Two ECEN researchers named 2014 IEEE fellows

Cui Benner 

Recently, two researchers in The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University were named fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

Dr. Shuguang (Robert) Cui (left), associate professor, and Carl Benner (right), TEES senior research engineer, were named IEEE fellows for their research contributions.

IEEE fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement. The IEEE grade of fellow is conferred by the IEEE board of directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one percent of the total voting membership.

Cui is being recognized for contributions to cognitive communications and energy efficient system design and Benner is being recognized for contributions to development of waveform-based analytics for electric power distribution.

Cui received his Ph.D in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 2005. His current research interests focus on big data oriented information processing over networks, including large-scale distributed estimation and detection, information theoretical study of large distributed storage systems and large-scale cognitive system design. His research papers have been highly cited; according to the data on June 9, 2012, from Web of Science, 11 of his papers had been ranked within the top 15 most highly cited papers (two of them ranked first) among all published over the same periods in the corresponding journals.

He was the recipient of the IEEE Signal Processing Society 2012 Best Paper Award, two conference best paper awards, 12 United States federal grant awards (six from the National Science Foundation and six from the U.S. Department of Defense). He has served as the 2014 Globecom Symposium chair and TPC chairs for 2013 IEEE ICCC, 2012 SmartGridComm Cyber Security and Privacy Symposium, 2011 Information Theory Summer School, 2010 GLOBECOM Communication Theory Symposium, 2008 ICC Communication Theory Symposium and 2007 IEEE Communication Theory Workshop. He also has served as the associate editor for "IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing," "IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications," "IEEE Communication Letters" and "IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology." He is the elected member for IEEE Signal Processing Society SPCOM Technical Committee (2009-2015) and the elected secretary for IEEE ComSoc Wireless Technical Committee.

Benner, who has worked for the department more than 25 years, is assistant director of the Power System Automation Laboratory. As a senior research engineer, he focuses on electric power system monitoring and diagnostics, primarily for electric utility companies.
Originally from El Campo, Texas, Benner came to Bryan in 1983 to study at Texas A&M and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1986 and a master’s degree in 1988, both in electrical engineering.

When he began his research, his main focus was computer-based monitoring technology to detect when power lines break, fall to the ground and remain energized, creating fire and safety hazards. This technology was patented and licensed by GE in the early 1990s and is now broadly used by PEPCO, the utility company that serves the nation’s capital. Benner and his co-researchers hold multiple patents for developing this technology. They also won an R&D 100 Award, dubbed the “Oscars of Invention,” in 1996 from R&D Magazine for developing this system.

Benner’s current focus has broadened to developing computer-based real-time monitoring systems to detect and indicate that line hardware is nearing a point of failure before it happens. This provides a utility company with the ability to proactively take steps to avoid or mitigate the consequences of outages. In addition to his role at Texas A&M, Benner is a frequent speaker at industry trade meetings and serves as a peer reviewer for multiple professional trade journals. Benner also is a registered professional engineer in Texas.

The IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. Through its 400,000 members in 160 countries, the IEEE is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. 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, and has developed more than 900 active industry standards. The association also sponsors or co-sponsors nearly 400 international technical conferences each year. To learn more about IEEE or the IEEE fellow program, visit