Message From the Chair
Welcome to the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Houston! At this time of year, it is a joy to welcome a new generation of bright young students into our classrooms and laboratories, even as we see our graduates stepping out into the big wide world. These are exciting times for the department, and a period of renewal and growth. We invite you to join us on our journey to Tier One!
We are committed to providing a world-class educational experience to our students. Many of our laboratories are undergoing significant improvements. Our new UH Nanofabrication Facility consists of a state-of-the-art clean room built for education and research. Recently, we added an undergraduate laboratory for nanotechnology experiments. Our senior design experience has been expanded to a full year, and we are building a new laboratory. I hope that you noticed our new solar panel array. The university recently installed a set of 88 state of the art solar panels that incorporate micro-inverter technology. Our students can now use the real-time performance data from this array for their experiments.
I am particularly happy to welcome our team of humanoid robots! We recently acquired a set of 10 state-of-the-art robots that not only perform sophisticated tasks on their own, but are also capable of interacting with their peers. Later this year, we expect to organize two “robo soccer” teams that play against each other. Want to play?
ECE faculty members continue to excel in education and scholarship. Please join me in congratulating the many professors who recently received external awards, publications, and promotions. I am particularly happy that Jiming Bao and Wei-Chuan Shih won the prestigious NSF CAREER award this year. This has been a banner year for Dr. Wei Shih. In addition to the CAREER award, he received the NASA Young Faculty Award, and together with Drs. Zhu Han and Craig Glennie, also won a major grant from the Gulf Coast Initiative. I am thrilled that our student Audrey Cheong won the prestigious NSF Graduate Fellowship this year. Our research funding has grown over the past year, and we have been busily renovating our research laboratories. These are exciting times.
We are gearing up to welcome a new generation of faculty members who will bring fresh ideas and knowledge to the department. I am thrilled by the exuberance and excellence of our recent hires. Dr. Vidal has built a state of the art laboratory for healthcare robotics research, and is in the news about his pioneering work funded by President Obama's National Robotics Initiative. Dr. Prasad is building an exciting research program funded by NASA, in collaboration with our National Center for Airborne Laser based Mapping. Two new colleagues are joining us in the Fall. Dr. Yan Yao is joining us from Stanford – his work on trapping light using nanotechnology to improve the efficiency of solar cells is set to excite our students. Dr. Amin Khodaei is joining us from Illinois, and he brings new ideas on electric power engineering, especially the smart grid. Finally, we are pleased to welcome Justin Brown into our staff team led by Stephanie Shock.
We expect to add four more faculty members in 2013 in areas ranging from healthcare, energy, control systems, and "big data" analytics. Here we grow again!
Feel welcome to explore our website. Your feedback is always welcomed. Better yet, stop by and let’s meet!
- Badri Roysam
Hugh and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor, and Department Chair