Category Archives: News

Autonomous Ground Vehicle Funding for Bos and Robinette

Autonomous Vehicle
Autonomous Vehicle

Jeremy Bos (ECE) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $5,000 research and development contract with the University of Michigan. Darrell Robinette (MEEM/ICC) is the Co-PI on the project “Robust Terrain Identification and Path Planning for Autonomous Ground Vehicles in Unstructured Environments.” The is the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $304,525.

By Sponsored Programs.


Cameron Burke on Autonomous Attitudes

Kyla Valenti and Cameron Burke
Kyla Valenti and Cameron Burke

HOUGHTON — Autonomous vehicles will spell major changes for Americans, including those living in rural areas.

Using Houghton as an area for a case study, a team of Michigan Technological University students set out to investigate possible impacts within rural areas.

The class was tasked with determining environmental, social and economic impacts of Level 4 autonomous vehicles, part of a competition known as the AutoDrive Challenge. Level 4 refers to vehicles that are self-diving but unable to deal with every scenario.

Once the results came in, the team was surprised by the level of neutral responses, with 20-30 percent answering questions as neutral, said Cameron Burke, an electrical and computer engineering student.

Unexpected topics, such as land use and parking situations, were also raised by participants. The team determined there would need to be significant changes to infrastructure, Burke said.

“We found that for autonomous vehicles to be even desirable in a community like this, there would have to be a lot of infrastructure changes,” he said.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kali Katerberg.

Related:

Take Me Home, Country Roads: The Future of Autonomous and Electric Vehicles in Rural Areas


Kernel Classification Paper is a CIS Publication Spotlight

Kernel Classification showing  an array of circles representing a lattice of FM elementsTony Pinar (ECE), Tim Havens (ECE/CS) and Joe Rice’s (CS) paper, titled “Efficient Multiple Kernel Classification Using Feature and Decision Level Fusion,” in IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems was one of two papers from the transactions featured in IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine as a CIS Publication Spotlight.

DOI: 10.1109/TFUZZ.2016.2633372

Extract: Kernel methods for classification is a well-studied area in which data are implicitly mapped from a lower-dimensional space to a higher dimensional space to improve classification accuracy. However, for most kernel methods, one must still choose a kernel to use for the problem. Since there is, in general, no way of knowing which kernel is the best, multiple kernel learning (MKL) is a technique used to learn the aggregation of a set of valid kernels into a single (ideally) superior kernel.

Read more at III Xplore Digital Library.


Joshua Pearce on 3D Printing for Scientific and Humanitarian Use

Joshua Pearce speaking with another man.
Joshua Pearce at the University of Lorraine

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) gave an invited talk for the University of Lorraine entitled “Will you 3D print your next lab? : Leveraging Improvements in Distributed Manufacturing for Open Source Scientific Hardware” at the Lorraine Fab Living Lab in Nancy, France.

The visit was covered by the regional newspaper L’Est Republicain(circulation >123,000).

In Print

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) authored the chapter “Open-source 3D Printing” in “Managing Humanitarian Innovation: The cutting edge of aid.” Editors: Eric James and Abigail Taylor, 2018, Practical Action Publishing.

eISBN: 978-178044-953-1 | ISBN: 978-185339-953-4 doi:https://doi.org/10.3362/9781780449531.021

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) authored “Expanding the Consumer Bill of Rights for material ingredients,” in Materials Today.

In the News

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), John Gershenson (MEEM), and alumni Tobias J. Mahan and Benjamin L. Savonen are mentioned in the article “Researchers Develop the Kijenzi 3D Printer to Respond to Humanitarian Crises,” in 3DPrint.com.

Research by Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE), was featured in the story “Solar Microgrids for National Security: Study Finds 17 GW Could Fortify US Military Bases,” originally posted in May, 2017. The story was referenced recently in Microgrid Knowledge.

On the Road

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) gave an invited talk, “Production for the People: How open source hardware design and 3D printing enable real distributed manufacturing,” at the 20th Finnish Rapid Prototyping Association Conference and Nordic3DExpo last Thursday (April 19) in Espoo, Finland.


Sweidan and Havens Publish on Target Tracking

Husam Sweidan
Husam Sweidan

Husam Sweidan, PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Timothy Havens (ECE), published an article entitled, “Sensor Relocation for Improved Target Tracking,” in the April, 2018, volume of IET Wireless Sensor Systems.

DOI: 10.1049/iet-wss.2017.0037 , Print ISSN 2043-6386, Online ISSN 2043-6394

Extract: In the first phase, the wireless sensor network tracks the targets based on the initial deployment. The second phase uses the location estimates from phase 1 to form a region of interest (ROI). The last phase carries out the sensor relocation to the ROI.


Pearce Gives Invited Talk on Cutting Lab Costs

Joshua Pearce
Joshua Pearce

Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) gave an invited talk on “How to Eviscerate Lab Costs: Advances in Materials, Electronics and 3-D Printing for Scientific Equipment” for the Industrial Engineering program at the University of Trento, Trento Italy, last Wednesday, (Feb. 21, 2018).

Notables

Red Hat, a $2.9 billion per year open-source software company, honored Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) as one of eight instructors globally who champion open source education. Read more here.


Lisa Hitch Goes Above and Beyond

Lisa Hitch
Lisa Hitch

ECE Business Manager and Technical Communications Specialist Lisa Hitch was recognized at the 2017 Making a Difference Awards reception on January 10, 2018.

“During our recent ABET visit, our department chair was suddenly called away from our department at a critical moment in the evaluation process. Without hesitation, Lisa organized the details of the department meetings between our ABET visitors and more than 50 students, staff, and faculty in a matter of hours. As a result of her intervention, the visit proceeded without interruption. When our chair returned, he found a department visit so smoothly tuned and ready that it went forward flawlessly. Without her initiative the meetings would have been hopelessly uncoordinated and left a terrible impression on our visitors. She saved the day for all of us.”

A total of 47 Michigan Tech staff members were nominated for 2017 Making a Difference Awards. Hitch received an award in the “Above and Beyond” category. The awards are organized by Michigan Tech Staff Council.

Congratulations to Lisa!


NSF CAREER Award for Sumit Paudyal

Sumit Paudyal
Sumit Paudyal

Sumit Paudyal (ECE) is the principal investigator on a project that has received $500,000 from the National Science Foundation. The project is entitled “CAREER: Operation of Distribution Grids in the Context of High-Penetration Distributed Energy Resources and Flexible Loads.”

This is a five-year project.

Abstract

The number of distributed energy resources (DERs) and flexible loads such as photovoltaic (PV) panels, electric vehicles (EVs), and energy storage systems (ESSs) are rapidly growing at the consumer end. These small distributed devices connect to low voltage power distribution grids via power electronic interfaces that can support bi-directional power flows. Despite being small in size, if aggregated, these devices a provide significant portion of the energy and ancillary services (e.g., reactive power support, frequency regulation, load following) necessary for reliable and secure operation of electric power grids. In future distribution grids, with numerous such small active devices, real-time control and aggregation will entail computational challenges. The computational challenges further increase when the aggregation requires coordination with legacy grid control actions which involve integer decision variables, such as load tap changers, capacitor banks, and network switches. This CAREER project concentrates around solving operational and computational issues for distribution grids with large penetration of DERs and flexible loads.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.


ECE Annual Report 2017

ece-annual-report-2017We are happy to share with you our newly released ECE Annual Report 2017. A look back at our past year highlights research activities from nine of our faculty members in the area of mobility, along with graduate students Mojtaba Bahramgiri, Derek Chopp, and Mehdi Jafari. We share in the good news received during the year in which three of our assistant professors received major early career awards: Lucia Gauchia and Zhaohui Wang received National Science Foundation CAREER awards and Jeremy Bos received the US Air Force Young Investigator Program award. We highlight two of our many outstanding undergraduate students, Brian Flanagan and Casey Strom, for accomplishments and contributions during their BS degree studies. This May we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first female graduate of the Michigan Tech EE department, Pat Anthony. Pat was honored by the University during spring commencement and was also inducted into the ECE Academy. Once again the year included a wide variety of hands-on student projects in our Senior Design and Enterprise programs and we thank our sponsors for making it all possible! We invite you to read about these stories and more. From all of us at ECE, happy holidays and best wishes for 2018!


James Parm BSEE ’81 to Deliver Commencement Address

parm_james-commencement2017More than 360 bachelor’s, master’s and PhD recipients are expected to attend Midyear Commencement Saturday (Dec 16). Ceremonies will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Wood Gym of the Student Development Complex.

James Parm, partner at Inc. CEO Project, will deliver the commencement address for Michigan Tech’s Midyear. Parm graduated from Michigan Tech in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and was inducted into the ECE Academy in 2012.

In his current position, Parm provides business strategy to corporate CEOs. He has a long and distinguished career leading international technology companies including Stratos, Inmarsat PLC and Shell Offshore Services Company.

Parm and his wife Jean, a 1982 Tech graduate, have established the Jim and Jean Parm Endowed Scholarship. The Parms live in Casey Key, Florida. At the commencement ceremony, Parm will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy.