The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering continues to grow with the hiring of six new faculty members.
To start, ECE is gaining a new department head: Michael Wu, whose research focuses on security and privacy in intelligent computing and communication systems. Wu holds a BS in scientific instruments from Zhejiang University, an MS in electrical and computer engineering from SUNY Buffalo, and a PhD in computer science, also from SUNY Buffalo. Wu enjoys working in leadership because he can touch so many different areas – much like the field of ECE itself, which is applicable to fields including quantum computing, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, medical technology, drones, and autonomous vehicles.
“I really see that ECE is going to play a critical role in transforming a lot of those technologies,” said Wu, who is also a runner looking forward to racking up miles in Tucson. “We are already a very strong department, but we want to place ourselves among the top programs in the nation and in the world.”
Abhijit Mahalanobis has been hired as an associate professor. After completing his PhD at Carnegie Mellon, Mahalanobis spent three years as an assistant professor here at the UA. He looks forward to advancing his research in image and signal processing, with an emphasis on imaging systems and algorithms for machine learning.
“Coming back to the University of Arizona and to be a faculty member again in the ECE department gives me a sense of returning home to pick up where I left off years ago,” Mahalanobis said. “I am looking forward to building a strong research program, to collaborating with faculty members in the College of Engineering and in other institutions, and to teaching and mentoring students.”
Mohammad Abu Matar comes on board as an associate professor of practice. Abu Matar holds a PhD in software engineering from George Mason University and has worked in industry for many years. Previous companies include LexisNexis, IBM Global Services and NobleProg. He has also worked as a senior researcher at Khalifa University, a consulting dean at the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair School of Advanced Computing, and as an associate professor and director of the MS in Software Engineering Program at Regis University.
Formerly a postdoctoral researcher in ECE, Narayanan Rengaswamy is continuing his time in the department as an assistant professor. His research focuses on using classical and quantum error correction techniques to reduce noise in quantum computing and networking.
“The error correction techniques that I develop will help make these quantum systems more and more reliable, so that large enough quantum computers and networks can be built and used to solve these hard problems that we deeply care about,” he said.
Danella Zhao will continue her research on intelligent nanocomputing as an associate professor. Zhao completed her PhD in computer science and engineering at the University of Buffalo. She has worked as a Lockheed Martin Corporation/BORSF Endowed Associate Professor at the Center for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Most recently, she served as the graduate program director and associate professor of computer science at Old Dominion University.
Soheil Salehi has been hired as an assistant professor. Salehi earned his PhD in computer engineering from the University of Central Florida, then worked as a postdoctoral researcher and NSF-sponsored Computing Innovation Fellow at the University of California, Davis. He researches the use of AI to secure Internet of Things sensing and computing hardware. He uses ground-up methods to ensure reliability, security and energy-efficiency of hardware, and works to bridge deep learning research with hardware design methods.
These hires join 10 other new faculty at the University of Arizona College of Engineering for the new academic year.