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Department of Electrical Engineering
271 Marshall W. Alworth Hall
1023 University Dr.
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN 55812
Phone: (218) 726-6147
Fax: (218) 726-7267

UMD Electrical and Computer Engineering
271 MWAH, 1023 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812
Telephone: 218-726-6147
FAX:  218-726-7267
Editor: Shey Peterson


Jiann-Shiou YangIt is my pleasure to update you on the recent ECE news and highlight some of the faculty activities in the Department. Our faculty and students have been very active in all aspects of our educational mission.  As we go forward into the new academic year, the ECE Circuit Board newsletter will keep you informed of department happenings – in the laboratories, in our programs, and in IEEE student activities.

We have an excellent faculty team dedicated to help students accomplish their goals. In this newsletter, I want to share with you a few recent updates in the Department. Professor STAN BURNS, Head of ECE from 1998 to 2007, has been appointed Associate Dean of the Swenson College of Science and Engineering (SCSE). Congratulations on Professor BURNS’ new job and wish him the best! As Interim Department Head, I am very pleased to have two new faculty joined the Department this Fall. Professor TOM FERGUSON has almost thirty years’ experience in power systems engineering, operations, planning and management. As 3M McKnight Visiting Professor, MR. FERGUSON will deliver several seminars to SCSE on alternative energy, help students with research in the energy area, and explore the development of a Center for Sustainable Energy. He will offer a new ECE course "Energy Conversion Systems" to engineering students next spring.  Assistant Professor JING BAI received her Ph.D. from Georgia Tech with expertise in the areas of optoelectronics and nanotechnology. She is teaching Electrical Circuit Analysis this Fall and will teach the Semiconductors course next spring. I am also pleased to welcome our new ECE Executive Secretary, SHEY PETERSON. She worked in the College of Pharmacy at UMD before joining the Department this Fall.

Please keep in touch with our department so that we may maintain accurate student records. Not only do we care about where you are and where you are going, we also need to follow your progress as an important part of the accreditation process. Jot us a quick note and let us know what’s happening. Please send information to us via e-mail, snail-mail, or the department WEB interface. I welcome you to visit the Department the next time you have a chance to come to Duluth.


Stan BurnsI have assumed the position of Associate Dean of the Swenson College of Science and Engineering.  I thoroughly enjoyed my nine years as the ECE Department Head and look forward to the many challenges and opportunities at the collegiate level.  My Associate Dean responsibilities include assessment and ABET accreditation which is coming up in 2009,  space assessment and planning, program and curriculum planning and coordination at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and continuing the Civil Engineering Program implementation.  I will also be assisting in student issues including Engineering Day, local high school outreach, student recruitment, and transfer issues with the community colleges.  A key constituency is the private sector and I will assist in industrial liaison including working with local and regional constituencies in the development of internship and co-op opportunities and expanding efforts and exploitation of innovative on-line and distant education for students working in the public and private sectors.

I will report on SCSE programs in the Spring 2008 ECE Circuit Board. 

Oh yes, I am still holding a piece of chalk as I continue to teach electronic circuits and the introduction to ECE course for freshman.


We are very proud of our Fall 2006 and Spring/ Summer 2007 graduates! 


Joshua Barrett                                               Daniel Olson

Daniel Billings                                                 Ryan Olson

Elias Gieske                                         Jesse Mark Phillips

Benjamin Robert Grant                                Ryan Rausch

Andrew Grzeskowiak                                Joseph Ricasio

Yukti Gurung                                                Stuart Rowan

Jacob Alan Hildebrandt                           John R Schuler

Quyen Kieu                                       Caleb Loren Siffring

Scott Ryan Klar                                        Jonathan Webb

Darik Lamke                                                    Corey Wolff

Kiritharan Loganathan                                Jason Wollak

Patrick Nelsen                                                                      


Bibhu Aryal                                              Spencer Strunic

Abhijeet Shirgurkar


The IEEE student branch has been planning activities as usual for the fall semester. The student turnout has been above par at such things such as the student faculty feedback forum, bowling, and fall picnic. IEEE student elections are held in December. New IEEE members are encouraged to participate at meetings and events and run for an elected position in the student chapter. Current officers are: Derrick Keffeler (President), Jason Staab (Vice President), Mike Arndt (Treasurer), Scott Klar (Public Relations), Anders Mattson (Secretary), and Don Honerbrink (Webmaster).

The IEEE Arrowhead section has contributed to UMD students by putting together different tours each month. Recent tour include: Vista Cruise, power plant, local news station, sawmill, 3d printing facility. They also help the students with funding for projects. The only expectation is a presentation at one of the monthly meetings.

Attending the IEEE Arrowhead section meetings has been an exceptional way to meet some local, long-time engineers from industry.  Students beginning in the engineering field can really learn from the experiences of other engineers. At one meeting we discussed the importance and responsibility of the professional engineer license and what was required to obtain it. Information like this allows students to plan ahead and prepare for the future.

The IEEE student branch is interested in participating in a design contest. Research is currently being done to evaluate what would be a plausible topic.

The recent student faculty feedback forum brought about such topics as bringing about curriculum that prepares students for industry. Two topic interests lie in classes or seminars that teach Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC's) and also Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD). These two topics are often found in job descriptions in industry and could give students an edge as they prepare for their career. Lab updates were also discussed, and future elective courses were proposed.

UMD’s IEEE Student Branch holds bi-weekly meetings on Thursdays at noon in MWAH 102.  The Student Branch can be contacted through emailing DERRICK KEFFELER (President) at or SCOTT NORR (Advisor) at, or viewing the Student Branch’s website through the ECE Department WEB page.


Top Row, left to right –

Yizhao Zhuang - Minnesota Power,  Dinesh Baniya Kshatri - Schott Foundation, Astrit Fetahi -UMD Enbridge Energy Partners LP Scholarship, Derrick Keffeler - UMD Robert J. Marchetti Engineering Scholarship, Kwok Tang - Engineering Scholarship

Bottom Row, left to right -

Ryan Gerou - MN Professional Engineers Foundation, David Marcaccini - UMD Thor A. Gustafson Scholarship, Joen Fook Chu - UMD Johnson Engineering Scholarship, Jeron Smith – Noramco, Kevin Stagman - Engineering Scholarship

Not Pictured -

Eric Branson - UMD Electrical & Computer Engineering Scholarship


Jing BaiA warm welcome to Dr.  Jing Bai joining the faculty as an Assistant Professor August 2007. She received her Ph.D. degree and M.Sc degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007 and 2003, respectively. She also earned the M.Eng. degree in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in 1999 and the B. Eng. degree in Tsinghua University, P. R. China, in 1996 both in Mechanical Engineering. Dr Bai’s research interests include optoelectronics, semiconductor nanostructures, quantum optics, nonlinear optics, and micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS). She is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Optical Society of America (OSA), and the American Physics Society (APS).


Tom FergusonTom Ferguson, recently retired as a Vice President with Minnesota Power,  has been appointed as a visiting  McKnight Professor for the 2007-2008 academic year.  The McKnight foundation supports faculty who will contribute to the research and teaching missions of the Department and the College. He will be expanding our efforts in power systems and the related socio-economic impacts of energy usage. 

As a young engineer, Mr. Ferguson was heavily involved in the start-up of the Department in the mid-1980s, and has taught a variety of upper division courses throughout its twenty-year existence.  He chaired the Department’s Industrial Advisory Board until 2005. Mr. Ferguson holds Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering from the UMTC, with concentrations in power systems and electromagnetics. His education at UMD and the UMTC prepared him well for chairing several national and international power systems organizations, for advising members of Congress on energy matters, and for crafting policy on electric energy deregulation.   His interests include all aspects of energy conversion and distribution, including policy and environmental issues, and he remains a student of communications systems and antenna design.


Shey Peterson joined us as an Executive Secretary August, 2007.  Shey has been with UMD since 1990, first as a student then working for the Medical School and most recently the College of Pharmacy. Currently working on her Master of Social Work Degree, she finished her BA in Communication in 1998.  She has worked in Duluth as a secretary since 1993, including at Duluth Steam.


Dr.  Paul Weber and Scott Norr teamed up on a Chancellor's Faculty Small Grant entitled "Embedded Systems and Digital Design Projects" to upgrade the ECE 1315, Digital Systems Design course. Programmable Logic Development boards will be used in ECE 1315 to implement more complex embedded systems and digital design projects by designing, simulating, and verifying their functionality. The boards also offer an integrated environment for visual I/O, including DIP switches, 7-segment displays, and  LEDs that are built into the board. This allows freshman students to work on hands-on design projects using these PLD boards.


Prof. Marian S. Stachowicz was the principal liaison for the meeting between Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin from UMD, Dean James P. Riehl from College of Science and Engineering UMD and officials from AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland. During August 23 – 29, 2007 Dean Boleslaw Karwat and Prof. Bogdan Sapinski from the School of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics and for Dean Lech Bukowski, and Prof. Jerzy Feliks from the School of Management visited UMD and had a discussion on the scientific and educational topics of mutual interest.


Dr. Tang’s current  research focuses on developing computer aided design methods and tools for system-level design and circuit-level design of analog and mixed-signal systems.  Some targeted challenges include process-parameter-variation-aware VLSI circuit design and fast statistical performance analysis techniques. Currently, he is supervising graduate students on transistor-level analog VLSI design, with special interest to address chip-level non-idealities, such as clock jitter.


Mr. Matt Webb was a graduate student who started in Fall 2005 and graduated in June 2007.  Currently, Matt Webb is with Goodrich Sensor Systems in Burnsville, Minnesota. His MS  research focused on CMOS transistor-level design of a Delta-Sigma modulator for WCDMA wireless communication using TSMC 0.25μm process. The design was completed in Cadence and it was simulated to be able to meet the design requirements of WCDMA. Currently, the design is sent to MOSIS for fabrication.

Chang HairongMs. Chang Hairong is a graduate student who started in Fall 2006 and is currently a 2nd-year graduate student. Her research is focusing on system-level simulation of clock jitter effects in continuous-time Delta-Sigma modulators and transistor-level design of the modulator for clock jitter cancellation.


Mr. Zheng Yi is a graduate student who started in Fall 2006 and is now a 2nd-year graduate student. His research is focusing on designing a CMOS hardware processor for fast and efficient vehicle tracking. Another research project is to design a CMOS hardware processor for vehicle tracking to improve speed and efficiency. The project is currently supported by Northland Advanced Transportation Research Laboratory (NATSRL).



Congratulations to Prof. Hayee who was granted tenure Spring 2007.  He has been very active as the new ECE Director of Graduate Studies. 



One of his graduate students, Abhijeet Shirgurkar, presented a poster in a national conference on Optical Fiber Communications on March 25 -- 30, 2007 in Anaheim, CA. His MS research consists of how to increase capacity in transoceanic optical fiber communications systems. The research work which he presented in OFC 07 was about to explore simple modulation formats to increase the transmission capacity of wavelength division multiplexed transoceanic systems. He showed in his research that Pi/2 alternate phase modulation can enhance the transoceanic system performance by more than three dB as compared to more commonly used 0 or Pi alternate phase modulation. OFC 07 is an international conference and more than 10,000 people attended this conference this year in Anaheim, CA"


Dr. Taek Kwon continues to work closely with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN/DOT)  and the Northland Advanced Transportation Systems Research Laboratories (NATSRL) on a variety of projects. Dr. Kwon presented a paper entitled, "Signal Processing of Piezoelectric Weigh-in-Motion Systems," at the Fifth IASTED International Conference on Circuits, Signals, and Systems (CSS 2007), Banff, Canada, pp. 233-238, Banff, Canada, July 2-4, 2007. He also served as a Chair for the session entitled "Application and CAD" in that conference.

He is starting a new research project entitled, "Advanced Dynamic LED Warning Signs for Rural Intersections Powered by Renewable Energy." This project is sponsored by the Local Road Research Board (LRRB).

Looking ahead, he will present a paper entitled "Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulator for Weigh-in-Motion System Development Environment," at the TRB 2008 in January. He will also teach a workshop on data archive management systems at the same conference.

Related to his teaching activities, he has implemented the use of FPGA boards in the computer architecture, ECE 4305 course.   Students learn VHDL and FPGA implementation of RISC processors. This laboratory will also be used   for senior projects.


Ryan Weidemann, an ECE graduate student, presented a paper entitled, "Experiments With Solar/Wind Integrated Renewable Light Pole," at the 2007 National Rural ITS Conference (NRITS07), Oct. 7-10, Traverse City, Michigan.



Faculty have been very active in their research and scholarship activities. 

C. Carroll, "A Turing Machine for the 21st Century." American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) national conference, Honolulu, June 2007.

C.  Carroll, "Test Equipment for High School Digital Electronics Designs under Project Lead the Way."  Regional ASEE meeting, Houghton, MI, September 2007. Dr. Carroll plans to teach the Project Lead the Way high school course on Digital Electronics during the 2008-2009 academic year, helping to strengthen high school interaction with UMD in the Digital Electronics area.

J. Bai and D. S. Citrin, "Optical and Transport Characteristics of Quantum Cascade Lasers with Optimized Second Harmonic Generation", IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, vol. 43, no. 5, May 2007.

E. Trybus, O. Jani, S. Burnham, J. Bai, D. S. Citrin, I. Ferguson, W. A. Doolittle, C. Honsberg and M. Steiner, "Characteristics of InGaN Designed for Photovoltaic Applications", 7th International Conference of Nitride Semiconductors (ICNS-7), Las Vegas, NV, USA, September 16-21, 2007.

J. Bai and D. S. Citrin, "Performance Analysis of Mid-Infrared Quantum Cascade Lasers with Enhanced Optical Nonlinearity", the 9th International Conference on Intersubband Transitions in Quantum Wells, Ambleside, Cumbria, U.K., September 9-14, 2007.

J. Bai and D. S. Citrin, "Design of Nonlinearity Enhanced Quantum Cascade Lasers", PHASE & IPSSO 2007, Metz, France, March 28-30, 2007.

Y. Wei, H. Tang, A. Doboli, "Systematic Methodology for Designing Reconfigurable Delta-Sigma Modulator Topologies for Multimode Communication Systems", IEEE Transactions on Computer Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 480-496, Mar 2007.

H. Tang, T. Kwon, Y. Zheng, H. Chang, "Design CMOS Processors for Vehicle Tracking", Proc. of 50th IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems (MWSCAS’07), Montreal, Canada, Aug 5-8th, 2007.

H. Tang, M. Webb, "Optimal Synthesis of Delta-Sigma Modulator Topologies Considering SNR Variation", Proc. of 50th IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems (MWSCAS’07), Montreal, Canada, Aug 5-8th, 2007.

M. Stachowicz presented a workshop and poster, "Fuzzy Sets Theory and Mathematical Modeling, Structure Identifications for MIMO Fuzzy Systems",  at the International Carpathian Control Conference, ICCC 2007, High Tatras, Slovak Republic, on May 31 - 27, 2007.

M. Stachowicz, presented a course, Computer Organization and Architecture, for graduate students at the School of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics, AG-H University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland Krakow, Poland, May 31 - June 6, 2007.

M. Stachowicz and Adilbek N. Karaguishiyev, former UMD ECE student, "Preliminary Algorithm for Intelligent Diagnosis System" and "Colors for Intelligent Diagnosis System", 8th International Conference on Active Noise and Vibration Control Methods, MARDiH 2007 in the Conference Center located in Krasiczyn, Poland on June 11 - 14, 2007.

P. J. Weber, "DIMPLE: DynamIc Membership ProtocoL for Epidemic protocols," Fourth International Conference on Broadband Communications, Networks, and Systems (IEEE BroadNets 2007), Raleigh, NC September 10 - 14, 2007 in.  The work was done in collaboration with Jin Sun, Byung Choi, and Roger Kieckhafer from Michigan Technological University.

P. J. Weber, "Encouraging Sustainable Practices via Student Presentations", 2007 ASEE North Midwest Section Meeting, Houghton, MI. September 20 – 22.  2007 in Houghton, MI.

J.-S. Yang, "Application of the Kalman Filter to the Arterial Travel Time Prediction – A Special Event Case Study," Control and Intelligent Systems, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 79-85,  2007.

J.-S. Yang, "A Model-Free Approach to Special Events Traffic Signal Timing Control," Control and Intelligent Systems, to appear (accepted for publication, July 2007).

K. Yang and J.-S. Yang, "Newspaper Circulation Volume Modeling and Prediction via Time Series Analysis: A Case Study," Proc. of the 2007 International Conference on Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Methods, WORLDCOMP’07, pp. 11-17, Las Vegas, NV, June 25-28, 2007.


The following projects were funded through (UROP) Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.

Buddhika R. Maitipe completed a project entitled "Modeling of the Human Body Using Stochastic PetriNets" with mentoring and collaboration with Dr. Paul J. Weber.  The paper and research are currently being extended for presentation and publication at a conference.

Yizhao Zhuang completed a UROP project titled "Precipitation Data Analysis, Modeling and Prediction Using the Time Series Analysis Method" under the supervision of Dr. Jiann-Shiou Yang.

Dinesh Baniya Kshatri also participated in the UROP program under the guidance of Dr. Fernando Rios-Guttierez with his project "Designing, Simulating and Implementing a Fuzzy Controller for a Four-helix VTOL Flying Device".

Dr. Fernando Rios-Guttierez also supervised Elias Gieske’s UROP project entitled "Object Detection and Avoidance System"                       

John Hoverman completed his UROP project "Intelligent Stethoscope with Fuzzy Classification" under the supervision of Dr. Marian Stachowicz.

Marian Stachowicz was also the UROP supervisor for  Matt Verreaux on his project titled "Alternative to Physical Rumble Strips using Generated Signals".

Ryan Olson completed his project,  "Eigenface Facial Recognition System for  Biometric  Security Implementation", with assistance from Dr. Imran Hayee.

Joen Fook Chu’s UROP project  "Voice and Color Recognition System for Robotic Applications" was guided by Dr. R. Alba-Flores.


Since 1998, each student body has successively been the largest in UMD’s history, and our documented academic excellence has been rising right along with it.  But as we educate the next generation that has an inspiring passion to learn, we are aware of a critical shortfall; the need for more scholarships.

Currently, ECE is able to provide about 15 scholarships a year.  Most of these are funded by annual gifts from local businesses.  We only have one endowed permanent scholarship.  Through the Reaching Higher Scholarship Initiative we hope to increase this number.  The University has committed institutional funds to match the payout of the new endowed scholarships.  For example, if $1,000 is being awarded from a new endowed scholarship fund, UMD will match that with an additional $1,000.  And that doubles the chances for success of our students.

·   Any gift (or pledge payable over up to 5 years) of $10,000 or more that meets program qualifications is eligible for the match.

·   Gifts are used to create an endowment fund for UMD students.

·   A little less than five percent of the fund’s market value is paid out annually to fund the scholarship.  Each year, UMD will match this payout to double the impact of the gift.


The Reaching Higher Scholarship Initiative is a great opportunity for donors to double the impact of their giving and truly help students achieve their educational goals.

For more information about the Reaching Higher Scholarship Initiative please contact Tricia Bunten, Development Director for the College of Science and Engineering, at 218-726-6995 or toll-free at 1-866-999-6995 or email

If you would like to make a donation to support the efforts of the ECE Department and/or for scholarships , you may send your contributions to: 

Ms. Tricia Bunten                      
UMD/CSE Development Director
148 Engineering Building
1303 Ordean Court
Duluth, MN  55812-3025

Please note "ECE Department" on your check.



Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Minnesota Duluth
271 MWAH, 1023 University Drive
Duluth, MN  55812
Telephone:  218-726-6147
Fax:  218-726-7267
Web Site:

ECE Interim Department Head

Dr. Jiann-Shiou Yang

Information about the MSECE Degree Program

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Last modified on 07/12/13 11:08 AM
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