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UNL recognized with 3 IEEE awards

The UNL IEEE PES/PELS/IAS Joint Student Branch Chapter won in three categories of IEEE's Industrial Applications Society Chapter and Membership Development awards and contests. Dingguo Lu, who leads the IEEE PES/PELS/IAS Joint Student Branch Chapter at UNL, thanked chapter members and the faculty who helped guide the group’s success, with honors including:

* Outstanding Student Branch Joint Chapter (2012 activity)
* Top honors in the 2013 Chapter Website Contest (view site at; webmaster Daihyun Ha is a UNL EE graduate student
* First prize, Graduate Student Thesis Contest, to Taesic Kim for “A Hybrid Battery Model Capable of Capturing Dynamic Circuit Characteristics and Nonlinear Capacity Effects.” Kim's thesis adviser Wei Qiao (Harold and Esther Edgerton Associate Professor with UNL Electrical Engineering) also advises the IEEE PES/PELS/IAS joint student branch chapter at UNL.

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Qiao earns NSF funding for optimizing wind energy systems

Wei Qiao, Harold and Esther Edgerton Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, received a three-year, $359,852 grant from the National Science Foundation for research on Cognitive Prediction-Enabled Online Intelligent Fault Diagnosis and Prognosis for Wind Energy Systems. His team’s work will focus on the use of time and frequency domain data mining methods to effectively extract the features of faults in a wind turbine from the signals acquired from the wind turbine condition monitoring system; and study the use of artificial neural networks and machine learning for intelligently diagnosing and predicting the faults and lifetime, while quantitatively evaluating the physical condition, of the wind turbine using the extracted fault features.

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UNL MRSEC paper, in collaboration with work by EE's Mathias Schubert and team, published in physics journals

A paper by UNL's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, including work by Professor Mathias Schubert's team with the Department of Electrical Engineering, has excelled in prominent physics journals. "Direct graphene growth on Co3O4 (111) by molecular beam epitaxy" was published in the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter (JPCM); the Institute of Physics (IoP) selected that article for its yearly scientific highlights of 2012: one of approximately 40 papers chosen from 1,800 candidates. The paper has had more than 4,000 downloads from IoP, prior to this higher recognition.

Juan Colon

Xiong and UNL EE team published in Nature journal, Light Science & Applications

Research by Wei Xiong, electrical engineering graduate student with UNL's Laser-Assisted Nano-Engineering Lab team, has become one of the "top-five most cited papers" in Nature LSA. The work is titled "Simultaneous additive and subtractive three-dimensional nanofabrication using integrated two-photon polymerization and multiphoton ablation."


Juan Colon

Qiao earns best paper honor from IEEE's IAS

A team including Wei Qiao, assistant professor with UNL’s Department of Electrical Engineering, earned First Prize - Best Paper Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Industrial Applications Society, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Conversion Systems Committee. Qiao co-wrote the paper titled “Current-Based Diagnosis for Gear Tooth Breaks in Wind Turbine Gearboxes” for the organization’s 2012 Energy Conversion Congress & Expo. This honor will be celebrated at the IAS committee’s annual meeting during ECCE 2013: September in Denver.


Juan Colon

Colon gains prestigious UNL graduate award

Juan Colon, Ph.D. was one of two winners of this year’s Lowe R. & Mavis M. Folsom Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award. Colon, from San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, studied with both Electrical Engineering and Physics programs at UNL. His dissertation's title is "Rare Earth Dopants in Semiconducting Host Systems for Spin Electronics Devices."


John Woollam

Woollam wins APS Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics

John Woollam, George Holmes Distinguished Professor, was awarded the APS 2013 Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics. Woollam also leads Lincoln's J.A. Woollam Company, which specializes in producing spectroscopic ellipsometers for research and industry. In addition, Woollam has funded a series of graduate fellowships at UNL.


UNL EE grad students 1 of 2 Nebraska Engineering teams in top five of Smarter Planet competition

UNL EE grad students recognized in Smarter Planet challenge

A UNL Electrical Engineering team earned fifth place in the Smarter Planet Challenge, sponsored by IBM, with its GIS-based Wind Farm Suitability and Planning Study. Led by EE graduate students Salman Kahrobaee of Tehran, Iran, and Dingguo Lu of Hangzhou, China, team members also included UNL GIS and remote sensing students Tarlan Razzaghi of Tehran, Anthony L. Nguy-Robertson of Mooresville, Ind., and David Gibbs of Earlysville, Va. Lu and Kahrobaee had worked on the initial concept in a wind energy class taught by Jerry Hudgins, professor and chair in UNL's electrical engineering department. They further developed the project with their collaborators and Don Rundquist, a professor in the School of Natural Resources, to help layer data on site topography, wind patterns and other environmental factors for more informed and effective placement of wind turbines. "It's great that what we learned in class can apply to real challenges," Lu said. Kahrobaee added, "It was fun to work on this project with students from other disciplines." Their team's $1,000 prize will help them refine the project for potential commercialization.

Cheryl Wemhoff

Wemhoff earns UNOPA honor

Graduate adviser Cheryl Wemhoff received a Floyd S. Oldt Silver Pen Award at a University of Nebraska Office Professionals Association event. She was cited for her leadership, student service and positive relationship within and beyond the Department of Electrical Engineering, and the College of Engineering.


EE course workElectric vehicles course brings Tesla Motors co-founder to UNL

Don Cox, ’59 B.S. and ’60 M.S. ELEC, gets the wheels turning for students in the UNL engineering course he teaches, ELEC 498/898, Sec. 004—Electric Vehicles. The course has included test drives of Cox’s sleek, “radiant red” Tesla Roadster. At the Nov. 14 class, Tesla Motors' co-founder Martin Eberhard spoke about alternative power technology.

Learn more about a "sweet (and sustainable) ride" ...



Lu to serve as president-elect of the Laser Institute of America in 2013

Yongfeng Lu, Lott Distinguished Professor with UNL Electrical Engineering, has an elevated leadership role with LIA. Having served among the group's officers, his new position tracks toward further distinction with the organization




Schubert featured in International Innovation journal

December 2012

Study of indium gallium nitride semiconductor systems used in light-emitting diode (LED) products and potentially other innovations, is a focus for Mathias Schubert, professor with UNL's Department of Electrical Engineering. His work was featured in "Lightbulb Moment," an article in the journal of International Innovation; an excerpt appears at


Gachovska leads Nov. 21 online course on Power Semiconductor Devices Modeling for Aalborg University

November 2012

Tanya Gachovska, postdoctoral researcher with UNL’s Department of Electrical Engineering, leads a one-day online course, Nov. 21, on Power Semiconductor Devices/Modeling for Denmark’s Aalborg University. Gachovska received her M.Eng. degree in electrical engineering specializing in Automation of Production and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering specializing in Pulsed Electric Field (PEF) from University of Ruse, Bulgaria, in 1995 and 2003, respectively. She worked as an assistant professor from 1999-2003 at the University of Ruse, then conducted research for two years and taught for a semester at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. In 2012, she finished her second Ph.D. in electrical engineering, specializing in Power Electronics and specifically Modeling of Power Semiconductor Devices, and continues as a lecturer at UNL. She is the author or co-author of more than 30 technical papers and conference presentations, and holds a world patent in PEF. All are welcome to attend this course by registering online, no later than Nov. 19, at


Xiong impresses with honor at ICALEO

October 2012

Wei Xiong, a graduate student with University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Electrical Engineering, earned second place for his research paper in the 14th Annual ICALEOR Best Student Paper Award Contest. His topic, "Three-Dimensional Micro/Nano-Fabrication by Integration of Additive and Subtractive Femtosecond-Laser Direct Writing Processes," was developed in his work with UNL’s Laser-Assisted Nano Engineering (LANE) Lab, led by Prof. Yongfeng Lu.

Wei Qiao and Yue Zhao, UNL Electrical Engineering

Energy choices presentation slated for Sept. 24 at UNL East Campus

"Energy Choices for the 21st Century" is the topic for a presentation Monday, Sept. 24, from 3-5 p.m. at Hardin Hall Auditorium (33rd and Holdrege St., UNL East Campus). The speaker, Ron Binz, is a 30-year veteran of utility and energy policy, and principal with Public Policy Consulting. The talk is conducted by Nebraska State Senator Ken Haar and the UNL Department of Electrical Engineering.

Most recently, Binz served four years as chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, where he implemented the many policy changes championed by the governor and the legislature to bring forward Colorado’s “New Energy Policy.” Binz will present a review of the report he authored: “Practicing Risk-Aware Electricity Regulation: What Every State Regulator Needs to Know.”

“It is important to examine the planning of major investments by public power in its generation assets from every perspective,” said Senator Haar, who added that the report by Binz "... challenges us to look not only at the price of generation resources, but also the relative risk of acquiring those resources.”

The presentation is free and open to the public and will feature a question and answer period following the speaker's address. For more information, call the office of Sen. Haar: (402) 471-2673.

Alumnus instructor offers Tesla test drives with UNL electric vehicles course

UNL alumnus' electric vehicles course drives interest in alternative power

August 2012

Don Cox, ’59 B.S. and ’60 M.S. ELEC, gets the wheels turning for students in the UNL engineering class he teaches, ELEC 498/898, Sec. 004—Electric Vehicles. On Wednesday afternoons, the learning shifts from a Nebraska Hall classroom to a nearby parking lot, where Cox’s sleek, red Tesla Roadster awaits. Read more about this "sweet (and sustainable) ride" ...

Wei Qiao and Yue Zhao, UNL Electrical Engineering

Zhao and Qiao recognized at ITEC 2012 with Best Paper honor

July 2012

Electrical Engineering graduate student Yue Zhao (right) was honored with a Best Paper award at IEEE’s Transportation Electrification Conference and Expo (ITEC 2012). He co-wrote the paper with Harold and Esther Edgerton Assistant Professor Wei Qiao (left), and Long Wu, a researcher from the John Deere Co. Their work focused on “Oscillation mitigation for sliding-mode observers in sensorless control of IPMSMs,” which has relevance in the development of hybrid electric vehicles—an area of study that’s of interest to many companies.

Fred Choobineh, UNL Electrical Engineering

Choobineh appointed to NSF Cyberinfrastructure Committee

May 2012

Fred Choobineh, Ph.D., Blackman Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Director of Nebraska EPSCoR, has been appointed to the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure. According to the NSF website, "The Advisory Committee provides perspective and advice to the National Science Foundation on the Agency's plans and programmatic strategies to develop and support a state-of-the-art cyberinfrastructure that enables significant advances in all fields of science and engineering." His appointment will end in December 2014.

View his faculty page.

Professor Hamid Vakilzadian, UNL Electrical Engineering

Vakilzadian speaks at International Conference on System Simulation in China
Professor Hamid Vakilzadian (at podium) spoke at the 2012 International Conference on System Simulation in Shanghai, China. The April event focused on the integration of systems simulation technology for computers, information, networks, image processing and automatic controls in support of aerospace, automotive, military, nuclear, medical and other applications.

View his faculty page.

Mathias Schubert

EE's Schubert named APS fellow

January 2012

Mathias Schubert, associate professor of electrical engineering, has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society. Election to the fellowship is limited to no more than one-half of one percent of the society’s membership. Schubert joined UNL in 2005 after studying physics at Universitat Leipzig in Germany.

View his faculty page.


Jerry Hudgins, UNL Electrical Engineering

Hudgins elected to IEEE Board of Directors

Jerry Hudgins, department chair and professor of electrical engineering, was elected to the board of directors of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Hudgins will serve as Division II delegate-elect in 2012 and as director in 2013 for the 400,000-plus member association.

View his faculty page.

Nebraska's electrical engineers awarded at AVS
At the AVS fall 2011 meeting in Nashville, UNL electrical engineering graduate student Brian Rodenhausen and postdoctoral research associate Daniel Schmidt received one of three Applied Surface Science Division Awards. Grad student Stefan Schoeche won the 2011 Applied Surface Science Division Student Award, and grad student Juan A. Cólon Santana received the Leo M. Falicov Student Award, which recognizes outstanding research performed by a graduate student in areas of interest to AVS' Magnetic Interfaces and Nanostructures Division.
Vakilzadian honored by SCS
Hamid Vakilzadian, associate professor with UNL's Department of Electrical Engineering, earned the 2011 Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Modeling & Simulation International. The award was announced at the Summer Simulation Multi-Conference (SummerSim) in The Hague, Netherlands in July. He has been active for many years with SCS and has been a dynamic leader for their modeling and simulation activities, including this conference.
Nanotechnology features paper by LANE Lab grad student Yang Gao
A paper by Yang Gao, electrical engineering graduate student working with Yongfeng Lu’s Laser-Assisted Nano Engineering (LANE) Lab, was featured in the June 10 edition of Nanotechnology. The work is titled “Fast growth of branched nickel monosilicide nanowires by laser-assisted chemical vapor deposition.”
Freese gains NSF Graduate Fellowship
In April 2011, the National Science Foundation awarded Graduate Research Fellowships to an elite selection of recipients nationwide, including four students at the UNL College of Engineering. David Lee Freese, a senior who studies electrical and electronics engineering, is one of the Nebraska Engineering students honored. According to NSF, these fellowships provide three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. The NSF Graduate Fellowship benefits include: $30,000 annual stipend; $10,500 cost-of-education allowance; international research and professional development opportunities; and TeraGrid Supercomputer access.
Lohmeier receives Halla-National Semiconductor Fellowship
Christopher Lohmeier has been named a recipient of the Brian L. Halla-National Semiconductor Fellowship. Lohmeier, a native of Pleasant Dale, Neb., is a graduate student in electrical engineering studying under the tutelage of Dr. Wei Qiao. The fellowship was established by National Semiconductor Corporation in honor of University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumnus Brian L. Halla to assist graduate students pursuing a master's degree in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Halla serves as executive chairman of the Santa Clara, Calif.,-based company and was chief executive officer for 14 years before retiring from that position in 2009. He has maintained close ties to the UNL College of Engineering, having served on the college's Advisory Board and as the keynote speaker during E-Week 2010. (3/14/2011)
Schmidt receives Drude medal at European ellipsometry conference
Postdoctoral researcher Daniel Schmidt, with UNL's Department of Electrical Engineering, received the 2011 Paul Drude Medal at a European ellipsometry conference in Berlin, Germany. The highly competitive award, designated for the best young researcher, was chosen by an international committee. Associate Professor Mathias Schubert said the honor places continued international focus onto current and future research activities of the ellipsometry group at UNL. Schmidt is a recent UNL Ph.D. graduate and his work has been supported by NSF CAREER, NSF MRSEC, NSF-EPSCoR Rii, J.A. Woollam Foundation, Army Research Office and UNL startup funds.
EE's Freese gets WISE in D.C.
Electrical engineering senior David Freese was one of three engineering students nationwide selected for a nine-week Washington Internship for Students of Engineering experience awarded by IEEE, the leading professional group for electrical engineers. Each summer the WISE program connects outstanding upper-level students with leaders in Congress, the administration, industry and non-government organizations. WISE participants work with a prominent faculty-in-residence to better understand and potentially shape the intersection of science, technology, and public policy. Freese, the son of Mark and Marlys Freese of Lincoln, plans to graduate from UNL in May 2011. After his WISE experience this summer, he will pursue his Ph.D. in applied electromagnetic and optics, focusing on medical imaging.
Lu earns grant for research on wind turbine monitoring and fault diagnosis
Research Assistant Dingguo Lu has received a DEED student research grant from the American Public Power Association, the national service organization for community-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities. The purpose of the Demonstration of Energy-Efficient Developments (DEED) program is to sponsor and conduct activities related to energy innovation, efficiency improvement, and cost reduction in providing energy services to customers of publicly owned electric utilities. The goal of Lu’s project is to develop a novel technology for online wind turbine condition monitoring and fault diagnosis using no extra mechanical sensors or data acquisition equipment. The proposed technology is based on advanced signal processing and statistical process control techniques. This technology represents a significant advancement in the state of the art of wind turbine condition monitoring and fault diagnosis and will dramatically increase system reliability and reduce operation and maintenance costs. Lu’s research is being conducted under the direction of Dr. Jerry Hudgins and Dr. Wei Qiao.


Hoffman selected to serve on the editorial board of Review of Scientific Instruments
Tino Hoffman
, a research assistant professor with UNL's electrical engineering department, will serve on the editorial board of Review of Scientific Instruments. Hoffman's selection followed his recent paper on THz ellipsometry instrumentation which appeared in RSI.
Nebraska EnginEEring gets noticed with multiple awards at ICALEO 2010
Zhiqiang Xie
, a UNL graduate student in electrical engineering, earned second place in the the Best Poster Paper Award at the 28th International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO 2010). This largest annual conference of Laser Institute of America was attended by 500 participants, including 50 to 60 students. Xie's paper was titled "Open-air synthesis of diamond through laser energy coupling using a wavelength-tunable CO2 laser." UNL's Yang Gao received third place in the Student Paper Awards at the conference. Yongfeng Lu, Lott Professor of Electrical Engineering, noted: “It is record-breaking in the history of the ICALEO conference that the same group received two awards out of six.” Lu, Xie and Gao are part of UNL’s Laser Assisted Nano Engineering Lab.
Wei Qiao, assistant professor of electrical engineering, is the 2010 recipient of the internationally prestigious IEEE Industry Applications Society Andrew Smith Outstanding Young Member Award. This award recognizes outstanding achievement and contributions to the profession by an IAS member younger than 35 years of age. IEEE's Industry Applications Society has 10,000 members worldwide who focus on power electronics, drives, and electric machines technology (and their applications).