Members Design a Better Tool for Brain Surgery and a Cybersecurity Expert Combats Tor Vulnerabilities

IEEE members made headlines this month

24 July 2017

IEEE Members Shadi Dayeh and Vikash Gilja were featured in Innovators Magazine for their work on an advanced electrode grid—a clinical tool placed on the brain to measure activity during surgery. They are electrical engineering professors at the University of California, San Diego.

Electrode grids have remained more or less unchanged during the past two decades, but the research team at UCSD, led by Dayeh and Gilja, have developed a version that is 1,000 times thinner. In place of metal electrodes, they’ve incorporated a flexible conductive polymer. The thinner electrode grid sits more naturally on the brain, allowing practitioners to better monitor how the organ is performing, according to the article.

Dayeh is a member of the IEEE Electron Devices Society as well as IEEE Young Professionals. Gilja is a member of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.


IEEE Members Pavithra Prabhakar and Kaushik Sengupta were among the recipients of the annual Young Investigator Award, presented by the U.S. Office of Naval Research. The awards honor academic scientists and engineers who are in their first or second full-time tenure-track appointment and show exceptional promise for doing creative research.

Prabhakar is an associate professor of computer science at Kansas State University, in Manhattan. Her research interests include cyberphysical systems, formal verification methods, and automata (the study of abstract machines). She is a member of the IEEE Communications Society.

Sengupta is an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Princeton. Among his research interests are silicon-based RF, millimeter-wave circuits and systems, on-chip active electromagnetic field synthesis, and self-healing and reconfigurable integrated circuits. He is a member of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques, and IEEE Solid-State Circuits societies as well as IEEE Young Professionals.


IEEE Member Prateek Mittal was featured on Phys.org for his work in identifying and combating weaknesses in Tor, a software system that millions of people use to try to be anonymous online.

Tor is designed to make it more difficult to trace what people are doing online by routing their traffic through a series of proxy servers before it reaches its final destination. Mittal detailed his latest findings on how to mitigate Tor vulnerabilities in a paper, “Counter-RAPTOR: Safeguarding Tor Against Active Routing Attacks,” presented in May at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, held in San Jose, Calif.

Mittal, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Princeton, is a member of the IEEE Computer Society and IEEE Young Professionals.


IEEE Senior Member Weidong Zhou was profiled by Laser Focus World after helping design a high-power semiconductor laser that is compact, efficient, and scalable. He is the principal investigator on the project, which garnered a five-year, US $3 million grant from the U.S. Defense Department’s High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office.

Zhou is an electrical engineering professor at the University of Texas, in Arlington. He is a member of the IEEE Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology and IEEE Photonics societies.


IEEE Member Meenakshi Chatterjee was one of five female engineers profiled by Feminism in India. She is a senior hardware engineer at Twitter and is helping to run its data center.

Chatterjee is a member of IEEE Young Professionals.


IEEE Senior Member Jennifer Blain Christen is working to develop a disposable, point-of-care biosensor for rapid diagnosis and health monitoring. Her work is supported by a four-year, $1.8 million Smart and Connected Health award from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Christen envisions the biosensor as a flexible patch that will absorb sweat. A small screen embedded in the patch would project light through the molecules, and the color of the light that emerges would indicate the presence or absence of disease. The patch might be useful in screening for Ebola, Zika virus, and Dengue fever. The patch will be disposable and inexpensive, Christen said in a post on the Arizona State University website—another potential benefit for health-care workers in developing countries.

She is an associate professor of electrical engineering at Arizona State University, in Tempe.

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