Samanta Roy, Vice President of Lockheed Martin visited MICS (October 2017)

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Dr. Samanta Roy, Vice President of Technology Strategy and Innovation at Lockheed Martin, and his delegates visited the MICS group on October 24. Dr. Roy’s team had lunch with three MICS students (Alante Dancy, Brannon Kerrigan and Nate Turner) and other students from CPES and the Hume Center who are receiving Lockheed Martin scholarships. Prof. Ha briefed an overview of the MICS group and research activities, then the team toured the MICS lab and viewed a few demonstrations. Dr. Roy and his delegates were very interested in the MICS research, especially high temperature RF circuits, which was funded by Lockheed Martin through MICS Industry Affiliated Program. Dr. Roy received a Ph.D. degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT. He also serves as a liaison with government and non-government organizations critical to the formation of science and technology policy and the execution of research. MICS always welcomes Lockheed Martin visits.

MICS hiked on the Appalachian Trail and enjoyed dinner with their families and friends (October 2017)

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Over 30 MICS people, their families and friends, enjoyed beautiful fall foliage along the Appalachian Trail and/or dinner in the evening. They hiked McAfee Knob on October 14, which is an annual MICS event.

McAfee’s Knob is one of the most famous knobs along the entire Appalachian Trail, which spans over 3,000 miles. The overlook has a 270 degree panoramic view of the Catawba Valley, and is affectionately known as "the most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail.” MICS people had dinner at The Homeplace restaurant after the hiking excursion. The Homeplace is the most famous restaurant in the region and serves southern cooking, family style. Prof. Ha concluded the event noting “We work hard, but enjoy life outside of work.” The next MICS fun event is the year-end dinner in December.

Northrop Grumman joins the MICS IAP (August 2017)

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Northrop Grumman has joined the Industry Affiliates Program (IAP) of the VT Multifunctional Integrated Circuits and Systems (MICS) group as a principal member. The primary purpose of the MICS IAP is to establish close collaboration, technology transfer and student interactions between MICS and the Industry Affiliate partners.

Under the IAP program, Northrop Grumman and MICS will pursue a long term collaboration in the development of advanced RF/microwave/mm-wave integrated circuits, a common area of interest for Northrop Grumman, while advancing MICS research and student development.

The initial research project will be guided by Dr. Parrish Ralston, who received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Tech in electrical engineering. Northrop Grumman’s IAP funding will initially support the work of MICS Ph.D. student Farooq Amin, who is being co-supervised by Prof. K.J. Koh and Prof. Sanjay Raman.

Northrop Grumman will also help guide the overall research direction of the MICS group through their participation on the MICS Advisory Board.

Yi joins MICS (August 2017)

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Yang (Cindy) Yi and her team have joined the MICS group. Her research interests include Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) Circuits and Systems, High Performance Computing, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Artificial Intelligence, and Emerging Nano-device. During the summers of 2014, 2015, and 2016, Yi was a United States Air Force (USAF) Faculty Fellow, investigating brain-inspired computing and wireless communication and security. Yi received the 2016 Best Paper Award for the IEEE Global Communications Conference, and was a Best Paper Award Finalist for the 2017 ACM Great Lakes Symposium on VLSI and the 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design. Yi received the 2016 Miller Professional Development Award for Distinguished Research and the 2015 National Science Foundation's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) First Award. She serves as an editorial board member for several international journals.

The addition of Yi and her group (Hongyu An, Kangjun Bai, Kian Hamedani, Jialing Li, Chenyuan Zhao) into MICS will benefit the MICS group immensely through the expansion of the scope of MICS research and synergy in research activities. It is a major milestone for the MICS group to advance to the next level. Welcome on board, Prof. Yi and your team.

Jebreel Salem defended a Ph.D. dissertation and plans to join industry (August 2017)

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Jebreel Salem (advisor: Ha) successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation entitled “A High Temperature RF Front-End of a Transceiver for High Speed Downhole Communications” on August 15, 2017. His dissertation research focuses on RF front-end circuits and a system for oil and gas downhole communications. The system supports up to six tools and achieves 20 Mbps per tool for uplink with bit error rate (BER) less than 10-6. The RF front-end is designed and prototyped using GaN on SiC devices. The measured results show reliable operation of the transceiver at temperatures up to 230 oC. His research pioneered high temperature RF circuit design and is the first one to report in open literature. Jebreel joined the MICS group after a BS degree from Bani-Walid, Libya, and plans to join Halliburton. We wish Jebreel good luck in his industry career!

Ha is awarded with a research project from NSF to investigate energy harvested security (June 2017)

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Prof. Ha (Co-PI), along with Prof. Patrick Schaumont (PI), have been awarded an NSF grant for their project on “Energy-harvested Security for the Internet of Things” in collaboration with Chao Wang with University of Southern California. The goal of this project is to show how energy-constrained devices can support secure and full Internet connectivity. Prof. Ha’s team will develop a prototype to harvest solar, vibration, and thermal energy, which will power a microcontroller for security related computations. Prof. Ha plans to recruit a Ph.D. student dedicated to this research. This is a four-year award with a total amount of $1.2M, and VT’s share is $850K.

Erick Aponte defended an MS thesis and continues for Ph.D. study (June 2017)

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Erick Aponte (advisor: Ha) successfully defended his MS thesis entitled “A Study on Energy Harvesters for Physical Unclonable Functions and Random Number Generation” on June 23, 2017. His thesis presents experimental studies of piezoelectric transducers, thermoelectric generators, and solar cells for the realization of transducer based physical unclonable functions and random number generators for data security keys. The transducers underwent a series of tests to analyze their reproducibility of electrical responses and intrinsic noise generation capabilities. Measurement results show that piezoelectric transducers are promising candidate for physical unclonable functions due to a inherent high reproducibility rate. Statistical analysis demonstrates that all three transducers are capable of generating random noise essential for random number generation. Erick received a BS degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and will continue for Ph.D. study at North Carolina State University. We wish Erick good luck on his Ph.D. study!

Sadia Afroz defended a Ph.D. dissertation and plans to join industry (June 2017)

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Sadia Afroz (advisor: Koh) successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Power Efficient Transmit/Receive (T/R) Element for Integrated mm-Wave Phased Arrays” on June 15, 2017. Her dissertation presents studies on low power phase shifting architectures for large-scale phased arrays at high-end mm-Wave frequencies for the applications in high data-rate long-range wireless communications, imaging systems, and mm-Wave radar sensors. Her research proposes a low loss power mode vector modulator type phase shifting subsystem which is implemented in T/R elements at W-band (90-100 GHz) and D-band (120 GHz) using 0.13 μm SiGe BiCMOS process. The proposed T/R architecture achieves low  power dissipation and high efficiency compared with state-of-the-art phased arrays at mm-wave frequencies. Sadia joined the MICS group after a BS degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh, and plans to join Qualcomm. We wish Lisa good luck in her industry career!

Dongseok Shin defended a Ph.D. dissertation and plans to join industry (May 2017)

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Dongseok Shin (advisor: Koh) successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Study on Frequency Locking Techniques Based on Envelope Detection for Injection-Locked Signal Sources” on May 25, 2017. His dissertation presents studies of frequency generation techniques based on envelope detection for low-phase-noise signal generation using injection-locked frequency multipliers. Several calibration techniques using envelope detection are proposed to solve conventional problems in injection locking. The proposed topologies are demonstrated with 0.13 mm CMOS technology. Dongseok joined the MICS group after an MS degree from Korea University, Korea, and plans to join Intel. We wish Dongseok good luck in his industry career!

Ha was invited for a talk at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (May 2017) 

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Prof. Subum Lee, Professor and Director of Energy Harvesting & Design Optimization Lab, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), invited Prof. Ha for a talk as the ME department seminar series. Prof. Ha visited UMBC on May 15, 2017, and talked about his research on power management IC design for piezoelectric energy harvesting. Researchers from Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI), who were visiting UMBC, also attended his talk. His talk was well received, and drew active discussions during the Q&A session. After the talk, Prof. Ha discussed possible research collaborations with Professor Lee’s group and KRRI. He also took the opportunity to meet Julia Ross, Dean of College of Engineering and Information Technology, who will join Virginia Tech in July as Dean of College of Engineering.

Three MICS graduate students take summer internship (May 2017)

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Internship provides a great opportunity to gain real world experiences and to develop industry contacts. It is also helpful for students looking for permanent jobs in industry. The following MICS graduate students are working as summer interns in this summer.
·    Alante Dancy (Advisor: Ha), Northrop Grumman in Baltimore, Maryland, “Power Converter Design”
·    Brannon Kerrigan (Advisor: Ha), Lockheed Martin in Moorestown, New Jersey, “RF Circuit Design”
·    Nate Turner (Advisor: Ha), Lockheed Martin (Space Systems) in Littleton, Colorado, “RF Engineering"

MICS hiked to Cascade Falls and enjoyed a cook out (April 2017)

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MICS people enjoyed hiking along Little Stony Creek to Cascade Falls and cook out on April 29. Cascade Falls in Jefferson National Forest is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Virginia and possibly on the entire East Coast. Several streams cascade on the way down while others fall the whole distance of the falls. MICS people cooked out at the state park after the hike. They enjoyed the beauty of sprouting trees and wild flowers of spring as well as foods, drinks, and, equally as important, the relaxed atmosphere at the end of the spring semester. MICS people work hard, but remember there is life outside of work!

Ben Conlon defended an MS thesis and plans to join industry (April 2017)

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Benjamin Conlon (advisor: Lester) successfully defended his MS thesis entitled “Solving Series Resistance Problems in GaSb Thermophotovoltaics with Graphene and Other Approaches” on April 28, 2017. Photovoltaics (and Thermophotovoltaics) using GaSb are limited in their behavior by challenges involved with manufacturing them. Ben investigated these issues, namely, the characteristic resistances, by modifying aspects of the production process. He was able to add additional metal to the devices as well as apply graphene to these GaSb cells using a novel transfer process to improve their resistance characteristics and overall cell behavior. Ben joined the MICS group after a BS degree from Virginia Tech and plans to join industry We wish Ben good luck in his industry career!

13 Guests from companies and agencies attended the fifth MICS Day (March 2017)

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The MICS group held its fifth MICS Day jointly with Center for Embedded Systems for Critical Applications (CESCA) of the ECE Department. Total 13 guests from 10 different companies and agencies attended MICS/CESCA Day on March 8, 2016. The event started with social drinks and dinner the night before, where all the guests and the MICS and CESCA faculty enjoyed an informal gathering. MICS/CESCA day was an all-day event that gave an opportunity for faculty and students of the two groups to present their research activities and for guests to introduce opportunities and research needs of their companies and agencies.

Mr. Nafiz Karabudak of Lockheed Martin delivered a keynote speech regarding global advanced technology and R&D programs. Ten MICS and CESCA faculty members and 46 students made oral and poster presentations, respectively, and ten industry people presented activities of their companies and agencies. MICS/CESCA Day concluded with a tour of the MICS, CESCA and other ECE labs for the guests. A list of companies that attended MICS day is as follows; Analog Devices, BAE Systems, CISCO, Halliburton, IITP, Intel, Kollmorgen, Linear Tech, Lockheed Martin, Nuvotronics. MICS/CESCA day was highly successful, and the guests were impressed with the research achievements of the two research groups.

Karabudak with Lockheed Martin is the Keynote speaker for MICS Day 2017 (February 2017)

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MICS holds the 5th annual MICS Day on March 7, 2017. in which Mr. Nafiz Karabudak is the Keynote speaker. Mr. Nafiz Karabudak is a corporate global science & technology manager responsible for development and management of global advanced technology and R&D programs for Lockheed Martin. He provides leadership by building strategic global R&D partnerships and developing technology programs with universities, small businesses, and R&D labs. Mr. Karabudak has expertise in the areas of space systems & satellite payloads, missile electronics, radars, microelectronics, and unmanned systems.

MICS held a holiday season dinner party with their families (December 2016)

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The MICS group had a dinner party with their families at Owens Hall on December 15, 2016, which is a MICS annual event. MICS people enjoyed an informal gathering with colleagues, friends, and families. Prof. Dong Ha (MICS Director) talked about the achievements of MICS in 2016 and major goals for the new year. Then, each MICS person shared a couple of pictures of his/her hobby. Prof. Luke Lester played cello to entertain the people. We wish a Happy New Year to the MICS people and their families!

Mohammed Ehteshamuddin defended an MS thesis and plans to join industry (December 2016)

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Mohammed Ehteshamuddin (advisor: Ha) called “Ehte” among friends successfully defended his MS thesis entitled “Design of a High Temperature GaN-Based Variable Gain Amplifier for Downhole Communications.” The decline of easily accessible reserves pushes the oil and gas industry to explore deeper wells, where the ambient temperature often exceeds 210 °C. The need for high temperature operation, combined with the need for real-time data logging, has created a growing demand for robust, high temperature RF electronics. His thesis presents design of an intermediate frequency (IF) variable gain amplifier (VGA) for downhole communications, which can operate up to an ambient temperature of 230 °C. He designed the VGA using 0.25 µm GaN on SiC high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) technology. Ehte received a BS degree from Virginia and will join Analog Devices. We wish Ehte good luck in his industry career!

Tianming Feng defended an MS thesis and plans to join industry (December 2016)

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Tianming Feng (advisor: Ha) successfully defended his MS thesis entitled “Design of a High Temperature GaN-Based VCO for Downhole Communications.” Decreasing reserves of natural resources drives the oil and gas industry to drill deeper to reach unexploited wells. Coupled with the demand for real-time data transmission, the need for high speed electronics capable of operating in harsher ambient environment is on the rise. His thesis presents a high temperature voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) for a downhole communication system. The VCO was designed and prototyped using 0.25 μm GaN on SiC RF transistors with high junction temperature capability. Measurement results show that the proposed VCO can operate reliably under ambient temperature ranging from 25 °C to 230 °C and is tunable from 328 MHz to 353 Mhz. Tianming received a BS degree from Nankai University, China, and will  join Qualcomm. We wish Tianming good luck in his industry career!

Virginia Tech solidifies collaborative research agreement with Lockheed Martin (November 2016)

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Virginia Tech and Lockheed Martin on Nov. 18, 2016, signed a master research agreement to foster increased research collaboration, greater recruiting initiatives, and technical engagement in Virginia Tech programs. The agreement provides a framework for all future research projects, with an immediate focus in microelectronics, power electronics, cybersecurity, and autonomy.

The Virginia Tech-Lockheed Martin agreement builds on a longstanding and solid relationship. Over the past four academic years, Lockheed Martin has hired over 80 university graduates and provided internships to more than 100 students. Lockheed Martin has also established multiple scholarships at Virginia Tech and supported several student teams in engineering competitions.

Lockheed Martin has been an IAP member of MICS group, and MICS expects even closer research collaboration with Lockheed Martin.

MICS hiked on the Appalachian Trail and enjoyed dinner with their families and friends (October 2016)

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Over 30 MICS people, their families and friends, enjoyed beautiful fall foliage along the Appalachian Trail and/or dinner in the evening. They hiked McAfee’s Knob on October 22, which is an annual MICS event.

McAfee’s Knob is one of the most famous knobs along the entire Appalachian Trail, which spans over 3,000 miles. The overlook has a 270 degree panoramic view of the Catawba Valley, and is affectionately known as "the most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail.” MICS people had dinner at The Homeplace restaurant after the hiking excursion. The Homeplace is the most famous restaurant in the region and serves southern cooking, family style. Prof. Ha concluded the event noting “We work hard, but enjoy life outside of work.”

Raman presents Keynote talk at the 12th Annual IEEE Dallas Circuits and Systems Conference (October 2016)

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The IEEE Dallas Circuits and Systems Conference is annually held to commemorate the engineering advancements in circuits and systems in the birthplace of the semiconductor industry. This year’s conference was held at the University of Texas at Arlington, on October 9-10, 2016. Prof. Sanjay Raman presented a keynote talk entitled “Millimeter-wave Circuits and Systems: Towards Wafer-Scale Arrays for Next-Generation Communications and Sensors.

Linear Tech visited MICS (September 2016)

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Eric Young from Linear Tech visited the MICS Group on September 12. Eric presented research and career opportunities with Linear Tech and interviewed MICS students working in the area of energy harvesting for summer intern and permanent positions. He also toured the MICS lab. Eric is a long time supporter to the MICS group, and John Turner, a former MICS student, works in his team as a design engineer. Thank Eric. MICS always welcomes your visit.

Ha gave an invited talk at Electrical, Electronics, and Communications (EEC) Symposium (August 2016)

Ha gave an invited talk at Electrical, Electronics, and Communications (EEC) Symposium (August 2016)

Prof. Ha gave a talk at Electrical, Electronics, and Communications (EEC) Symposium, held during August 11 –13, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. EEC Symposium is one of the symposiums at the annual US-Korea Conference (UKC) of scientists and engineers. UKC is the largest conference of its kind with a typical number of attendants exceeding 1,000 from US and Korea.

The invited talk entitled “Energy Harvesting from the Human Body and Powering up Implant Devices“ reviewed recent research activities on powering up implant devices. Prof. Ha’s talk is based on a book chapter co-authored by two students and him, which was published in Springer 2016. His talk was well received, and several Korean research institutes showed interests in collaborating with him in the area. (The person at the center of the picture is President Sung-Mo Kang of KAIST, Korea.)

Yu Lin defended an MS thesis and plans to join industry (August 2016)

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Yu Lin (advisor: Ha) successfully defended his MS thesis entitled “A Two-Mode Synchronous Buck Converter for Low Power Devices with the Sleep Mode.” The power consumption of smart cameras of car black boxes changes significantly from light load to heavy load. Since such a smart camera records a video only when an event is detected, it operates mostly in the sleep mode. Hence, light load efficiency of the power management circuit is also important for the application. Yu adopted a two-mode buck converter, one is optimized for heavy load and the other one for light load, to improve the efficiency for both heavy and light loads. He designed and tape out a power management circuit in 0.25 um CMOS technology for his thesis research. Yu received a BS degree from Beijing University of Post and Telecommunication in China and will join Maxim Integrated. We wish Yu good luck in his industry career!

ZiHao Zhang defended an MS thesis and plans to join industry (July 2016)

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ZiHao Zhang (advisor: Ha) successfully defended his MS thesis entitled “A High Temperature Reference Voltage Generator with SiC Transistors.” Currently, depleted oil wells force the gas and oil industry to drill deeper. As the industry drills deeper, temperatures of those wells can exceed 210 °C, and existing downhole systems fail to operate in such harsh environments. ZiHao investigated a high temperature voltage reference generator, which uses SiC transistors to achieve both temperature and supply independent. The circuit provides a nearly constant reference voltage over a wide temperature range from 25 °C to 250 °C independent of the supply voltage variations and is the first one in its kind to be able to operate at 250 °C. ZiHao joined the MICS group after a BS degree from Virginia Tech, and will join Supermicro. We wish ZiHao good luck in his industry career!

Ji Hoon Hyun defended an MS thesis and continues for Ph.D. study (June 2016)

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Ji Hoon Hyun (advisor: Ha) successfully defended his MS thesis entitled “State of Health Estimation System for Lead-Acid Car Batteries Through Cranking Voltage Monitoring.” His thesis research focuses on development and validation of an automotive battery monitoring system that estimates the health of a lead-acid battery during engine cranking and provides a low state of health (SOH) warning of potential battery failure. He aged 20 car batteries to collect SOH data, and developed an SOH algorithm based on the data. The SOH algorithm was prototyped with a low power microcontroller. Ji Hoon is the tenth student to graduate since inception of the MICS group in 2012. Ji Hoon continues for Ph.D. study under Prof. Ha’s supervision, and we wish Ji Hoon good luck in his Ph.D. study!

Ha presented at Lockheed Martin Fellow Conference (May 2016)

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Professor Ha, along with Professors Dushan Boroyevich of Center for Power Electronics and Systems (CPES) and Charles Clancy of Hume Center, were invited to the 2016 Lockheed Martin Fellow Conference held in Orlando, Florida. Prof. Ha presented his team’s research on high-temperature RF circuits for downhole communications, and Lockheed Martin fellows were very interested in the research for a possible application to jet engine monitoring and testing. It was a good opportunity to introduce a MICS research activity as well as the MICS group to Lockheed Martin fellows

Seven MICS graduate students take summer internship (May 2016)

Seven MICS graduate students take summer internship

Internship provides a great opportunity to gain real world experiences and to develop industry contacts. It is also helpful for students looking for permanent jobs in industry. The following MICS graduate students are working as summer interns in this summer. 

 

  • Daniel Herrera (Advisor: Lester), Air Force Research Laboratory in Kirtland, New Mexico, “Advanced Space Photovoltaics”
  • Diem Phan (Advisor: Koh), Northrop Grumman in Baltimore, Maryland, “Power Amplifier Design”
  • Ehte Mohammed (Advisor: Ha), Analog Devices in Greensboro, North Carolina, “SerDes Characterization”
  • Farooq Amin (Advisor: Koh), Qorvo in Greensboro, North Carolina, “RF Switch Design”
  • Joseph Chong (Advisor: Ha), Qorvo in Apopka, Florida, “RF Filter Design”
  • Kanika Saini (Advisor: Raman), Amcom Communications in Gaithersburg, Maryland, "Power Amplifier Design"
  • Tianming Feng (Advisor: Ha), Hughes Network System in Germantown, Maryland, “RF Transceiver Testing”

MICS hiked to Cascade Falls and enjoyed a cook out (April 2016)

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MICS people enjoyed hiking along Little Stony Creek to Cascade Falls on April 30, which has become an annual MICS event near the end of each spring semester. Cascade Falls in Jefferson National Forest is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Virginia and possibly on the entire East Coast. Several streams cascade on the way down while others fall the whole distance of the falls. MICS people cooked out at the state park after the hike. They enjoyed the beauty of sprouting trees and wild flowers of spring as well as foods, drinks, and, equally as important, the relaxed atmosphere. MICS people work hard, but remember there is life outside of work!

Lester appointed to Roanoke Electric Steel Professorship in Engineering (April 2016)

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Professor Luke Lester has been appointed to the Roanoke Electric Steel Professorship in Engineering. Prof. Lester is a widely recognized expert in quantum electronics and photonics. His research in these areas is highly influential and has a long-lasting impact. He has gained international recognition through highly-cited publications, truly interdisciplinary research, and extensive professional services. He has published about 140 journal articles and over 280 other publications, and the majority of his journal papers appear in the top tier journals in his area. His publications have received over 6,200 citations with an h-index of 40. He also holds five US patents. Congratulations, Professor Lester!

Ha will collaborate development of ICs for piezoelectric energy harvesting (April 2016)

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Prof. Ha’s group joins an international team of three universities and one company which will collaborate to develop ICs for vibration energy harvesting in three years under the sponsorship of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP). A major goal of the project is to improve the ICs already developed by Prof. Ha’s team so that they will be ready for deployment in real world applications in three years. The international team includes Virginia Tech, Hanyang University (the lead university), University of Texas at Dallas, and Uno Silicon. About four graduate students from Hanyang University will visit and stay with the MICS group throughout the research collaboration.

Ji Hoon Hyun is awarded with Bradley Fellowship (April 2016)

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Ji Hoon Hyun (advisor: Ha) is awarded with Bradley Fellowship for his Ph.D. study starting from Fall, 2016. Bradley Graduate Fellowships are available to top U.S. graduate students in ECE and the minimum GPA for the consideration is 3.8. The 2016/17 academic year Bradley Fellowship stipend is $36,000 plus tuition. The Bradley Fellowships enable highly motivated graduate students to pursue research investigations of greatest interest to them without concern for outside contract funding. Hyun joined the MICS group as a senior undergraduate student in 2014. His research interests include energy harvesting circuits and systems. Congratulations, Ji Hoon!

Quinn Brogan defended an MS thesis and joins industry (April 2016)

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Quinn Brogan (advisor: Ha) successfully defended her MS thesis entitled “Low Power PMIC Design with Regulated Output Voltage and Maximum Power Point Tracking for Body Heat Energy Harvesting.” Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) generate typically less than 100 mV dc from body head. Her thesis research proposes a power management integrated circuit (PMIC) that steps up ultralow voltages generated by a TEG to a regulated 3 V, while matching the internal resistance. The IC was fabricated in 0.25 um CMOS. Quinn joined the MICS group after a BS degree from Virginia Tech, and will work for Lutron Electronics in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, starting June 2016. Quinn is the tenth student to graduate since inception of the MICS group in 2012. We wish Quinn good luck in her industry career!

Hedieh Elyasi defended an MS thesis and joins industry (April 2016)

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Hedieh Elyasi (advisor: Ha) successfully defended her MS thesis entitled “Design of a Highly Linear 24-GHz LNA.” In this thesis, a wideband LNA with low noise figure and high linearity was designed in 8XP 0.13-um SiGe BiCMOS IBM technology. The design adopts the peaking technique, which results in considerable linearity improvement. Loading the LNA with class AB amplifier, power gain experiences a peaking in high input signal swing levels. Hedieh joined the MICS group after graduation from Tarbiat Modares University, Iran, and will work for Qualcomm in San Jose, California, starting May 2016. Hedieh is the ninth student to graduate since inception of the MICS group in 2012. We wish Hedieh good luck in her industry career!

MohammadReza Zargarzadeh defended an MS thesis and joins industry (April 2016)

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MohammadReza Zargarzadeh (advisor: Ha) successfully defended his MS thesis entitled “Filter Design for Interference Cancellation for Wide and Narrow Band RF Systems.” The main focus of the research is to design integrated band pass and band stop filters aimed to perform interference cancellation. Two systems are proposed for his thesis research. The first system is a band pass filter capable of frequency and band with tuning for C band frequency range (4-8 GHz) and is implemented in 0.13 um BiCMOS technology. The second system is a band stop filter (notch) with the same capability as the band pass filter in terms of tuning. MohammadReza joined the MICS group after a BSc degree from Sharif University of Technology, Iran, and will join for Qualcomm in San Jose, California, starting May 2016. MohammadReza is the eighth student to graduate since inception of the MICS group in 2012. We wish MohammadReza good luck in his industry career!

Raman co-edits a new book on mm-wave transmitter chips (April 2016)

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Sanjay Raman, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech, former program manager in the DARPA Microsystems Technology Office, IEEE Fellow, and associate vice president of the National Capital Region, has co-edited “mm-Wave Silicon Power Amplifiers and Transmitters,” a cutting-edge guide to designing, modeling, analyzing, implementing, and testing new mm-wave (roughly 30-300 GHz) integrated circuits. This new volume was published by Cambridge University Press as part of The Cambridge RF and Microwave Engineering Series, designed to fill a large and growing need for information and learning created by the wireless revolution of the last 15 years. Suitable for students, researchers, and practicing engineers, this self-contained guide provides in-depth coverage of state-of-the-art semiconductor devices and technologies; linear and nonlinear power amplifier technologies; efficient power combining systems, circuit concepts, system architectures, packaging, and system-on-a-chip realizations. It is a helpful resource for those working with extremely high-frequency systems with applications in high bandwidth communications, radar and sensors. Raman and co-editor Hossein Hashemi, professor of electrical engineering, Ming Hseih Faculty Fellow, and the co-director of the Ming Hsieh Institute and Ultimate Radio Laboratory at the University of Southern California, have also written the introductory chapter of the book. In the chapters that follow, more than 20 of the world’s foremost experts from industry and academia cover all aspects of building high-performance, spectrally clean, energy-efficient mm-wave power amplifiers and transmitters. A significant portion of this work stems from the DARPA Efficient Linearized All-Silicon Transmitter ICs (ELASTx) program that Raman created while at DARPA. In addition, “mm-Wave Silicon Power Amplifiers and Transmitters” includes numerous case studies highlighting practical design techniques, trade-offs, and pitfalls.

Amin’s paper has been selected as an IMS2016 Student Paper Competition finalist (April 2016)

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A paper titled “A High Dynamic Range 4th-order 4-8 GHz Q-Enhanced LC Band-Pass Filter with 2-25% Tunable Fractional Bandwidth”, submitted to IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS) 2016 by Farooq Amin, Dr. Sanjay Raman and Dr. Kwang-Jin Koh is nominated for the Student Paper Competition Finalists. There are total of 26 finalists and the winners will be selected at the conference by a specially formed Student Paper Competition Committee of experts. The submitted research work proposed a bandwidth tunable and center frequency tunable 4th- order filter for interference rejection to realize Software-Defined Radio (SDR). The conference will be held on May 22-27 in San Francisco this year. It is the flagship conference of IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTT) Society. The competition requires the student to present detailed poster in addition to the regular conference presentation. The research work was partially supported by BAE Systems MICS IAP program and VSGC Graduate Fellowship.

13 Guests from Companies and Agencies Attended the Fourth MICS Day (March 2016)

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The MICS group held its fourth MICS Day with 13 guests from 11 different companies and agencies on March 8, 2016. The event started with social drinks and dinner the night before, where all the guests and the MICS faculty enjoyed an informal gathering. MICS day was an all-day event that gave an opportunity for the MICS faculty and students to present their research activities and for MICS guests to introduce opportunities and research needs of their companies and agencies.

Dr. Curtis Ling of MaxLinear delivered a keynote speech regarding digitally assisted RF circuits. All four MICS faculty members and 25 MICS students made oral and poster presentations, respectively, and ten industry people presented activities of their companies and agencies. MICS Day concluded with a tour of the MICS lab and other ECE labs for the guests. A list of companies that attended MICS day is as follows; Amcom, Analog Devices Inc., BAE Systems, ETRI, Intuitive Surgical, MaxLinear, Northrop Grumman, Nuvotronics, Qorvo, Raytheon SAS, and Thales Defense & Security. MICS day was highly successful, and the guests were impressed with the research achievements of the MICS group.

Ling is the Keynote speaker for MICS Day 2016 (February 2016)

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MICS holds the 4th annual MICS Day on March 8, 2016, in which Dr. Curtis Ling is the Keynote speaker. Dr. Ling is one of MaxLinear's cofounders as well as its Chief Technology Officer, helping to launch the company in 2003 and also serving as its CFO from 2004 to 2006. From July 1999 to July 2003, he was a principal engineer at Silicon Wave, Inc., where his work focused on developing Bluetooth and broadband cable tuners. Dr. Ling received a B.S. degree from the California Institute of Technology and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and all are in Electrical Engineering.