Singer selected as one of the "nation's brightest young engineers"

ECE News

Bridget Maiellaro, ECE Illinois

Story Highlights

  • Professor Andrew Singer is one of three members chosen that will represent Illinois Engineering at the symposium.
  • Singer's participation in the symposium will help ECE and the College stay connected with the program.
  • Several ECE professors have previously been recognized by the National Academy of Engineering.

Andrew Singer
Andrew Singer

ECE Professor and Donald Biggar Willett Scholar Andrew Singer was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s 14th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. He was one of 82 rising engineers chosen from more than 230 applicants.

"It's indeed an honor to have been selected to participate, and I am grateful that I am one of three members representing the University of Illinois' College of Engineering in the Symposium," Singer said. "It seems to be a great opportunity to facilitate collaboration across engineering disciplines and across the country, while focusing on a number of key engineering areas at the symposium. These include emerging nanoelectronic devices, cognitive engineering, drug delivery systems, and understanding and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

The U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, hosted by Sandia National Laboratories, will be held September 18 through September 20 at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. In addition to Singer, University of Illinois attendees will include Chemical Engineering professors Paul Kenis and Daniel Pack. Pack, who first participated in the 2002 U.S. Frontiers symposium, will deliver a speech on Polymer Technologies for Gene Therapy.

Singer is not the first ECE professor to be recognized by the National Academy of Engineering for his outstanding research and technical work. Previous ECE faculty members asked to participate in the Frontiers symposiums include Rashid Bashir (2003 U.S., 2007 Japan), Jennifer Bernhard (2007 U.S.), Thomas Overbye (1999 U.S., 2002 speaker in Japan, 2003 committee member in Japan), and Venugopal Veeravalli (2000 U.S., 2002 U.S. committee member). Singer hopes to follow in his colleagues’ footsteps by participating in additional symposiums in the future.

"It sounds like a great opportunity to stay connected with a strong program and to continue to represent Illinois and the COE in the meetings," said Singer.

The National Academy of Engineering, an independent, nonprofit organization aimed to advise government and the public on issues of engineering and technology, holds four Frontiers of Engineering meetings each year. The U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, the German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, the Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, and the Indo-U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium each cover four topics that vary year to year. The symposiums, designed for engineers between 30 and 45 years old, allow young engineers from around the world to meet and collaborate on new ideas.

Sponsors for the 2008 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium include the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, Corning Inc., Cummins Inc., The Grainger Foundation, Intel Corp., Microsoft Research, Sandia National Laboratories, and a number of individual donors.

Singer earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1990, 1992, and 1996, respectively. Upon earning his PhD, he worked for Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company in Manchester, New Hampshire, until he joined the ECE faculty in 1998. Singer is currently an ECE Professor, a research professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory, and the director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) in the College of Engineering. His research projects involve underwater acoustic communications, signal processing algorithms and architectures for enabling processing in deep submicron ICs, and financial modeling.

"While these areas seem rather diverse, the core of the work centers on learning methods for robust signal processing algorithms," Singer said.

In 2000, Singer and ECE Professor Naresh R Shanbhag co-founded Intersymbol, a fabless semiconductor startup based in Champaign that has become a world-leader in designing signal-processing-enhanced mixed-signal integrated circuits for ultra long-haul and metro fiber links. The company was acquired by Kodeos Communications, Inc., in March 2006 and again by Finisar Corporation, Inc., in March 2007.

Over the years, Singer has received a variety of awards and recognitions, including the Harold L. Hazen Memorial Award for excellence in teaching in 1991, the National Science foundation CAREER Award in 2000, and the Xerox Faculty Research Award in 2001. Singer, a Hughes Aircraft Masters Fellow, serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing. He is also a member of the MIT Educational Council, Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi.

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