Harris Graduate Student Awards 2018

March 10, 2018

CLEMSON – Outstanding graduate students were recognized at this spring’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Student Achievement Award Ceremony. Graduate students Irfan Kil, Yeyu Zhu, and Brad Green received Harris Awards, department-wide awards which have been given each year for the past 33 years in recognition of outstanding accomplishment in the preceding year by a current Clemson graduate student in the areas of laboratory teaching, research, and service.

(L-R) ECE professor Richard Groff, Irfan Kil, Harris Corp. representative Catheryn Logan, ECE professor Apoorva Kapadia, ECE Department Chair Dan Noneaker

Irfan Kil received the Harris Award for the Outstanding Graduate Laboratory Teaching Assistant in 2017 based on evaluations by undergraduates enrolled in ECE laboratory courses and assessment by the faculty supervisors of the laboratories.

Irfan completed his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at Karadeniz Technical University in 2009, and is currently pursuing the Ph.D degree in electrical engineering with an emphasis in Intelligent Systems under the direction of Prof. Richard Groff.

Irfan has been called a Teacher’s teacher by his students. Students’ evaluations have said that he does not just provide an answer to a problem, but guides the students to the solution, ensuring that they understand and never forget the method. Students also lauded him for his availability and the numerous hours he spent in the lab helping them troubleshoot their projects, ensure they completed their work successfully and on time.

From the perspective of the faculty, ECE Lab Coordinator Dr. Apoorva Kapadia describes Irfan as always available with thoughts and recommendations for improving pedagogy as well as determining the feasibility of projects, while also ensuring that they are at once possible, relevant and challenging. “Irfan is an asset as a TA to our department and we are lucky to have him” said Kapadia.

(L-R) ECE Graduate Program Coordinator Harlan Russell, Yeyu Zhu, Harris Corp. representative Catheryn Logan, ECE professor Lin Zhu, ECE Department Chair Dan Noneaker

Yeyu Zhu received the Harris Award for the Outstanding Graduate Researcher in 2017 based on the recommendation of a faculty member and evaluation by a committee of ECE faculty, which found her record of research productivity and scholarship outstanding.

Yeyu is a PhD student in EE focusing on optics and photonics; photonic integrated circuits; and nonlinear optics. He was nominated by his advisor, Prof. Lin Zhu.  Yeyu has been a research assistant since enrolling at Clemson in 2014.  Prior to that he earned a MS degree in Optical Engineering at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China and a BS Electronic Science and Technology from Chongqing University.

While a graduate student at Clemson he has published 6 journal papers with 4 of them as the lead author, and has a seventh paper under review.  He has also co-authors 3 conference papers.  Prior to joining Clemson he had already published 5 journal articles. His articles have appeared in publications including the IEEE Photonics Journal, the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, and Scientific Reports.

His main research contribution is to realize integrated single frequency, high power laser sources based on monolithic and hybrid coherent beam combining.

(L-R) ECE Graduate Program Coordinator Harlan Russell, Brad Green, Harris Corp. representative Catheryn Logan, ECE professor Apoorva Kapadia, ECE Department Chair Dan Noneaker

Brad Green received the Harris Award for Outstanding Graduate Service for 2017, an award determined based on service to the department and the university as a member of the Graduate Student community.

Brad received his bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Clemson in 2013, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D in Computer Engineering in the area of Computer Systems Architecture under the direction of Prof. Melissa Smith.

For the past 3 years, Brad has done extensive work in developing new OpenCL materials and designing new labs for the ECE 3270 Digital Computer Design course, enhancing and updating the curriculum. Outside of his regular research and coursework, he spends hours helping students with projects, debugging issues, installing tools, diagnosing lab machine problems, and tutoring undergraduate students in multiple labs.

He also often acts as the first point of contact for departmental faculty and staff in resolving computer issues, and assisted the department with its recent ABET accreditation visit by helping collect assessment material and talking with accreditors about the ECE 3270 course. He serves as the ECE Computer Engineering Senator, where his duties are to give a voice to ECE majors and help keep our students’ best interest in mind.

A representative from the Harris Corp., Catheryn Logan, was in attendance and presented the students with their awards. Catheryn holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson, and currently serves as a Senior Engineering Manager for Photonics, Optics, Quantum Sciences and Material Sciences for Harris Corp. and she is also a Program Manager for Commercial Acousto-Optics product lines located in Melbourne, Florida.

Since their inception, the Harris Awards have been accompanied by a monetary stipend, which is provided by the generosity of Harris Corp. The Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering appreciates the support and encouragement that Harris and its employees provide to our department and our students.

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