News | ECE | Virginia Tech

2018 Annual Report

New choices, new opportunities

Cover Story

New choices, new opportunities

A dozen new majors. A seven-course foundation. A new undergraduate experience. The ECE department is reformulating every level of its curriculum.

New ECE majors

ECE undergraduates now have access to 12 new majors. This new undergraduate experience reflects how ECEs create technology that is transforming modern life.


ECE undergraduate named College of Engineering's 2018 Outstanding Senior

Michael Douglas Sherburne, a senior studying electrical engineering, was named the College of Engineering??s 2018 Outstanding Senior.

Probing the grid

Vassilis Kekatos is using smart metering and grid sensing, combined with a novel technique called grid probing, to develop a comprehensive data analytics framework for distribution grids.

Building a smarter world

Pursuing his vision of smart, connected cities of the future, Walid Saad is working to integrate smart, resilient components into existing urban infrastructure.

Decoding chemical brain communications

Guoqiang Yu is forging new computational tools to shed light on the role of astrocytes—little-understood but vitally important cells in the human brain.

Using photons and electrons to peer inside the cell

Wei Zhou has been awarded a Young Investigator award from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research to develop a nanoscale multimodal transducer to further understand the biological processes within a cell.

Trickle-down cybersecurity: Teaching teachers how to secure their classrooms in the digital age

In the summer of 2017, the ECE department hosted two GenCyber camps to improve cybersecurity awareness and understanding among high school teachers.

New Faculty Members

Tapping customer relations skills to engage students

Adam Barnes uses his industry experiences interacting with customers to engage students in the classroom.

Making way for the next generation of power electronics

As power electronics transitions from silicon semiconductors to next-generation wide bandgap electronics, Mona Ghassemi's work will inform design and implementation changes.

Dreams: from concept to construction

Wei-Jer (Peter) Han is helping undergraduate students gain more hands-on experience by creating opportunities for them to apply what they learn in class.

Using AI to hunt for slow zones in overcrowded networks

By improving spectrum efficiency, tapping unoccupied channels, and establishing protocols for sharing previously restricted bands, Lingjia Liu is exploring new ways to meet the skyrocketing demand for wireless spectrum.

I see fields: Mayer's many visualizations clarify complex concepts

When teaching complex or theoretical topics, Jeff Mayer draws on a background in power systems, power electronics, and controls, and incorporates his talent for creating visualizations and models.

Fortifying the operating system

Changwoo Min is looking for ways to retrofit operating systems as hardware and applications evolve.

Brain-inspired ICs

Yang (Cindy) Yi received a National Science Foundation CAREER award to design three-dimensional neuromorphic integrated circuits—ICs that mimic the human brain.


A career in complex environments

Chuck Bunting (MSEE '92, Ph.D. '94), was named IEEE Fellow for his contributions to electromagnetic compatibility and reverberation chambers. Throughout his career, Bunting has studied interacting signals??both in a reverberation chamber and in the classroom.

A focus on cooperative, collegial communications

Matthew Valenti (BSEE '92, Ph.D. '99), was named IEEE Fellow for his contributions to cooperative diversity and the development of distributed turbo codes. Valenti's research and dedication to the field evolved in part from his work at ECE.