Jamesina J Simpson portrait
  • Associate Professor, Elect & Computer Engineering


  • B.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northwestern University
  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Northwestern University

Research Summary

Prof. Simpson's Computational Electrodynamics Research Lab solves Maxwell's equations for a wide variety of applications ranging from space weather, to communications and remote sensing, biophotonics, cancer detection, and plasmonics. Please see the following URL for more information: www.ece.utah.edu/~simpson


Dr. Simpson obtained the B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, in 2003 and 2007, respectively.   Her Ph.D. advisor was Prof. Allen Taflove and the title of her Ph.D. dissertation was “3-D Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) Modeling of Impulsive Electromagnetic Propagation in the Global Earth-Ionosphere Waveguide below 30 kHz” (View PDF).   As a graduate student, Dr. Simpson was a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, and also received fellowships, awards, and grants-in-aid from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S), IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S), McCormick School of Engineering, and Intel Corporation.   She worked through a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Prof. Heyno Garbe's Electromagnetic Compatibility Lab at the University of Hannover, Germany in summer of 2002.   In summers of 2003 - 2006, she worked as an engineering intern at Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, OR.

From August 2007 to June 2012, Dr. Simpson was a tenure-track assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of New Mexico (UNM). In July 2012, she joined the ECE Department at the University of Utah as an associate professor. Her research lab encompasses the application of FDTD to modeling electromagnetic phenomena at frequencies over 15 orders of magnitude (~1 Hz vs. ~600 THz).  Most notably, Dr. Simpson has pioneered the most advanced three-dimensional (3-D) FDTD models of global electromagnetic wave propagation within the Earth-ionosphere waveguide (including publishing two review papers and organizing special sessions at the North American Radio Science Meeting in Ottawa, Canada in 2007 and at the International Conference on Electromagnetic in Advanced Applications in Sydney, Australia in 2010 and Torino, Italy in 2011).  To-date, Dr. Simpson's group has applied the FDTD Earth-ionosphere waveguide models to remote-sensing of oil fields, geolocation, hypothesized electromagnetic earthquake precursors, remote-sensing of localitzed ionospheric anomalies, Schumann resonances, and space weather effects on the operation of electric power grids.  
Prof. Simpson's research activities have been funded by NASA, the Office of Naval Research, Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos National Labs, Intel Corporation, the Department of Energy, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). She has received research and teaching awards, including a 2010 NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (entitled “3-D Global Full-Maxwell's Equations Modeling of the Effects of a Coronal Mass Ejection on the Earth”), a 2011 Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship, and the 2012 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Donald G. Dudley, Jr. Undergraduate Teaching Award. For 2015-2018, she was elected to serve on the IEEE AP-S Administration Committee and also as Vice Chair of the U.S. National Committee (USNC) of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI) Commission B: Fields and Waves. In 2015, she was invited as one of 20 international scientists to serve on the 2015 NASA Living with a Star (LWS) Working Group Institute on geomagnetically-induced currents.  She is currently serving as a track editor of IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Current and former students in Prof. Simpson's Computational Electrodynamics Research Lab have earned awards such as the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society Pre-Doctoral and Doctoral Research Awards, the American Association of University Women Fellowship, and the National Consortium MASINT Research Scholarship. Graduates from her lab have accepted positions in industry and with the government, including Intel Corporation, Singapore's Institute of High Performance Computing, and the National Nuclear Security Administration's Future Leaders Program.