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Celebrating an excellent microelectronics professor

Sule Ozev receives Joseph C. Palais Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award

Woman seated at a table working with microelectronics.

Sule Ozev, an ASU professor of electrical engineering, researches the efficiency and stability of electrical systems to ensure access to reliable technology. Photo by Erika Gronek/ASU

November 17, 2023

Sule Ozev, a professor of electrical engineering in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, has been awarded the Joseph C. Palais Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award for the 2023–24 academic year.

Ozev’s accomplishments in research, teaching and volunteering her time to help her students and advance the field of electrical engineering made her an ideal choice for the award.

The Palais Award, established in 2016 by its namesake, electrical engineering Emeritus Professor Joseph Palais, celebrates faculty members in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering who demonstrate all-around excellence in research, teaching and community service.

“I am grateful to my colleagues for recognizing my hard work and having the right priorities as an educator,” Ozev says. “I am thrilled to receive this award and will continue working hard to deliver both on research and education goals.”

Zachary Holman, the vice dean of research and innovation in the Fulton Schools and Ozev’s colleague in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, nominated her for the award. The two worked together on ASU’s proposal for the Southwest Advanced Prototyping Hub, a $40 million government funding opportunity to deliver scalable microelectronics prototyping capabilities. 

“(The Palais Award) is an award for excellence in research, teaching and service, and Sule is the embodiment of all those things,” Holman says. “She is very well respected not only for her research within the university but also for her impact on the industry and the graduates she produces.”

Ozev has spearheaded the field of built-in testing for radiofrequency circuits. She started her career as an assistant professor at Duke University, studying circuit design automation and testing for radiofrequency and analog circuits. As a professor at ASU, she is working on microelectronics testing to ensure system reliability, calibration and built-in testing for analog, radiofrequency, mixed-signal circuits and sensor-based systems. 

Ozev was the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2006 and has received 10 research awards from Semiconductor Research Corporation, as well as honors from NASA and IBM. She also has published more than 100 papers in her field. 

In addition to her contributions to developing reliable and high-quality systems, Ozev measures her success by the mentorships she has cultivated with students, some of whom she has supported from high school through the doctoral level. 

Ozev’s approach to mentorship was inspired by her own introduction to engineering. As a child, she became interested in the field after meeting an engineer who explained how radios work. She was fascinated by the technology’s ability to capture and transmit information miles away over the air. Ozev says the engineer’s willingness and patience to explain the work in terms she could understand was formative to her career. She remains mindful of the impact of those experiences when working with students today.

Ozev focuses on the student experience in her teaching and consistently pitches new courses to advance the curriculum. 

In spring 2023, she collaborated with NXP Semiconductors and Advantest to offer a graduate-level course in industry-grade microelectronics testing, which only a handful of universities in the U.S. provide. The class gives students hands-on lab experience in microelectronics testing using automated test equipment under the supervision of NXP and Advantest test engineers. It is considered a significant opportunity for the electrical engineering community at ASU.

As her nominator, Holman notes that when he is discussing ASU projects with industry partners, he is frequently directed back to Ozev, given her prolific research and respect in the community. 

“Everyone who works with Sule wants to work with her again,” Holman says. “She has great ideas and the skills to develop them.”

Looking forward, Ozev plans to continue advancing the reliability of system designs with emerging technologies, such as resistive random-access memory structures, DNA-based nanoelectronics and biomechanical devices. 

She is also interested in organizing the graduate and undergraduate curriculums so students have hands-on experience in every step of the product development cycle, including concept development, circuit design, manufacturing, design of device interface board, packaging selection and testing.

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