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Azita Emami Appointed to DARPA’s MEC Group


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has named Azita Emami to the Microsystems Exploratory Council (MEC) for a three-year term beginning this summer. Emami is Andrew and Peggy Cherng Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Executive Officer for Electrical Engineering; and Director, Center for Sensing to Intelligence. MEC brings over 30 of the brightest scientists and engineers together to identify new areas of development in microsystems science and technology and to recommend future possible research directions. The MEC Group was established by DARPA in 2017 to support its technology offices and provide continuing and independent assessment of the state of advanced microsystem technology as it relates to the U.S. Department of Defense.

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New Graduate Track to Combine Study of Medical and Electrical Engineering


In an effort to create more opportunities for students, increase interdisciplinary research, and gain visibility for a first-of-its kind program, Caltech is creating a new graduate education track that combines medical engineering and electrical engineering. Students entering the joint track will be eligible to earn a single PhD in electrical and medical engineering, and would perform research in each field and, ideally, in a combination of the two fields. "All my students from both departments have a strong interest in this joint track," says Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. "This will be good for them because it will broaden their horizons by exposing them to both fields. This will also allow MedE to recruit students from the EE track, and EE will be able to recruit from MedE." [Caltech story]

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New Caltech Center for Sensing to Intelligence (S2I) Launches Collaboration with Industry Partner


The Caltech Center for Sensing to Intelligence (S2I) has announced that, in collaboration with Rockley Photonics, a photonics-based health monitoring and communications solutions company, it will allocate $1.5 million in research grants over the next three years to jumpstart efforts to combine sensors with artificial intelligence. "We would like to have sensors in every device these days, generating a huge amount of data," says Azita Emami, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering and the director of S2I. "But it's difficult to extract the most important information from the mountains of data they create." [Caltech story]

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Kuan-Chang (Xavier) Chen Receives IEEE SSCS Predoctoral Achievement Award


Graduate student Kuan-Chang (Xavier) Chen, working with Azita Emami, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute; Executive Officer for Electrical Engineering, has received the 2020-2021 IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society (SSCS) Predoctoral Achievement Award. The IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society awards a small number of promising graduate students annually, which are made on the basis of academic record and promise, quality of publications, and a graduate study program well matched to the charter of SSCS. [2020-2021 Recipients]

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Best Student Paper Award at IEEE CICC Conference


Professor Azita Emami's group in collaboration with Professor Wei Gao’s group has won the best student paper award at the 2020 IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference. The title of the paper is "A Fully-Integrated Biofuel-Cell-Based Energy Harvester with 86% Peak Efficiency and 0.25V Minimum Input Voltage Using Source-Adaptive MPPT." The IEEE CICC is a premier conference devoted to integrated circuit development. The conference program is a blend of oral presentations, exhibits, panels and forums. The conference sessions present original first published technical work and innovative circuit techniques that tackle practical problems. [Read the paper] [Past recipients]

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The Possibilities are Mote and Remote


Professor Azita Emami’s work in high-speed data communications has led to a breakthrough that could spare millions of people the need to prick themselves with needles. As she engineers a more connected world, she also is working to make it a healthier one. Professor Emami doesn’t draw a line between the different endeavors. “Electronic systems for cell phones and computers are very, very advanced,” she explains. “So why not take the knowledge we have gained developing those technologies and find ways to apply it toward solutions in medicine?” [Breakthrough story]

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Wireless Pressure-Sensing Eye Implant Could Help Prevent Blindness


Azita Emami, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering and Executive Officer for Electrical Engineering, Yu-Chong Tai, Anna L. Rosen Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair; Executive Officer for Medical Engineering, and colleagues have developed a new pressure-sensing implant for the eye that could help prevent one of the leading causes of blindness. The implant could help glaucoma patients monitor their condition by wirelessly sending data about the eye to the patient or medical professionals. Patients at risk for glaucoma are required to make regular visits to an ophthalmologist to have their intraocular pressure (eye pressure) checked. The disadvantage is that patients are only able to measure pressure while visiting their doctor. With a wireless implant, a patient has access to their eye pressure data at any time, and continuous monitoring will allow intervention sooner if needed. [Caltech story]

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Gift Enables Transformative Advances in Health Care


The Heritage Medical Research Institute (HMRI), a nonprofit founded by physician and Caltech trustee Richard Merkin, has extended its partnership with Caltech for a minimum of three more years. “I firmly believe that one person can change the world. Imagine what nine, focused HMRI investigators can do for understanding, diagnosing, and treating diseases,” says Merkin, who has served on the Caltech Board of Trustees since 2007. Caltech’s current HMRI investigators include EAS Professors Hyuck Choo, and Azita Emami. [Breakthrough story]

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New Microchip Technology Could Be Used to Track Smart Pills


Azita Emami, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute; and EAS Division Deputy Chair, along with her colleagues including Professor Mikhail Shapiro have developed microscale devices that relay their location in the body. "We wanted to make this chip very small with low power consumption, and that comes with a lot of engineering challenges," says Professor Emami. "We had to carefully balance the size of the device with how much power it consumes and how well its location can be pinpointed." [Caltech story]

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Professor Emami to Speak at NAE Frontiers of Engineering Symposium


Azita Emami, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute; and EAS Division Deputy Chair, has been selected as a speaker for the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 23rd annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (USFOE) symposium. The symposium will cover cutting-edge developments in four areas: Mega-Tall Buildings and Other Future Places of Work, Unraveling the Complexity of the Brain, Energy Strategies to Power Our Future, and Machines That Teach Themselves. The mission of the NAE is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. [NAE Press Release]

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