Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Thomas Schmid Receives Outstanding PhD Award from UCLA   Bookmark and Share


Dr. Thomas Schmid, a Post Doctoral Researcher in CSE, has been selected to receive the UCLA Elecrical Engineering Department's 2009-2010 Outstanding Doctor of Philosophy Award for his dissertation, "Time in Wireless Embedded Systems." With this accomplishment, the selection committee has recognized his work as the best UCLA EE dissertation of the past year.

His dissertation addresses the development of highly stable, low-power clock systems for wireless embedded systems. As wireless embedded networks have matured beyond academic research and industry now considers the advantages of using wireless sensors, reliability and real-time demands have increased, making timing more and more relevant.

Wireless embedded networks, due to their wire-free nature, present one of the most extreme power budget design challenges in the field of electronics. Improvements in timing can reduce the energy required to operate an embedded network. However, the more accurate a time source is, the more power it consumes. To comprehensively address the time and power problems in wireless embedded systems, this dissertation studies the exploitation of dual-crystal clock architectures to combat effects of temperature induced frequency error and high power consumption of high-frequency clocks. Combining these architectures with the inherent communication capabilities of wireless embedded systems, this dissertation proposes two new technologies; (1) a new time synchronization service that automatically calibrates a local clock to changes in temperature; (2) a high-low frequency timer that allows a duty-cycled embedded system to achieve ultra low-power sleep, while keeping fine granularity time resolution offered only by high power, high frequency clocks.

Dr. Schmid received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009. His research interests involve the hardware-software boundary and its impact on energy consumption, including software radios, large scale sensing system architectures, and networking, with a focus on wireless embedded systems. His work and collaboration has won several awards including a DAC Student Design Competition and three best paper awards at SenSys, WUWNet, and IPSN respectively. He is currently funded by a Fellowship for Prospective Researchers from the Swiss National Science Foundation and works with Asst. Prof. Prabal Dutta.


Posted: May 18, 2010