Electrical and Computer Engineering Location: Thornton Hall E303, 2-3pm [in person seminar]
Add to Calendar 2022-09-09T14:00:00 2022-09-09T14:00:00 America/New_York ECE Seminar: Luke Lester Radically Re-Designing the Teaching Culture and Curriculum of a Department:  The NSF RED Project Thornton Hall E303, 2-3pm [in person seminar] RSVP To This Event
Prof. Luke F. Lester

Roanoke Electric Steel Professor & Department Head

Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech

Location: Thornton Hall E303, 2-3pm  [in person seminar]


At Virginia Tech, the vision of the ECE Department’s NSF Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) grant is to transform an academic unit with two narrow curricular paths that attracts and produces a limited range of traditional engineers to one that draws and retains a wider pool of students and prepares them to be holistic “T-shaped” professionals for a broader range of careers.  A large part of our effort has been on shifting faculty perspectives on student needs and professional aspirations, and on opening space in the curriculum for multiple pathways to a degree so that students have greater choice in their professional preparation. In this presentation, I will talk about the motivation for this project, its goals, what we've accomplished so far, what remains to be done...and a couple of things that we just didn't see coming.

About the presenter: 

Luke F. Lester, an IEEE and SPIE Fellow, received the B.S. in Engineering Physics in 1984 and the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1992, both from Cornell University.  He joined Virginia Tech in 2013 as the Head of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and was named the Roanoke Electric Steel Professor in 2016.  Prior to joining VT, he was a professor of ECE at the University of New Mexico (UNM) from 1994 to 2013, and most recently the Interim Department Chair and the Endowed Chair Professor in Microelectronics there. Before 1994, Dr. Lester worked as an engineer for the General Electric Electronics Laboratory in Syracuse, New York for 6 years where he worked on transistors for mm-wave applications. There in 1986 he co-invented the first Pseudomorphic HEMT, a device that was later highlighted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest transistor. By 1991 as a PhD student at Cornell, he researched and developed the first strained quantum well lasers with mm-wave bandwidths. These lasers are now the industry standard for optical transmitters in data and telecommunications. In all, Dr. Lester has over 35 years experience in III-V semiconductor devices and advanced fabrication techniques. In 2001, he was a co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Zia Laser, Inc., a startup company using quantum dot laser technology to develop products for communications and computer/microprocessor applications. The company was later acquired by Innolume, GmbH. He was a US Air Force Summer Faculty Fellow in 2006 and 2007 in Rome, NY. Dr. Lester’s other awards and honors include: a 1986 IEE Electronics Letters Premium Award for the first transistor amplifier at 94 GHz; the 1994 Martin Marietta Manager’s Award; the Best Paper Award at SPIE’s Photonics West 2000 for reporting a quantum dot laser with the lowest semiconductor laser threshold; and the 2012 Harold E. Edgerton Award of the SPIE for his pioneering work on ultrafast quantum dot mode-locked lasers. He has published 148 journal articles and some 280 other publications. He was Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics for 3 years from January 2015 to January 2018.

Host:  Scott Acton, Professor and Chair of electrical and computer engineering. 

Organizer:  Mona Zebarjadi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and materials science and engineering.