ECE News

 
Releases

2004 Annual Report

Winter 2004 Connection

Fall 2003 Connection

2003 Annual Report


Head Letter

Chair Letter

Features
Underwater
Robots

Diagnostic
Imaging

Fuel Cells

E-Textiles

Embedded Sys.

Wireless Video Networks

Demand for ECEs

Networking
Course

 
ECE Research Update

 
Research News

Preventing
Reverse
Engineering

FPGAs &
Multi-Physics

Low-Power
Videoconferencing

Error &
Defect ID

Wavelets
in Hawaii

Cross Layer
Optimization

UWB & Communications

Holey Fibers

IPEMs

Blue Diamond
Transistor

Largest MOS
Controller Power Switch

New Power Monitoring

Virtual Hospital

Museum AVs

2001/2002 PhDs

2002 Patents


Winter 2003
Connection

 
Special Report:
What's Next for ECEs?
April 2003

52-page Printer-Friendly version (4 MB)

In This Issue:

From the
Department Head

From the Chair of the Advisory Board

Features
Underwater Robots
Daniel Stilwell is developing a platoon of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that will both study the ecological effects of man-made nutrients on Virginia’s coastal waters and help develop search, survey, and tracking methods for the U.S. Navy.
E-Textiles
Computer engineers in Torgersen Hall may be weaving the future of specialized fabrics — e-textiles that can be used to sense tank movements, monitor homes for noxious chemicals, help firefighters maneuver in smoky buildings, and perhaps help stroke victims...
Diagnostic Imaging
By integrating “smart” functions into currently available medical imaging technology, Chris Wyatt hopes to make his contribution toward lower medical costs, new treatments, and earlier disease detection.
Embedded Systems
As embedded systems become more mobile and widespread, the issues for systems designers grow more numerous and critical. Sandeep Shukla wants to boost the productivity of embedded systems designers...
Fuel Cells
Fuel cells are creating a buzz lately, touted as a zero-emission energy source for homes, automobiles, even cellular telephones. It is not hype, but there some challenges, according to Jason Lai, an ECE associate professor.
Wireless Video Networking
Wireless video networks for environmental monitoring, homeland security, and military use are still future technology. Thomas Hou has developed a novel architecture and traffic management plan to overcome some of the major obstacles...
Demand for ECEs in a Sluggish Market
In spite of a weak economy and a sluggish job market, electrical and computer engineers are still in demand in some regions and industries, according to a survey of alumni Bradley Fellows and Scholars. The alumni cite a general weakened demand, however...
Networking Course
Thanks to a donation of equipment and cash from Intel, ECE and CS students have the opportunity to learn and use the latest wireless networking and mobile computing technologies in a new course in "Wireless and Mobile Systems Design."
Research Update
Computer Engineering

Research Overview

News
Preventing Reverse Engineering
ECE researchers have developed a secure programmable logic configuration that can prevent reverse engineering...

FPGAs Speed Up Multi-Physics Modeling
FPGAs are being used to provide a million-times speed increase for multi-physical process modeling...

Low-Power Videoconferencing
An ECE team developed an algorithm for video conferencing that cuts power dissipation by 95+% without degrading video quality.

Software Finds Defects in SOC Design
A Virginia Tech software program that uses logic conflicts to identify untestable faults may improve design verification of large system-on-a-chip (SoC) VLSI circuits.

Wavelets Depict Hawaii's Ridges
ECE researchers have developed a method of using wavelets to construct triangular meshes in representing 3-D objects...

Communications

Research Overview

News
Cross-Layer System Optimization
ECE researchers are studying a holistic wireless communications design approach for large increases in throughput.

UWB & Communications
Thanks to a 2002 change in FCC regulations ultra-wideband (UWB) technology might be useful in high-data-rate, low power communication systems.

Systems & Controls

Research Overview

News
VT Autonomous Vehicles for Museum
While designing and building a museum exhibit about future transportation technology, a student/faculty research team has incorporated some new control robotic sensing and technology.

Electromagnetics

Research Overview

News
Holey Optical Fibers
Fibers with holes less than a micron in diameter almost entirely eliminate optical non-linearities and dispersion, and provide exotic optical characteristics. VT researchers developed a process to create random-hole fibers, which could lower costs and enable the use of different materials for holey fibers.

UWB: Exploiting 40 Years of Impulse Work
Thanks to a 2002 change in FCC regulations ultra-wideband (UWB) technology might be useful in high-data-rate, low power communication systems...

Electronics

Research Overview

News
IPEM Concept in Use
CPES researchers advocate the vision of an integrated system approach via standardized building blocks, referred to as IPEMs. In 2002, industry followed suit and came out with a range of products that eliminate wirebond...

Blue Diamond Transistor
ECE researchers took part in building the world's first inverter totally based on an SiC Silicon Carbide (SiC), or blue diamond, which allows the device to operate at 300°C temperature or higher. Work continues...

World's Largest MOS Controller Power Switch
The Emitter Turn-off (ETO) thyristor developed by CPES is the world’s largest MOS controller power switch. The switch turns off 4000 A in less than 5 microseconds while blocking up to 4500 V.

Power Engineering

Research Overview

News
New Power Monitoring System: FNET
ECE researchers have developed a cost-effective Internet-based method to measure the frequency of the power grid and are deploying the system nationwide.

Virtual Hospital for Power Equipment
Virginia Tech is leading an international effort to develop a “Virtual Hospital” for utility transformers and power equipment.


Ph.D. Degrees Awarded 2001/2002 2002 Patent Awards

 
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