Khan Wins NSF CAREER Award

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Asif Khan

Asif Khan has been named as a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award. He is an assistant professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and also holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Materials Science and Engineering.

The title of Khan’s award is “Antiferroelectric Negative Capacitance Transistors for Ultra-low Power Computing,” and it will start on March 15, 2021 and end on February 28, 2026. 

Today's society is experiencing an unprecedented growth of its digital footprint – be it in the form of uploading a photo on Facebook, live-streaming a teaching module to a massive global audience on YouTube, or commandeering a revolution via Twitter. This convenience of modern computing, however, comes with a steep cost in terms of energy use and environmental impact. Today, the global information infrastructure, such as data centers, emit as much greenhouse gases as that of the state of Nevada or a country, such as The Netherlands or Malaysia, and constitute around 1 percent of world-wide electricity demand. According to scientific estimates, this fraction may increase to a double digit percentage in the next 15-20 years. 

At the core of this predicament lies the fact that the fundamental building blocks of digital hardware – the transistors – have long been overdue for a prime upgrade in terms of their energy efficiencies. The proposed research aims to explore an energy-efficient transistor concept – known as a negative capacitance field-effect transistor, using a new class of materials called antiferroelectric oxides. 

Khan joined the ECE faculty in 2017. His research is on advanced semiconductor devices—devices that will shape the future of computing in the post-scaling era. His research group currently focuses on ferroelectric devices, in all aspects ranging from materials physics, growth, and electron microscopy to device fabrication, all the way to ferroelectric circuits and systems for artificial intelligence/machine learning/data-centric applications. Khan’s Ph.D. work led to the proof-of-concept demonstration of the negative capacitance phenomenon in ferroelectric materials, which can reduce the power dissipation in electronic devices below the ‘fundamental’ thermodynamic limit. This culminated in the initial development of the field of negative capacitance.

Khan has published 2 book chapters and 70 journal and peer-reviewed conference publications, and he has given 20 invited talks and tutorials at premier microelectronics and ferroelectric conferences. Khan currently has one patent pending at Intel. 

Khan’s awards include the NSF CAREER award (2021), Intel Rising Star Award (2020), Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (2012), TSMC Outstanding Student Research Award (2011), and the University Gold Medal from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (2011). His group at Georgia Tech consists of six Ph.D. students and three research engineers, many of whom won Institute-level and international awards, including an IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS) Masters Student Fellowship (2020). Khan’s research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, and Intel Corporation. 

Khan has also developed a graduate course, ECE 8863A Quantum Computing Devices and Hardware, as a part of the campus wide response to the national prioritization of quantum computing, known as the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) that was signed by the U.S. president in 2018. Khan recently received the Class of 1934 CIOS Honor Roll award for excellence in teaching this course in Fall 2020. 

Location

Atlanta, GA

Email

jackie.nemeth@ece.gatech.edu

Contact

Jackie Nemeth

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

404-894-2906

Georgia Tech Team Awarded NSF Partnerships for Innovation Grant to Change the Game for the Afterlife of Wind Turbine Blades

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Wind turbines are, by design, green solutions for the production of power. Wind turbines produce zero carbon emissions; however, the blades themselves pose an environmental challenge as they depreciate. To address this concern, the Georgia Institute of Technology, in partnership with Logisticus Group, was awarded the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) grant.

The PFI Program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) provides researchers from science and engineering disciplines funded by the NSF with the opportunity to take their research and technology from the discovery phase to the marketplace for the benefit of society. 

Russell Gentry, Professor in the Georgia Tech School of Architecture, serves as the project’s principal investigator (PI). The three-year grant continues Gentry’s research on the reuse of retired wind blades and builds on the proprietary technology developed as part of the Re-Wind Tripartite Research program funded by the U.S. NSF, Science Foundation of Ireland, and the Department for the Economy of Northern Ireland.  

“In our foundational NSF grants, our team demonstrated the potential for wind blade re-use and the positive environmental benefits that will come from the re-use of these amazing composite materials in civil infrastructure,” said Gentry. “This potential is embodied in the two patents we are pursuing and in the follow-on Partnership for Industry grant from NSF. The team is now advancing our hardware and software technology and has partnered with companies in the wind energy and electrical transmission industries to pilot these technologies.”

Logisticus Group joins the project as the key provider of transportation for the retired wind turbine blades. As one of the largest wind blade transporters, Logisticus Group brings supply expertise for the complex logistics of transporting decommissioned wind turbine blades, which are approximately 50 meters in length. 

"We are thrilled to partner with Georgia Tech on this project. Their team has always had a passion to conduct research and development on proprietary technology when it comes to reusing wind blades. We feel, as a company, that we need to be a part of the solution to find ways to recycle and repurpose these blades,” said Will Stephan, founder of Logisticus Group.”

Wind turbine blades are made from high-quality Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite materials, which are not biodegradable or recyclable. Currently, turbine blades are landfilled or incinerated at their end-of-life stage. Georgia Tech and Logisticus will conduct research and development to commercialize mass-market architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) products from repurposed FRP composite of decommissioned wind turbine blades.

The team, comprised of Georgia Tech faculty, laboratory staff, and graduate and undergraduate students in architecture and engineering, will develop commercial products using Generative Design software, architecture studios, and workshops, structural and Finite element analysis, life-cycle analysis, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology, and full-scale testing of prototypes in Georgia Tech’s 20,000 sq. ft. Digital Fabrication Laboratory

“The success of our project comes from the diverse talents and viewpoints represented on the team. It’s rare to have architects, engineers, and social, geospatial and environmental scientists working on the same fundamental problem,” said Gentry. “As we move to commercialize, we are building an entrepreneurial team and linking with industry. We look forward to seeing our re-use applications implemented in the next three years.” 

Prior to receiving the NSF PFI grant, researchers at Georgia Tech developed proprietary algorithms for a tool called the “Blade Machine” and created unique testing methodologies to rapidly characterize any wind turbine blade currently in production for architectural and structural analysis and design purposes. 

This fall the team is participating in the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program with Angie Nagle from the University College Cork in Ireland and Chloe Kiernicki, Bachelor of Science in Architecture student at Georgia Tech, serving as entrepreneurial leads.  James Marlow, founding CEO of Atlanta-based Radiance Solar, is serving as the I-Corps team’s industrial mentor.

About the Georgia Tech School of Architecture

The Georgia Tech School of Architecture offers five distinct degree programs – a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a Master of Architecture, a Master of Science in Architecture, a Master of Science in Urban Design, and a Ph.D. in Architecture.  Embedded in the heart of Atlanta and a part of a top-ranked research institution, the School of Architecture combines research, technology, and design to form a well-rounded, interdisciplinary, future-focused education as students prepare to make an impact on the built environment.  www.arch.gatech.edu

About Logisticus Group

Logisticus Group (LLC), a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), specializes in transportation logistics, project management, and technology solutions serving projects throughout North and South America. At Logisticus Group, we believe our processes, technology solutions, personnel, and business model deliver a more predictable, controlled, efficient, and expedited project. To learn more visit, www.logisticusgroup.com

Location

Atlanta, GA

Email

carmen.new@design.gatech.edu

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Carmen New Marketing & Event Coordinator II Georgia Institute of Technology | School of Architecture carmen.new@design.gatech.edu

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Coogan Receives NSF CAREER Award

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Sam Coogan

Sam Coogan has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research project entitled “Correct-By-Design Control of Traffic Flow Networks.”

Coogan is an assistant professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and holds a joint appointment in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He joined Georgia Tech in August 2017 after serving as an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Today's cities accommodate more people than ever before, leading to transportation networks that operate at or near capacity. In addition, the next generation of transportation systems will include connected vehicles, connected infrastructure, and increased automation, and these advances must coexist with legacy technology into the foreseeable future. Accommodating these rapidly developing advancements requires smarter and more efficient use of existing infrastructure with guarantees of performance, safety, and interoperability.

The goal of Coogan’s project is to develop fundamental theory and domain-driven techniques for controlling traffic flow in large-scale transportation networks. Recent advances in inexpensive sensors, wireless technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT) enable real-time connectivity of vehicles and infrastructure that offers abundant data and unprecedented opportunities for efficient and optimized transportation systems.

The main technical goal of the project is to develop techniques and algorithms that are correct-by-design, ensuring that these transportation systems satisfy required operating specifications. In pursuit of this goal, the project will first develop models of traffic flow from rich data streams and then will leverage these models to enable scalable control approaches.

In addition, this project will integrate a forward-looking education plan that will introduce a Control Grand Challenge design competition in the introductory course in control theory for undergraduates. For this competition, students will design a controller for an autonomous, scale-model car and then compete with their design.

Saltaformaggio Tapped for NSF CRII Award

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Brendan Saltaformaggio

Brendan D. Saltaformaggio has received the CISE Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Saltaformaggio is an assistant professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), where he leads the Cyber Forensics Innovation Laboratory. The title of his research project is "GEMINI: Guided Execution Based Mobile Advanced Persistent Threat Investigation.” 

Advanced persistent threat (APT) campaigns are increasingly targeting mobile devices deployed across corporations, governments, and financial institutions. Unfortunately, prohibitively slow responses to even high-profile APT attacks have shown that authorities lack the capability to quickly investigate ongoing attacks (in a matter of hours or days rather than months). To address this challenge, Saltaformaggio’s research draws inspiration from recent developments in memory image forensics, in particular a recently introduced technique called guided execution. This technique has provided rapid evidence collection and crime investigation capabilities currently unparalleled in APT investigation.

Through this research, Saltaformaggio is developing an integrated framework, called GEMINI, which shifts the goal of modern memory forensics from the investigation of physical-world crimes to APT campaigns. Based on the analysis of only a single memory image – collected from an Android device after an attack is suspected – GEMINI provides the following set of APT investigation capabilities:

  • Based on exploratory guided execution techniques, GEMINI can search for and re-create previously enacted APT attack stages.
  • Beyond investigating prior attack execution, GEMINI enables the revelation of hidden/potential future attack behaviors by “puppeteering” their executing with pre-staged memory image data.
  • After exploring future payloads, GEMINI can further leverage its guided execution capabilities for the remediation of the observed attack strategies.

This work directly contributes to national security by advancing research in and developing techniques for the investigation of APT campaigns targeting mobile devices. In addition, the results of this research are being made publicly available with the goal of enhancing discovery and empowering future research in this area, as well as contributing to the development of new curriculum materials focused on malware analysis and reverse engineering.

Location

Atlanta, GA

Email

jackie.nemeth@ece.gatech.edu

Contact

Jackie Nemeth

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

404-894-2906

Yu to Receive Inaugural SRC Young Faculty Award

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Shimeng Yu

Shimeng Yu has been named as the recipient of the inaugural Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) Young Faculty Award. 

An associate professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Yu will be presented with the award at the annual SRC TECHCON meeting, to be held September 9-10, 2019 in Austin, Texas. He is also a member of the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology. This new award is presented to an untenured full-time faculty member who is a principal investigator (PI) or co-principal investigator working on research that greatly enriches the SRC research agenda.

Yu has been a member of Tech’s ECE faculty since August 2018, where he leads the Laboratory for Emerging Devices and Circuits. Yu is involved in several SRC projects. 

  • Yu is a member of the Applications and Systems-Driven Center for Energy-Efficient Integrated NanoTechnologies (ASCENT), which is part of the SRC/DARPA Joint University Microelectronics Program. ASCENT's mission is to provide breakthrough advances in integrated nanoelectronics to sustain the promise of Moore’s Law. Led by the University of Notre Dame, along with 13 partner universities and 29 principal investigators, the Center is funded for $49 million over five years. Yu's specific research within ASCENT develops emerging nanoelectronic devices that emulate the synapses and neurons to build hardware platforms for machine learning and neuromorphic computing. 
  • He is a member of the SRC nanoelectronic COmputing REsearch (nCORE) program, in particular the Energy-Efficient Computing: From Devices to Architectures (E2CDA) program. In this effort, jointly funded with the National Science Foundation, Yu is developing a software simulation framework to benchmark the emerging device technology's impact on artificial intelligence across the layers from algorithms, computer architecture, and circuit and chip design down to devices and materials. 
  • Yu is a PI of the SRC Global Research Collaboration (GRC) program on a project for hardware security. He and his colleagues are designing a fingerprint of microchips with emerging nanoelectronic devices for authentication and encryption. 

The SRC is a global industrial technology research consortium. With its highly regarded university research programs, SRC plays an indispensable part in the R&D strategies of some of industry's most influential entities.Companies who are SRC members include Intel, IBM, Micron, Samsung, ARM, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.

USG, Georgia Tech Awarded National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator Grant

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The Georgia Institute of Technology has been awarded a grant of $499,753 by the National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator to develop the Competency Catalyst project in conjunction with the University System of Georgia (USG). The Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) will work in partnership with a skilled project team that includes university faculty, researchers, and educational technology leaders from across the country to oversee the successful implementation of Competency Catalyst.

Competency Catalyst is a database that helps working professionals identify emerging technological areas that are in demand. Armed with this knowledge, workers can enhance their education and training to better meet the needs of the marketplace.

“It is essential that today’s workforce be able to compare their skills to those needed by employers so that they can identify gaps in their skills or experience and find opportunities to learn, train and/or reskill,” said Steve Harmon, associate director of C21U and associate dean of research for Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE). “A project like Competency Catalyst creates tangible pathways and access to data so that both employers and workers can better understand their needs in an ever-changing, technology-driven labor market.”

Competency Catalyst leverages a network of over 200 academic institutions, corporate partners, educational institutions, and standards bodies, as well as investments in infrastructure, open data, standards, and technology to create a national-scale repository of in-demand competencies and skills. This repository will have appropriate access controls but will be open to the workforce for exploration.

Competency Catalyst will have far-reaching implications for the labor market and higher education. The tools developed will create a “digital thread” connecting educational programs to job market demands, enabling students and educators to adjust their programs to current and future needs in real time and allowing local employers to align their needs with national demands and to influence the supply side of the talent pipeline.

This project will utilize National Science Foundation (NSF) funding to…

  1. support the Competency Catalyst repository with artificial intelligence (AI)I-based tools for extracting competency frameworks from job postings, credentials, and other sources;
  2. create an AI-based “Rosetta Stone” that aligns these frameworks with each other and with educational and training experiences; and
  3. develop applications that help educators, trainers, and students target current and predicted skills and competencies.

Harmon and Myk Garn, assistant vice chancellor for new learning models for the USG Board of Regents, will lead the development and implementation of Competency Catalyst, alongside a skilled team of higher education and industry experts.

The Competency Catalyst team includes:

  • Matthew Gee, co-founder and CEO of BrightHive and senior researcher at the University of Chicago
  • Jeffrey Grann, credential solutions lead for Credential Engine
  • Joseph Karaganis, director of OpenSyllabus and vice president at The American Assembly at Columbia University
  • Elaine Kelsey, senior software engineer for research at Eduworks
  • Jeanne Kitchens, associate director at the Southern Illinois University Center for Workforce Development
  • Laura Levy, research scientist II for Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology and the Interactive Media Technology Center
  • Matt Lisle, director of digital learning technologies for Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities
  • Beth Mynatt, executive director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology and distinguished professor in the College of Computing
  • Tom Plagge, co-founder and head of platform for BrightHive
  • Fritz Ray, director of engineering at Eduworks
  • Robby Robson, president and founder of Eduworks
  • Stuart Sutton, associate professor emeritus at the University of Washington’s Information School

"As we seek to chart the future of the human-technology frontier in a world of rapidly changing industry needs, AI tools, and university educational programs, projects like Competency Catalyst are a critical piece of the puzzle," said Mynatt. “The Institute for People and Technology is excited to collaborate with USG, the Center for 21st Century Universities, and all of the exceptional contributors who will help bring this groundbreaking program to life.”

Created in 1931, the University System of Georgia (USG) is composed of the state’s 26 higher education institutions, public library service and archives. Governed by the 19-member Board of Regents, the USG is a recognized national leader in affordability, degree attainment, and organizational efficiency.

If you would like to find out more about Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) and become involved in innovative, education-oriented projects like Competency Catalyst, please visit our website or email ed-innovation@gatech.edu.

Location

Atlanta, GA

Email

brittany@c21u.gatech.edu

Contact

Brittany Aiello

Communications Program Manager, C21U

brittany@c21u.gatech.edu

NSF Convergence Accelerator Awards Second Round of Funding to Eduworks, Georgia Tech, USG, Credential Engine for $5 Million Competency Catalyst Initiative

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Over two years, Competency Catalyst will receive $5 million in funding from the NSF Convergence Accelerator.

[Image credit: National Science Foundation]

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has named Competency Catalyst, an initiative focused on innovative tools for workforce reskilling and led by partners including Eduworks Corporation (Eduworks), Georgia Tech, and the University System of Georgia (USG), as one of nine teams selected to receive Phase II Convergence Accelerator funding. Over two years, Competency Catalyst will receive $5 million in funding from the NSF Convergence Accelerator.

The Phase I Convergence Accelerator cohort was announced in 2019 and included the Competency Catalyst team as one of 43 projects to receive Phase I funding. The Phase II cohort includes just nine teams of the original 43 and will provide Competency Catalyst with up to $5 million in funding for prototype development and pilot projects. During the two years of Phase II funding, the Competency Catalyst team, which includes Eduworks, Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U), USG, and the Credential Engine, will develop prototypes of digital tools to support critical workforce reskilling in the United States.

“The unpredictability of the job market over the past year has prompted many people to consider their current career trajectory and skills,” said Ashok Goel, co-PI and chief scientist for C21U. “It is critical that we leverage technology to develop better tools to sync up employers and educators so that job seekers have clear paths to reskilling. This type of tool is exactly what we hope to develop through the Competency Catalyst project.”

Over the next two years, Competency Catalyst will create two digital resources to support reskilling – a Skillsync application and a C2 platform. The Skillsync application enables companies to succinctly express reskilling needs for their workforce. This information is then distilled to colleges and universities so that they can design accelerated educational programs with the needed skills as specific learning outcomes. The Skillsync application is built on the C2 platform, which is designed to better describe and align job requirements and opportunities for reskilling in specific knowledge, skill, and ability (KSA) terminology. Georgia Tech’s Jill Watson AI-based educational assistant, the Credential Engine’s open data infrastructure, and Eduworks’ digital competency extraction tools and open-source Competency and Skills System (CaSS) will provide the framework for these two innovative new tools.

“The pairing of C2 and Skillsync will empower direct, real-time communication between companies and education providers through an AI-powered digital tool,” said Matt Lisle, director of digital learning technologies for C21U and member of the Competency Catalyst development team. “We believe that this will have an immediate and positive impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of reskilling America’s workforce.”

This Convergence Accelerator Phase II Grant is overseen by the National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator Program in the Office of Integrative Activities and is associated with the Convergence Accelerator topic area of AI and Future Jobs, and National Talent Ecosystem.

You can read more about the National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator Grant program and find the list of grant recipients in their September 2020 announcement, “Accelerating research to impact society at scale”.

Location

Alexandria, Va.

Email

brittany@c21u.gatech.edu

Contact

Brittany Aiello

Communications Program Manager, C21U

brittany@c21u.gatech.edu

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