Ryan compares low-tech and high-tech directional hearing devices at Engineering Open House 2019.

I am a postdoctoral fellow in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and am currently in residence at the Discovery Partners Institute, a Chicago-based innovation hub dedicated to expanding technology education and entrepreneurship in Illinois. I was born and raised in the Chicago area and have lived in Illinois most of my life.

I have worn hearing aids since I was a teenager and my research is dedicated to improving hearing technology. Since 2017, I have supervised a team of students in the Illinois Augmented Listening Laboratory, an interdisciplinary research group developing new technologies to improve human listening abilities. My PhD research focused on microphone array signal processing for human listening applications. My current research focuses on distributed acoustic sensor networks, which aggregate signals from many devices in a room to improve listening performance.


2019 Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
2014 M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
2012 B.S. in Engineering in Electrical Engineering
Princeton University


2019–2022Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
2014–2019National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship


2020 Best Presentation, NSF I-Corps Los Angeles Cohort
“HearNets: Cooperative Acoustic Intelligence”
2020 Best Student Paper Award, 179th ASA Meeting
“Dynamic Range Compression of Sound Mixtures”
2019 Best Student Paper Award, WASPAA 2019
“Motion-Tolerant Beamforming with Deformable Microphone Arrays”
2018 Best New Exhibit, Engineering Open House
“Listen Up (or Down): The Technology of Directional Listening”
’12, ’13’, ’17, ’19List of Teachers Rated Excellent by Students
2015 Claude Shannon Student Research Award, SONIC Center


2021–2022$125,000DPI Science Team Award
2019–2021$250,000NSF IIP Partnership for Innovation grant
2020$10,000Microsoft AI for Accessibility Grant
2018$25,000Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant

Professional Experience

2021–Postdoctoral Researcher in Residence
Discovery Partners Institute, Chicago, IL
2019–2022Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
2020Entrepreneurial Lead
NSF Innovation Corps, Los Angeles cohort
2013–2019Research Assistant/Predoctoral Fellow
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
2016Research Intern
Arm Research, Austin, TX
2011Engineering Intern
Motorola Solutions, Schamburg, IL

Teaching Experience

2017–2022Project Mentor
TE 401-F: Innovation in Augmented Listening Technology
2019Instructor of Record
ECE 310: Digital Signal Processing
2017Teaching Assistant (Primary instructor)
ECE 310: Digital Signal Processing
2014Teaching Assistant
ECE 310: Digital Signal Processing
2013Teaching Assistant
ECE 445: Senior Design
2012Teaching Assistant
ECE 110: Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering