Spotlight :: ECE :: UD :: <Corey Lange Laird Fellowship>


Corey Lange announced as the 2011 Laird Fellow

Laird Fellow Corey Lange, right, and Fouad Kiamilev

Corey Lange's passion for "all things electronic" began at age two when his father built the family's first computer from discarded parts.

According to his dad, Lange was "pretty much on that machine from day one."
By age five, Lange was doing "all he could" to experiment with the inner workings of computers -- learning programming languages, tinkering with electronics and building devices from anything he could get his hands on. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today Lange, who is on the verge of completing his master of science degree in electrical and computer engineering, has been chosen to receive the 2011 Laird Fellowship. The award is aimed at encouraging the recipient to become engaged in a broadening intellectual pursuit that may or may not have direct applications to his or her chosen field of study. 

First awarded in 1977 to honor the memory of George W. Laird, a mechanical engineering graduate of UD who died in an accident at the age of 35, the prestigious fellowship is bestowed upon candidates who exhibit character, creativity, imagination and perseverance, all of which are focal points of the selection process.

"I think curiosity is at the heart of engineering. You can have all the math and physics you want, but if you aren’t curious about how the world works, you won't make a good engineer," said Lange.

Lange is advised by Fouad Kiamilev, professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE), whom he calls "a tremendous influence" that profoundly affected his career path. 

"I began working with Dr. Kiamilev as an undergraduate…and he guided me to continue with my education at the graduate level," he said. 

As an undergraduate, Lange conducted research on infrared LED systems, helping to build hardware systems to test 2-D arrays of the semiconductor light source. He earned an honors bachelor of computer engineering degree, summa cum laude, with a minor in computer science in May 2009. He continued this research as a graduate student with a focus on larger arrays. The work led Lange to present at an IEEE conference and to write a paper that will soon be published in an upcoming SPIE technical journal.

Lange credits Kathy Forwood, ECE academic support coordinator, with prodding him to submit for the fellowship. "If it weren't for her encouragement I probably wouldn't even have applied," he said.

This is the second year in a row the prestigious Laird Fellowship has been awarded to an electrical and computer engineering student. Nicole Kotulak, a doctoral student in UD's Solar Power Program, received the 2010 award.

"It is fantastic to see such well-rounded students in the electrical and computer engineering program," noted Kenneth E. Barner, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

"My experience with the Laird Fellowship has given me a chance to really see how far I've come since those early days with the family computer. This tight-knit group of engineers strives to give back to the UD community in many ways, and I am deeply honored to be a part of it," added Lange. 

Like all previous winners of the Laird, Lange has many interests. He enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, reading and logic games. Musically inclined, he plays the trumpet, French horn and harmonica. He is a licensed amateur radio technician and he has even produced and engineered an online radio show.

A staunch UD volunteer, Lange has logged countless hours at nearly every Discovery Day, Blue and Gold Day, and Decision Day since his sophomore year, as well as serving as a Russell Fellow with the University's Honors Program.

This June, Lange begins a new chapter as he joins the Apple, Inc. in Cupertino, Calif., where he will design hardware systems for use in product development and production.

To ease his transition into the workforce, he plans to use some of the money from the Laird Fellowship to pay off his college loans. "Not having that hanging over my head during my first year at Apple will be a tremendous help," he said. In addition, the Eagle Scout and former assistant scoutmaster plans to donate a portion of the funds to Boy Scouts of America.

While he admits to some nerves about moving so far from home, Lange said he is looking forward to starting his career with such a well-known company.

"I guess I'm just curious to see what the future holds for me," he concluded.

Article by Karen B. Roberts

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