Congratulations to ECE Ph.D. student Xuebei Yang, who was awarded a 2015 Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Graduate Fellowship. The award specifically recognizes his work in medical applications.
“It is a great achievement to win an IMS Graduate Fellowship Award,” Aydin Babakhani, his advisor, said. “IEEE Microwave Society is honoring Xuebei because of his work on miniaturized Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) sensors. Xuebei has built the world’s first single-chip EPR transceiver in Silicon.”
“EPR is a very powerful technique in medical areas. For example, it can detect cancers such as melanoma. It can also detect the concentration of oxygen inside human vessels and helps cardiologists,” Yang said.
While EPR is nothing new, Yang’s take on it is – his research aims to take the EPR and shrink it, making it more useful.
“The traditional EPR spectrometer, that is, the machine used to perform EPR measurement, is way too bulky, heavy and costly. Therefore its application has been greatly restricted. The goal of my research is to significantly reduce the size, weight and cost of the EPR spectrometer by using advanced integrated circuit technology, to allow the use of EPR in previously impossible situations,” he said
The device will not be restricted to medical applications – it also has great potential in the oil and gas industry.
“In this field, it is a very powerful technique for online monitoring of asphaltenes. Asphaltene molecules are like cholesterol in the blood. They deposit in oil and gas pipelines and block the flow. Xuebei’s EPR sensor is capable of monitoring these asphaltene molecules and will predict the deposits. This technology can have a significant impact on the flow-assurance, and can help the energy industry to save billions of dollars every year,” Babakhani noted.
“Our preliminary results have been exciting and promising, and we expect to have the final miniaturized EPR spectrometer in the near future,” Yang added.
Yang received his B.S. in Microelectronics from Tsinghua University in 2008. His research interests include CMOS-based radio frequency integrated circuit design and CMOS-based photonics.
“I have been a fan of computers and microchips since my childhood. It didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to pursue an education in ECE,” Yang said. “Rice has a great reputation in this field. I’m very glad I made the decision to attend Rice,” he continued.
Yang will travel to the International Microwave Symposium in Phoenix in May to accept his $6,000 award at a special luncheon to honor all the fellowship winners.