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EECS Has Several Honored by UTRF

During the UT Research Foundation’s annual awards in December, several groups and individuals from the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science were recognized for their efforts.

Professor Michael Berry had a maturation grant for his work with UT Health Science Center Assistant Professor Jillian McCarthy-Maeder on Vocabulary Coordinator (VocaCoord): A Speech to Text Solution to Accessing Academic Vocabulary.

EECS also has ties to seven patents that were issued for 2019:

  • Professor Emeritus Doug Birdwell, Professor Emeritus Mark Dean, and alumna Catherine Schuman, for three: Method and Apparatus for Constructing, Using and Reusing Components and Structures of an Artificial Neural Network; Method and Apparatus for Constructing a Dynamic Adaptive Neural Network Array (DANNA); and Method and Apparatus for Providing Real-Time Monitoring of an Artificial Neural Network
  • Birdwell and Schuman, for a fourth, Method and Apparatus for Providing Random Selection and Long-Term Potentiation and Depression in an Artificial Network
  • Governor’s Chair for Power Electronics Yilu Liu, alumnus Wenxuan Yao, and graduate student Jiecheng Zhao, for Synchrophasor Measurement Method for Power Systems
  • Liu, Yao, former Assistant Professor Wei Gao, student Haoyang Lu, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Lingwei Zhan, for Mobile Electric Field Sensor Based Phasor Measurement Unit for Monitoring an Electric Power Grid
  • Associate Professor Daniel Costinett, Min H. Kao Professor Leon Tolbert, Professor and Condra Chair of Excellence in Power Electronics Fei Wang, students Jingxin Wang and Fei Yang, and ORNL’s Sheng Zheng, for DC Current Controller for Continuously Variable Series Reactor
Picture of Dr. Fangxing "Fran" Li

EECS Professor Appointed Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Journal

Dr. Fran Li, a James McConnell Professor in EECS and an IEEE Fellow, has been named the Editor-In-Chief (EIC) of IEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy (OAJPE), effective January 1, 2020. The journal website can be found at

Prof. Li has been providing significant service in his professional society, IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES). For instance, he has been the Chair (since 2020) and Vice Chair (2016-2019) for the largest PES committee, Power System Operation, Planning and Economics (PSOPE). He has served as the Vice EIC for Journal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy (MPCE) in 2019, a Consulting Editor (2017-2019) and Editor (2011-2017) for IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy, an Editor for IEEE Transactions on Power Systems (2017-2019), and an Editor for IEEE PES Letters (2011-2019). He is the recipient of the PES Technical Committee Distinguished Service Award in 2015 and a co-recipient (as Vice Chair) of the “Technical Committee of the Year” award in 2018.

Prof. Li has also received numerous research awards including the 2018 PES Technical Committee Prize Paper award, the 2016-2017 Highly Cited Paper award from Applied Energy (IF: 8.426), and four Best Conference Papers at a number of recent IEEE PES General Meetings. He is an IEEE Fellow (Class of 2017).

Picture of Dr. Jack Dongarra

Jack Dongarra Selected to Receive the 2020 IEEE Computer Society’s Computer Pioneer Award

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 14 January 2020 – Dr. Jack Dongarra, who holds an appointment at the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Manchester, has been named to receive the IEEE Computer Society’s 2020 Computer Pioneer Award.

The award is given for significant contributions to early concepts and developments in the electronic computer field, which have clearly advanced the state-of-the-art in computing.  Dongarra is being recognized “for leadership in the area of high-performance mathematical software.”

Dr. Dongarra specializes in numerical algorithms in linear algebra, parallel computing, use of advanced computer architectures, programming methodology, and tools for parallel computers. He was awarded the IEEE Sid Fernbach Award in 2004; in 2008, he was the recipient of the first IEEE Medal of Excellence in Scalable Computing; in 2010, he was the first recipient of the SIAM Special Interest Group on Supercomputing’s award for Career Achievement; in 2011, he was the recipient of the IEEE Charles Babbage Award; in 2013, he received the ACM/IEEE Ken Kennedy Award; and in 2019, he received the ACM/SIAM Computational Science and Engineering Prize.

He is a Fellow of the AAAS, ACM, IEEE, and SIAM and a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Science, a foreign member of the British Royal Society, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Dongarra will receive his award at the Computer Society’s annual awards dinner and presentation to be held on Wednesday evening, 27 May 2020 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner during the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors meeting. The award consists of a silver medal and an invitation to speak at the award presentation.

Recent recipients of the award include Laura Haas, Jitendra Malik, Barbara Liskov, Bjarne Stroustrup, Michael Flynn, Peter Kogge, Linus Torvalds, Edward Feigenbaum, and Cleve Moler. Read more about the Computer Pioneer Award, including a list of all past recipients.

About IEEE Computer Society

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EECS Professor and Research Group Receive Two NSF Awards

Picture of Dr. Michela Taufer

Michela Taufer

Michela Taufer and her research group are the recipients of two NSF awards for their High-Performance Computing (HPC) research.

The first is a $1.2 million award in conjunction with The University of Texas.  The title of their project is “ANACIN-X: Analysis and modeling of Nondeterminism and Associated Costs in eXtreme scale applications.” Read the abstract here.

The second is a $300,000 award with The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The title of this project is “EAGER: Reproducibility and Cyberinfrastructure for Computational and Data-Enabled Science.” Read the abstract here.

EECS Professor Receives Grant at the 2019 UTRF Innovation Awards

EECS professor Michael Berry and Dr. Jillian Maeder from Audiology and Speech Pathology received a 2020 Technology Maturation Grant for their VocaCoord technology, at the 2019 University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) Innovation Awards on December 4.

The Knoxville awards ceremony, held on December 4, recognized the UT researchers whose innovations better society. 2019 honorees included researchers who patented 19 new innovations and/or secured 28 licenses, as well as a new startup company showing enormous potential, Electro-Active Technologies. Five teams of UT researchers were awarded Maturation Grants, helping to further the development of technologies with potential for commercial success. Throughout this year, UTRF received 168 invention disclosures and filed 108 patents for UT inventions.

Read more.

CURENT Faculty and Researchers Recognized at 2019 Innovation Awards

picture of CURENT faculty and researchers being recognized for issued patents at the 2019 Innovation Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, December 4picture of CURENT faculty and researchers being recognized for issued patents at the 2019 Innovation Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, December 4Several CURENT faculty and researchers were recognized for Issued Patents at the 2019 Innovation Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, December 4th, at The Foundry in Knoxville, TN. The awards are given by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) to distinquish University of Tennessee researchers whose innovations better society.

The following CURENT faculty, research staff and students were honored for issued patents.

Wei Gao, Yilu Liu, Haoyang Lu, Wenxuan Yao and Lingwei Zhan for Mobile Electric Field Sensor Based Phasor Measurement Unit for Monitoring an Electric Power Grid

Yilu Liu, Wenxuan Yao and Jiecheng Zhao for Synchrophasor Measurement Method for Power Systems

Daniel Costinett, Leon Tolbert, Fei “Fred” Wang, Jingxin Wang and Sheng Zheng for DC Current Controller for Continuously Variable Series Reactor

Please join us in wishing all the people above a hearty congratulations for their achievement.

CURENT is a National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Engineering Research Center headquartered at UT. Partner institutions are Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Tuskegee University.

Picture of Dr. Lynne Parker speaking at a White House event on Artificial Intelligence in Government

Parker Named Deputy US Chief Technology Officer

UT Professor Lynne Parker was one of two people named deputy US chief technology officers on Wednesday, joining Winter Casey in that honor.

“I am very excited and humbled by my selection for this position,” Parker said. “It’s an exciting time for emerging technology and innovation, and I look forward to helping our country in any way that I can.”

The US chief technology officer is a position within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where Parker was has been serving as assistant director for artificial intelligence since August 2018.

In this new role, she’ll help guide policies and efforts related to the industries of the future, which include quantum information science, advanced communications, advanced manufacturing, and the bioeconomy, in addition to continuing a strong focus on artificial intelligence.

Read more

Two EECS/CURENT Alumni and EECS/CURENT Professor Receive IEEE PES Technical Committee Prize Paper Award

Two EECS/CURENT alumni, Dr. Haoyu (Harry) Yuan, who is now a research staff member at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and a former direct Ph.D. student of EECS/CURENT (2011-2016); Dr. Yanli Wei who is now an Advisor in Energy Deal Structuring at Southern California Edison and a former doctoral student of EECS/CURENT (2009-2013); and their former advisor Dr. Fran Li, have received the IEEE PES Technical Committee Prize Paper award. Dr. Fran Li is the corresponding author of this award-winning paper.

They were honored during the PSOPE (Power System Operation, Planning and Economics) Technical Committee main meeting at the IEEE PES General Meeting 2019, held in Atlanta during August 4-8, 2019. The paper has been selected from a total of 12 nominations from all papers published in five IEEE PES Transactions in the scope aligned with the PSOPE technical committee, which is the largest committee within PES. Here is the paper’s citation:

Haoyu Yuan, Fangxing Li, Yanli Wei, and Jinxiang Zhu, “Novel Linearized Power Flow and Linearized OPF Models for Active Distribution Networks with Application in Distribution LMP,” IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 438-448, Jan. 2018.

EECS/CURENT Alum and Two Faculty Members Receive Highly Cited Paper Award

Dr. Linquan Bai, a recent alumnus of EECS/CURENT and now an Assistant Professor at UNC Charlotte; Dr. Hantao Cui, CURENT research assistant professor and former part-time EECS/CURENT doctoral student (2012-2016); and their former advisor Dr. Fran Li, have received the Highly Cited Paper Award from the journal Applied Energy. Li’s visiting scholar, Dr. Jiang Tao (2019-2020), is also a co-author. Li is the corresponding author of this award-winning paper.

With an impact factor of 8.426, Applied Energy is a leading journal in the broad area of energy engineering and science. The award is highly competitive as it is bestowed to only 16 research papers and 13 review papers among 3200+ published papers in Applied Energy in 2016 and 2017. The award was issued during the International Conference of Applied Energy (ICAE), held August 12-15, 2019 in Sweden. Here is the paper’s citation:

  1. Bai, F. Li, H. Cui, T. Jiang, et al., “Interval Optimization based Operating Strategy for Gas-Electricity Integrated Energy Systems Considering Demand Response and Wind Uncertainty,” Applied Energy, vol. 167, pp. 270-279, Apr. 2016.

EECS Student Named to ‘20 Under 20’

Picture of EECS freshman computer engineering student Kaitlyn DanielsAn EECS student has been honored by the Knoxville News Sentinel for excellence in leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the 2019 20 Under 20 awards.

Kaitlyn Daniels, 19, is a freshman studying computer engineering. She and two other UT student awardees were featured in the November issue of magazine and honored at an awards reception last Thursday at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Daniels was also a dedicated Girl Scout, earning the Gold Award with an extraordinary leadership record. When Seymour Junior High School was under construction, Daniels noticed a decline in birds and greenery around the area. She decided to create a garden space at the junior high, adding trees and native plants to attract pollinators. Daniels partnered with the special education department at Seymour High School for the installation of a wheelchair-accessible raised garden. Daniels remains invested in the Seymour community, continuing work on an outdoor classroom, maintaining a seed library, and leading a science club. She lives by the goal of “wanting to make the world a better place.”

At UT, Daniels writes for the Daily Beacon and is involved with the Society of Women Engineers, looking to blend her love for science with her passion for helping others. This summer she will intern with Lockheed Martin, a global security and aerospace company. Daniels hopes to start her own business or become a science teacher in the future.

Read more about Kaitlyn Daniels

Read about the other two UT student awardees

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