The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering colloquium series is being delivered once a week to the faculty, students, and guests in Arlington, VA. Speakers consist of academics, captains of the industry, technologists, venture capitalists, defense companies and even our very own ECE alumni!

Location VA Tech Research Center, 900 N Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22203
Room:  Foggy Bottom
Reception:  3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. 
Talk:  4 p.m. - 5 p.m.


Jan 24. Kurt Schaubach, Chief Technology Officer for Federated Wireless (ECE alum)

Untitled design - 1

Title: Spectrum Sharing: What is it and why is it so important?

Abstract: Digital transformation is happening all around us. A whole new wave of cloud, edge, and IoT applications will advance societies, transform industries, and dramatically enhance our day-to-day experiences. Services that we used to see as futuristic, such as augmented reality, connected vehicles, and advanced mobile cloud gaming have arrived.  Wireless communication is propelling this digital transformation forward.  However, as demand for pervasive and robust wireless connectivity grows, so does the demand for radio spectrum.  Spectrum sharing – optimizing the use of the radio spectrum through enabling multiple categories of users to reliably share the same frequency bands – is vital to address this growing demand.

Jan 31. Xiangwen Guo, Research Assistant for University of Virginia

Xiangwen Guo

Title: Heterogeneously Integrated Photodiodes and their applications in microwave photonics and quantum measurements

*On Zoom only

Abstract: Integrated photonics has recently drawn attention owing to advantages of low loss, scalability, cost, functionality, and performance when compared to discrete components. By heterogeneous integration, advantages from different material systems become accessible all at once. This work presents high-performance (bandwidth, responsivity, and power) scalable heterogeneously integrated III-V photodiodes on different platforms such as lithium niobate and silicon nitride. With the realization of heterogeneous integration of high-performance photodiodes, integrated photonics systems for different applications become available. This work also presents photonic systems enabled by heterogeneously integrated photodiodes.


Feb 7. Michael Sherburne, RF and Microwave Design Engineer for The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (ECE alum)

Michael Sherburne

Title: There and Back Again: Connecting the disciplines together

Abstract: With the 21st century world quickly changing, it is now more than ever becoming more important to have an understanding between all the various disciplines. Engineers do not work in a vacuum and our work has great societal implications.

Fortunately, a Virginia Tech education can set you up for a successful career in the most unexpected of ways. Some experiences at Virginia Tech can be in the form of a transdisciplinary education that helps to bridge the gap between all the disciplines and how they can be used for better understanding the world’s most complex problems. The relationships you make here will last a lifetime.

In addition, Dr. Sherburne will go over cutting-edge research in ECE relevant fields such as electrooptic sensors for radio-frequency reception (EO/RF) for more accurate radio-frequency measurements, strain-sensing nanomaterial-based paint (SSNaP) for non-destructive evaluation (NDE) applications to make our infrastructure safer, magnetite nanocrystals for solving a wide variety of problems, and the unveiling of a paradigm shifting antenna technology using additive manufacturing.

Feb 21. Wei Ting Chen, Chief Technology Officer for SNOChip Inc.

Wei Ting Chen

Title: Metasurface optics: The Pathway from Lab Innovations to Commercial Realization

Abstract: Imagine a world where all optical components are reduced to less than a millimeter in thickness and seamlessly integrated with semiconductor sensors. This vision is being brought closer to reality through metasurface optics built by optical elements consisting of sub-wavelength nanostructures.

Over the past few decades, the development and application of these metasurface optical components have shifted from laboratory concepts to mass production. The momentum is driven by the potential for semiconductor foundries to not only produce semiconductor sensors but also these advanced meta-optical elements using deep ultraviolet lithography.

In this presentation, I will detail the journey of metasurface optics from research innovation to commercial application, contrast its distinctive features in comparison with traditional refractive and diffractive optics, and highlight the latest significant advancements.


Mar 13. Sandy Forney, Director of Digital Transformation Business Operations and Strategy for Northrop Grumman (ECE alum)

Sandy Forney

Title: The Power of a Fully Connected Digital Thread

Abstract: At Northrop Grumman, we design, develop, build and support some of the world’s most advanced products across air, cyber, land, sea, and space. Across our business, we are integrating digital technologies throughout a system’s lifecycle and making data-driven decisions with the speed, quality and efficiency our customers require. In this session, we’ll explore how a digital thread connects the program lifecycle, and the benefits of harmonizing processes and tools by digitally transforming. We’ll dive into the importance of why we’re implementing new technologies, and how employees are empowered to utilize their talents and in-demand skillsets to forge what’s possible in our ever-evolving digital age.

Mar 27. Scott Acton, Electrical and Engineering Chair for University of Virginia (ECE alum)

Scott Acton

Title: Visual Revolution: The Power of Images, Video, and Machine Learning

Abstract: This talk will feature two families of machine learning, the diffusion network and the transformer. First, the two basic methodologies will be introduced from first principles. Second, two developments from the Virginia Image and Video Analysis laboratory will be described. A diffusion method for multiplicative noise will be outlined. And, a special-purpose transformer for recognizing human activity will be explained. The talk will conclude with recommendations regarding research in artificial intelligence.


Apr 3. Steven Bathiche, Microsoft Technical Fellow, Vice President of Windows and Devices for Microsoft (ECE alum)

Steven Bathiche

Title: The Disruptive Evolution of Computers through the Introduction of New A.I.-Driven Interactive Technologies

Abstract: The entire computer-interaction model is about to change.  The dominant models of explicit control and direct manipulation by keyboard, mouse, and touch will give way to implicit models powered by big A.I.  Users will express their intent through natural commands, and devices will figure out and complete the discrete tasks needed to fulfill the stated goal.

The implications are earth-shattering for our entire industry.  In this talk we will touch on advances in artificial intelligence and its new silicon: neural processing units (NPU’s).  We will evaluate the performance of NPU’s and show examples of how NPU’s and large models are being applied to human interfaces and new device form factors.

Finally, we will explore the implications of “outside” agents as the new platform, and suggest the potential for agent-first devices that this platform makes possible.

*Registration required with details to follow

Apr 10. Paige Kassalen, Chief of Staff and Strategy for Saab, Inc. (ECE alum)

Paige Kassalen

Title: TBD


  • Building a Strong Business Case for AI Implementation
  • Start-up journey - product development to company sale
  • AI in the Defense Industry
  • Navigating Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves in Product Development (JPMorgan Chase -> did more data science work than AI because of explainability, ease of maintenance, and less risk of biases)

Apr 17. Mahmooda Sultana, Instrument Scientist for the Planetary Environments Laboratory NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Mahmooda Sultana

Title: TBD

Apr 24. Megan Bennett, SLD Electrical Design Engineer II - Lunar Transportation for Blue Origin (ECE alum)

Megan Bennett

Title: TBD


May 1. Jeannette Mills, Non-Executive Director for Shoals Technologies Group (ECE alum)

Jeannette Mills

Title: TBD