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Babakhani wins DARPA Young Faculty Award


Babakhani cropped Aydin Babakhani, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Rice Integrated Systems and Circuits Laboratory, is the recipient of a Young Faculty Award (YFA) from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the central research and development agency for the U.S. Department of Defense.

The objective of the YFA program is to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions and familiarize them with the needs of the Department of Defense. The YFA totals about $300,000 and is given to researchers whose work leads to advances in technologies and systems of strategic importance.

“This is a prestigious award. We’re all delighted to learn that Aydin was selected from among the very best to receive it. Aydin is a very strong researcher in an emerging area with potential for applications in many areas in engineering. We’re delighted to have him on the faculty,” said Behnaam Aazhang, the J.S. Abercrombie Professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering.

Babakhani is implementing advanced radiating circuits and high-frequency transceiver systems on a conventional silicon process technology. “With today’s CMOS technology,” he said, “we are able to integrate antennas, radar transceivers, and digital circuitry on a single chip. This unprecedented level of integration provides a unique opportunity for implementing extremely agile radar systems.”

Babakhani joined the Rice faculty in July 2011. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Caltech in 2008, and worked as a research scientist at IBM’s T. J. Watson research center before coming to Rice.

He received the Caltech electrical engineering department's Charles Wilts best Ph.D. thesis prize for his work on Near-Field Direct Antenna Modulation. He was the recipient of the IEEE Microwave Society Graduate Fellowship in 2007, the Analog Devices Inc. outstanding student designer award in 2005, and a Caltech special institute fellowship in 2003. He was the gold medal winner of the national physics competition in 1998, and the gold medal winner of the 30th international physics Olympiad in 1999, in Padova, Italy.