The Institute for Systems Research
Maryland Robotics Center
Brain and Behavior Institute
Pamela Abshire is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her areas of specialty are in the fields of VLSI circuit design and bioengineering. Dr. Abshire's research focuses on better understanding the tradeoffs between performance and resources in natural and engineered systems.
Prior to her arrival at the University of Maryland in November, 2001, she was a graduate student in the Sensory Communications and Microsystems Lab in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. Her advisor was Andreas G. Andreou, and her dissertation topic was Sensory Information Processing Under Physical Constraints. Her research interests include information theory for physical systems, noise theory for electronic, photonic, and biological systems, analysis and design of sensory information processing systems, and algorithm, VLSI circuit, and microsystem design, especially for low power applications. Dr. Abshire was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and grew up in the Roanoke Valley in southwestern Virginia. She graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1988 from Salem High School in Salem, VA. From 1985 to 1988 she also attended the Roanoke Valley Governor's School for Science and Technology in Roanoke, VA. She received her B.S. degree in Physics with Honor in 1992 from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA. Between 1992 and 1995 she worked as a Research Engineer in the Bradycardia Research Department of Medtronic, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN. In 1995 she began her graduate education in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. She received her M.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1997 and completed her Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in October 2001.
Honors and awards
- University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher (2021)
- University of Maryland ADVANCE Professor (2020-2021)
- Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (2018)
- Clark School of Engineering E. Robert Kent Junior Faculty Teaching Award (2011)
- ISR Outstanding Systems Engineering Faculty Award, University of Maryland (2006)
- University of Maryland Invention of the Year Award, Physical Sciences category, “Cell Sensor Based Pathogen Detection” (2005)
- George Corcoran Award, ECE Department, University of Maryland (2004)
- Distinguished Service Award, IEEE Washington Section (2004)
- IEEE Women in Engineering Washington Area Affinity Group, Vice Chair (2004)
- NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2003)
- Co-Chair for Annual WIE Symposium (2003 and 2004)
- Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II
- Member of IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Technical Committees on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, Nanoelectronics and Gigascale Systems, Neural Systems and Applications, Sensory Systems
- She holds a patent for Cell-based sensing: biological transduction of chemical stimuli to electrical signals (nose-on-a-chip)
CMOS biosensors; adaptive integrated circuits (ICs) and IC sensors; hybrid microsystems incorporating CMOS, MEMS, optoelectronics, microfluidics, and biological components; low power mixed-signal ICs for a variety of applications, including cell-based sensing, high performance imaging, miniature robotics, spike sorting, adaptive data conversion, and closed loop control of MEMS and microfluidic systems
Her research awards include:
NSF CPS: Ant-Like Microrobots—Fast, Small, and Under Control
Hand-held disagnostic instrument
NSF: Cell-Based Olfactory Sensing for Biometrics
NSF: EXP-LA: Olfactory Receptor Cell-Based Detection of Explosives
AFOSR: Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI)
BBI Seed Grant: Dance and EEG: Neural correlates of expressive movement
Selected reearch posters:
Olfactory Receptor Cell-Based Odorant Detection
Enabling microsystems for monitoring cells
Handheld Sample Preparation for Complex Samples
CMOS Biosensors for Cell-Based Sensing
Biolabs-on-a-Chip: Bioelectronic Interface to CelIs
Adaptive Log Domain Filters using Floating Gate Transistors
Ideal Observer Analysis of Flash Detection in Blowfly Photoreceptor
Biologically inspired vision systems in standard CMOS
Biologically Inspired Vision Systems in Standard CMOS
Abshire part of CogniSense, a DARPA JUMP 2.0 centerThis center will pursue intelligent sensing to action: Sensing capabilities and embedded intelligence to enable fast and efficient generation of actions.
Engineering Faculty Selected for New MPower Seed Grant FundingFour projects jointly led by Maryland Engineering and UMB researchers awarded to advance collaborative research in areas of high importance.
Exploring the 'rules of life' of natural neuronal networks could lead to faster, more efficient computersNearly $3 million in NSF funding will enhance understanding of how the parts of a single neuron contribute to neuronal networks' overall learning and computation abilities.
Three Engineers Among 2021-2022 Distinguished Scholar-TeachersAbshire, Fisher and Hu honored for outstanding success in scholarly accomplishment and excellence in teaching.
Convocation to Shine Spotlight on Faculty, Staff AccomplishmentsSix Clark School faculty and staff will be honored at UMD's 38th annual Convocation on Sept. 15, 2021.
14 Mtech-affiliated companies named to Maryland’s list of 20 hottest innovative start-upsMaryland’s Future 20 is a list of startups that have the potential to be the state’s next major business success story.
‘Smellicopter’ drone uses live moth antenna to seek smells, avoid obstaclesTimothy Horiuchi is a co-author on the research published in IOP Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.
Professor Pamela Abshire Named 2020-2021 ADVANCE ProfessorAbshire will serve as a strategic mentor and knowledge broker for faculty within the Clark School of Engineering.
Clark School faculty 'AIM-HI' to address major health challengesThe new UMB-UMCP program has announced its first grants for projects combining AI and medicine.
Behtash Babadi Wins Clark School's Junior Faculty Teaching AwardThe Clark School gives this award to a junior faculty member for excellence in teaching.
Dr. Pamela Abshire took part in a live segment of "Science Goes to the Movies" in 2016Dr. Abshire took part in a live segment of "Science Goes to the Movies" in 2016.
New AFOSR NIFTI Center features eight Clark School facultyCenter will create bio-inspired solutions for small, remotely operated aircraft.
Six graduate students participating in UMD-Trento research exchangeThe program is part of a broad partnership between Maryland and Trento, Italy.
UMD Hosts NSF-Funded Cybersecurity Undergraduate Research ProgramUndergraduate scholars gain research experience through summer program at the Maryland Cybersecurity Center.
Fair Showcases Summer Undergraduate ResearchTwenty-two top students from across the country demonstrate faculty-advised research projects.
Clark School Faculty Team Wins a UMD Invention of the Year AwardTheir novel "natural timestamp" improves security and editing of audio, visual recordings.
Trento Funds Collaborative International ProjectsPartnership will support joint research in solar power, cell-based systems and ultra low-power systems.
Abshire, Lopresti Honored at CommencementWin junior faculty teaching, staff service awards, respectively.
Showcase of Undergraduate Summer ResearchClark School student wins Best Overall Project with automatic volume leveler.
Systems Researchers Partner with Trento, ItalyJoint efforts to target bioengineering, renewable energy, nanomaterials, microsystems, education.
Fair Showcases Undergrads' Summer ResearchStudents present their accomplishments after 11-week research program.
ECE Event Highlights Innovation, EntrepreneurshipResearch Review Day showcases technology advancements in electrical and computer engineering.
Clark School Students RecognizedThree receive Achievement Rewards for College Scientists awards at U.S. Supreme Court.
$1.5M NSF Grant for Ant-like MicrorobotsAn interdisciplinary team of Clark School faculty wins multi-year grant.
Fair Showcases Undergrad Summer ResearchStudents present their summer research accomplishments at annual MERIT/TREND fair.
Commerce Dept. Taps Abshire for CommitteeBody will advise Commerce on export controls for research and innovation.
Engineers Collaborate on New Cell-Based SensorsNew bio-sensors could speed up and improve the detection of pathogens, explosives.
Dandin Named 2008 Fischell FellowBioE grad student to develop fast, portable biosensor.
Intelligence Community Honors Undergrad ScholarsTwo Clark School undergraduates recognized.
Undergraduate Research Shines at MERIT FairNational program attracts top students for cross-disciplinary, team-based research.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- Fellow, 2018