Collins, Franklin Elected IEEE Fellows

12/1/23 Pratt School of Engineering

Duke ECE’s two newest fellows advanced the fields of signal processing and imagined new applications for nanomaterial-enhanced electronics

Leslie Collins and Aaron Franklin
Collins, Franklin Elected IEEE Fellows

In recognition of their outstanding accomplishments in their fields, Leslie Collins and Aaron Franklin, both professors of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, are the newest fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 

Fellow is the highest grade of membership within the professional organization, and individuals are elevated based on outstanding records of accomplishments in an IEEE field. The designation is recognized as both a benchmark in a research career and a prestigious honor.

Leslie Collins

Collins’s contributions to signal processing algorithms have made an incredible impact in two very different arenas: security and human health. In the earliest years of her time at Duke, she helped develop a method for detecting buried land mines, IEDs and unexploded ordnance using ground-penetrating radar and spent several years optimizing the mine-hunting software with active learning algorithms. Her work in this area contributed to the creation of the Husky Mounted Mine Detection System, which is used by the United States Army. 

The other half of Collin’s ML/AI research relates to numerous applications in human health; she is known for leveraging AI techniques to improve brain-computer interfaces but uses a similar method to isolate and suppress noise and reverberation in cochlear implants, resulting in clearer hearing for people who use the devices. To improve health outcomes for cardiac patients with Left Ventricular Assist Devices, she developed computer applications to detect blood clots in the apparatus before the problem becomes serious enough to be heard with traditional stethoscopes. She continues to use her expertise in signal-processing methods to improve a wide variety of medical applications.

Aaron Franklin

Franklin has made pioneering contributions to transistor scaling and to the application of carbon nanotubes in electronics. He was the first to disprove the notion that nanotube channels could not be scaled below 15 nanometers, creating an entirely new outlook for the technology’s possible applications. His lab at Duke is now focused on improving the performance and sustainability of nanomaterial-enabled electronics, including fully recyclable printed electronics, high-performance transistors, and sensors for biomedical and environmental monitoring. 

Also a successful entrepreneur, Franklin founded a company that leveraged thin, flexible printed sensors to monitor tire tread wear on fleet vehicles. That startup, Tyrata, was recently acquired by tire manufacturer Bridgestone Americas. 

With the election of Collins and Franklin, Duke ECE now counts 20 of the department’s 47 tenured and tenure-track faculty as IEEE Fellows. 

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology. Dedicated to the advancement of technology, the IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world’s literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields. 

Electrical & Computer Engineering at Duke

Enabling creative solutions to pressing challenges in human health, security, and automation.

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