ECE Welcomes New Tenure-Track Faculty Members

Northwestern Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is expanding, welcoming four new faculty members this year.

“It is exciting to have these four promising new researchers joining our department,” said Randall Berry, John A. Dever Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering. “I am very much looking forward to watching their careers at Northwestern unfold.”

Nivedita Arora

Nivedita AroraArora will join this fall as the Allen K. and Johnnie Cordell Breed Junior Professor of Design and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. Working at the intersection of novel materials, low-power embedded systems, human-computer interaction, and design, Arora is passionate about designing sustainability-first computing systems and exploring their applications. Arora joins Northwestern following a postdoctoral researcher position in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), advised by Josiah Hester. Arora earned a PhD in computer science and a master’s degree in human-computer interaction (HCI), both from Georgia Tech, where she was advised by Gregory Abowd and Thad Starner.

Her research has been published in the proceedings of top-tier ACM systems and HCI venues such as ACM Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies; ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology; and ACM International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services. Her work has been recognized in Communications of the ACM and SIGMOBILE's GetMobile Magazine; two best paper awards from ACM IMWUT and the ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems International Workshop on Energy Harvesting & Energy-Neutral Sensing Systems; and two best posters awards from MobiSys and UIST. In addition, she was the recipient of several awards at Georgia Tech, including the ACM UbiComp Gaetano Borriello Outstanding Student Award, GVU Foley Scholar, College of Computing Outstanding GRA Award, Rising Stars in EECS, and Faces of Inclusive Excellence.

Mahdi Hosseini

Mahdi HosseiniHosseini will join the department in June as an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. He comes to Northwestern from Purdue University, where he served as assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Innovation in Quantum Pedagogy, Application and its Relation to Culture (IQ-PARC) project funded by the US Department of Defense. Hosseini investigates rare-earth photonics and room-temperature light-atom interfaces for quantum optical communication and sensing. He earned a PhD in physics from the Australian National University and completed postdoctoral studies at MIT, where he studied quantum interactions of light with room-temperature and laser-cooled atomic gases.

Hosseini is a recipient of the 2022 NSF Career Award for his project titled “CAREER: Active Nonlinear Photonics with Applications in Quantum Networks,” which focuses on studying novel solid-state quantum photonic devices and takes key initial steps toward multiplexed quantum communication.

Igor Kadota

Igor KadotaKadota will join the department in September as an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. His research interests include modeling, analysis, optimization, and implementation of next-generation communication networks, with an emphasis on advanced wireless systems and time-sensitive applications. He aims to develop the future wireless networks that will enable emerging applications including the Internet of Things, smart-city intersections, and shared augmented reality. Kadota is currently a postdoctoral research scientist working with Gil Zussman at Columbia University. He earned a PhD from MIT, where he was advised by Eytan Modiano in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS).

Kadota has earned several research, teaching, mentoring, and service awards, including the 2018 Best Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (IEEE INFOCOM), the 2020 MIT School of Engineering Graduate Student Extraordinary Teaching and Mentoring Award, the selection as a 2022 Purdue’s College of Engineering LATinE Trailblazer in Engineering Fellow, and the selection as a 2023 Distinguished Member of the IEEE INFOCOM TPC.

Stephen Xia

Stephen XiaXia will join this fall as an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. His research lies at the intersection of systems, embedded machine learning, and signal processing — spanning areas in mobile and embedded systems, Internet-of-Things, cyber-physical systems, artificial intelligence, and smart health. His work takes a joint physics- and data-driven approach to realize truly intelligent and autonomous environments by embedding and dynamically utilizing computational, sensing, actuation, storage, and networking resources. Xia is currently a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at University of California, Berkeley, advised by Prabal Dutta and Xiaofan Jiang. He earned a PhD in electrical engineering from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Rice University.

Xia’s research has been highlighted by many popular media outlets, including Mashable, Fast Company, and Gizmodo, and has received various distinctions, including Best Demo Awards at ACM SenSys 2021, the 2020 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks, and the 2018 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Internet of Things Design and Implementation, as well as the Best Presentation Award at 2018 IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference.

McCormick News Article