ECE Department celebrates 2022 successes | Binghamton News – Binghamton

The spring semester at Binghamton University is underway, and the students, faculty and staff from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science have returned to classes, research projects and more. Here’s a look back at our accomplishments in 2022.
The ECE Department added two new faculty members for the 2022-23 academic year.
Assistant Professor Mengen Wang received her BS from Shandong University in China and PhD from Stony Brook University. She then spent three years as a postdoc in the Materials Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research is focused on developing and applying first-principles quantum mechanical computational approaches to facilitate the rational design of materials for next-generation energy conversion and quantum information applications.
Assistant Professor Jungwook “Jay” Paek received his PhD in electrical engineering from Iowa State University, and he was a postdoc research associate in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked on in vitro modeling of human tissues and organs. He is interested in developing microphysiological systems based on organ-on-a-chip and organoid technologies to study disease processes in the human respiratory and vascular systems.
Biobattery researchers think they have a solution for the hard-to-reach small intestine. Professor Seokheun “Sean” Choi led a team that included PhD students Maryam Rezaie and Zahra Rafiee on biobattery research that could allow doctors to deploy more devices in the hard-to-reach small intestine. Their findings were published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.
In other biobattery news, Choi, PhD student Anwar Elhadad and Lin Liu, PhD ’20 (now an assistant professor at Seattle Pacific University), developed a “plug-and-play” biobattery that lasts for weeks at a time and can be stacked to improve output voltage and current. Their findings were published in the Journal of Power Sources and supported by a $510,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research.
Assistant Professor Jian Li and a team of collaborators from New York University received a three-year, $1 million grant through the RINGS program. Their research will address vulnerabilities that could affect the availability, reliability and resiliency of wireless edge networks, which make response times faster by putting computation and data-storage capabilities as close as possible to the source of a request instead of a larger data center further away. Edge networks also can be more resilient to failure because they spread around resources rather than centralize them.

A $3.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program will recruit and train the next generation of information technology experts and security managers to meet the needs of federal, state, local and tribal governments. The program is overseen by faculty members from the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. If it is deemed a success, the NSF could award further funding.

Kathi Vidal ’90 studied electrical engineering at Binghamton before becoming a patent/intellectual property attorney handling high-profile cases from medical devices and consumer products to leading-edge hardware and software. Now the undersecretary for intellectual property at the U.S. Department of Commerce, she directs the Patent and Trademark Office, protecting and encouraging the ingenious ideas of American inventors and entrepreneurs. The Patent Office employs more than 13,000 patent examiners, trademark attorneys, computer scientists and administrative staff, with a projected budget of more than $4 billion for 2023.

For her master’s thesis, Mya Landers ’21, MS ’22, studied and wrote about paper-based microbial fuel cells and circuit components. Through a process of wax-patterning, screen-printing and the application of various semi-conductive inks, she designed customizable circuits composed of transistors, resistors and supercapacitors, all within a single sheet of paper.
Alem Fitwi, PhD ’22, was profiled as part of last year’s Commencement coverage. He discussed his desire to earn his doctorate in computer engineering at Watson College. He now calls Binghamton “a home away from home to me,” a place where he found not only an education but also personal support during one of the worst times in his life.

In a story celebrating the links between Watson senior projects and corporate/government sponsors, ECE students and research received special attention, including a collaboration with BAE Systems to help a local veteran and his service dog. In a related piece, the Watson Review magazine highlighted another service dog project with BAE Systems and seniors from the Class of 2022.


In addition to studying electrical engineering, senior Oyedepo “Depo” Oyerinde works five jobs, holds three executive board positions, is a resident assistant in College-in-the-Woods, plays the euphonium for the Wind Symphony, is a member of the Global Medical Admissions Alliance and participates in the Latin dance club Quimbamba.

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