Nathir Rawashdeh Comments on Bad Weather Driving Project

Nathir A. Rawashdeh
Nathir A. Rawashdeh

Nathir Rawashdeh was quoted by Digital Engineering 24/7 in a story about artificial intelligence and simulation software helping engineers test autonomous vehicles’ driving in bad weather.

Rawashdeh is assistant professor in the Department of Applied Computing, an affiliated assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a member of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC).

Rainmakers for Autonomous Driving

Nature presents a major obstacle when engineers test autonomous driving in bad weather. You cannot invoke a snowy, rainy or sunny day on demand; nor can you summon up a thunderstorm at your engineering team’s convenience—at least you can’t in the real world. But you can in the virtual world where you control the pixels. This has now become a growing business segment for simulation software makers.

“Sensor and computing technologies are rapidly evolving and changing in an engineering sense, which requires continuous updating of noise simulation and sensor degradation models to serve the ADAS community of engineers and researchers,” Rawashdeh says.

Read more at Digital Engineering 24/7, by Kenneth Wong.

Aurenice Oliveira Named ELATES Fellow in National Leadership Program

Aurenice Oliveira, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Tech, has been selected for the Class of 2022-2023 of Drexel University’s Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science (ELATES) program. The ELATES program is a national leadership development program designed to promote women in academic STEM fields, and faculty allies of all genders, into institutional leadership roles. Oliveira is also a recipient of the first ASEE ELATES fellow scholarship covering program costs and travel expenses. 

The Class of 2022-2023 ELATES Fellows is a prestigious cohort of 30 faculty members from over 25 institutions of higher education across the U.S. and Canada. The ELATES Fellows include experts in engineering, mathematics, and science, all of whom have significant administrative experience on top of their scholarly accomplishments. Oliveira was nominated by the Dean of the College of Engineering Janet Callahan and former ECE Interim Chair Glen Archer, for this intensive, yearlong program, which includes personal and leadership development work as well as series of on-site work in the Philadelphia area.

Oliveira’s research interests focus on hybrid communications and networking including connected and autonomous vehicles communications.  She is currently the IEEE chair for Northeastern Wisconsin Region 4 and recently served as the chair of the NSF ADVANCE Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (A3B) and as Equity (DEIS) Advisor for Michigan Tech Faculty and Chairs Search Teams. She is currently the faculty advisor for two student organizations on campus: The IEEE Student Chapter and Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Honor Society. Oliveira will be also serving as Michigan Tech’s Vice President for Research Faculty Fellow for this coming academic year in the areas of Research Development and Research Integrity.

“I am excited to participate in a program focused on training an amazing group of women to become leaders in academic STEM fields. I would like to be able to bridge people and ideas as well as to tap into our strengths to create/encourage growth in my department and at Michigan Tech”.

Facilitated by leaders in the fields of STEM research and leadership development, the ELATES curriculum is focused on increasing Fellows’ personal and professional leadership effectiveness, from the ability to lead and manage change initiatives within institutions, to the use of strategic finance and resource management to enhance organizational missions. Pairing online instruction and discussion with intensive, in-person seminar sessions, the program encourages Fellows to apply what they’ve learned at their home institutions. Ultimately, it aims to create a network of exceptional faculty who bring broad organizational perspectives and deep personal capacity to the institutions and societies hey serve.

Sharon Walker, PhD, executive director of the ELATES program and dean of Drexel University’s College of Engineering, shares her excitement for welcoming the newest class of Fellows.

“I am thrilled to welcome this talented new cohort of ELATES fellows as they join the community of distinguished alumnae who are committed to lifelong learning and leadership development.  I am excited to see what impact they will not only have this year on their home campuses, but more broadly to the higher education STEM community in the future.”

To learn more about ELATES at Drexel, visit ELATES online at Drexel.edu/ELATES.

Lucas and Whitaker Place in Computing[MTU] Showcase Poster Session

Evan Lucas
Evan Lucas
Steven Whitaker
Steven Whitaker

The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems has announced the winners of the first Computing[MTU] Showcase Poster Session. Among the winners were electrical and computer engineering graduate students Evan Lucas and Steven Whitaker for “Active learning with binary feedback on multiclass problems,” who were tied for second place with Suresh Pokharel of Computer Science.

Active learning with binary feedback on multiclass problems

An active learning approach is often used for multiclass classification problems, where predictions are made on new data and a human user is used to determine if the predictions are correct. Typical approaches may ask a human to select the correct class if the prediction is incorrect. This work attempts to use a binary feedback on the predicted classes to save time and allow maximal use of a negative prediction on a partly trained model.

IPC & Electronics Student Chapter Hosts Event

Participants gathered in the Plexus Innovation Lab late last week to create Christmas tree ornaments, an event sponsored by the IPC & Electronics Student Chapter at Michigan Tech with some help from the Blue Marble Security Enterprise. Pictured are students creating their ornaments using the pick and place machines within the lab, and others optically inspecting the boards’ soldered connections to detect and identify defects. https://www.involvement.mtu.edu/organization/ipc-electronics

Picture of the Christmas tree ornament created by participants in the event.
The IPC & Electronics Student Chapter at Michigan Tech hosted a Christmas tree ornament making event.
Picture of students using the pick and place machines to create their ornament in the Plexus Innovation Lab.
Student participants use the pick and place machine to create their ornaments.
Participants in the event inspecting the boards for defects.
Student participants in the event inspect the boards soldered connections to detect/identify defects.

Ranit Karmakar Wins Best Overall Venture Award

Husky Innovate Students Win Top Prizes in New Venture Online Competition

Pitch screenshot on eye banks from the Focus presentation.

For the 11th year running, Central Michigan University and Michigan Tech collaborated to offer Tech students a chance to compete at CMU’s New Venture Competition. 2021 marked the second year the pitch competition was held online as the New Venture Online Competition (NVOC).

Despite the challenges of a pandemic and a virtual platform, our students persevered, honed their pitches and won top prizes. This year’s NVOC winners were also winners at the 2021 Bob Mark Business Model Pitch Competition held at Tech in January. All of their hard work and effort paid off!

Congratulations to this year’s MTU winners:

Read more in the NVOC 2021 Booklet.

By Husky Innovate.

Anna Browne Wins President’s Award for Leadership

Anna Browne
Anna Browne

Outstanding students, staff, and a special alumni were honored Friday (April 16, 2021) during Michigan Tech’s 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards Virtual Ceremony.

Anna Browne was selected to receive the President’s Award for Leadership. Brown is pursuing a degree in electrical engineering with a concentration in electrical power. She has shown excellent success during her time as a student. Her involvement and contributions to Michigan Tech’s campus are numerous and cast such a wide net as shown in her 13 nominations.

Anna, who has had multiple internships at Black & Veatch and Westwood Professional Services, has served in project and team leader roles with the Alternative Energy Enterprise on projects like the Baraga Community solar and the on-campus mine water geothermal system. She’s been an active part of the residence education and housing services community as a senior student resident assistant and resident assistant for three years.

She’s also been a valuable contributing member to the Center for Diversity and Inclusion community. Anna has left a mark on Michigan Tech’s community. In her essay she writes how she strived to be a role model for others through community building.

She wrote, “Through my Michigan Tech Experience, my values of leadership, community, openness, and integrity have been demonstrated through every aspect of my involvement. In trying to create a supportive community, I have strived to give a sense of comfort and belonging to those without a place. Michigan Tech has helped me find my values and my identities, and I hope through my involvement that I have left a positive mark on Michigan Tech as it has left on me.”

By Student Leadership and Involvement.

Play 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards video
Preview image for 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards video

27th Annual Student Leadership Awards

Kaitlyn Bunker is an Outstanding Young Alumna

Kaitlyn Bunker
Kaitlyn Bunker

Outstanding students, staff, and a special alumni were honored Friday (April 16) during Michigan Tech’s 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards Virtual Ceremony.

Keynote speaker Kaitlyn Bunker ’10 ’12 ’14 (BS, MS, PhD Electrical Engineering), won the Outstanding Young Alumni Award along with Megan Kreiger ’09 ’12 (Mathematics and Materials Science and Engineering).

By Student Leadership and Involvement.

Play 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards video
Preview image for 27th Annual Student Leadership Awards video

27th Annual Student Leadership Awards

Anindya Ghoshroy Joins the Field of Compressed Ultrafast Photography

Anindya Ghoshroy
Anindya Ghoshroy

Dr. Anindya Ghoshroy (PhD ’20) begins the new year with a postdoctoral researcher position at California Institute of Technology. Ghoshroy will be working under the direction of Dr. Lihong Wang, a world-renowned researcher in the imaging field, and the inventor of the fastest optical technology in the world, called compressed ultrafast photography (CUP), capable of 10 trillion frames per second.

Wang and Ghoshroy are interested in the next big step – investigating the near field implementations of ultrafast photography, and the resolution of nanoscale transient scenes. An integration of the CUP framework with “active convolved illumination” (ACI), an image-capturing technology that Ghoshroy and his PhD advisor Dr. Durdu Guney have been developing, and will potentially lead to a significant first step towards this direction.

ACI, being immune to “noise” will potentially enable imaging of live cells, virus, and bacteria with fine details, not accessible with the state-of-the-art imaging systems.

Set of ACI images.
Ground truth, Raw data, ACI futuristic illustration of SARS CoV2, ACI OFF, ACI ON with 3 nm scale bar, and ACI ON as a 3D model.

ECE Hosts Work Bees to Make Outreach Kits

Small group of Society of Women Engineers volunteers preparing outreach kits.
Society of Women Engineers (SWE) members volunteer to prepare holiday tree circuit board kits for use in “near-peer” outreach.

On a Mission to Make Hundreds of Outreach Kits, ECE Hosts Work Bees

by Liz Fujita

On multiple evenings in October, the lab space in EERC 722 was the image of organized chaos. Bags of LEDs, resistors, capacitors, switches, and batteries spilled out on lab benches, waiting to be counted out into bags. Soldering irons heated up, fume-extracting fans whirring. Empty boxes steadily filled with kits ready to bring to pre-college students. With 600 hands-on outreach kits to prepare, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has been hard at work this fall with the help of phenomenal student volunteers, and there is still plenty more to go. 

Interim chair Dr. Glen Archer is the PI on a grant from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) for the 2020-21 academic year that focuses on getting electrical engineering projects out to pre-college students at multiple levels. Along with co-PI Dr. Gretchen Hein (MMET) and academic advisor Liz Fujita (ECE), the program centers on multiple layers of mentorship.

“It’s an ambitious idea,” says Fujita, who in addition to advising helps to coordinate outreach efforts in the ECE department. “Michigan Tech has a lot of successful outreach programs that rely on this idea of near-peer mentoring—that idea that college students presenting information is more engaging, cooler, and better-received by high school students.” The MSGC proposal calls for several layers of near-peer mentoring to take place at several schools: 

College students teach high school students how to solder and the basics of electronic components with the heart rate monitor boards

Under the guidance of those college mentors, the high school students teach middle school students similar skills on the (slightly easier) tree circuit boards. 

And, lastly, the middle schoolers take bouncy bot kits to their elementary school to teach 4th and 5th graders the basics of circuits. 

All of this requires a tremendous amount of preparation. In October alone, members of Blue Marble Security Enterprise and the Society of Women Engineers spent a combined 50+ hours soldering, counting, stuffing bags, and organizing materials. 

ECE has on multiple occasions joined forces with the Society for Women Engineers. Funding for this project includes support for not only the activity kits themselves (circuit boards, LEDs, resistors, batteries, etc.), but also for soldering stations, storage bins, and travel to schools in the local area as well as downstate. The combined funding secured by SWE and ECE will enable them to prepare 200 of each activity kit.

Notes Archer, “Near-peer mentoring allows younger students to picture themselves in a future state. They see this person in front of them and imagine their own life, in that role.” Although current COVID-19 restrictions leave the group unsure of when they will be able to visit schools, they remain optimistic. And, as work bees continue, they will be more than ready!

Volunteer ECE students preparing kits for near-peer mentoring projects sponsored by the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC)