Stony Brook University - Graduate Studies

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Concentration in Infrared Detector Design
2012 - 2013

Stony Brook University - Undergraduate Studies

Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering
Magna Cum Laude
2008 - 2012

Research Experience

nBn Astronomy-grade Mid-infrared Detectors
Stony Brook University
Fall 2012
Mentor (Dr. David Westerfeld)

  • - Investigated the potential of applying nBn mid-infrared detector technology developed at Stony Brook University for astronomical applications.

  • - Initiated a conversation between various astronomy organizations (e.g. AAO) on the essential requirements (low readout noise, dark current, and 100% quantum efficiency) for astronomical-grade infrared detectors.

  • Senior Design - Low Cost Laser Diode Temperature Controller
    Stony Brook University
    Fall 2011 – Spring 2012
    Mentor (Dr. David Westerfeld)

  • - Designed an inexpensive 10-watt temperature controller, built for stabilizing laser diode temperature.

  • - Intended for life cycle and performance testing from 15°C to 60°C, 10 watts of thermal dissipation.

  • - Included features: online PID tuning, automated 0°C temperature calibration, temperature history display, audio signal and keypress feedback, digital LCD brightness and contrast control, autonomous TEC fan control, USB temperature data output to computer.

  • Demo Video!


    Starbugs Content

    Piersiak, R., Goodwin, M., Gilbert, J. and Muller, R., “Beating the heat! Automated characterization of piezoelectric tubes for Starbugs,” Proc. SPIE 9147-357, July 8, 2014

    SPIE - arXiv - Download

    Temperature Controller Demo

    Piersiak, R., "Implementation and design of a low cost laser diode temperature controller," Systems, Applications and Technology Conference (LISAT), 2012 IEEE Long Island, May 4, 2012

    IEEE - Download


    “Beating the heat! Automated characterization of piezoelectric tubes for Starbugs.” Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2014 Conference at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, in Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

    "Implementation and Design of a Low Cost Laser Diode Temperature Controller." Systems, Applications and Technology Conference (LISAT) at the State University of New York at Farmingdale

    "Implementation and Design of a Low Cost Laser Diode Temperature Controller." Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Symposium (URECA) at Stony Brook University


    03/2014 Honorable Mention, NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP)
    05/2012 Magna Cum Laude (Stony Brook University, Bachelor of Engineering)
    11/2011 Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society
    06/2010 NSF Scholar
    12/2008 Dean’s List (All semesters)


    05/2014 SPIE Optics & Photonics Education Scholarship - $2000
    06/2010 STEM-I Scholarship - $3000
    06/2010 Paine Webber Scholarship - $5000
    08/2008 Presidential Scholarship - $6000
    08/2008 Stony Brook University Salutatorian Scholarship - $8000

    Professional Associations

    11/2013 International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE)
    09/2010 Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
    08/2009 Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)

    Teaching Experience

    Stony Brook University (Spring 2010)
    ESE 218: Digital System Design
    Teaching Assistant

  • - Assisted students in the implementation of their pre-lab designs of various discrete digital circuits, (gates, multiplexers, flip-flops, 4-bit adder, 8-bit multiplier, etc).

  • - Helped students solve problems with homework, pre-labs, and practice exams during office hours.

  • Leadership Experience

    Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
    September 2010 – December 2013

  • - Co-designed the IEEE Scrolling LED Board, a massive message ticker containing thousands of LEDs that will scroll and display messages related to engineering.

  • Stony Brook Rifle Club
    February 2010 – May 2010

  • - Instructed students on proper gun safety at a firing range.

  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
    August 2009 – May 2012

  • - Assisted in planning and carrying out networking and educational events with fellow engineers and professionals.

  • Dreiser Hall Council (Treasurer)
    January 2009 – May 2009

  • - Managed a $2000 event budget for my residential building.

  • - Planned and executed various leadership-based student events at Dreiser.

  • - Worked with the Dreiser Resident Hall Director to write a proposal asking for additional funding from the Faculty/Student Association for the following school year.