Our Faculty

The faculty for the University of Utah MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering operate on the frontiers of their specialties. They are active researchers – and in many cases entrepreneurs – who pave the way for theoretical innovations and practical applications in their respective fields. They lead teams exploring areas like high-performance computing, digital signal processing, nanotechnology, and wireless microsystems.

The instructors in the online MSECE program are the same world-class faculty who teach on-campus courses at Utah. Their experience with the real-world applications of engineering concepts inform high-quality online lectures and individualized mentorship. Students benefit from small classes with opportunities for one-on-one meetings with highly knowledgeable faculty. The ECE faculty engage with students’ individual projects and research interests, guiding them toward achieving professional excellence and finding commercial applications for their ideas.

Florian Solzbacher

Professor Florian Solzbacher

Department Chair
Florian Solzbacher is Director of the University of Utah’s Center for Engineering Innovation, Co-Director of the Utah Nanotechnology Institute, and President and Executive Chairman of Blackrock Microsystems and of Blackrock Neuromed. He is the chair of Utah’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and holds faculty appointments in Materials Science and Bioengineering.

Prof. Solzbacher received his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University Berlin in 1997 and his Ph.D. from the Technical University Ilmenau in 2003. He cofounded several companies, such as Blackrock Microsystems, Blackrock Neuromed, and First Sensor Technology. He was a board member and Chairman of the German Association for Sensor Technology AMA and of Sensor + Test trade show and conference from 2001 until 2009 and serves on several company and public private partnership advisory boards and international conference steering committees. He is the author of over 190 journal and conference publications, five book chapters, and 22 invention disclosures, pending patents, or patents.

Prof. Solzbacher’s research focuses on harsh environment microsystems and materials, including implantable, wireless microsystems for biomedical and healthcare applications, and on high temperature and harsh environment compatible micro sensors.

Rong-Rong Chen

Associate Professor Rong-Rong Chen

Rong-Rong Chen received a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from Tsinghua University, China, in 1994. She completed a master’s degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), in 1996 and 2003, respectively. She received the University Fellowship for graduate study in the Mathematics Department at UIUC and the M. E. Van Valkenburg Graduate Research Award for excellence in doctoral research in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UIUC.

Since August 2003, Dr. Chen has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Her research interests are in wireless communication and signal processing, currently focused on underwater acoustic communication, wireless communication, coding, information theory, and queueing networks. She received the prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award in 2006.
Behrouz Farhang-Boroujeny

Professor Behrouz Farhang-Boroujeny

Behrouz Farhang-Boroujeny received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tehran University, Iran, in 1976, his Master of Engineering degree from University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, UK, in 1977, and his Ph.D. from Imperial College, University of London, UK, in 1981. From 1981 to 1989 he was on the faculty at the Isfahan University of Technology in Isfahan, Iran. From 1989 to 2000 he worked at the National University of Singapore. Since August 2000, he has been a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Utah.

He is an expert in the general area of signal processing with current interests in adaptive filters, multicarrier communications, detection techniques for space-time coded systems, cognitive radio, and signal processing applications to optical devices. In the past, he has made significant contributions to the areas of adaptive filters theory, acoustic echo cancellation, magnetic/optical recoding, and digital subscriber line technologies. He is the author of the books “Adaptive Filters: Theory and Applications” and “Signal Processing Techniques for Software Radios.”

Dr. Farhang-Boroujeny received the UNESCO Regional Office of Science and Technology for South and Central Asia Young Scientists Award in 1987. He served as an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing from July 2002 to July 2005, and as an associate editor of IEEE Signal Processing Letters from April 2008 to March 2010. He also chaired Utah’s Signal Processing/Communications chapter of IEEE in 2004 and 2005.

Hanseup Kim

USTAR Associate Professor Hanseup Kim

Hanseup Kim earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, in 1997, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2003 and 2006, respectively.

From 2006 to 2009, he held a postdoctoral research fellow position at the Engineering Research Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems (WIMS), University of Michigan. Since 2009, he has been a Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

His research interests include the design, fabrication, and testing of MEMS actuators and sensors; technologies and structures for polymer-based bioapplications; micro energy harvesting devices; analog and digital integrated circuits for MEMS; and micropackaging technologies.

Dr. Kim is a recipient the 2012 NSF CAREER Award and 2011 DARPA Young Faculty Award. He received both the Best Paper Award and the 1st Place Award in the Design Automation Conference Student Design Contest in 2001 with four other coauthors. He was also a recipient of the Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Commercialization of Micro and Nano Systems (COMS 2008) with eight other coauthors.

Rajesh Menon

Associate Professor Rajesh Menon

Rajesh Menon, who joined the University of Utah in 2009, received his S.M. and Ph.D. degrees from MIT. He was a research engineer and a post-doctoral scientist in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT. He From 2005 to 2009, he held the position of Chief Technology Officer at LumArray, Inc, a company he co-founded with colleagues at MIT.

Prof. Menon has pioneered several technologies that will enable far-field optics to manipulate and image matter with nanoscale resolution. His research has spawned numerous publications, patents, and a spin-off company. He has led several projects in nanopatterning and nanoscopy with support from DARPA, the NSF and the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation.
Neda Nategh

Assistant Professor Neda Nategh

Neda Nategh received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology. She earned her M.S. in electrical engineering, M.S. in statistics, and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. She also holds a certificate in Biophysics and Computation in Neurons and Networks from the Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University.

Dr. Nategh is currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Research Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences with the University of Utah. She is Principal Investigator in Utah’s Vision Computation Lab, which employs an interdisciplinary approach to investigate how our visual system encodes the visual world and decodes relevant information and use strategies from biological vision to enhance machine vision. Dr. Nategh also holds a U.S. patent with Camera Algorithm Group at Apple Inc.
John Palmer

Associate Professor John Palmer

John Palmer received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University. He received his Master of Engineering and Ph.D. in Electric Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Dr. Palmer has extensive experience in cause and origin analysis of electrical accidents, electrical equipment failures, electrical fires, structural fires, vehicle fires, and explosions. He also performs product testing and design review. He has consulted on cases involving industrial processes, electric machinery and systems, elevators, consumer electronics, control systems, electric shock and electrocution. Dr. Palmer’s research led to the development of a controller device for a power transformer cooling system, resulting in a patent. He has authored over 20 journal and conference publications.
Mike Scarpulla

Associate Professor Mike Scarpulla

Mike Scarpulla received his bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering from Brown University. He completed his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of California, Berkeley.

Scarpulla is an Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Utah. He leads a research group in the Semiconductors and Photovoltaic Materials Laboratory. Their research involves materials and devices for thin film photovoltaics, earth-abundant compound semiconductors for thin film photovoltaics, laser processing of CIGSe and CdTe, and electrical and optoelectronic characterization of thin film devices. Their research also explores basic problems in semiconductor growth and physics, especially of semiconductor alloys.
David Schurig

Associate Professor David Schurig

David Schurig received his B.S. in Engineering Physics from University of California, Berkeley and then worked at Lawrence Berkeley Lab on laser ablation and photoacoustic spectroscopy. After enrolling in graduate school and performing many unpublished experiments, Schurig submitted a theoretical thesis on negative index media, the perfect lens, and related structures to his committee. In 2002, he received his Ph.D. in physics from University of California, San Diego.

Prof. Schurig also worked for the California Space Institute, performing space mission feasibility studies, and for Tristan Technologies designing and building cryogenically cooled, SQUID-based instruments. He left California to work for David Smith at Duke University, where he was supported by the Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. He then worked as an assistant professor in North Carolina State’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department.

Prof. Schurig joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Utah in January 2011. His current research interests include the design, analysis and fabrication of metamaterials in frequency ranges from megahertz to petahertz.

Tolga Tasdizen

USTAR Associate Professor Tolga Tasdizen

Tolga Tasdizen completed his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey in 1995. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering in 1997 and 2001, respectively.

Dr. Tasdizen came to the University of Utah as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute in 2001. He is now a Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Computing.

His research group works in the general areas of image processing, computer vision and pattern recognition. Their research explores machine learning and variation methods for image restoration, segmentation, and analysis.

Darrin Young

USTAR Associate Professor Darrin Young

Darrin J. Young received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, in 1991, 1993, and 1999, respectively.

In 1999, Dr. Young joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, as an Assistant Professor. He came to the University of Utah’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 2009 as a Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) Initiative Associate Professor.

He is the author or coauthor of many technical papers published in journals and conferences. His research interests include microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) design, fabrication, and integrated analog circuits design for wireless sensing, biomedical implants, communication, and general industrial applications.

Dr. Young is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits and the Chair of the IEEE Electron Devices Society MEMS Committee. He has also served as a technical program committee member and session chair for a number of international conferences.

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