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Josiah Hester

Assistant Professor | Northwestern University

    I am an Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering at Northwestern University, in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
[My Curriculum Vitae]

 EECS 395/495

I am teaching Internet-of-things Sensors, Systems, And Applications; in Winter quarter 2018; a seminar on exciting emerging work in the wireless sensor networks and mobile computing areas.

I'm interested in designing, building, and deploying trillions of tiny energy harvesting computers that run for decades, supporting global scale applications ranging from healthcare to space exploration, wildlife tracking to horticulture.

My research investigates how we can make this possible. I explore and develop new hardware designs, software techniques, tools, and programming abstractions so that developers can easily design, debug, and deploy intricate energy harvesting, batteryless sensing applications that work in spite of frequent power failures, constrained resources, and unpredictable conditions.

I am looking for highly motivated CS/CE/EE students to join my lab.


(11/2017) Flicker paper a Best Paper Nominee, in top 3% of submissions at ACM SenSys 2017.

(10/2017) Presenting at FAILSAFE and HumanSys workshops, co-located with ACM SenSys 2017.

(09/2017) Three first-authored papers accepted to ACM SenSys 2017!

(08/2017) Started at Northwestern University EECS.

(06/2017) I am serving as Publicity Chair, and on the TPC for ENSsys 2017. Submit your work!

(05/2017) I graduated.

(04/2017) I will be joining the EECS dept. of Northwestern University as an Assistant Professor!

(03/2017) Successfully defended my dissertation.

(09/2016) Attended the amazing NextProf Workshop at University of Michigan.

(07/2016) Amulet paper accepted to ACM SenSys 2016.

(06/2016) I am serving as Publicity Chair, and on the TPC for ENSsys 2016. Submit your work!

(02/2016) I received the Outstanding CS PhD Student Award from the School of Computing .

(11/2015) We won Best Poster at ACM SenSys 2015

(07/2015) Federated Energy paper accepted to ACM SenSys 2015

(11/2014) Ekho paper won Best Paper award at ACM SenSys 2014.

(09/2014) Ekho paper accepted to ACM SenSys 2014.

(06/2013) We won Best Poster at IEEE SECON 2013.


Ph.D. in Computer Science

School of Computing, Clemson University May 2017
Dissertation: Sophisticated Batteryless Sensing

B.S. in Computer Science

Calhoun Honors College, Clemson University Dec 2011

Selected Publications

New Directions: The Future of Sensing is Batteryless, Intermittent, and Awesome

15th ACM Conference on Embedded Network Sensor Systems (SenSys '17) Delft, Netherlands, 2017

Josiah Hester, Jacob Sorber

Flicker: Rapid Prototyping for the Batteryless Internet-of-Things *(BEST PAPER NOMINEE)

15th ACM Conference on Embedded Network Sensor Systems (SenSys '17) Delft, Netherlands, 2017

Josiah Hester, Jacob Sorber

Timely Execution on Intermittently Powered Batteryless Sensors

15th ACM Conference on Embedded Network Sensor Systems (SenSys '17) Delft, Netherlands, 2017

Josiah Hester, Kevin Storer, Jacob Sorber

Amulet: An Energy-Efficient, Multi-Application Wearable Platform

14th ACM Conference on Embedded Network Sensor Systems (SenSys '16) Stanford, CA, USA, 2016

Josiah Hester, Travis Peters, Tianlong Yun, Ronald Peterson, Joseph Skinner, Bhargav Golla, Kevin Storer, Steven Hearndon, Kevin Freeman, Sarah Lord, Ryan Halter, David Kotz, Jacob Sorber
[Paper] [Presentation]

Tragedy of the Coulombs: Federating Energy Storage for Tiny, Intermittently-Powered Sensors

13th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys '15) Seoul, South Korea, 2015

Josiah Hester, Lanny Sitanayah, Jacob Sorber
[Paper] [Presentation]

Ekho: Realistic and Repeatable Experimentation for Tiny Energy-harvesting Sensors *(BEST PAPER)

12th ACM Conference on Embedded Network Sensor Systems (SenSys '14) Memphis, TN, USA, 2014

Josiah Hester, Timothy Scott, Jacob Sorber
[Paper] [Presentation]

See All Publications...

Selected Projects

Mayfly Language and Runtime

mayfly program

Mayfly is a language and runtime for timely execution of sensing tasks on tiny, intermittently-powered, energy harvesting sensing devices. Mayfly is a coordination language and runtime built on top of Embedded-C that combines intermittent execution fragments to form coherent sensing schedules: maintaining forward progress, data consistency, data freshness, and data utility across multiple power failures. Mayfly makes the passing of time explicit, binding data to the time it was gathered, and keeping track of data and time through power failures.

Flicker Batteryless Hardware

image description

Flicker is a a platform for quickly prototyping batteryless embedded, energy harvesting sensors. Flicker is an extensible, modular, “plug and play” architecture that supports RFID, solar, and kinetic energy harvesting; passive and active wireless communication; and a wide range of sensors through common peripheral and harvester interconnects.

Amulet Project

amulet hardware

The Amulet Project envisions computational jewelry, in the form of a bracelet or pendant, that provide the properties essential for successful body-area mHealth networks. These devices coordinate the activity of the body-area network and provide a discreet means for communicating with their wearer. Such devices complement the capabilities of a smartphone, bridging the gap between the type of pervasive computing possible with a mobile phone and that enabled by wearable computing. Find more information on the Amulet Project Website

Ekho Emulator

image description

Ekho is an emulator capable of recording energy harvesting conditions and accurately recreating those conditions in the lab. This makes it possible to conduct realistic and repeatable experiments involving energy harvesting, intermittently powered devices. Ekho is a general-purpose, mobile tool that supports a wide range of harvesting technologies.

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