Congratulations to University of Utah electrical and computer engineering professor Cindy Furse and associate professor Jamesina Simpson, each for whom were recognized by the 2020 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Awards.

Cindy Furse

Furse received the Chen-To Tai Distinguished Educator Award “for motivating, challenging, educating and inspiring the next generation of EM (electromagnetics) engineers through innovative teaching, hands on experiences, current research and lively participation.” The award honors achievements in areas including excellence in teaching, involvement with and direction of students to prepare them for effective careers in electromagnetics, curriculum development, and authorship of research and course material.

Furse has been at the University of Utah since 2002. She has served as the ECE department’s associate chair for Undergraduate Studies, the founding director of the Richard and Moonyeen Anderson Wireless Communication Research and Education Center, and director of the Center of Excellence for Smart Sensors. She also was associate VP for Research at the U where she was responsible for enhancing the research mission, including expanding undergraduate research and faculty mentoring. She co-founded LiveWire, a research spin-off company that builds systems for locating wiring faults in live (energized) electrical systems.

She has dedicated her career to innovative methods in teaching including early implementation of the “flipped classroom” concept in which students watch instructional videos prior to active learning in class.

Jamesina Simpson

Simpson was awarded the Lot Shafai Mid-Career Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes “the past technical accomplishments and future potential of an outstanding woman of mid-career status in the field of antennas and propagation.” She was honored “for advancing and applying global and local FDTD (finite-difference time-domain method to electromagnetic phenomena) models of the Earth-ionosphere waveguide and for establishing programs to help mentor and encourage engineering students.”

A graduate from Northwestern University with bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering, Simpson was an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque before she arrived at the University of Utah in 2012.

Simpson is pioneering FDTD models of global electromagnetic wave propagation in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide for applications ranging from remote-sensing and geolocation, to space weather hazards that affect electric power grids. She has been awarded a 2017 International Union of Radio Science (URSI) Santimay Basu Medal (one of eight awards given out by URSI every three years) and the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award.

Both will be honored during a virtual ceremony in July. Their awards are two of six that are given out each year by the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society.