In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month, ECE would like to draw attention to the many contributions made by its African American faculty, students, and alumni. The impact of these gifted individuals spans many fields and industries. Included in the list is the first African American woman to earn a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering, and the first African American faculty member in the College of Engineering.
Prior to the election, Gilchrist served as first Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology, where he opened up the city’s public data and information and solved problems for Detroiters. Gilchrist's had a long career in tech that allowed him to focus more on political and social activism. He previously worked as the Washington state social media manager for the Obama campaign, and later the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org.
He's also built a presence online as a voice for African American issues. He was a founder and co-contributor to SuperSpade, a blog on issues pertinent to African Americans, and a co-host of the Win Report on The Good Fight. The podcast debuted as the overall #1 podcast in iTunes and was named one of Apple's "Best of 2013" podcasts.
Prof. Winful played a major role in creating the interdisciplinary course, UARTS 250: The Creative Process, and is highly regarded as a teacher, receiving both the Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu Teacher of the Year awards. He is also an outstanding researcher of theoretical nonlinear optics.
As Education Thrust Leader for the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems (WIMS), he influenced the lives of hundreds of future engineers during his tenure. In partnership with Michigan State University, he and his colleagues produced more than 80 summer and academic year courses, attended by more than 4,000 students. He personally attended almost every Saturday morning Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program outreach event. Prof. Ken Wise, former Director of the WIMS Center, stated in his remarks, “Over 60% of those students were minorities and over 50% were women. And of those graduating from high school, over 60% have gone on to college careers in science and engineering. That is having impact–and that is changing lives.”
Prof. McAfee conducted research in the area of numerical and circuit modeling of integrated circuits, networks for automated semiconductor manufacturing, and computer network devices. He and his group were important contributors to the SECS Message Service (SMS) protocol, which was adopted as a standard by SEMI (Semiconductor Equipment and Materials, Inc.) in 1989. This standard had a significant impact on semiconductor factory automation.
Iverson Bell, III (PhD EE '15) is a system engineer at Northrop Grumman. After working with the James Webb Space Telescope Space program in their Los Angeles office, he moved to their Maryland office to focus on Information Technology.
As a doctoral student at Michigan, he researched electrodynamic tethers, a concept that could send objects into space without any fuel propellant. The objects Iverson focused on were a new class of smartphone-sized satellites, called picosatellites and femtosatellites. With this new technique, launching such devices could be done entirely with solar power.
Working with Prof. Brian Gilchrist, Iverson was able to develop an experimental facility to simulate key characteristics of the space environment. His work on the project won him a prize at the 2014 Small Satellite Conference.
Dr. Tyrone Benson (MSE PhD EE '93 '96) is a Quality and Reliability Engineering Manager at Intel in Chandler, AZ. He directs a small team of Q&R engineers to support backend, post-silicon qualification execution. He is responsible for pre-silicon reliability modeling, product burn in development, development of qualification capability, and execution of post-silicon qualification assessments. He is also a Corporate Quality Network Instructor on Lean Thinking and Methodologies.
Benson was part of a record-breaking team of engineers who developed packaging technology solutions for advanced microprocessors, and he worked with Intel's Wireless Group to design low power circuits for their first cell phone microprocessor chip.
Benson is passionate about STEM education. He served two terms as Vice President of the Arizona Chapter of the Network of Intel African Americans (NIA) with a focus on career development, and participated in successful programs ranging from undergraduate learning centers at Georgia Tech and the University of Michigan to multi-session workshops for the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) and Michigan’s Minority Introduction to Technology and Engineering.
Here is Dr. Benson in a STEM Pro Live! video
Dr. Carter developed several algorithms that took an information geometric approach to dimensionality reduction using the properties of statistical manifolds. These methods were applied to many practical applications, the most noteworthy of which is flow cytometry analysis.
One of Prof. Coleman's biggest research goals is to make measuring health and sensing inside the body possible at home. Rather than choose between costly time at the hospital and unreliable data, he wants patients to have the technical advantages of medical monitoring devices in small, convenient packages. Some of his work in this space has resulted in thin, flexible sensors for monitoring pregnancies, smaller brain measurement sensors, and groundbreaking sensors for gastro-intestinal health.
Beginning Fall 2009, Prof. Coleman has served as a co-Principal Investigator on a 5-year NSF IGERT interdisciplinary training grant for graduate students, titled “Neuro-engineering: A Unified Educational Program for Systems Engineering and Neuroscience”. He was a Fellow with the University of Illinois Center for Advanced Study for the 2010-2011 academic year. He served on the DARPA ISAT study group from 2009-2012, and since 2012 has served as a science advisor for the Science & Entertainment Exchange (National Academy of Sciences). He has been named a 2015 Gilbreth Lecturer by the National Academy of Engineering; a “Root 100″ list member as one of 100 African Americans, ages 25 to 45, responsible for the year’s most significant moments, movements and ideas; and a speaker for the 2015 TEDMED annual event. His research has been featured on CNN, BBC, and the New York Times.
Watch the TEDMED talk "A temporary tattoo that brings hospital care to the home," by Todd Coleman.
Darryl Conliffe (BSE EE '72, MSE CICE '73) is a financial needs analyst and owner of Conliffe and Associates in the Greater Detroit area. Currently, he recruits, trains, and develops individuals to assist families in getting out of debt, becoming financially independent, and repairing the damage the recent economic downturn has done to retirement finances.
Mary Crosby (BS EE '87, MBA Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management '94) is Managing Editor of DetroitGospel.com and founder of FruitfulWorks, Inc. This company develops internet marketing strategies designed to reach a faith-based market. Previously, Mary had many years of experience in engineering and management at Chrysler.
Dr. Densmore’s research area is in the development of System Level Design methodologies for electronic systems; specifically architecture modeling and refinement verification. His background and interests are in Computer Architecture, Logic Synthesis, and Digital Logic Design. Dr. Densmore’s industry experience includes four+ summers with Intel Corporation where he was involved in pre-silicon design efforts regarding chipset development, post-silicon validation of the Pentium 4 microprocessor, and chipset software validation. He has also worked as a researcher at Cypress Semiconductor and Xilinx Research Labs. Dr. Densmore is currently a member of the Gigascale Systems Research Center (GSRC) and the Center for Hybrid and Embedded Software Systems (CHESS) at UC Berkeley, and has a US patent pending regarding data characterization of programmable devices.
Prof. Franklin uses her influence to attract a diverse student population to the STEM field, and her own field of applied electromagnetics. She believes the best research results are achieved from a diversity of backgrounds, something she learned as a graduate student at Michigan and fosters in her own research group at Minnesota.
Prof. Franklin returned to campus in the fall of 2018 as the the Willie Hobbs Moore Distinguished Lecturer. The lectureship was established to recognize ECE alumni from traditionally underrepresented groups who are leaders in their field and serve as role models for the ECE community. She spoke about her research developing building blocks for advanced 3D packaging and microwave biomedical diagnostics related to sensing and nanomedicine, as well as other impacts of her work. She also spoke about issues affecting diverse demographic representation in STEM fields.
Read more about her visit and messages to students, or watch her Willie Hobbs Moore lecture below.
Prior to this, Lydia worked for nearly 20 years as a solutions engineer at Sprint.
Prof. Henderson worked at Motorola and Freescale Semiconductor before joining UT Dallas in 2007. She is a senior member of the IEEE and a member of the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society, Women in Engineering, and Antennas and Propagation Society, Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology Society.
MEMStim make customizable micro-fabricated stimulators. The company sells MEMS electrode leads to medical device companies for integration into their targeted nerve stimulation devices. Tthe company is committed to improving the standard of patient care in neurostimulation. MEMStim is based in Kentucky, where Dr. Johnson leverages the expertise of a wide range of consultants, and is continuing to develop the technology in the cleanroom of the University of Louisville.
Additionally, Dr. Johnson teaches entrepreneurship courses in the University of Louisville's business school, and takes on informal mentoring of students interested in grad school, research, or entrepreneurship.
Dr. Johnson won first prize in the 2011 Michigan Business Challenge, kickstarting her company's early growth. She studied under Prof. Ken Wise, and conducted research as a member of the Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSensing and Systems (WIMS2).
The University of Michigan established the Willie Hobbs Moore: Aspire, Advance, Achieve Award to recognize individuals who have served as formal or informal mentors to students in fields related to Science, Technology, and Engineering. It is sponsored by the Center for Engineering Diversity & Outreach and Women in Science & Engineering.
Before that he founded or co-founded Ubi Video, a video sharing, viewing, and curating service; F1RST Motoring Apparel, an automotive lifestyle fashion label; Shift Marketing Solutions, an automotive marketing firm that developed concept vehicles and marketing strategies; and MJH sound.com, one of the first online retailers for car and home audio.
Steven Perkins (BSE EE '83) has worked for many years as an instructor and training program analyst at Parkland Hospital. His current position of Measurement and Evaluation Analyst has him designing and maintaining Corporate and departmental surveys to be used to increase efficiency and effectiveness of training, business processes and employee related relationships.
Prior to joining MiSci, Phillips founded and served as executive director of STEMNETICS in Grand Blanc, Michigan, where he was responsible for securing contracts, grant funding, and strategic partnerships for schools and non-profits. Before this, Phillips co-founded directed program development at Project SYNCERE in Chicago, where he assisted in the effort to graduate 100 percent of high school student participants.
Porche began his career working at GM on the EV1's shifting and ignition systems. He moved into modeling and simulation work in graduate school, which included counting cars in downtown Ann Arbor. And finally, ended up working for the government modeling how communication networks could help defense forces.
His areas of expertise include cybersecurity, network and communication technology, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, data mining, modeling and simulation, cybersecurity, rapid acquisition processes, and operations research techniques. He has led research projects for the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Joint Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Porche was the inaugural speaker for the ECE Willie Hobbs Moore Alumni Distinguished Lectureship. Read more, or watch his lecture below.
As an account manager, Leon participated in the launch of the Xbox and Xbox 360 game consoles and managed the commercial release of many software titles including Mass Effect, Vanguard, and Asheron’s Call. He has managed strategic and technical partnerships with companies such as Electronic Arts, Lucas film, Walt Disney, and Valve software.
Check out Leon's web magazine, Digital Leon, where he writes about the culture of technology, digital entertainment, and photography.
She received the IEEE Early Career Award in Nanotechnology for "contributions to the development of nanoscale quantum dots for infrared detection" in 2009, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2008, an ONR Young Investigator Award in 2007, and an NSF CAREER AWARD. National Science Foundation in 2006.
David now leads the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative and serves as an undergraduate lecturer at the College of Engineering's Center for Entrepreneurship. In these capacities, he supports local student entrepreneurs in projects geared towards solving important urban problems.
Chris' group is researching how sensors can be used for navigation in GPS denied zones. However, Chris sees the potential for many other applications, including detecting if a patient has fallen, environmental sensing, tracking people, advancing the field of robotics, or even sensing the vibrations of an earthquake.