br/></p><p>Zhao is working on new technology that uses light to probe its surroundings. Used in different instruments, the photonic sensors could detect anything from poisonous gases to bloodborne diseases.<br/></p><p>He attributes his change in perspective to working in the lab of <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Lan-Yang.aspx" style="box-sizing: inherit;">Lan Yang</a>, the Edwin H. & Florence G. Skinner Professor of Electrical & Systems Engineering. Since working with her, he said, he has had a few changes of heart.</p><p>When he joined Yang’s lab in 2012, Zhao considered himself a physics guy. “I wanted to focus on fundamental science,” he said. Zhao wasn’t concerned with practical applications. When Yang proposed he work on the photonic sensors, he wasn’t exactly thrilled.</p><p>“Dr. Yang said it was interesting, but at first I disagreed,” Zhao said. “I said, ‘I like fundamental science.’ When I really accomplished something, though, I saw it was worth it.”</p><p>Zhao has pushed forward the science of the sensors, which have <a href="/news/Pages/Enabling-internet-of-photonic-things-with-miniature-sensors.aspx" style="box-sizing: inherit;">successfully recorded temperature data</a> while mounted on a drone. The photonic sensors — which are based on light instead of electricity — may also greatly increase the sensitivity of ultrasound technology, an industry <a href="https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/ultrasound-devices-market-to-rise-us-70-billion-by-2022-2018-12-18" style="box-sizing: inherit;">estimated to be worth $7.2 billion by 2022</a>.</p><p></p><p>“In the ultrasound arena, this technology has the potential to be a breakthrough,” said Anand Chandrasekher, an industry adviser who came across Zhao’s research through a mutual friend of Yang’s. He is now helping lab members determine if they are ready to transition their technology from the lab to the marketplace.</p><p>Chandrasekher has been in the semiconductor industry for 30 years. From president of Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies Inc. to seeking out technology transfer opportunities in university labs, he has seen all sorts of people come and go.</p><p>“(Zhao) is in a league of his own in terms of perseverance, creativity, objective analysis,” Chandrasekher said. “He’s not a BS artist; he says what he means, does what he says, and he gets it done.”</p><p>Although they can’t reveal the precise nature of Zhao’s contribution to the sensors as they continue to research their viability as a product, Chandrasekher is clear when it comes to Zhao’s importance: “Let’s just say that without him, there is no company.”</p><p>For now, however, Zhao remains dedicated to his work in the lab. In fact, he could have graduated a couple of years ago.<br/></p><p>“When my fifth year came, Dr. Yang asked, ‘Do you want to graduate?’ I refused to graduate,” he said laughing. “I wanted to finish what I started.”</p><p>That perseverance is one of the qualities that sets Zhao apart, according to Yang.</p><p>“He could face 100 failures and keep going,” she said, recounting the time she saw him in the lab well past midnight. It’s possible that someone else could have developed these sensors, “but everyone said it was impossible. Zhao, however, did not give up.”</p> <h3>A chance to study with ‘one of the best’</h3><p>The road to St. Louis began for Zhao in Tianjin, a city of 13 million people about 35 miles south of Beijing. He attended college at the University of Science and Technology of China — Yang’s alma mater — where he majored in optics.<br/></p><p>And there’s a simple reason he came to Washington University. “Dr. Yang is here,” he said. “She is one of the best.”</p><p>Studying so far away from home can be challenging; Zhao has only been home twice and his parents have visited once. They liked St. Louis almost as much as he does.</p><p>“Washington University is a really good place for research,” he said. “I really like it here — the students, the teachers, the people here,” he said, gesturing to those around him in nearby Kayak’s Coffee.</p><p>Zhao’s modesty is apparent in his incredulity at the idea that anyone wanted to interview him. His kindness was apparent in his offer to run home and fetch an umbrella for his interviewer when a downpour hit at the end of the interview.</p><p>“What I value most about him, while he says he’s normal, I look inside his heart, that’s what matters,” Yang said. “He just wants to do good work. Money will not move him.”</p><p>Zhao’s goal is straightforward: “I want to have the best sensor in the world,” he said. He hopes it will ultimately be able to detect diseases that current ultrasound machines can’t.</p><p>“We can help people in the medical school, and maybe also help patients. Our sensor also has a low cost and high sensitivity,” he said. “So we may really change the world. At first, I didn’t believe it, but now I do think we have a chance to do that. To help people.”</p><p>When he first arrived in St. Louis, Zhao was a physics guy interested in blue-sky research. “At first, I just wanted to learn some things,” he said. “Later on, I learned something from my mentor. I realized that I need to have a sense of mission and a duty as a researcher.</p><p>“So we do research to help people. I think all researchers should realize that.”</p> <strong>Read more about the Class Acts of 2019 <a href="https://source.wustl.edu/washu19/" style="box-sizing: inherit;">here</a>.<br/></strong><span> <div class="cstm-section"><div><h3 style="margin-top: 0px; font-family: "open sans", sans-serif; font-size: 1.34em; text-align: center; border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: #b0b0b0; padding-bottom: 12px;">More about<br/>Guangming Zhao<br/></h3><div style="color: #343434;"><div style="text-align: center;"></div><p style="text-align: left;"> <strong>Hometown: </strong>Tianjin, China</p><p style="text-align: left;"> <strong>Age: </strong>29</p><p style="text-align: left;"> <strong>Degrees: </strong>PhD candidate in electrical systems engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Science and Technology of China.<br/></p></div></div></div></span> <br/><span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Improving quality of life​</h3><div style="text-align: left;"><div> <span> <div style="text-align: center;"> <strong><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Pratim-Biswas.aspx"></a><img src="/news/PublishingImages/190410_wcc_michael_kramer_07.jpg?RenditionID=7" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/> </strong></div> <div style="text-align: left;"><p>Michael Kramer, who will graduate in May with a master’s in data analytics and statistics from the McKelvey School of Engineering and already has a marketing degree from Olin Business School, has always been an entrepreneur. As a student, he developed a contact management app called Regavi that is evolving into a secure way of sharing data. Read about another Class Act in innovation <a href="/news/Pages/A-well-rounded-entreprenurial-education.aspx">here</a>.<br/></p></div></span></div></div></div></span>Guangming Zhao, a PhD candidate in the McKelvey School of Engineering, in the research lab of Lan Yang. (Photo: Sid Hastings/Washington University)Brandie Jeffersonhttps://source.wustl.edu/2019/04/we-do-research-to-help-people/2019-04-29T05:00:00Z​Class Acts-Innovation: Guangming Zhao may change the ultrasound industry, but what he really wants to do is help people<p>​Class Acts-Innovation: Guangming Zhao may change the ultrasound industry, but what he really wants to do is help people<br/></p>
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/McKelvey-Engineering-team-wins-IEEE-RFID-Smart-Cities-Mega-Challenge.aspx1062McKelvey Engineering team wins IEEE RFID Smart Cities Mega Challenge<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/image987.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>Sri Harsha Kondapalli and Owen Pochettino, doctoral students in the Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, won the IEEE RFID Mega Challenge Smart Cities Award at the IEEE 13<sup>th</sup> Annual International Conference on RFID held April 2-4 in Phoenix. </p><p>The team proposed and demonstrated the use of infrastructural Internet of Things (IoTs) to improve the safety of autonomous vehicles. Their project was titled "Pathway to Smart Infrastructures: Project EMbed."</p><p>Shantanu Chakrabartty, professor of electrical & systems engineering, and Kenji Aono, a postdoctoral research associate in electrical & systems engineering, were the team's mentors. <br/></p>2019-04-23T05:00:00ZTwo ESE doctoral students recently won an award at the IEEE 13th Annual International Conference on RFID.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/washu-to-host-midwest-workshop-on-control-and-game-theory.aspx1064WashU to host Midwest Workshop on Control and Game Theory<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Washington%20University%20in%20St.%20Louis%20Brookings%20Hall.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis will host the eighth annual Midwest Workshop on Control and Game Theory April 27-28. Nearly 100 faculty members, researchers, students from across the region are expected to attend the event.</p><p>Each year, the workshop brings together practitioners in the field of control and game theory to discuss new research, innovative applications and perspectives on future developments. </p><p>Jr-Shin Li, professor, and Shen Zeng, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering, will serve as the workshop's co-chairs, with ShiNung Ching, assistant professor, as the program co-chair.</p><p>"WashU is one of the leading institutions in the area of systems and control," Li said. "Hosting this workshop will significantly increase visibility of research and institutional activities of the McKelvey School of Engineering and Washington University in St. Louis, as well as the academic community in St. Louis."</p><p>The workshop will consist of a single track of presentations and student/postdoc posters, covering a broad spectrum of topics within control and game theory, including “Complex Networks and Large-scale Control Systems,” “Game Theory for Economic and Societal Systems,” “Optimization, Learning, and Computational Methods,” and “Emerging Applications and Technologies.” <br/> </p><p>"The objective of the workshop is to facilitate a vibrant exchange of ideas and research interactions," Li said. "We aim to provide a focused, extended forum among leading researchers at the crossroads of dynamics, control and game theory."</p><p>The co-chairs stated that they also hope the workshop can serve as another opportunity for academic and professional development for graduate students and junior faculty. </p><p>"Many of our first- and second-year graduate students have already been anticipating the workshop weeks in advance," Zeng said. "In many cases, this will also be their first experience of a major gathering of leading researchers, some of whom are in fact the authors of standard references of our field that our students have been learning from since the beginning."</p><p>To learn more about the workshop and to register, visit <a href="https://mwcgt2019.wustl.edu/">mwcgt2019.wustl.edu</a>. <br/></p>The university will host the annual conference this spring.Danielle Lacey2019-04-23T05:00:00ZThe two-day conference will invite researchers to discuss innovative applications and new developments in the field.

Research Areas

Applied Physics
  • Nano-photonics
  • Quantum Optics
  • Engineered Materials
  • Electrodynamics
Devices & Circuits
  • Computer Engineering
  • Integrated Circuits
  • Radiofrequency Circuits
  • Sensors
Systems Science
  • Optimization
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Control
  • Financial Engineering
Signals & Imaging
  • Computational Imaging
  • Signal Processing
  • Optical Imaging
  • Data Sciences