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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2010 / 01 

Sandeep Shukla invited to Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

January 7, 2010

Sandeep Shukla
Sandeep Shukla

Sandeep Shukla, Virginia Tech associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, is one of 60 outstanding engineers from the United States and Germany to be invited to attend the 2010 German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany are the organizers of this symposium.

Since 1995, the NAE has held an annual Frontiers of Engineering symposium that brings together 100 outstanding engineers (ages 30-45) from U.S. companies, universities, and government labs to discuss leading-edge research and technical work across a range of engineering fields. The Frontiers program has now expanded to include bilateral meetings with Germany, Japan, India, China, and the European Union.

The objectives for the bilateral meetings are similar to those for the U.S. Frontiers of Engineering with the added element of facilitating international cooperation and understanding. Bilateral Frontiers of Engineering meetings are held annually, with the location alternating between countries.

Shukla, who came to Virginia Tech in 2002, is a leading researcher in designing, analyzing, and predicting performance of electronic systems, particularly systems embedded in automated systems. Embedded computers are the “brains” behind many everyday mechanisms, such as wireless devices, cars, climate control systems, traffic signals, and washing machines, as well as complex systems, including space mission controls, avionics, and weapons systems.

Among Shukla’s current research focuses is the development of embedded software code generation for space and aviation mission applications. “The makers of the Airbus 380 claim to have all control software automatically generated,” he said. “We should develop similar technology to increase productivity and safety of embedded software-based space- and air-borne systems.” He works with the Air Force Labs in Rome, N.Y., closely on this project, and was funded by Air Force Labs and Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Another of his interests is nano-scale computer chips. “Because nanoscale devices are so small and the manufacturing process is affected by so much variation and inaccuracy, a significant percentage of computer chip devices manufactured at the nano-scale are defective,” he said.

More recently Shukla, together with Lamine Mili and other investigators received a $2 million National Science Foundation grant through the Emerging Frontiers of Research and Innovation (EFRI) program to work on the interdependence between cyber-physical systems and power system.

Shukla, in particular, is working on creating a simulation based test bed to understand the interdependence between the smart-grid and communication infrastructure for the smart grid. He is also working on understanding the reason for the resilience of the Internet even though it is not centrally controlled or organized using multiscale decision theory in cooperation with Christian Wernz of the industrial and systems engineering department of Virginia Tech.

Shukla was recognized for his technological achievements with embedded computers when he received a 2004 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest national honor for researchers in the early stages of their careers. The research that attracted Shukla’s PECASE award focused on power/performance trade-off analysis for designing embedded systems, and includes a related educational component.

In 2007, Shukla was one of the invitees to the Frontiers of Science Symposium hosted by the National Academy of Sciences. In 2005 he was one of the invitees of the Frontiers of Engineering Symposium hosted by the National Academy of Engineering. In 2008, Shukla received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation, available annually to no more than 25 scientists and scholars, internationally renowned in their field, who had completed their doctorates within 12 years of receiving the award.

Shukla has published six books, and more than 150 research articles in peer reviewed journals and conferences. He was named a Virginia Tech College of Engineering Faculty Fellow in 2005 for his research excellence.

In 2003 Shukla and colleagues in electrical and computer engineering, computer science, and mathematics founded the Center for Embedded Systems for Critical Applications. Their goal is to move Virginia Tech to the forefront of research and education in the area of embedded systems. Shukla is deputy director of the center, which operates under the umbrella of the university’s Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. Shukla’s research lab, Formal Engineering Research with Models, Abstractions and Transformations (FERMAT), is active in applying formal methods to the engineering, verification, and synthesis of embedded hardware and software systems.