Omeed Momeni Receives NSF CAREER Award

DAVIS, Calif.; Jan. 30, 2015 – The National Science Foundation’s Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems has awarded a five-year CAREER grant of $500,000 to Omeed Momeni, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Momeni will be PI on the research project, titled “Scalable Traveling and Standing Wave Structures for High-Power and High-Efficiency Terahertz and mm-Wave Radiator and Phased Array Systems.”UC Davis Prof. Omeed Momeni

High-speed electronics rely increasingly on millimeter-wave (mm-wave) and terahertz (THz) systems for a wide variety of applications in health, security and industry: from medical imaging and cancer diagnosis, to bio/molecular spectroscopy for drug detection, food quality control and breath analyses for disease diagnoses. Remote sensing, active/passive imaging and short-range communication are evolving rapidly toward the superior resolution and higher data rate promised by mm-wave and THz frequencies, but thus far such systems are achieved solely by expensive and unwieldy devices such as gas lasers and discrete bulky components. If compact and on-chip THz systems could be realized, the many related applications would flourish, resulting in new opportunities in both the high-tech marketplace, and research and teaching institutions.

Momeni intends to address this challenge by introducing fundamentally new approaches to the design of harmonic voltage-controlled oscillators (VCO), radiator array and phased-array systems at both mm-wave and THz frequencies. The goal is to make solid-state electronics the default platform for high-performance, on-chip THz systems: a result that is difficult to envision today.

Momeni completed his undergraduate work at Iran’s Isfahan University of Technology. He subsequently came to the U.S., where he worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory while earning his master’s degree at USC. He did his PhD work at New York’s Cornell University, in electrical engineering, and joined the UC Davis College of Engineering in 2011, immediately upon completing his doctorate. He also worked for one year as a visiting professor at UC Irvine’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Momeni is director of UC Davis’ High-Speed Integrated Electronic Systems Lab (HISIES), where his research focuses on high-performance mm-wave and THz circuits and systems, high-power/high-efficiency power amplifiers and signal sources, and RF/microwave transceivers. He also is part of the faculty team at the Davis mm-Wave Research Center (DMRC), led by Neville C. Luhmann and Anh-Vu Pham.

Momeni’s CAREER award comes from the NSF’s Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS), which addresses fundamental research issues underlying device and component technologies, power, controls, computation, networking, communications and cyber technologies. ECCS supports the integration and networking of intelligent systems principles at the nano, micro and macro scales, for a variety of application domains in healthcare, homeland security, disaster mitigation, energy, telecommunications, the environment, transportation, manufacturing and other systems-related areas.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research, within the context and mission of their organizations.