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People

Our mission at the RFID Center Of Excellence is to be a unique workforce that is strongly connected with industry. As the landscape of engineering design evolves, we will continue to address critical challenges within that landscape by meeting the needs of the regional manufacturing industry.

The team at the RFID Center Of Excellence is comprised of knowledgeable professionals with extensive expertise in engineering. Many are among the University of Pittsburgh's top-notch School of Engineering faculty, innovators in their own right, with lives invested in research and technology.

Primary Faculty


Ervin Sejdic, Ph.D Ervin is the director of the RFID Center of Excellence and holds a B.E. Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, both in electrical engineering. During his undergraduate studies, Ervin specialized in wireless communications, while his Ph.D. project focused on signal processing. From 2008 until 2010, Ervin was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto with a cross-appointment at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation teaching hospital. During his postdoctoral fellowship, Ervin focused on rehabilitation engineering and biomedical instrumentation. He was also a research fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School cross-appointed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (July 2010-June 2011), where he focused on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular monitoring of older/diabetic adults. Ervin shares Pitt’s passion for discovery and innovation. From his earliest exposure to research, he has been driven to contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge through carefully-executed experiments and ground-breaking published work. Ervin's respect for credible and valid research fuels his constant endeavours to connect advances in signal processing and instrumentation to some of society’s greatest challenges, particularly in the biomedical field.

Marlin Mickle, Ph.D. Marlin H. Mickle is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. Previously, he was the Bell of Pennsylvania/Bell Atlantic Professor and before that, the Nickolas A. DeCecco Professor in the School of Engineering of the University of Pittsburgh. He held appointments as Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Primary), Professor of Computer Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Professor of Telecommunications. He was the Executive Director of the RFID Center of Excellence. He received the B.S.E.E., M.S.E.E., and the Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in 1961, 1963, and 1967. He is the 1988 Recipient of the Systems Research and Cybernetics Award of the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics, Carnegie Science Center Award for Excellence in Corporate Innovation, 2005, Life Fellow of the IEEE, University 225th Anniversary Medallion Award, Ted Williams Award from Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility – 2011; Pitt Innovation Award, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Faculty Honor Roll 2001, Honorable Mention 2004 Carnegie Science Center Award, with Mary Besterfield Sacre, Bopaya Bidanda, Michael R. Lovell, Larry Shuman and Rakibar Chaterjee (Katz). He is currently active in the areas of energy harvesting and high technology RF medical and sensor applications. He is co-author and co-editor of over 20 books. In addition, Marlin H. Mickle has over 200 publications in refereed journals, conference proceedings, etc. He currently holds over 40 patents including a magnetically levitated gyro, a gyro optical sensor, energy harvesting and antennas on a CMOS chip. Seven spin-off companies have resulted from the University licensing of patents on which he is an inventor including one that won the Best of Show for Emerging Technologies at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, 2007, Gold Level Winner – Best of Sensors expo 2009, Design News Best New Products Award 2011.


Graduate Students


Michael A. Rothfuss is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Swanson School of Engineering in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received his B.S. in Computer Engineering and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 and 2010, respectively. His research interests include real-time location systems and miniature wireless implantable medical devices.

Joshua R. Stachel is a graduate student researcher and Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently pursuing his doctorate, Josh obtained his B.S. in Computer Engineering in 2007 and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2010. As a research assistant in the RFID Center of Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh, his research interests include wireless communications and networks, biosensor applications, and electromagnetic interaction with biological tissues.

Nicholas Franconi is a Ph.D. student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the Swanson School of Engineering. He graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Electronics and his M.S. in 2012. In the RFID Center of Excellence, his research includes antenna design, electromagnetic propagation and wireless embedded design.

Kara Bocan graduated from Pitt in April 2012 with a dual degree in Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering. She is currently a PhD student in Electrical Engineering. In the RFID Center of Excellence, she studies propagation of electromagnetic fields in tissue and wireless powering of implanted medical devices.