It is my pleasure to share with you some exciting news about my department during this past academic year.
Our department continues to see an influx of highly talented faculty members contributing expertise in important emerging areas. This Fall we welcomed 3 new faculty members: Professor Yingying Chen (an expert in Mobile Health), Professor Salim El Rouayheb (an expert in data privacy and security) and Professor Michael Wu (an expert in antennas and metamaterials). This makes it 15 new tenured and tenure-track faculty members we have welcomed to the department in the last 6 years, strengthening our footprint in areas such as signal and information processing, security, privacy, cyberphysical systems, bioelectrical engineering, big data and high performance computing.
Our faculty and students have made ECE at Rutgers into one of the most vibrant departments, creating a community
that fosters excellence in education and research. This excellence is reflected in the remarkable successes and
outstanding achievements of both our students and faculty members alike. Highlights include Professor Peter Meer
(2016 AMiner Most Influential Scholar in Computer Vision), Professor Vishal Patel (2016 Jimmy H. C. Lin Award for
Invention at the University of Maryland), Professor Grigore Burdea (2017 IEEE Virtual Reality Career Award), Professor
Dipankar Raychaudhuri (2017 Rutgers School of Engineering Faculty of the Year), Professor Emina Soljanin (2017
Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award at Texas A&M) and Professor Athina Petropulu (ECE Department Heads
Association (ECEDHA) Diversity Award). Professors Waheed Bajwa and Hana Godrich also received Presidential Awards
for Teaching Excellence at Rutgers. Professors Mehdi Javanmard and Vishal Patel’s research on biosensing and biometric
authentication, respectively, was featured multiple times in mainstream national and international media. Like the year
before, this year too was marked with a large number of external grants.
ECE graduate students amassed a large number of awards and recognitions, including best paper awards in the
IEEE Transactions on Automation Science Engineering (Parul Pandey), ACM Student Research Competition Grand Finals
(Kazem Cheshmi), IEEE/IFIP WONS Conference (Tuyen Tran, Parul Pandey and Abolfazl Hajisami), ACM Mobicom Visibile
Light Communications Workshop (Viet Nguyen, Siddharth Rupavatharam, Minitha Jawahar), IEEE/ACM Internet of Things
Design and Implementation Conference (Sugang Li), IEEE VTC Future Networking Technologies Workshop (Parishad
Karimi, Michael Sherman, Francesco Bronzino), and a best dissertation award from the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics
Systems Society (Shunqiao Sun). ECE undergraduate student teams won prizes for their research projects at several
national competitions such as first place at the Harvard PacBot Robotics competition and the Excellence Award at IEEE
Robotics VEX U competition.
Consistent with this excellence, our student enrollment has grown dramatically with our incoming sophomore class
size at nearly 320 students (an increase from the 250 last year!) and the incoming graduate student class size at around
100 students. Our international program with a top tier university in China continues to flourish bringing in excellent
students as we seek to expand such partnerships with other universities. ECE also remains one of the most sought after
majors for employers from a broad spectrum of industry, with the fundamentals that ECE students are exposed to here
making them versatile and productive employees from day one.
This was a great year for our alumni, whose amazing success is a source of inspiration to our students and faculty.
Our department has produced outstanding scholars, industry leaders, entrepreneurs. You can meet some of them
on page 29-30.
In our pursuit of excellence the support of our alumni and friends is essential. I would like to thank everybody who
supported us this past year. Through this support we were able to supplement startup packages of new faculty, provide
student fellowships, support student travel to conferences and maintain state-of-the-art laboratories.
I am very proud of the accomplishments highlighted in this newsletter. Please visit us next time your travels bring you
to our area, to experience up close the vibrancy of this department.
Distinguished Professor and Chair