FILE - In this July 6, 2021, file photo, an electronic signboard welcomes people to the Howard University campus in Washington. A foundation is donating $2 million to Howard University to digitize a major collection of Black newspaper archives in hopes of making it more broadly available to researchers and the general public. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Howard University Electrical Engineering Professor Su Yan Receives NSF CAREER Award for RF and Microwave Reconfigurable Device Modeling and Optimization Research

By Hayya Shah

Howard University electrical engineering assistant professor Su Yan recently received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development award, known as the NSF CAREER award, for his research on the modeling and optimization of radiofrequency (RF) and microwave reconfigurable devices.

The CAREER Program is the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

“It is a great pleasure and honor to receive this award, which will support our continuing effort on developing advanced modeling and optimization methodologies that combine the simulation power of modern numerical methods based on mathematical and physical models and novel neural network techniques based on big data,” said Yan. “It will also support the education and training of Howard undergraduate and graduate students in electrical engineering and help fulfill our mission as the leading HBCU in the nation.”

The award in the amount of $500K will support Yan’s research project titled “Neural Network Enhanced Electromagnetics and Multiphysics Simulation Methods for RF and Microwave Reconfigurable Devices.”

Rapid developments in wireless communication, sensing, and navigation systems are driving technological advances in next-generation reconfigurable RF and microwave devices. To address technical challenges and limitations, miniaturized and power-efficient RF and microwave devices are in high demand.

This project will also provide research opportunities and invaluable practical experience to underrepresented minority students and in turn help to diversify the technology sector, which is a driving force for innovation.”

The overall research goal of Yan’s NSF-supported project is to develop physics and neural network enabled electromagnetic and multiphysics simulation methods to address challenges in the evaluation and optimization of RF and microwave reconfigurable devices. His long-term vision is to integrate physics-based and data-guided scientific computing methodologies and eventually develop a revolutionary simulation tool with modeling and design capabilities that do not currently exist.

“It is always gratifying to see our researchers being recognized by NSF for their innovative and breakthrough work. Dr. Yan’s research is expected to result in the development of revolutionary simulation tools that will support industry demands for technological advances in wireless communication, sensing, and navigation systems. His research will serve the public in supporting the growing needs of our technology sector and U.S. consumers,” said John M. M. Anderson, PhD, dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture. “This project will also provide research opportunities and invaluable practical experience to underrepresented minority students and in turn help to diversify the technology sector, which is a driving force for innovation.”

Extensive education and outreach plans, including the involvement of underrepresented minority students and the development of video clips and demonstrations to keep the public informed, are an integral part of the project.