Category: EET

Congratulations Class of 2021!

It has been a challenging academic year, to say the least. As part of the Class of 2021, you are an exceptional group of graduates. Your final academic year presented you with unforeseen and unprecedented challenges, yet you persevered.

We are all proud to have mentored, instructed, and supported you on your educational journey. We know you’ll do well. You are a Husky, after all!

Please stay in touch!


EET Senior Design Project on TV 6


The Senior Design project completed this semester by four senior-level Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) is the topic of a news story that was aired on WLUC-TV6 (Marquette) on Friday, April 23, 2021. The project was to design and produce a motorized swing set that will help a disabled child enjoy herself and sleep comfortably.

Read an article about the EET students’ project here.

View the TV6 news story here.

The students are Joe Barbercheck, Seth Cherry, Heather Harris, and Cole Kubick.

Tackling the project top to bottom, the students designed the electrical system, control and drive systems, and portions of the mechanical design. Their top priority was making sure the systems and mechanical structure are safe.

Specifications for the swing include that it be lightweight, reliable, and portable. The unit is battery-operated with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The swing will both rock the child to sleep and serve as a play toy for three to four years, although the actual lifetime of the swing will be much longer.

Professor Alex Sergeyev and Lecturer Paniz Hazaveh are co-advisors to the team. “The students are very excited about the project,” Sergeyev says. “It’s very meaningful to them.”

“The skills that we are teaching in the EET and Mechatronics undergraduate programs makes students able to just jump on these kinds of projects,” Sergeyev says. “It’s great to see that their learning can be applied to a project as complex as this one.”



New Course: Applied Machine Learning


Summary

  • Course Number: 84859, EET 4996-01
  • Class Times: T/R, 9:30-10:45 am
  • Location: EERC 0723
  • Instructor: Dr. Sidike Paheding
  • Course Levels: Graduate, Undergraduate
  • Prerequisite: Python Programming and basic knowledge of statistics.
  • Preferred knowledge: Artificial Intelligence (CS 4811) or Data Mining (CS4821) or Intro to Data Sciences (UN 5550)

Course Description/Overview

Rapid growth and remarkable success of machine learning can be witnessed by tremendous advances in technology, contributing to the fields of healthcare, finance, agriculture, energy, education, transportation and more. This course will emphasize on intuition and real-world applications of Machine Learning (ML) rather than statistics behind it. Key concepts of some popular ML techniques, including deep learning, along with hands-on exercises will be provided to students. By the end of this course, students will be able to apply a variety of ML algorithms to practical

Instructor

Applications Covered

  • Object Detection
  • Digital Recognition
  • Face Recognition
  • Self-Driving Cars
  • Medical Image Segmentation
  • Covid-19 Prediction
  • Spam Email Detection
  • Spectral Signal Categorization

Tools Covered

  • Python
  • scikit learn
  • TensorFlow
  • Keras
  • Open CV
  • pandas
  • matplotlib
  • NumPy
  • seaborn
  • ANACONDA
  • jupyter
  • SPYDER

Download the course description flyer:

Download

Our Stories: Dr. Nathir Rawashdeh

This is part of a series of short introductions about College students, faculty, and staff. Would you like to be featured? Send a photo and some background info about yourself to computing@mtu.edu.

Dr. Nathir Rawashdeh, Assistant Professor, Applied Computing

  • Affiliated Assistant Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Years teaching at Michigan Tech: 2
  • Years teaching overall: 12
  • Member, Data Sciences research group, Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC)
  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Kentucky, 2007
  • MS, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2003
  • Faculty Profile

Classes Dr. Rawashdeh Teaches

  • Programmable Logic Control (PLC)
  • Digital Electronics
  • Analog Electronics
  • Image Processing
  • Automatic Control Systems
  • Instrumentation and Measurement

The “coolest” class you teach, and why:

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), because every factory in the world is controlled by PLCs.

The importance of your class topics to the overall understanding of Computing and your discipline: 

Computing is the way of the future. And in all disciplines we rely more and more on sophisticated design, modeling, and control software. The Digital Electronics course is key to the overall understanding of computer systems. We discuss the building blocks of computers, and programmable logic controllers apply computing solutions for automation programming and industrial communication.

Your teaching philosophy: 

  • I believe in the social connection between teacher and student because it enables them to learn from each other, and more than just technical material and information.
  • In today’s changing world, courses and delivery methods must be constantly updated to maximize learning in a wide sense. When teaching online, I always turn on my camera and teach from the classroom.
  • I interact actively with students, and when I see that they need a break I tell them a story from my professional or personal experience. In the labs, I am almost always engaged with students, helping them solve problems.

Labs you direct and their general focus:

  • In the Programmable Logic Controllers labs (for introductory and advanced level courses), students learn how to program industrial controllers and interface with sensors and actuators.
  • In the Digital Electrics lab, students learn the building blocks of computers and program FPGA boards, which is the fastest programmable hardware possible.

Research projects in which students are assisting: 

  • An ECE PhD student is working on sensor fusion for autonomous driving in the snow.
  • I plan to hire a graduate student this summer to implement indoor simultaneous location and mapping of a mobile robot.
  • Recently, an undergraduate EET student helped me build a virus sterilizing mobile robot that uses ultraviolet light. Read a news article, view photos and a YouTube video here.
  • In personal research, I also work on image analysis and industrial inspection research.

Other cool things your students are doing:

  • Recent senior design projects include a gesture controlled robotic arm and a PID control system based on a levitating ball.
  • See more projects on my lab website: https://www.morolab.mtu.edu/students.

Interests beyond teaching and research:

  • I am married and have four children. The eldest is studying Environmental Engineering at Tech.
  • I like cars and ground robots, painting, swimming, and playing soccer.
  • I speak three languages and have lived in four countries, in each for over a decade.

1010 with … Dr. Alex Sergeyev, Applied Computing


Are you a high school student, current undergraduate student, or a recent BS graduate? Are you are interested in robotics, automation, and controls?

You are invited to spend one-zero-one-zero—that is, ten—minutes with Dr. Aleksandr Sergeyev on Thursday, April 15, from 4:30 to 4:40 p.m. EST.

“If you’d like to learn more about the Mechatronics and the BS and MS programs at Michigan Tech, please join this 1010 conversation,” Professor Sergeyev urges.

Join the Zoom meeting here.


Dr. Sergeyev is a professor in the Applied Computing department and director of the Mechatronics graduate program. He also directs the FANUC Certified Industrial Robotics Training Center at Michigan Tech.

He will discuss his research, the Applied Computing department, and the Mechatronics BS and MS programs. He will answer questions following his presentation.

Michigan Tech is a pioneer in Mechatronics education, having introduced a graduate degree program in 20xx, and a bachelor’s program in Fall 2019.

“Mechatronics is an industry buzzword synonymous with robotics, controls, automation, and electromechanical engineering,” Sergeyev says.

In his presentation, he will discuss Mechatronics in general, explain what the degree has to offer, job opportunities in Mechatronics, and some of the research he is conducting in this field.

In Spring 2021, a Mechatronics Playground was opened on campus. The hands-on learning lab and industry-grade equipment was funded by alumnus Mark Gauthier of Donald Engineering, Grand Rapids, MI, and other major companies.

A common degree in Europe, China, Japan, Russia, and India, advanced study in Mechatronics is an underdeveloped academic discipline in the United States, even though the industrial demand for these professionals is enormous, and continues to grow.

Sergeyev’s areas of expertise are in electrical and computer engineering, physics, and adaptive optics, and his professional interests include robotics. He is principal investigator for research grants totaling more that $1 million. He received both his MS and PhD degrees at Michigan Tech, in physics and electrical and computer engineering, respectively.

We look forward to spending 1010 minutes with you!

A Mechatronics student operates a robotics arm.

Paul-222: How to Make a Better Robot

Written by Karen S. Johnson, Communications Director, College of Computing

Assistant Professor Nathir Rawashdeh, Applied Computing, has developed a mobile robot disinfector with the help of a seed grant from Michigan Tech alumnus and donor Paul Williams ’61 EE.

Rawashdeh is looking to develop this idea further and is searching for collaborators, such as those studying human-centered computing and intelligent algorithms. And he’s looking for public facilities interested in helping test the Paul-222 robot, including libraries, grocery stores, and health clinics.

Read about this timely research below.

“Building a multidisciplinary robot like this, one that contains mechanical, electrical, and computational components, is an example of applied mechatronics at work.”

Nathir Rawshdeh, Applied Computing

Some Background: (UV)-C Light

Airborne microbial diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, and now the new corona virus, represent major public health challenges. Ultraviolet (UV)-C light, discovered more than a century ago, effectively inactivates these types of pathogens in minutes by damaging the virus’s DNA. It has been studied widely and is used in applications like water treatment and preventing the spread of pathogens in hospitals.

And UVC light is safe when used correctly. However, its widespread use in public settings is limited because it is harmful to human skin and eyes and it has been shown to cause cancer.

There are many UV-based surface and air disinfecting systems out there, and they typically use the germicidal UVC 254 nanometer light. And while it is easily obtained, low cost, and very effective, UVC 254 nanometer light is harmful to humans and can be used only when a space is vacant.


A Safer Alternative: Far-UVC Light

Recently, experiments have been performed on the shortwave length of 222 nanometer, also knows as Far-UVC light.

“Far-UVC 222 nm light, on the other hand, efficiently inactivates bacteria and it doesn’t hurt humans,” Rawashdeh explains. “But it’s expensive and difficult to acquire, although as the technology is used more, I expect it will become less costly.”

Researchers began focusing on Far UVC in the last decade, and it was recently shown to effectively kill viruses and pathogens. (Nature, 2020). The shorter 222 nm wavelength cannot penetrate the tear layer of the eye or the outer dead-cell layer of skin, so it cannot reach or damage living cells in the body. And because Far-UVC is safe for skin and eyes, the products can run constantly, continuously killing pathogens like viruses and bacteria without worry about human exposure.

“Far-UVC light has a been shown to be incapable of penetrating the outer dead-cell layer of human skin or the tear layer in the eye, so it’s not a human health hazard,” confirms Rawashdeh. “Continuous very low dose-rate Far-UVC light in indoor spaces is a promising and safe tool to reduce the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases.


Paul-222: An Opportunity for Innovation

Only a few manufacturers are currently producing Far-UVC products, and Rawashdeh believes the time is right to develop this disinfection technology further.

“Today’s robots are just carts, they drive into room to irradiate it, then leave the room,” says Rawashdeh,” They don’t have the intelligence for detecting humans or deciding what to disinfect. Several companies are now developing intelligent disinfection robots, but I am convinced that the 254 UVC will remain too dangerous, and that the application of the 222 nm wavelength is much more suitable”.

Rawashdeh has developed what he calls “Paul-222”, a tele-operated mobile robot disinfector with first-person-view and two wavelengths: a standard 254 nanometer UVC light side and a 222 nanometer Far-UVC side, as a prototype to compare the disinfection efficiency of the two technologies relative to power requirements, radiation intensity, and disinfection times.

“The next version of this prototype will be an autonomous and collaborative robot,” says Rawashdeh. “It will be aware of human presence and disinfect while the room is occupied. This doesn’t exist today.”


Designed and Built at Michigan Tech

The prototype was designed and built at Michigan Tech during the COVID-19 quarantine in summer 2020.

There was an emergency call for Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) seed grant proposals in May 2020 to address COVID-19, and Rawashdeh had only two weeks to apply. But in less than a month, he had won the funding—as did several colleagues in the College of Computing—received access to the funds, and started building and testing.

“This was a very generous gift from Paul Williams through the ICC,” Rawashdeh said.

Rawashdeh completed the disinfector as a solo project while the labs were closed for group work, with help from EET undergraduate Austin Kucharski, who helped build the remote-control components.

Thorough testing has confirmed the effectiveness of both sides of the unit. The UVC side kills the coronavirus in ten seconds at a distance of three feet, while the Far-UVC side needs three minutes. The disinfector can be recharged simply by plugging it into an electrical outlet.

Rawshdeh oversees the Mobile Robotics Lab, which pursues work in mobile robots, depth sensing, robot environment simulation, image analysis, thermal imaging, sensor fusion, electrical engineering and control. Visit the lab’s website at www.morolab.mtu.edu.


The Prototype

Paul-222 is a prototype, which means that it is composed of a mix of off-the-shelf parts and materials. For instance, a camping battery powers the lights and electronics, and the oscillating light bar in the front of the unit is an automotive accessory. A separate battery powers the motion of the unit, and the first-person-view is based on a wireless backup camera and screen system for RVs. One of the reflecting fixture backsides is a metallic automotive dash cover.

Safety was an important consideration in the design of the disinfector. A camera in the front of the unit provides first-person view for remote operation. Flashing lights alert those in the vicinity, and remote operation means it can be controlled from a distance only when it’s safe.


Searching for Collaborators

Rawashdeh is looking to develop this idea further and is searching for collaborators, such as those studying human-centered computing and intelligent algorithms. And he’s looking for public facilities interested in helping test the Paul-222 robot, including libraries, grocery stores, and health clinics.

“There will likely be a next pandemic, and such robots can be deployed at outbreak hot spots” Rawashdeh says. “Fighting pathogens will continue to be a priority.”

Rawashdeh plans to present his invention at a future technical conference. He also expects to demonstrate the protype at future campus events and technology exhibits.

Watch a video demonstration of the disinfecting robot.


The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems

Rawashdeh is a member of the Center for Data Sciences (DataS) research group of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) focuses on the research of data sciences education, algorithms, mathematics, and applications.

“The ICC is always encouraging and supporting us to write proposals and collaborate,” Rawashdeh says. “The results of this research are a great example of what the ICC can do in a short time. I’m grateful to Paul Williams, the ICC, and ICC director Tim Havens for their support.”