Celebrating an excellent microelectronics professor

Sule Ozev receives Joseph C. Palais Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award

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. 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 Download Full Image

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.

Hannah Weisman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Marketing and Communications


School of Transborder Studies professor receives inaugural Charter Professor Award

Gilberto Lopez honored for his commitment to ASU’s charter; vows to continue making a difference in Hispanic communities

November 17, 2023

When Assistant Professor Gilberto Lopez of the School of Transborder Studies was asked to appear before University Provost Nancy Gonzales, it immediately brought back memories of adolescence, when he wasn’t the most stellar student, and he wondered for a moment if he was in trouble. As it turns out, he was being summoned to accept an award, and not just any award.

Lopez is part of an inaugural group of professors being honored with the Charter Professor Award, a new award at Arizona State University to recognize and assist professors who truly embody the ASU Charter and the goals of the New American University. Lopez is one of four professors to have this new distinguished title. Each year, ASU will sponsor two faculty members — one tenured or tenure-track faculty member and one career-track faculty member — to serve as Charter Professors for a period of three years.  ASU Professor Gilberto Lopez holding a certificate for the Charter Professor Award. ASU Assistant Professor Gilberto Lopez is one of four to receive the inaugural Charter Professor Award honoring his work in Hispanic communities. Courtesy photo Download Full Image

As a young student growing up in California’s central valley, the son of migrant farmworkers, Lopez never imagined he would end up a tenure-track professor at one of the largest research universities in the country. A first-generation college graduate of humble beginnings, Lopez began his higher education journey at Modesto Junior College and eventually went on to earn an MPH from Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in social and behavioral sciences from Harvard University.

These days, Lopez spends his time educating the Hispanic community through culturally tailored, science-based educational campaigns such as COVIDLatino, an original concept he came up with to address the lack of information and misinformation within Latino communities, which were hit especially hard during the pandemic. He also takes pride in mentoring youth in the Migratory Student Summer Academy, which provides children from farmworker families the opportunity to access college through an immersive STEM-focused summer program. 

The other award recipients honored for their outstanding work and commitment to the ASU Charter are:

  • Sara Brownell, President's Professor in the School of Life Sciences and director of the Research for Inclusive STEM Education (RISE) Center. Brownell's research focuses on inclusive excellence in undergraduate STEM education.
  • Stacey Gandy, a licensed clinical social worker and a clinical assistant professor in the School of Social Work. Gandy's commitment to ASU’s charter and design aspirations are reflected in her work with the ASU Community Collaborative, an effort to support the health and well-being of low-income individuals and/or individuals with disabilities in Phoenix.
  • Karen Knierman, an assistant teaching professor, astronomer and astrophysicist in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. Knierman has trained teachers and students to use a portable planetarium for more than a decade, particularly in rural, inner-city and tribal communities that do not otherwise have access to field trips. 

"Their work exemplifies the best we do to serve our students and our communities in ways that further our culture of inclusive excellence and overall excellence in everything we do,” Gonzales said.

For his part, Lopez will receive $30,000 over the course of three years to further develop and expand El Laboratorio, an innovative research and design studio dedicated to creating effective culturally tailored science communication interventions for Latinos.

“I’m on a mission to democratize science and make science accessible to everyone," Lopez said. "Because there are geniuses everywhere, and we need to find innovative ways to bring science to Latino communities and break down those barriers and create new knowledge.”

In her nomination letter, Professor Irasema Coronado said Lopez's students tend to gravitate toward him because of his background, relatability and the way he positively interacts with and mentors them. She says he maintains an open-door policy that fosters meaningful relationships.

“His teaching evaluations indicate that he is an excellent teacher because of his passion, ability to share knowledge and for creating positive learning environments," Coronado said. "One student wrote, 'Dr. Lopez’s passion was contagious and made me want to learn more and fill this gap in my knowledge. I appreciate him very much.'”

"It feels weird to be in the spotlight like this, but I appreciate the collaboration put forth on my behalf. It’s an honor,” Lopez said. He encourages students to reach for the stars and believe in themselves, and not underestimate their ability and belonging in higher education, "because we belong in those spaces."

Inspired by the legendary McNair Scholars Program, Lopez runs a mini McNair program of his own in which he works with students for one year and mentors them to pursue their postgraduate dreams. He helps them fight imposter syndrome and believe in themselves to apply for top Ivy League programs; he tells his students that as long as they meet the minimum requirements, they must apply. Lopez encourages more students to be bold and seek out mentorships. “Rely on your network of support and seek out paid internships and summer programs to make stronger applicants,” he said.

“Gilberto's accomplishments in teaching, research and mentorship demonstrate his unwavering commitment to ASU’s charter,” Coronado said. “He will continue to make a significant positive impact on ASU and its community.”

Senior media relations officer, Media Relations and Strategic Communications