Engineering Professor Yu Cheng Named to 2024 Class of IEEE Fellows



By Simon Morrow
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Yu Cheng

Illinois Institute of Technology Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Yu Cheng has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 

According to IEEE, this distinction is reserved for “members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation.” Cheng was recognized “for contributions to secure wireless networks.”

The distinction is awarded to fewer than 0.1 percent of voting members annually, and it requires the member to have conducted research with major societal impacts that extend outside their specialty. 

“This is a very important, critical milestone for my professional career development,” says Cheng.

Cheng has developed multiple groundbreaking tools for adding security and detecting attacks in a range of wireless network types, including Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and ad hoc networks. 

One of his projects found a severe vulnerability that could be used to deplete the energy of devices in ZigBee networks. 

“It gave a very important and insightful revision,” says Cheng. “Most people assume that adopting IEEE standards in their network applications is good enough, but our research had the insight that it may not always be true. I think it’s not rare that the existing protocol contains open holes. Our study just demonstrated one such case.” 

Cheng is currently working on applying machine learning to wireless network optimization, finding that the method offers fresh angles and enables disruptive algorithms to approach some fundamental and challenging optimization problems. 

He is also exploring an emerging area of research optimizing a variable called the “age of information,” which aims to ensure network users receive information that is as fresh as possible.

Image: Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Yu Cheng