No. 2

Dear Friends of EECS,

Greetings! This second edition of our electronic newsletter coincides with the beginning of the Spring 2015 semester.  Classes resumed on January 20 for the approximately 1,000 students enrolled in the undergrad and graduate programs of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.  It continues to be a time of tremendous growth in both programs and facilities.

In October, Wichita State University officially launched the  Applied Technology Acceleration Institute, a place where students are already working in partnership with industry on real-world engineering challenges. It is through ATAI that several of our computer engineering and computer science students are employed by NetApp, working in an office based in Donald Beggs Hall. 

In November, we dedicated the Westar Energy Power Systems Laboratory. Westar has pledged $125,000 to buy new equipment and tools to teach students about smart grids, synchrophasors, power quality and advanced system modeling, among other facets of power systems. As a result, we have what we believe to be a lab as good as any in the world to teach students about power and electric systems. 

These kinds of experiential-learning opportunities are at the heart of the Innovation University concept shaping the future of WSU and driving the construction of the new Experiential Engineering and Makerspace Building that will break ground later this year.  This effort got a tremendous boost in December when the WSU Foundation announced a $11.25 million pledge from Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation. More than half of this gift will benefit the College of Engineering's commitment to innovation through the Makerspace facility, the Honors College Koch Scholars Program and the Koch Innovation Challenge.  It's never been a better time to be a Shocker engineer or computer scientist!


Chair, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
WSU College of Engineering

Dr. Zheng Chen with the robotic fish prototype
Faculty and Research

Pu WangZheng Chenand Animesh Chakravarthy, assistant

professors in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Departments, are building a school of wirelessly interconnected robotic fish robotic as part of a three-year National Science Foundation grant for their project, "Towards Effective and Efficient Sensing-Motion Co-Design of Swarming Cyber-Physical Systems." Read the abstract here. 


The research is being conducted in partnership with faculty from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and State University of New York-Buffalo.  The research has applications for environmental sustainability, homeland security, and human well-being. The objective is to develop more effective, efficient, and adaptive control and sensing strategies under various environmental uncertainties. 




Dr. Ruth David (left) and President John Bardo. Credit:  WSU Foundation
Dr. Ruth David, a 1975 WSU graduate in electrical engineering, is the 2014 winner of the WSU President's Medal, the highest distinction the president can make. It recognizes those who show extraordinary and exemplary leadership through integrity, service to humanity and expertise in their field.  The award was presented at the December 2014 commencement, where David was the speaker. David, former CIA deputy director for science and technology, graduated magna cum laude from WSU before going on to receive a master's degree and a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University. A long-time supporter of the College of Engineering and the university, she is featured in the January 2015 issue of "Horizon," a publication of the Wichita State University Foundation.  She is also the subject of a video profile related to her 2010 induction into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame. 


Zoya Kahn, right, and her SWE teammates.
Zoya Kahn
, a graduate student in computer networking, contributed the idea behind an app that won the People's Choice Award the Google Hackathon 2014, held Oct. 24-25 at the national convention of the Society of Women Engineers in Los Angeles. Khan is currently working with Dr. Murtuza Jadliwala on her master's thesis on privacy in smart grid communications. She received her undergraduate degree in electronics and telecommunications from Pune University, India. She was one of only 75 participants selected by the Google team from applications by SWE conference.  The app is designed to help college students collaborate with their roommates over tasks, finances and groceries. Khan said she was inspired by challenges she and her husband face as graduate students trying to divide household responsibilities such as grocery shopping. Read more here.  

Dr. Murtuza Jadliwalaan assistant professor of computer science, shared ideas for protecting yourself against fraud online in a recent article about internet security in The Wichita Eagle.  

Jeff Kowing, who received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from WSU in 1988, shared his story in the Shocker Spotlight. Jeff works for NASA and was a part of the Orion Rocket Program. See his interview with KAKE-TV and read his story in the Shocker Spotlight.

Kelly Harrison, who received his bachelor's in electrical engineering from WSU in 1981 and a master's in engineering management in 1984, was featured in The Wichita Eagle for his role in opening of the Prairie Wind Transmission line, a $160 million line that is for highest capacity electrical line in Kansas, designed to distribute 3,000 megawatts of wind power generation through the High Plains states. 

Dominic Canare, who received a master's degree in computer science in 2008 and is an adjunct who teaches Engineering 101, was again featured in The Wichita Eagle in a story about MakeICT, this time for a $100,000 grant the local nonprofit received from The Knight Foundation. MakeICT is a community of innovators, using a wide variety of mechanical, electrical and software tools to build their ideas. 

A team of EECS students have developed the Shocker Shuttle Tracker, a smartphone app that allows students to know when to expect a WSU shuttle bus. The idea came from Austin Crane, a sophomore in computer science and developed with the help of Eric Corey, junior in computer engineering; Dominic Greene, senior in graphic design; and Alex Truong, senior in computer engineering and computer science. Read more here. 

Wichita State University engineering students, including computer engineering student Austin Whiteare using a zombie attack scenario to teach math modeling concepts to area high school students. Read the full story.

We appreciate your support of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. If you wish to express your support with a financial contribution, please know it will benefit current and future students, faculty and staff, and programs that enhance the student experience. All donations are tax deductible. 

EECS, WSU College of Engineering
(316) 978-3156
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