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Beginning July 1, two senior faculty will begin department chair appointments at the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering. Paul Yu, an expert in photonics and optical networks, has been appointed Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, succeeding Prof. Charles Tu. Ahmed Elgamal, who specializes in earthquake engineering and computational geomechanics, will lead the Structural Engineering Department, following the term of Prof. Vistasp Karbhari.

Prof. Paul Yu

Prof. Yu joined the Jacobs School faculty in 1983, and has served as Vice-Chair of ECE for the past year. Yu was integral to the movement to introduce freshman engineering in the Jacobs School undergraduate curriculum. He also served on the advisory committee for the founding of the UCSD Chapter of Tau Beta Pi and has served as the advisor for IEEE LEO/MTT/ED Student chapter since its foundation.

“As chair, I will try my best to bring the undergraduate and graduate programs further in line with ECE's mission to educate tomorrow's technology leaders,” said Yu, who adds that another priority will be to promote more interaction between the students and faculty.

Yu is an internationally recognized leader in optoelectronic devices research for microwave photonics applications and is a faculty member of the Materials Science Program and the Whitaker Institute for Biomedical Engineering. For twenty years, Yu has been working on devices that enhance the performance of telecommunications networks. His current focus on transmitting microwave signals through optical fiber has the potential to revolutionize communications by paving the way for broadband speeds many times faster than today's advanced 10 Gigabit per second (Gbps) systems As a leader in integrated devices for analog RF-Optical links, he is one of the first to recognize the importance and potential of this field to extend digital fiber optic transmissions from telecommunications to analog RF applications such as cable television and phased array antennas. His interests also extend to bioelectronics, notably cell sensing and monitoring in biological systems, and the biomedical applications of microwaves and photonics. Yu has published more than 150 articles in his field and is a Senior Member of IEEE and treasurer of the IEEE Electron Devices Society, and is a member of the Optical Society of America.

Prof. Elgamal

Prof. Elgamal has been a member of the Jacobs School faculty since 1997 and has served on a number of committees for the Academic Senate, Jacobs School, and Structural Engineering Department. Prior to joining UCSD, Elgamal was a faculty member at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Columbia University; and technical director for the Rensselaer Geotechnical Centrifuge Research Center.

"I'd like to see the structural engineering department continue and further the collaboration with all of the Jacobs School departments, as well as the San Diego Supercomputer Center and Scripps Institution of Oceanography," said Elgamal. "More and more, our work will incorporate information technologies and new materials as we continue to define novel structural research applications." Elgamal emphasizes that integrating research with the department's education programs will remain a top priority.

Elgamal is a leader in computational geomechanics and information technology for structural health monitoring. Most recently, Elgamal has been leading a National Science Foundation (NSF) Information Technology Research (ITR) program to create an integrated sensor network for health monitoring of highway bridges. He is also funded by NSF to develop live Internet earthquake engineering experiments for research, and for use as educational modules. Elgamal is a recipient of the Shamsher Prakash Award and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the research committee of the NSF Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center.

Both Elgamal and Yu have been appointed to three-year terms from July 2003 to June 2006.

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