EECS Professor Ron Hui’s strong teaching evaluations and innovative research and development earned him a Bellows Scholar Award from the School of Engineering and a $4,000 fellowship.
Along with his extensive knowledge, Hui brings a sense of humor to his courses. Students note his friendly demeanor, open-door policy, and ability to clearly explain complex ideas. He taught Electronic Circuits I (EECS 312), Electronic Devices and Properties of Materials (EECS 470), and Fiber Optic Communication Systems (EECS 628) in 2011-2012. Hui will teach Electronic Circuits III (EECS 512) this fall.
“He's really lively, lighthearted, and extremely intelligent,” said graduate student Adam Crifasi, who has had Hui for undergraduate and graduate course. “He's funny and keeps class interesting.”
While his fiber-optics research has various applications, a common goal unites all his work: the desire to make technology faster and more accessible. To date, he has 16 U.S. patents.
Hui and Judy Wu, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy, are using graphene to produce high-efficiency, ultrathin solar panels. Since its discovery in 2004, graphene has been lauded for its transparency, strength, elasticity, and other properties. While these qualities and its low cost make it ideal for solar cells, its inefficiency, converting only a fraction of available sunlight, does not. KU researchers have paired graphene with metallic nanoparticles, which greatly improve its capacity to soak up sunlight and re-emit it in a condensed form necessary for high-efficiency solar cells.
"At the interface of metal and graphene, a stream of electrons is injected into the graphene, which can enhance its conductivity by 400 percent," said Wu, the principal investigator on the project, in a previous article.
In a different collaboration with the Chemistry Department, Hui is building a small single fiber laser system for the powerful Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS). CARS provides faster, more efficient imaging of cells, but its large size and price tag limit its use. The new much smaller and more affordable system will give more clinicians and researchers access to the state-of-the-art microscope.
“Dr. Hui has been a dynamic and enthusiastic mentor,” said EECS doctoral student Peter Adany, who conducts CARS research with him at KU’s Information and Telecommunication Technology Center (ITTC). “He helped me discover rewarding paths towards my own academic and professional career through his vision, leadership, and intellectual spirit.”
This spring, Hui was invited to present his research at the University Research & Entrepreneurship Symposium, a showcase of new university-based technologies for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. The highly selective event invited only 120 applications nationwide, of which 31 were chosen for presentations. Hui highlighted Digital Subcarrier Cross-Connects (DSXC), which could fundamentally change the architecture of the Internet transport network. DSXC will enable simpler network gears that consume less power.