Necmiye Ozay is the Recipient of the First Faculty Development Professorship in ECE

Dr. Enke Chen and Huiyi Luan established the fund in honor of Prof. Stéphane Lafortune.
Enke Chen, Stéphane Lafortune, Necmiye Ozay, and Huiyi Luan
From left: Dr. Enke Chen, Prof. Stéphane Lafortune, Prof. Necmiye Ozay, and Huiyi Luan at the event announcing Prof. Necmiye Ozay as the first recipient of the Chen-Luan Faculty Development Professorship in ECE held on November 27th, 2023 on campus.

Enke Chen (EE:S MSE PhD 1987 1991) and Huiyi Luan have established the Chen-Luan Family Faculty Development Professorship in ECE, which will support early and mid-career faculty. The first recipient is Associate Professor Necmiye Ozay.

This is the first faculty development professorship fund in ECE, and it was dedicated in honor of Chen’s PhD advisor, Stéphane Lafortune, the N. Harris McClamroch Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

“Stéphane has always been a role model for me, and his mentoring has benefited me throughout my whole career,” Chen said. “He taught me how to approach and analyze problems and how to pay attention to details and work hard. He inspired me to explore and expand my knowledge and skills.”

Stéphane has always been a role model for me, and his mentoring has benefited me throughout my whole career.

Dr. Enke Chen

Chen was a key contributor in the development of routers in the Internet, in particular routing algorithms, such as the Border Gateway Protocol. He also has extensive experience in networking system architecture, design, and implementation, with emphasis on the control-plane robustness, scalability, and modularity.

Huiyi Luan and Enke Chen
Huiyi Luan and Dr. Enke Chen.

“Enke’s career has been truly remarkable,” said Lafortune. “He was at the center of the action when the Internet was privatized and he was involved in the design of the routing infrastructure that allowed the exponential growth of the Internet. I feel immense pride at all his accomplishments.”

After graduating from U-M, Chen joined Merit Network, a consortium hosted at U-M then, that was transforming NSFNET into the fastest and most reliable network of its time. He gained further experience at MCI, where he worked on the Internet-MCI backbone, including routing architecture, traffic engineering and inter-provider peering.

Chen also worked as a software engineer at Cisco Systems and then as a Principal Engineer at Redback Networks before rejoining Cisco as a Principal Engineer and then a Distinguished Engineer. His work spanned multiple large and impactful projects, including modernizing the enterprise network operating system, service provider routing protocol development and implementation, and the Viptela SDWAN integration with the routing portfolio.

In 2020, Chen joined Palo Alto Networks as a Senior Distinguished Engineer, where he’s been working on the architecture and design of advanced networking and secure access solutions.

Enke’s career has been truly remarkable.

Stéphane Lafortune, the N. Harris McClamroch Professor of EECS

Chen credits Lafortune and the University of Michigan for providing him with a strong educational base that helped launch his career.

Luan earned her Master’s degree in Mathematics with a Computer Science Concentration from Eastern Michigan University. She worked for a number of years as a software engineer and as a Database Administrator for several institutions, including at the University of Michigan, as well as Unisys and Lockheed Martin.

For the past twenty years, she has been working as a real estate investor and property manager. She also participates in several charitable initiatives for teachers and students with financial hardship.

“Michigan is a great university, and Ann Arbor is a very nice place to live,” Chen said. “We had eight wonderful years here, and our son Gregory was born at the U-M hospital. Over the years we have been thinking about contributing back to Michigan, and to ECE specifically.”

Michigan is a great university, and Ann Arbor is a very nice place to live.

Dr. Enke Chen

Chen and Luan worked with Prof. Mingyan Liu, then Chair of ECE who is currently serving as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Engineering, to establish the fund.

“We are so grateful that Enke and Huiyi chose to honor U-M, ECE, and Stéphane,” Liu said.

In recognition of Lafortune’s legacy and impact, the gift was announced at the symposium held in his honor this past August.

“I am very humbled by this recognition,” Lafortune said. “My research advisors in my undergraduate and graduate studies (Michael Polis, Peter Caines, and Eugene Wong) have had a profound influence on my career. It means a lot to me that I might have had a similar impact on my students, and in particular on Enke. I am especially delighted that Necmiye is the first recipient!”

Steve Ceccio, Mingyan Liu, Stéphane Lafortune, Enke Chen, and Huiyi Luan
From L: Prof. Steve Ceccio (Interim Dean of the College of Engineering), Prof. Mingyan Liu (Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Engineering), Prof. Stéphane Lafortune, Dr. Enke Chen, and Huiyi Luan at the symposium honoring Lafortune, “From Discrete Event Systems to Beyond,” help on campus August 10-11, 2023.

About Necmiye Ozay

Necmiye Ozay
Prof. Necmiye Ozay.

Prof. Necmiye Ozay is a leading expert in hybrid systems and system identification. Her research interests include dynamical systems, control, optimization, and formal methods with applications in cyber-physical systems, system identification, verification and validation, and autonomy. She has already made fundamental contributions that have had far reaching impacts on control theory, as well as related fields, such as computer vision, machine learning, and formal verification.

An early proponent of correct-by-construction control of hybrid systems, Necmiye’s research has resulted in these systems being more robust and safer. She has applied her expertise to real-life systems in collaborations with numerous industrial partners, including United Technologies Aerospace Systems, Toyota Research Institute, and the Ford Motor Company.

She is a core member of the Michigan Controls Group and Michigan Robotics. She has earned many awards, including an NSF CAREER Award, a DARPA Young Faculty Award and Director’s Fellowship, an ONR Young Investigator Award, and a NASA Early Career Award. She also received the U-M Henry Russel Award, which is one of the university’s highest honors for junior faculty members. Ozay earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bogazici University in Istanbul; her Master’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University; and her PhD in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. She completed her postdoc in Control and Dynamical Systems at the California Institute of Technology before joining U-M as faculty in the fall of 2013.