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Q&A with ECE's New Faculty, Kevin M. Daniels and Yasser Shoukry

Q&A with ECE's New Faculty, Kevin M. Daniels and Yasser Shoukry

L-R: Assistant Professors Kevin M. Daniels and Yasser Shoukry.
L-R: Assistant Professors Kevin M. Daniels and Yasser Shoukry.

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is proud to announce two new Assistant faculty members: Kevin M. Daniels and Yasser Shoukry.  

Kevin M. Daniels (ECE/IREAP) received his B.S., M.E., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of South Carolina in 2009, 2012, and 2014, respectively. From 2014 through his start at UMD, Daniels served as a resident National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. In this role, he investigated the growth of wide bandgap materials (such as silicon carbide [SiC]), for power electronics and two-dimensional epitaxial graphene for high-speed communications and sensors.

His research interests include the growth of various metallic, semiconducting, and insulating two-dimensional materials, particularly transition metal oxides and dichalcogenides, for environmental and biological sensors, batteries, and fuel cells.

What is one of your most memorable professional highlights?
My most memorable highlight happens to be the most impactful in my career, the beginning as an undergraduate researcher at the University of South Carolina. Starting as a freshman, working with Professor Tangali Sudarshan, was where I developed a passion for research and an interest in the growth of semiconductors and fabrication of devices. I do not think my career would have taken this wonderful path without this experience and the mentorship and guidance I received from Prof. Sudarshan.

What interested you in teaching at the University of Maryland?
Definitely the students! I have had the pleasure of interacting with quite a few students and alumni from UMD during my tenure at NRL, establishing amazing collaborations resulting in impactful contributions to the field. I think, in no small part, was the education they received at UMD. I am looking forward to teaching, mentoring and working with the passionate students.

How do you plan on continuing your research at UMD?
My research focus is the growth of 2D semiconductors materials towards the development of sensors, batteries and fuel cells. The vast facilities at UMD, from the clean room for device fabrication to the numerous characterization tools available, as well as the proximity to the many national laboratories and universities, enables and facilitates research of all kinds and fosters the collaborations necessary to produce great research.

What class are you teaching this fall?
I will be teaching ENEE 313, Introduction to Solid State Devices this Fall. Many of the technological luxuries in computing, communication, renewable energy, etc. are possible due to the advancement in solid state, or semiconductor materials and devices in the last 50 years. I am looking forward to taking students through the devices that filled up rooms to the devices that fit in our pocket.



Yasser Shoukry (ECE) received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2015, where he was affiliated with both the Cyber-Physical Systems Lab and the Networked and Embedded Systems Lab. He received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in computer and systems engineering from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt in 2007 and 2010, respectively. Prior to joining ECE, Yasser was a joint postdoctoral associate at the University of California, Berkeley, UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania. Shoukry’s research areas include cyber-physical systems and Internet of Things (IoT) security.

What is one of your most memorable professional highlights?
In 2015, the National Science Foundation (NSF) held a research competition between Early-Career Investigators (ECI) in the domain of cyber-physical systems and Internet-of-Things. In this competition, groups of researchers are asked to present new research ideas, in a shark-tank setting, in the domain of smart cities. The team I led was one of the two winning teams and we represented the NSF-ECI in the Global City Teams Challenge held in June 2015.

What interested you in teaching at the University of Maryland?
I am very excited about the general teaching philosophy at UMD in which students experience both hands-on experience along with rigorous theoretical and mathematical classes. This teaching philosophy matches my own one and I believe it is a necessity to develop and inspire the next generation of engineers.

How do you plan on continuing your research at UMD?
The rapidly increasing dependence on CPS and IoT in building critical infrastructures—in the context of self-driving cars, smart cities, power systems, and medical devices—will open the gates to increasingly sophisticated and harmful attacks with major societal implications. My research focuses on designing and deploying “resilient” CPS and IoT that can withstand such attacks. This research area is interdisciplinary and requires expertise from several disciplines. I am confident that the collaborative climate at UMD will allow me to foster many opportunities to build such interdisciplinary research.

What class are you teaching this fall?
This Fall, I am introducing a new undergraduate course entitled “Introduction to Cyber-Physical Systems” which I am very excited about. The course will focus on the interplay between cyber components (software and communication) and physical processes (e.g., self-driving cars). The course is accompanied by a set of labs and projects to give hands-on experience to students.

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September 5, 2017

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