The Michigan Engineer News Center

Brian Raeker recognized as an outstanding GSI

ECE PhD student Brian Raeker was awarded a Towner Prize for Outstanding Engineering GSIs.| Short Read
EnlargeBrian Raeker

Brian Raeker, an ECE PhD student, was one of four College of Engineering students honored with the Towner Prize for Outstanding Engineering Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) this year. To be selected, GSIs must demonstrate creativity or innovation as an instructor, excellence in teaching, and remarkable dedication to student success. Raeker was a GSI for EECS 330: Introduction to Antennas and Wireless Systems.

As a GSI, Raeker aimed to illustrate the real-world applications of electromagnetism, as well as minimize the number of barriers between students and their understanding of the course material. Raeker organized a lab tour for students to showcase the real-world uses of the course material, and he brought fellow PhD students to class as guest lecturers to discuss their work.

Raeker also fostered an encouraging and enthusiastic atmosphere in office hours. He engaged students in any setting, lab, or office hours and made sure they felt comfortable asking questions.

Additionally, Raeker revised lab manuals to reduce student frustration and improve clarity so students could focus on the concepts and applications of electromagnetism rather than the process. He compiled a manual for future GSIs in a position that is often short-term, illustrating his dedication to the education, preparation, and engagement of students.

“It was rewarding to see the students progressively become more interested in the broader topic of electromagnetics throughout the semester,” Raeker said. “Helping that interest grow in a student was particularly gratifying, since a GSI helped spark my own interest in the field years ago while I was an undergraduate student.”

Raeker earned both his BSE and MSE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. His research is in the field of Applied Electromagnetics and RF Circuits. He works to develop metasurfaces to form highly customized antenna radiation patterns from common sources at microwave frequencies and high-quality three-dimensional holograms at optical wavelengths. He is advised by Prof. Anthony Grbic.

Brian Raeker
Hayley Hanway


Hayley Hanway
ECE Communications Coordinator

ECE Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

(734) 764-7078

3304 EECS

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

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