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Lim Becomes First ECE Faculty Member to Join DARPA as Program Manager

Atlanta, GA

This August, Georgia Tech professor Sung Kyu Lim joined the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO). Lim, the Motorola Solutions Foundation Professor in School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), is the first Georgia Tech ECE researcher to be recruited and serve as a DARPA program manager while teaching at Georgia Tech.

As a prominent researcher in very-large-scale integration (VLSI) systems and design, Lim’s first program at DARPA, dubbed the “3D-EDA (3D Electronic Design Automation) Program,” will develop heterogeneous 3D integrated circuits (IC) design and simulation software to automatically co-optimize the underlying device, circuit, and architecture. The program will use 3D-EDA tools to demonstrate 10x shorter design turnaround time and 10x energy-efficiency improvement.

“We are very proud of Sung Kyu’s appointment to DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office,” said Arijit Raychowdhury, ECE’s Steve W. Chaddick School Chair. “This is an important recognition of Sung Kyu’s standing in the VLSI field, and also shows how Georgia Tech ECE researchers are leading, on the national level, in developing advanced defense research projects.”

The core mission of DARPA’s MTO is to develop high-performance intelligent microsystems and next-generation components to ensure U.S. dominance in the areas of Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), Electronic Warfare (EW), and Directed Energy (DE).

According to DARPA, the office’s work in applying advanced capabilities in areas such as wide-band gap materials, phased array radars, high-energy lasers, complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) circuits, and infrared imaging has helped the U.S. establish and maintain technological superiority for more than two decades.

Lim’s DARPA assignment is supported by the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), which allows for the temporary assignment of skilled personnel between the Federal Government and state and local governments, colleges and universities, Indian tribal governments, federally funded research and development centers, and other eligible organizations.

He will serve for four years at the agency in Washington D.C. before returning to Georgia Tech. Lim’s GTCAD (Georgia Tech Computer-Aided Design) Lab will remain open during his 4-year DARPA term.

Last revised September 12, 2022