Category Archives: News

News from ECE not contained within mtu.edu/news

ECE News Briefs

IMG_2518

Tech Century, a science and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, reported on Professor Durdu Guney’s (ECE) metamaterials work to create the “perfect” lens. Read the article.

Seyed Zekavat (ECE) has received $24,954 from the National Science Foundation for the project titled, Workshop on Challenges for Space Solar Power.

Graduate students Jephias Gwamuri (MSE) and Ankit Vora (ECE) co-authored a paper with Durdu Guney (ECE), Paul Bergstrom (ECE) , Anand Kulkarni (ECE) and Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE); Limitations of Ultra-Thin Transparent Conducting Oxides for Integration into Plasmonic-Enhanced Thin Film Solar Photovoltaic Devices, in Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Technology Century, a science and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, reported on a visit by ESD executives to Michigan Tech and plans to establish a student chapter of the ESD at Michigan Tech.

Student Tayler Sly (Computer Engineering) shows off a circuit board and some of his co-op work at Extreme Engineering Solutions in an on-line article published by Corp Magazine. Corp also published an article on the future of the high-tech jobs market in Michigan, quoting Jim Baker, executive director of Innovation and Industry Engagement, and Steve Patchin, director of Career Services. The article also features several photos of Michigan Tech students and interns.

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) was the keynote speaker for the Shared Resource Laboratories: Driving Innovation and Discovery joint Mid-Atlantic Directors and Staff of Scientific Cores (MAD SSCi) and Southeastern Association of Shared Resources (SEASR) meeting in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia. Pearce was also quoted in “5 upcoming developments in 3D printing” in the Business Reporter distributed with the Daily Telegraph (UK). Pearce and MSE PhD student Amberlee Haselhuhn coauthored “Intellectual Property as a Strategic National Industrial Weapon: the Case of 3D Printing.” in the May-August issue of Engineer: the Professional Bulletin of Army Engineers. Read the article.

Joshua Pearce, (MSE/ECE) is quoted in the article “Money-Smart Reasons to Install Solar Panels at Your Home Now,” on Kiplinger.com and in the August 2015 edition of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Pearce’s research on low-cost heat exchanger technology was featured in the Mumbai Mirror (daily circulation of about 700,000).

Continue reading

Shiyan Hu named as an ACM Distinguished Speaker

image25903-persThe Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world ‘s largest educational and scientific computing society, has named Associate Professor Shiyan Hu (ECE) as an ACM Distinguished Speaker.

ACM’s Distinguished Speaker Program identifies top computing technology leaders and innovators, and makes them available to speak at colleges and universities, corporations, events and conferences and ACM local chapters.

Each distinguished speaker serves a three-year term. Hu will be available to speak about computer aided design for VLSI circuits and cyber-physical systems.

Hu received a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and has chaired more than 70 committees for IEEE conferences.

Hu’s ultra-fast slew buffering technique has been widely deployed in industry. For example, it became a default option in the IBM physical design flow used for designing more than fifty microprocessors and ASIC chips, including IBM flagship chips POWER 7 and 8.

ECE Senior Design Team Wins Expo Award

The 2nd Place Award for the 2015 Michigan Tech Design Expo was won by the ECE team: Front End Protection for Data Aquisition
Team Members: Sylvia Ferragut, Caleb Wright, and Ben Veltman, Electrical Engineering; Matthew Zawisza, Computer Engineering
Advisor: Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Project Overview: Often devices under test can behave in erratic ways, resulting in catastrophic damage to expensive test equipment. By designing specifications based on National Instruments’ limitations and typical automotive testing requirements, the team created a buffer box to protect from over-voltage and add layers of isolation. The buffer box, used in conjunction with the $50k–$500k tools being regularly used by the automotive industry, is a simple tool, which can be used by a wide range of people with varying levels of expertise to keep expenses down.

Team Members Sylvia Ferragut, Caleb Wright, and Ben Veltman, Electrical Engineering; Matthew Zawisza, Computer Engineering Advisor Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer Engineering Sponsor Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Team Members: Sylvia Ferragut, Caleb Wright, and Ben Veltman, Electrical Engineering; Matthew Zawisza, Computer Engineering
Advisor: Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Sponsor: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

View a Video about Michigan Tech: Front End Protection for Data Acquisition on Michigan Tech Expo Channel on Youtube

View a Video about the award winning ECE team on Michigan Tech Expo Channel on Youtube
View a Video about the award winning ECE team on Michigan Tech Expo Channel on Youtube

When the Design Expo 2015 Image Contest winners were announced, Robotics Systems Enterprise 216 team won second place for its image of ECE student Kealy Smith working on an Afraid-of-the-Dark bot. The team is sponsored by ArcelorMittal and 205 (Blue Marble Enterprise) team entry won 3rd Place.

See the Design Expo Summary Report with links to more articles and pictures

Design Expo 2015 Success: Winners, Senior Design and Enterprise Projects

IMG_2518One such team has worked on an automated parts counting system for MacLean-Fogg. The team’s machine uses fins, bars and bays to sift and sort metal parts. The bolts, pins, screws and other fastener parts fall down the chute, bounce off the fins and bars, which reorients them, and then they are separated out into bays equipped with sensors. The project required both electrical and mechanical engineering.

Read More

Hackers Could Make Smart Homes Stupid–or Worse

image25903-persImagine the smart home of the future. Thanks to a central controller and wi-fi, not only does the thermostat power up and warm or cool the house as you are heading home. Smart light bulbs come on low at dusk and brighten up as the sky gets darker; your washing machine starts a load of clothes when the electricity is cheapest; your smart refrigerator thaws the roast in one section, while another keeps your cheese ready to slice and yet another chills your beer. The doors lock automatically behind you and unlock as you—but no one else—approach. A 2-way nannycam lets you keep an eye on the kids while a sprinkler waters your lawn when water demand is lowest.
Read More

Michigan Tech Adds New Peace Corps Master’s International Programs in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, GIS

Michigan Technological University’s award-winning Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) program is offering new degree options for students in two departments: computer science and electrical and computer engineering (ECE). The School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science is also expanding its PCMI programs to include a Master of Geographic Information Science.
Read More

Dr. Dennis Wiitanen Honored with Legacy Marker

IMG_2575denniswiitanenThe unveiling of the first Legacy Marker for Alumni Way was held in front of the EERC. The Legacy Marker serves to honor someone associated with Michigan Tech, and it was unveiled and presented as a surprise to the Dennis O. Wiitanen, Professor Emeritus, Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dennis O. Wiitanen received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Michigan Tech in 1963 and 1967 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1970, all in electrical engineering.

In 1970, he joined the electrical and computer engineering department at Michigan Tech, where his major research interests were in the areas of insulating materials and power systems. Dr. Wiitanen taught courses in both electric machines and power systems for over forty years. He is currently a Professor Emeritus.

Dr. Wiitanen is a member of the IEEE’s Power Engineering Society, Education Society, Industry Applications Society, and Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society, serving on several committees and subcommittees, and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan.

See the Photo Gallery

See the Video from UpperMichiganSource

Dennis Wiitanen Legacy Monument
Dennis Wiitanen Legacy Monument

Nucor Industrial Control and Automation Lab Opens

Nucor_3

A ceremony was held Monday to celebrate completion of the new Nucor Industrial Control and Automation Laboratory in the Electrical Energy Resources Center. The state-of-the-art facility was made possible by a $255,000 gift from Nucor Corporation, the largest manufacturer of steel products in North America.

The laboratory is a collaborative effort of Electrical Engineering Technology in the School of Technology and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering. It is an example of cooperation within Michigan Tech’s new Alliance for Computing, Information and Automation (ACIA), which combines common interests among established academic units to better equip future graduates and to align research activities with contemporary technological challenges.

The laboratory consists of eight portable Amatrol Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Learning Systems, equipped with Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5300 PLCs and Human Machine Interface (HMI). These trainers enhance the teaching of PLC concepts and HMI programming using the latest generation of PLCs. The new technology also includes a fluid flow Process Control Learning System equipped with a Honeywell PID controller and four mechatronic stations fully integrated with a Fanuc Robotics System, enabling teaching of advanced concepts of PLC programming and overall system troubleshooting skills.

PLCs are an integral part of nearly all industrial processes today. A PLC is a digital computer used for the automation of a variety of electromechanical processes, including temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise and resistance to vibration and impact. PLCs are often integrated with robotic technology.

“Graduates who will be employed in industries utilizing these systems must not only have basic knowledge of PLCs and robotics, but also the skills to integrate these systems,” said Jim Frendewey, dean of the School of Technology. “The knowledge and experience students receive will produce well-educated graduates with practical, hands-on experience designing, configuring and troubleshooting industrial control systems.”

Dan Fuhrmann, chair of electrical and computer engineering, said, “Knowledge and experience in control systems has been the single most sought-after skill set from our corporate recruiters looking to hire electrical engineering graduates, for the past several years. With the Nucor Laboratory we will take a major step forward in meeting the demands of industry and open up opportunities for our students.”

President Glenn Mroz emphasized the importance of the new lab as he spoke to those in attendance at the ceremony. “Michigan’s economy has gone from one of the worst to 16th for growth among the states in a very short time,” he said. ”We’re now in a renaissance in manufacturing, and the people graduating today have the knowledge and skills because of companies like Nucor who have made substantial investments in the education of Michigan Tech students. We realize that this represents a commitment both by Nucor and our faculty and staff that only comes about when people have a clear bead on priorities. We’re thankful to Nucor for helping our students have the best.”

Kurt Kalenauskas, an electrical engineering technology senior, said he is “jealous of the new students who get to learn and work with the equipment and technology the Nucor laboratory has to offer.”

Nucor has an established relationship with Michigan Tech that began in 2008, when the company sent two representatives to a Career Fair. They were so impressed that they asked Career Services how Nucor could help Michigan Tech help its students.  Since then, the company has become a Career Services Gold Partner, providing financial support and sending several representatives to campus before each Career Fair to work directly with students on interview and resume preparation.

“Nucor recruits technical talent and future leaders at Michigan Tech because Tech graduates have proven to be successful Nucor teammates,” said Dave Davolt, electrical supervisor at the company. “Nucor’s relationship and involvement with Michigan Tech has grown stronger over the years. This is evident with Nucor’s investment in technology relevant to today’s manufacturing industry. With these investments and partnerships, Nucor hopes to better equip students for postgraduation opportunities, which we hope they seek with Nucor. “

Aleksandr Sergeyev, an associate professor in the School of Technology with a special interest in robotics, will head the new laboratory, with faculty from both Electrical Engineering Technology and Electrical and Computer Engineering teaching there. Hundreds of students each year will participate in laboratory activities, and those numbers are expected to grow with future development of new advanced courses made possible by the capabilities of the lab.

Shiyan Hu to Attend NAE Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

Shiyan Hu to Attend NAE Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

Associate Professor Shiyan Hu (ECE) has been invited to attend the National Academy of Engineering’s EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium.

He is among only 62 researchers from the European Union and the United States to receive an invitation to the symposium, to be held Nov. 10-12 in Seattle.

The symposium brings together outstanding, early-career engineers from industry, universities and other research institutions to introduce their research and work toward forming partnerships and collaborations.

The attendees are under age 45 and may only be nominated by NAE members or senior executives from leading industrial companies.

The symposium will feature presentations on Energy Storage Across Scales, Protein Design for Therapeutic Applications, Smart Homes, and Atoms to Airplanes: Designer/Engineered Aerospace Materials. Hu’s research addresses cybersecurity in smart homes, and he recently received a CAREER award for his efforts to design faster computer chips.

The event is hosted in partnership with the European Council of Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering and the National Academy of Technologies of France.