In recognition of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, the department is thrilled to highlight the many contributions made by its excellent women faculty, alumni, and students. Their work has impacted science, technology, the arts, activism, and anything else you can imagine. Check out this year's updated and expanded list of bios and news from ECE's many accomplished women.
Dr. Ansari's research has resulted in the highest reported resonance frequencies and (fxQ) values in GaN bulk-mode devices to date. Such high-performance integrated systems can be utilized in radio frequency (RF) and microwave communication as well as extreme environment applications. And she achieved this on silicon, which enables easier integration with modern high performance electronics. Her research resulted in one issued patent, and another two provisional patents.
While at Michigan, Dr. Ansari was a member of the Resonant MEMS Group, and advised by Prof. Mina Rais-Zadeh. She received the College of Engineering Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for outstanding Ph.D. research in 2015.
Blanton joined Carnegie Mellon in 2015 as director of operations in the university’s Finance Division. In that and her current role, she provides strategic leadership for the university’s business and finance functions, as well as for the management of its financial and capital resources. She also oversees Audit Services, the Treasurer’s Office, the Controller’s Office, Budget and Financial Planning, Procurement, and Business Systems and Services.
Blanton started her career as an electrical engineer with Delphi Automotive and Chrysler. She then worked at PPG Industries in various financial analyst roles in the Chemicals, Glass and Coatings business units and controllership areas. Blanton moved to PNC Financial Services and served as a finance manager in the Retail Banking controllership function before transferring to the PNC Finance Project Management Office. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, she was the CFO for PNC Financial Services brokerage investment business.
Among her recent research activities, Crow is leading the Mid-America Regional Microgrid Education and Training Consortium, which is part of a U.S. Department of Energy effort to support power systems research and develop coursework for the renewable energy workforce. Crow also leads Missouri S&T’s contributions to a nationwide effort to develop an “Internet for energy” to transform the way energy is delivered nationwide.
From 2007-2012, Crow served as the Director of the Missouri S&T Energy Research & Development Center. She has been PI or Co-PI on $22 million (US) in externally funded research sponsored by the National Science Foundation, DOE, DOD, DOT, DOEd, the State of Missouri and several utilities, authored over 200 technical articles and several textbooks and book chapters, and is the VP for Publications for the IEEE Power & Energy Society. Crow is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Missouri and a Fellow of the IEEE.
Formerly, Hemami worked as Associate Director of ECE at Cornell University and later as chair of ECE at Northeastern University. In her time as a professor, her research focused on communication of visual information, both from a signal processing perspective (signal representation, source coding, and related issues) and from a psychophysical perspective. She studied how the human brain perceives visual information by developing better models for low-level vision as well as for higher-level vision which includes understanding and cognition. Hemami was Vice President and a Member of the Board of Directors of IEEE from 2015–2016.
She is also a consultant, drawing on her background in laser product development (as an engineer and a product manager), know-how in marketing and sales, and experience doing business development for small or start-up businesses in the ultrafast or fiber laser space.
Dr. Stock co-founded Arbor Photonics in 2007, and was Director of Business Development. Arbor Photonics developed high power, fiber laser solutions for advanced materials processing and defense applications. The company was acquired by nLIGHT in 2013. She is currently Director of Business Development for Norlase.
Dr. Stock recommends that young women keep in mind that a strong foundation in STEM subjects provides the possibility for a wide range of options, both at the beginning of a career and further down the road.
Recently, she has focused on the public good problem known as interdependent security. Interdependent security deals with the fact that the security of a network is increasingly dependent upon the collective efforts of each one of its interconnected users.
During her time at U-M, Dr. Borno developed energy scavenging microsystems as a graduate student researcher in the NSF Engineering Research Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems (now WIMS2). Her research was published in ten peer-reviewed papers, multiple book chapters, and was featured in Wired, Business Week, New Scientist, CNN Money, Conservation, and others.
She traveled to study EE at Michigan on a scholarship, traveling by sea out of Singapore for 30 days to reach the US. She underwent practical training for eight months in the Division of Radio Frequency Measurements at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington D.C. before studying with Prof. William Gould Dow for her PhD.
After graduating, she returned to India as a professor in the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science. There, she began teaching and research in the area of Microwave Engineering, a first for India. With total dedication and the limited resources available at that time, they built up a Microwave Laboratory for experimental research in the area. Eventually, she went on to chair the department.
Chatterjee was just granted a posthumous honor, named one of the ‘first women achievers of India’ by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.
Kathryn helped usher three bills into law while a member of the professional staff of the House Committee on Science, and later with the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. One of these bills was the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was the first of its kind since 1992.
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 was on campus to take part in the 2016 NextProf Workshop, which brings highly qualified participants to campus to explore and prepare for a faculty position in engineering. This year’s Workshop focused on increasing diversity in engineering, and included undergraduate and first year graduate students to give them an introduction to academia.
Prior to this, Lydia worked for nearly 20 years as a solutions engineer at Sprint.
Earlier, Goldberg went from working at one of the premiere labs associated with NASA, to being one of the earliest team members of Planetary Resources, a company that wants to mine asteroids.
Throughout her career in California, Hannah worked with a high school FIRST Robotics team. In fact, when the original team advisor stepped down, she was encouraged to get a teaching certificate so she could be the faculty advisor. “I ended up teaching an engineering class and a robotics class in high school, almost as a side career. The students were great,” said Hannah.
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 Microsystems (WIMS).
She has a variety of experience with space technology, including time as a trainee at the European Space Agency, working on such projects as the CESAR Robotic Telescope.
During her time at the University, Isabel was a longtime member of the Michigan Mars Rover team, founded the Robotic Exploration of Space Team in response to the NASA Robotic Mining Challenge, and formed the M-tanglement team for the Freescale Cup competition that involved designing, building, and testing a line-following autonomous vehicle.
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.
“While open innovation is not new to Xerox, we wanted this new research lab to be a model for open innovation and collaboration,” she says. The hub brings together researchers from all five of Xerox’s global labs as well as other researchers and entrepreneurs from the best academic institutions and research labs in India.
Farah was the original mastermind behind the product line, successfully pitching the idea to managers after making health and fitness a priority in her own life.
She is an ASME and an IEEE Fellow, the founding chair of the ASME DSCD Energy Systems Technical Committee and a member of a U.S. National Academies committee on US. Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards. She has co-authored a book on Control of Fuel Cell Power Systems, 14 US patents, 5 best paper awards and 250 publications on estimation and control of internal combustion engines and electrochemical processes such as fuel cells and batteries.
Prof. Stiff-Roberts' many honors include an IEEE Early Career Award in Nanotechnology for “contributions to the development of nanoscale quantum dots for infrared detection,” an Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, an ONR Young Investigator Award, and an NSF CAREER AWARD.
Innovative Devices made a splash in early 2013 when it raised about $355,000 via Kickstarter for its premiere device, the Mycestro mouse. This special mouse is a wearable human-computer interaction device capable of gesture control and 3D motion. The company is headquartered in the greater Cleveland area of Northeast Ohio.
Previously, Stephanie worked for many years with Goodyear in a variety of roles, including CIO, Vice President of IT, and Vice President of eCommerce.
"Computer devices are becoming more integrated into our lives," said Dr. Wu. "Meanwhile, new ways to attack computer systems are constantly developed. We can no longer solve security and privacy threats by only examining the implementation of each specific system. To proactively design general secure systems, we need to address security in a theoretical approach."
Her experiences led her to establish the Irma M. Wyman Scholarship at the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women. The scholarship supports women in engineering, computer science, and related fields. Irma remains deeply invested in the scholarship program, and enjoys a continuing relationship with the recipients.
Prof. Laura Balzano is an assistant professor in EECS, with a main research interest in mathematical modeling and analysis of massive data sets with missing or corrupted observations - one of the hottest areas in signal processing, statistics, and applied mathematics. Her work has applications such as computer network monitoring, environmental sensing, urban sensing, electronic medical records analysis, biological networks, social network mining, and collaborative filtering, in which data are often incomplete, corrupted, and an indirect indicator of the phenomenon of interest.
Prof. Lynn Conway is a woman of many remarkable stories. A pioneer of early VLSI technology, she helped make the once mystifying practice of fabricating circuits possible for a broad audience of engineers. Opening up chip design to the general engineering community, including engineering students, helped the industry explode and ultimately led to today's Silicon Valley.
Her early work in the industry went unacknowledged, however, until much later in her career. Find out why!
Read more about Prof. Conway's work and accomplishments:
"Life, Engineered: How Lynn Conway reinvented her world and ours" - College of Engineering
Prof. Finelli's research is in engineering education, and she currently studies student resistance to active learning, faculty adoption of evidence-based teaching practices, and institutional change. In addition to her research, she assists engineering faculty in accomplishing their educational research endeavors and promotes institutional change through faculty professional development. She is also leading efforts to hire engineering education research faculty and develop an engineering education research PhD program.
As she furthers this research, Prof. Lee will develop improved methods for gene therapy by delivering corrected genes directly to the cell nucleus of damaged genes more efficiently and with greater control than is currently possible. This research will also provide a better understanding of tissue formation, and may one day lead to new strategies to engineer functional replacement tissues, such as lungs, organs, and glands.
Prof. Mingyan Liu focuses on performance analysis and building energy-efficient and high-performance networking mechanisms for wireless sensor networks, mobile wireless ad hoc networks, and broadband satellite networks. Prof. Liu and her team recently developed special sensors to help make large-scale remote soil moisture sensing more useful. It also offers new opportunities for smaller, local sensing applications.
Prof. Liu is beloved by undergraduate and graduate students alike for her enthusiasm, dedication, clarity, and inspirational teaching style. She was recently awarded the College of Engineering's Education Excellence Award for her contributions to ECE's course offerings.
She is currently working on the problem of how best to integrate wind and solar power into the nation's established electrical grid system. Prof. Mathieu received a CyberSEES grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue this work.
"All of these different pieces are interacting," she explains. "Your computer software is interacting with the physical world, with humans, and communication protocols. We have expertise in different parts of the puzzle, but when people try to put these things together the integration is a problem because no one was thinking about the whole picture."
Prof. Ozay recently earned a DARPA Young Faculty Award for her work in dynamics-based information extraction. Her research will impact the safety and security of cyber and physical systems.
Prof. Peterson recently earned a DARPA Young Faculty Award for her work on thin-film transistors for switched-mode power supplies. Such power supplies could potentially be used in a wide variety of wireless sensing and actuation systems, including those that deal with security and monitoring of the environment and medical conditions.
Prof. Mina Rais-Zadeh leads the Resonant MEMS Group. Her work is in the area of adaptable nano- and Micro-electromechanical systems (N/MEMS) for smart radio applications and high-frequency telecommunication. Some of her ongoing projects include improvements to the functionality of radios that would diminish costs associated with wireless communication, and an infrared sensor network designed for military human detection.
Lauren also takes part in the Engineering Global Leadership Honors Program, and was recently elected industry chair. Through this program, she's volunteered abroad in India, assisted in organizing a cultural event with over 100 participants, and will complete a collaborative summer internship with Ross School Business students.
Elizabeth is also an active member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and has presented talks about her research at their national conference. In 2015, she helped lead local efforts to celebrate the field of optics as part of the International Year of Light. Her organization, the Michigan Light Project, set up outreach activities for youth in the area, and had a stand at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival.
Her methodology maximizes energy generation while considering mechanical losses, electrical losses, and the static power required to activate control intelligence and facilitate power-electronic conversion.
Mai is also a graduate student instructor (GSI), and recently earned a CoE Towner Prize for Outstanding GSIs for her work with the course EECS 451: Digital Signal Processing and Analysis.
“Alternative Spring Break got me more interested in doing something with my skills to better the world,” she said, “instead of just studying all the time.” She saw BLUElab as a way to apply the skills she’s developed in her studies to this same spirit of service.
She now invests much of her time traveling to local schools and encouraging students to pursue these fields. From giving talks to judging science fairs, she shares her passion for engineering with the youth any way she can.