University of Delaware
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering alumni award winners (from left) Jan Allebach, Eric Kelmelis, Ray Sokola and Guoliang Fan.

Research awards

ECE departmental awards recognize student achievements and notable alumni


2:06 p.m., April 7, 2015--Four graduates of the University of Delaware Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) were presented 2015 Alumni Awards at a ceremony held on March 11 as part of the department’s Research Day proceedings. 

The awards -- given based on outstanding career accomplishments, entrepreneurial innovation, service and leadership – were presented to Jan P. Allebach, Eric Kelmelis, Ray Sokola and Guoliang Fan.

Honors Stories

National Medal of Science

President Barack Obama recently presented the National Medal of Science to University of Delaware alumnus Rakesh Jain.

Warren Award

Rosalind Johnson, assistant dean for student success in the NUCLEUS Program in UD's College of Arts and Sciences, was presented the John Warren Excellence in Leadership and Service Award during a May 26 ceremony.

Student awards also were presented at the Research Day event.

Information on the 2015 ECE Alumni Award honorees follows:

Jan P. Allebach, a 1972 graduate, received the Distinguished Achievement Award, which is the most prestigious honor bestowed upon alumni of the department. Individuals receiving this award have distinguished themselves through notable significant contributions in engineering research, practice, education or business. 

Allebach is the Hewlett-Packard Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. He holds courtesy appointments in computer science and psychological sciences. 

Technologies developed in his laboratory have been licensed to major vendors of printers and can be found in products that have sold hundreds of millions of units. 

Allebach is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) and SPIE. He was named Electronic Imaging Scientist of the Year by IS&T and SPIE, and was named an honorary member of IS&T, the highest award that the society bestows. 

He is the recipient of the IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award and was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering and, most recently, the National Academy of Inventors, on the basis of his patent portfolio. 

He has received 10 different awards for teaching, mentorship and research from Purdue University. 

Eric Kelmelis, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1999 and a master’s in 2004, received the Entrepreneurial Innovation Award, which is conferred upon alumni who have created an innovative business, developed a new product, brought to market a new venture, or expanded an existing business. 

Honorees recognized by this award exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit central to the ECE discipline. 

Kelmelis is co-founder and CEO of EM Photonics, a Delaware-based company focused on developing and transitioning innovative research and technology to the commercial marketplace in the fields of high-performance computing, to certify the world's fastest supercomputers, to aid in developing new optical devices and to enhance flight test videos of experimental aircraft. 

Kelmelis is also CEO of the two companies that have spun out of EM Photonics -- Phase Sensitive Innovations, which develops RF technology for imaging and communications, and Lumilant, which creates novel nanophotonic devices. All three companies have consistently been ranked in the top five federal research and development companies in the state of Delaware for the last decade.

Ray Sokola, a 1976 graduate, received the Outstanding Service Award, which acknowledges alumni who, through dedication and exemplary volunteer service, illustrate broad leadership in support of the aims and objectives of the department. Honorees recognized by this award have set a strong example to their fellow alumni through their exceptional contributions to scholarship, teaching, or other improvements for the ECE faculty and students. 

Sokola had a 30-year career at Motorola, ending in 2009 as the corporate vice president and CTO of the $12 billion home and networks business. He was one of the very early engineers who worked on cellular technology starting in 1976, receiving three Motorola Patent of the Year awards and 20 U.S. patents and being named a Dan Noble Fellow, the highest technology honor at Motorola. 

After Motorola, he served as vice president of future technology at TE Connectivity and is currently vice chairman of Cellport Systems, a vehicle wireless connectivity technology company, and a consultant to DTS Inc., a premier supplier of audio solutions. 

Sokola led corporate outreach efforts on a UD center proposal, is a long serving member of the Department Advisory Committee and is helping mentor students on a UD-DTS project. 

Guoliang Fan, who earned a doctorate in 2001, received the Young Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes alumni who have graduated within the past 15 years and have excelled in their chosen professions. Awardees exhibit outstanding technical achievement, entrepreneurship or leadership, with achievements that distinguish them among their recent fellow graduates. 

Fan is the Cal and Marilyn Vogt Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Oklahoma State University. He has received more than $2 million in research grants and has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator for 15 projects in image processing, machine learning, pattern recognition, computer vision, biomedical imaging and remote sensing. 

He has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award (2004), a Halliburton Excellent Young Teacher Award (2004), a Halliburton Outstanding Young Faculty Award (2006) and the Outstanding Professor Award from IEEE-OSU (2008 and 2011). 

Fan is associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, the IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics and EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing.

Student Awards

Graduate and undergraduate students also presented the latest research results in departmental focus areas of signal processing, communications and controls (SPC); nanoelectronics, electromagnetics and photonics (NEP); computer engineering; and biomedical engineering. Senior designed capstone projects were showcased as well. The following awards were announced for student achievements:

ECE Research Day Outstanding Project Award in SPC

“Coded Aperture Design in Compressive Low-Dose X-Ray Tomosynthesis”

Author: Angela Cuadros

Adviser: Gonzalo Arce

Sponsor: JPMorgan Chase

ECE Research Day Outstanding Project Award in NEP

“X-Ray Characterization of Group IV Epitaxy”

Co-authors: Ramsey Hazbun, John Hart, Ryan Hickey, James Kolodzey

Adviser: James Kolodzey

Sponsor: DTS

ECE Research Day Outstanding Project Award in Computer Engineering

“High-speed Self-adaptation in NVM-based FPGAs through Logic Similarity Exploitation”

Co-authors: Yuan Xue, Patrick Cronin, Chengmo Yang and Jingtong Hu

Adviser: Chengmo Yang

Sponsor: ET International

ECE Research Day Outstanding Project Award in IEEE Women in Engineering

“Engineered LWIR-Signature Surfaces”

Author: Victoria A. Carey

Adviser: Mark S. Mirotznik

Sponsor: IEEE

ECE Research Day Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award

“POWER-UP: Renewable Generation Battery Charging Pack”

Co-authors: William Carson and Harold Mikolaitis

Adviser: Chase Cotton

Photos by Doug Baker and Kathy F. Atkinson

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