Dr. Kamal Sarabandi

Talk:  Recent Research Trends in Applied Electromagnetics

Electromagnetic theory is one of the greatest achievements of physics in the 19th century. Despite its long history of development, due to its fundamental nature and broad base, research in applied electromagnetics is still vital and going strong. In recent years electromagnetic has played a major role in wide range of disciplines, including communications, remote sensing of environment, defense, medicine, etc., with significant societal impact. To transform ideas into reality in many of these disciplines, the fundamental understanding of electromagnetic wave generation, propagation, and interaction with their environment over a wide spectrum is needed. The growth and vitality in EM research has been fueled by an increasing demand for anytime/anywhere information and data, security, and global monitoring of the environment, as well as significant advancements in other related science and engineering disciplines particularly in computers and materials. This lecture will provide an overview of recent research trends in applied electromagnetics. Many of the examples of research applications will be presented, all drawn from Professor Sarabandi’s research activities.


Kamal Sarabandi (S’87-M’90-SM’92-F’00) received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 1980, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1986, and the M.S. degree in mathematics and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1989. He is currently the Director of the Radiation Laboratory and the Rufus S. Teesdale endowed Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His research areas of interest include microwave and millimeter-wave radar remote sensing, Meta-materials, electromagnetic wave propagation, and antenna miniaturization. He possesses 25 years of experience with wave propagation in random media, communication channel modeling, microwave sensors, and radar systems and leads a large research group including two research scientists and 16 Ph.D. students. He has graduated 46 Ph.D. and supervised numerous post-doctoral students. He has served as the Principal Investigator on many projects sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Army Research Office (ARO), Office of Naval Research (ONR), Army Research Laboratory (ARL), National Science Foundation (NSF), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and a large number of industries. Currently, he is leading the Center for Microelectronics and Sensors funded in 2008 by the Army Research Laboratory under the Micro-Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) Collaborative Technology Alliance (CTA) program. He is also leading a newly established center in Microwave Sensor Technology funded by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).

He has published many book chapters and more than 250 papers in refereed journals on miniaturized and on-chip antennas, meta-materials, electromagnetic scattering, wireless channel modeling, random media modeling, microwave measurement techniques, radar calibration, inverse scattering problems, and microwave sensors. He has also had more than 580 papers and invited presentations in many national and international conferences and symposia on similar subjects.

            Dr. Sarabandi served as a member of NASA Advisory Council appointed by the NASA Administrator for two consecutive terms from 2006-2010. Currently, he is serving as the President of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS)   He was a member of the Editorial Board of the PROCEEDINGS of the IEEE and an associate editor for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION and the IEEE Sensors Journal. He is a member of Commissions F and B of URSI and is serving as the vice-Chair of the USNC URSI Commission F. Dr. Sarabandi was the recipient of the Henry Russel Award from the Regent of The University of Michigan. In 1999 he received a GAAC Distinguished Lecturer Award from the German Federal Ministry for Education, Science, and Technology. He was also a recipient of the 1996 EECS Department Teaching Excellence Award and a 2004 College of Engineering Research Excellence Award. In 2005 he received the IEEE GRSS Distinguished Achievement Award and the University of Michigan Faculty Recognition Award. He also received the best paper Award at the 2006 Army Science Conference. In 2008 he was awarded a Humboldt Research Award from The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany and received the best paper award at the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. He was also awarded the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the University of Michigan. The IEEE Board of Directors announced him as the recipient of the 2011 IEEE Judith A. Resnik Award. Professor Sarabandi was recognized by the IEEE GRSS with its 2013 Education Award. In 2016 he received the Stephen S. Attwood Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Sharif University of Technology . In the past several years, joint papers presented by his students at a number of international symposia (IEEE APS’95,’97,’00,’01,’03,’05,’06,’07; IEEE IGARSS’99,’02,’07;’11, ’14, IEEE IMS’01, USNC URSI’04,’05,’06,’10,’11,  AMTA ’06, URSI GA ‘08,’14; Eastern Snow Conference ’16) have received best paper awards.

Dr. Kon Max Wong

Talk: Geometric Measures in Signal Processing: From Euclid to Riemann

Power spectral density (PSD) matrices of signals are important features and have been used extensively to extract information for detection, parameter estimation, adaptive filtering, beamforming, etc., in signal processing.  Structurally, PSD matrices are constrained, being Hermitian symmetric and positive semi-definite, and hence they form a manifold in the signal space.  Measurements on the similarities between these matrices must therefore be made along the surface of the manifold. The commonly used Euclidean distance is neither accurate nor informative in such cases. We introduce here two recently developed Riemannian distances and their weighted versions to facilitate the measurements. The concept of lifting two points on the manifold to an isometric Euclidean subspace and the corresponding projection back onto the manifold is discussed and is illustrated by the newly developed algorithms of locating the mean and median of PSD matrices. Applications of the Riemannian measure to important problems in signal processing are presented: including robust beamforming, sonar signal detection, and MIMO radar signal design.


Kon Max Wong received his BSc(Eng), DIC, PhD, and DSc(Eng) degrees, all in electrical engineering, from the University of London, England, in 1969, 1972, 1974 and 1995, respectively. From 1969 to 1972, he worked at Plessey Telecomm. Research Ltd., England, while concurrently pursuing postgraduate studies and research at Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. In 1972, he returned to Plessey full-time as a research engineer working on digital signal processing and signal transmission. In 1976, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering, Technical University of Nova Scotia, Canada, and in 1981, moved to McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, where he has been a Professor since 1985 and served as Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1986–87, 1988–94 and 2003−08. Professor Wong was on leave at the Department of Electronic Engineering of the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1997 to 1999. He held the Canada Research Chair in Signal Processing from 2007-2014. Professor Wong is at present Professor Emeritus at McMaster University, and Distinguished Professor of Information Engineering, Zhengzhou University. He also holds visiting professorships at Imperial College, London, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interest is in signal processing and communication theory and he has published over 250 papers in the area.

Professor Wong was the recipient of the IEE Overseas Premium for the best paper in 1989, and is also the co-author of the papers that received the IEEE Signal Processing Society “Best Young Author” awards of 2006 and 2008. He is a Life Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. In 2007, he was elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering as well as Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transaction on Signal Processing, 1996–98, and served as Chair of the Sensor Array and Multi-channel Signal Processing Technical Committee of the IEEE Signal Processing Society in 2002–04. Professor Wong was the recipient of the Alexander Von Humboldt International Research Award in 2010 and of the McMaster Engineering Research Achievement Award in 2011.


Dr. Mohamad Sawan

Talk: Are Brain-microsystems Interfaces Ready for Efficient Diagnosis and Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases? 

Implantable Brain-Microsystem Interfaces intended for diagnosis and subsequent treatment of neurodegenerative diseases are promising alternative to study neural activities underlying cognitive functions and pathologies, and eventually to recover lost neural vital functions. This keynote talk covers circuit techniques and emerging wearable and implantable brain-microsystems interfaces intended for neurorecording and neurostimulation. The implementation of custom SoC-based devices requires dealing with multidimensional design challenges such as low-power circuit and system architecture techniques, advanced power management methods, reliable energy harvesters and high-data rate full-duplex wireless communication interfaces, etc. Case studies of continuous neurorecording intended for learning about the intracortical vision mechanism, and for spike onset detection of epileptic seizure focus localization and treatment will be described. In addition, microstimulation in the primary visual cortex intended to recover vision for the blind through multisite large arrays of microelectrodes will be reported. Finally, Lab-on-chip (LoC) based neuro-transmitters detection, manipulation and characterization intended to locate dysfunctions at the level of neural cells synaptic interconnections will be summarized.


Mohamad Sawan received the Ph.D. degree in 1990 in Electrical Engineering, from Sherbrooke University, Canada. He joined Polytechnique Montreal in 1991, where he is currently a Professor of microelectronics and biomedical engineering. His interests are the design and test of analog, digital, RF, and optic circuits and Microsystems. Dr. Sawan was a holder of a Canada Research Chair in Smart Medical Devices (2001-2015), he is leading the Microsystems Strategic Alliance of Quebec (ReSMiQ), and is founder of the Polystim Neurotechnologies Laboratory.

Dr. Sawan is founder and co-founder of several international conferences such as the IEEE NEWCAS, BIOCAS, and ICECS.  He was Deputy Editor-in Chief of the IEEE TCAS-II (2009-2013).  He is cofounder, and Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on biomedical Circuits and Systems, Associate Editor of the IEEE Trans. on Biomedical Engineering, and he is Editor and Associate Editor, and member of the board of several other international Journals. Dr. Sawan is member of the IEEE Circuits And Systems Society Board of Governors, and is founder and chair of the Montreal IEEE-Solid State Circuits Society Chapter. He published more than 700 peer reviewed papers, two books, 10 book chapters, and 12 patents. Dr. Sawan received several awards, among them the Shanghai Municipality International Collaboration award, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the Bombardier Medal for technology transfer, the Jacques-Rousseau Award for achieved results in multidisciplinary research activities, the medal of merit from the President of Lebanon for his outstanding contributions, and the Barbara Turnbull Award for spinal-cord research in Canada. He is Fellow of the IEEE, Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, and Officer of the Quebec’s National Order.


Dr. José M. F. Moura

Talk: The DNA of a City: Humans, Infrastructure, and the Environment

Cities are being instrumented by many diverse sensors – we focus on two very different types of data: taxi rides (over 1.3 billion in a stretch of seven years), and the video from webcams, hundreds of low resolution, low frame rate city cameras trained at different intersections and streets of a city. Our goal is to develop a holistic understanding of the city from the mobility patterns we learn, not from focusing on a particular point of the city, but across its overall extent of many square miles. In the talk, I illustrate some of what we are learning and some of the analytics we are developing.


José M. F. Moura,, is the Philip L. and Marsha Dowd University Professor at CMU, with interests in signal processing and data science. He invented (with Alek Kavcic) a patented detector found in at least 60% of the disk drives of all computers sold worldwide in the last 13 years (over 3 billion and counting) – the subject of the recent settlement (February 2016) of $750 Million between CMU and Marvell, the largest settlement ever in the information technologies IP area and 3rd largest overall. He is (2016) IEEE VP for Technical Activities, IEEE Board Director, and was President of the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS), and Editor in Chief for the Transactions on SP. Moura received the IEEE SPS Technical Achievement Award and Society Award. He is Fellow of the IEEE and of AAAS, corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of Portugal, Fellow of the US National Academy of Innovators, and member of the US National Academy of Engineering.