Faculty and Staff

The ERC faculty team is composed of a variety of disciplines that include Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Economics/Management, illustrating the interdisciplinary nature of the Smart Lighting team.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Faculty

Kim Boyer
Dept. Head and Professor,
ECSE
Interests & Expertise

Dr. Boyer's research interests include all aspects of computer vision and medical image analysis, including perceptual organization, structural analysis, graph theoretical methods, stereopsis in weakly constrained environments, optimal feature extraction, large modelbases, and robust methods. In the ERC he is developing machine learning techniques to infer activity in smart rooms via light transport analysis.

Research
T1 Controls, Communications & Systems
Paul Chow
Professor,
ECSE
Website
Interests & Expertise
Integration of photonic devices with power switching and mixed signal devices to realize optoelectronic ICs in GaN. Also, he is developing novel device concepts, processing and circuit models for high-voltage Si, GaAs, wide bandgap (particularly SiC and GaN) semiconductor power devices and/or ICs.
Research
S1 Sources
Ken Connor
Professor,
ECSE
Education Director
Website
Interests & Expertise
Info coming soon
Partha Dutta
Professor,
ECSE
ERC Deputy Director
Testbeds Thrust Leader
Website
Interests & Expertise
(1) Material Synthesis: Wavelength conversion compounds (Phosphors and Quantum Dots) in powder, thin film and colloidal solutions. Nanoparticles, thin film and bulk crystals of optically clear tunable refractive index material. (2) Design, Fabrication and Characterization of full spectrum phosphor LEDs, III-V semiconductor photodetectors, nano-particle based ultra-sensitive photosensors. (3) Optical link design and LED modulation schemes for free space visible light communication systems. (4) Integrated lighting and display systems design such as virtual windows.
Research
S1 Sources, T1 Systems, T2 Testbeds
Mona Hella
Associate Professor,
ECSE
Snsors Thrust Leader
Website
Interests & Expertise
High speed integrated circuits for wireless and wireline optical communications, advanced light sensors, high speed optical communication circuits. Microwave and millimeter wave integrated circuits and systems, power amplifier linearization, applications of microwaves in biology and medicine, energy harvesting circuits
Research
S2 Sensors, T2 Testbeds
Agung Julius
Assistant Professor,
ECSE
Website
Interests & Expertise
Systems and control theory. His research interests are in the area of hybrid systems and systems biology. At the Smart Lighting ERC, Dr. Julius has been collaborating with Dr. John Wen in the use of smart lighting in circadian rhythm control.
Research
T1 Controls, Communications & Systems

Robert Karlicek
Professor,
ECSE
ERC Center Director

Interests & Expertise
LED chip design, thermal management, packaging technoloyg, photonics crystal optics, SS luminaire design
Research
S1 Sources, T2 Testbeds, A1 Translational Applications
James Lu
Professor,
ECSE
Website
Interests & Expertise
Micro-nano-electronics technology from theory and design to materials, devices, processing, and system integration; particularly in 3D hyper-integration technology, micro-nano-bio interfaces for future chips, LEDs, sensors and micro-electrical-mechanical systems (MEMS) in combination(3D integration) with CMOS based technologies for smart lighting systems.
Research
S2 Sensors
Sandipan Mishra
Assistant Professor,
MANE
Interests & Expertise
Broad area of controls and dynamic systems, with application to smart lighting systems. Research thrusts include design of estimation and feedback control algorithms for delivering desired dynamically changing illumination fields. In particular, we are targeting daylight compensation techniques using learning-based algorithms.
Research
T1 Controls, Communications & Systems
Leila Parsa
Associate Professor,
ECSE
Website
Interests & Expertise
Wide array of topics in the field of energy including energy harvesting and power management for portable electronic devices/wireless sensor nodes, LED drivers, power electronics converters for renewable energy systems, electric drives and electromechanical energy converters for various applications.
Research
S1 Sources
Joel Plawsky
Professor,
Chemical & Biological Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
Ttransport and interfacial phenomena with a focus on the fundamental behavior of materials. Applications lie in the fields of: Microelectronics - Dielectric breakdown, reliability; Photonics - Passive dielectrics, photocatalytic/sensing materials; Energy/Interfacial Heat & Mass Transfer; Biological Systems - biofilm control, blood contact Materials and devices; and Composite NanoMaterials - thermal management, chromatography-on-a-chip.
Research
S1 Sources

Rich Radke
Professor,
ECSE
Website

Interests & Expertise
Computer vision, image processing, camera networks, video analytics and surveillance, 3D/range imagery, radiation therapy treatment planning, visual effects, applications in medicine, biology, robotics, and art.
Research
T1 Controls, Communications & Systems
Website

Arthur Sanderson
Professor,
ECSE
Website
Interests & Expertise
Robotics, intelligent systems, distributed sensor networks, and smart lighting systems. He and his students are developing novel algorithms for adaptive sampling and optimization of lighting fields leading to improved productivity, health, and efficiency in future lighting applications.
Research
T2 Testbeds; T1 Controls, Communications & Systems
Susan Sanderson
Associate Professor,
Lally School of Management & Technology
Website
Interests & Expertise
Management of innovation, product and industry development. Research on the evolution of the LED lighting and display industries and the role of innovative technologies in firms and markets in the global context.
Research
A1 Translational Applications, T1 Systems
Shayla Sawyer
Assistant Professor,
ECSE
Website
Interests & Expertise
Ultraviolet and blue LEDs for reagentless detection and identification of biohazards with potential to both detect and destroy biological treats to a healthy environment. Lifetime decay, fluorescence intensity, and spectral analysis are investigated with controlled or pulsed, narrow, multi-wavelength UV LEDs for active bio-sensing within a smart space.
Research
S2 Sensors, T2 Testbeds
Linda Schadler
Professor & Associate Dean,
Materials Science & Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
Polymer nanocomposites, with a particular interest in the impact of the nanoparticle / matrix interface on optical, mechanical, and electrical properties. Within the ERC focus is on tailoring the index of refraction of nanoparticle-filled polymers for encapsulant and lens applications.
Research
S1 Sources
Michael Shur
Patricia W. and C. Sheldon Roberts Professor,
ECSE
Website
Interests & Expertise
Modeling, simulation, and characterization of semiconductor devices, circuits, and systems including LED modeling, simulation, and design, novel LEDs and LED systems, deep UV LEDs, and adaptive LED lamps with variable and controlled spectral power distribution for biomedical, agricultural, and industrial applications.
Research
S2 Sensors
Richard Siegel
Professor,
Materials Science & Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
Siegel is involved in the synthesis and processing, characterization, properties, and applications of nanostructured materials. A focus is the creation of nanoscale inorganic nanoparticles that can be dispersed in polymer matrices to tailor the properties of these nanocomposites, including their optical and processing behavior for high refractive index LED encapsulants.
Research
S1 Sources
Ken Simons
Associate Professor,
Economics
Website
Interests & Expertise
Kenneth L. Simons analyzes technology and industry dynamics, including industry creation and entrepreneurship, disruptive technological change, industry shakeouts, and nationwide influences on technology growth. His work on LEDs develops methods to analyze worldwide patent data to study competitive trends, and characterizes processes of the emergence of LED-related products and industries.
Research
A1 Translational Applications
Chaitanya Ullal
Assistant Professor,
Materials Science & Engineering
Interests & Expertise
Coming Soon
Research
S1 Sources
Morris Washington
Clinical Professor,
Physics, Applied Physics & Astronomy
ERC Director of Technical Infrastructure
Website
Interests & Expertise
Morris A. Washington serves as Director of Technical Infrastructure of the Smart Lighting ERC and has management responsibility for the ERC Central Laboratories. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he also serves as Director of the Microscale and Nanoscale Fabrication Clean Room. His research interests include design and fabrication of compound semiconductor photonic devices, and new material systems and transport of nanoscale interconnects and contacts for semiconductor integrated circuits.
John Wen
Professor,
ECSE
Website
Interests & Expertise
John Wen’s research interest lies in the modeling, optimization and control of dynamical systems, including: Opto-mechatronics – integrated design of static and active optical elements, motion control, image processing to achieve new functionalities; Distributed optimization for networked systems subject to constraints; Regulation of lighting for biological systems, e.g., in circadian rhythm.
Research
T1 Controls, Communications & Systems, T2 Testbeds
Christian Wetzel
Constellation Professor,
Physics, Applied Physics & Astronomy
Website
Interests & Expertise
Christian Wetzel and his team are interested in all aspects of photonic-electric energy conversion, in particular high flux light emitting diodes and emerging 3rd generation solar cells. Current materials of choice include wide bandgap group-III nitrides in epitaxy, characterization, and devices.
Research
S1 Sources

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Staff

Jamie Auger
Administrative Specialist, ERC

Interests & Expertise
Casey Goodwin
Research Engineer, ERC

Interests & Expertise
Elizabeth Herkenham
ERC K-13 Education Outreach Director

Interests & Expertise
Relevant educational activities that introduce cutting edge innovative driven technologies to pre-college students, undergraduates, K-14 educators and the community-at-large. Programs include in-school K-12 classroom activities, informal student programs, informative parent programs, enrichment summer high school and middle school programs, multi-week professional development for teachers as well as multi-week REU programs.
Collin Hitchcock
Research Engineer, ERC

Interests & Expertise
Debora Jackson
Business Administrator, ERC

Interests & Expertise
Francesca Jones
Business Development Officer, ERC

Interests & Expertise
Silvia Mioc
Innovation Ecosystem Director, ERC
Interests & Expertise
Business and economic development in emerging markets and technologies, fostering strategic relations for successful completion of common goals.
Tessa Pocock
Sr. Research Scientist, ERC

Interests & Expertise
Coming Soon
Wei Qiao
Postdoctoral Research Associate, ERC

Interests & Expertise
My research interests are in the area of control theory, multi-agent system, time delay system and bio-mathematics. At the Smart Lighting ERC, I am working with Dr. John Wen and Dr. Agung Julius in the use of smart lighting in circadian rhythm control.
Barbara Ann Ruel
Director, Women in Engineering & Diversity,
School of Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
I enjoy partnering with the Smart Lighting Education Director, Outreach Coordinator, our faculty, and students to develop and deliver K-12 programs about innovative technologies that improve our health, safety, and the economy. It's rewarding to watch the children and their parents participate in hands-on activities and get excited about the engineering process.
Michelle Simkulet
Project Manager
Interests & Expertise
Diane Veros Diane Veros
Director, Finance & Operations
Interests & Expertise

Boston University

David Bishop
Professor,
ECE, MSE, Physics
Interests & Expertise
Low temperature physics, MEMS and NEMS, energy efficient networking, cybersecurity and protecting critical infrastructure.
Research
S1 Sources, S2 Sensors
Hany Elgala
Research Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Interests & Expertise
I am interested in expanding the potential uses of visible light communications (VLC) technology. My current research focuses on multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) schemes to improve the channel/user capacity and bit error rate (BER) performance, interference management in optical cellular networks, miniaturized transmitter and receiver front-ends and  image sensors as optical receivers.
Research
T1 Controls, Communications & Systems, T2 Testbeds
Gretchen Fougere
Assistant Dean for Outreach and Diversity
College of Engineering
Interests & Expertise
Coming Soon
Tom Little
Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
ERC Associate Director, Systems Technologies Thrust Leader
Website
Interests & Expertise
Thomas Little is involved in the development of enabling technologies and applications for networked and distributed systems. Recent efforts include research in video sensor networks and streaming in wireless settings, ubiquitous optical networking with visible light, vehicle-to-vehicle/ infrastructure (V2X) communications, and the application of wireless sensors in health monitoring.
Research
A1 Translational Applications,T1 Controls, Communications & Systems, T2 Testbeds
Prakash Ishwar
Associate Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
Statistical Signal Processing, Machine Learning, Information Theory, and Visual Information Processing and Analysis with applications to sensor and camera-based detection, recognition, and summarization of salient-changes, actions, and human-gestures for smart living spaces, security, and surveillance.
Research
T1 Controls, Communications & Systems
Jonathan Klamkin
Asst. Professor,
ECE & MSE
Interests & Expertise
Integrated phtonics, silicon photonics, optical communications, nanophotonics, photonic integration techniques and electronic-photonic integration.
Research
S2 Sensors
Janusz Konrad
Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
Image and video processing/compression/transmission, human-computer interfaces, visual sensor networks (camera webs), stereoscopic and 3-D imaging, multidimensional digital signal processing, computer vision.
Research
T1 Controls, Communications & Systems
Bobak Nazer
Assistant Professor,
Information Sciences & Systems
Website
Interests & Expertise

Research
T1 Controls, Communications & Systems

University of New Mexico

Lee Brown
Professor
Website
Interests & Expertise

Steve Brueck
Director,
Electrical & Computer Engineering

ERC Associate Director
Website

Interests & Expertise
Info coming soon

Research
S1 Sources

Daniel Feezell
Assistant Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Website

Interests & Expertise
Epitaxial growth, fabrication, and characterization of group III-nitride materials and devices, Nonpolar/semipolar orientations of GaN. Solid-state lighting and high-efficiency LEDs. Visible edge-emitting lasers and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers. Applications of group III-nitrides to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Research
S1 Sources
Majeed Hayat
Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
Probabilistic modeling of impact ionization and avalanche multiplication in submicron layers; ultrafast and low-noise heterojunction avalanche photodiodes for lightwave systems; probabilistic modeling of Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes and single-photon detection systems; modeling ultrafast optical receivers and novel methods to reduce intersymbol interference; algorithms for real-time nonuniformity correction in infrared focal-plane arrays.
Research
S2 Sensors
Meeko M. Oishi
Assist. Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
Providing guarantees of safety and performance in cyberphysical systems through careful design of controllers and user-interfaces. As computing power continues to grow and embedded automation becomes common place, advanced tools and methods are needed to analyze and control hybrid systems, especially when human interaction is required. Techniques my research group has developed have been applied to aircraft flight management systems, automated anesthesia delivery, and most recently to collaborative control of powered wheelchairs.
Research
T1 Human Factors and Controls Systems

Ashwin Rishinaramangalum
Postdoctoral Research Associate
School of Engineering

Interests & Expertise
Revolutionary, co-axial LED design based on a scalable, repeatable and industrially viable Gallium Nitride growth process. This has the potential to deliver performance improvements in many of the LED parameters that are critical for the various Smart Lighting thrusts. My other research interests include semiconductor processing, characterization and modeling.

Stefi Weisburd
Oureach and Education Manager,
School of Engineering

Interests & Expertise
Coming Soon
Payman Zarkesh-Ha
Assistant Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
Prof. Zarkesh-Ha’s research interest is on VLSI designs and systems. More specifically, his current research work focuses on readout integrated circuits (ROICs) for imaging applications, infrared and visible light camera systems, high-performance and low power chip designs, 3D integrated circuits, as well as novel carbon nanotube based devices (CNFETs).
Research
S2 Sensors

Thomas Jefferson University

Brainard George (Bud) Brainard
Professor
Website
Interests & Expertise
John Hanifin
Interests & Expertise

Tufts University

Valencia Koomson
Associate Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
Research interests/expertise in silicon electronic-photonic integrated systems, analog/RF VLSI circuits in CMOS, 3D integrated mixed-mode systems, analog signal processing and control circuits, high sensitivity optical sensing architectures for biomedical applications (NIR spectroscopy, fluorescence lifetime imaging), and low-noise bio-electronic interface circuits.
Research
T1 Controls, Communications & Systems, T2 Testbeds

Howard University

Mohamed Chouikha
Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Howard Campus Coordinator
Interests & Expertise
Info coming soon
Charles Kim
Associate Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
Info coming soon

Research
T1 Controls, Communications & Systems, T2 Testbeds

Morgan State University

Yacob Astatke
Assistant Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Website
Interests & Expertise
Currently conducting research on the implementation of a new MANET- Cellular Mixed Network (MCMN) architecture for the "Signals, Communications and Networks" (SCN) lab. The goals of this research will be to develop technology solutions that incorporate Mobile Ad Hoc networking and Cellular networking into an integrated solution.
Kofi Nyarko
Associate Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Interests & Expertise
Engineering simulation, modeling and controls; complex algorithm development; engineering visualization; advanced display and natural user interface technologies; avionics/UAV/UGV systems and software development; building control systems (for advanced energy management and smart lighting systems) , control oriented models, and cyber physical systems.
Craig Scott
Associate Professor,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Morgan State Campus Coordinator
Interests & Expertise
Info coming soon

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Robert M. Bunch
Professor
Website
Interests & Expertise

My research and technical interests include development of optics-based products, fiber optics, optical instruments, and systems engineering. Since joining the Rose-Hulman faculty in 1983, I have developed courses and laboratory experiences for the bachelors and masters optical engineering educational programs.

Charles Joenathan
Professor and Chair,
Department of Physics and Optical Engineering
RHIT Campus Coordinator
Website
Interests & Expertise
My research interest lies in studying speckle phenomenon, holography, holographic elements, optical fibers, and optical instrumentation. These areas of interest have close alliance with the smart lighting research projects. As an educator I am on focused on bringing my current research interest to students and to the public.