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September 1998


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From the Department Head...

Recent activities of many individuals, groups, and teams from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has resulted in a series of successful firsts, which are covered in this issue:

-Virginia Tech's 16-year-old Virginia Power Electronics Center (VPEC), directed by Fred Lee, provides Virginia with its first National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center (ERC). The new center is being established with a $12.35 million, five-year grant.

-Rick Claus received a $9.6 million grant from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). This is the first grant of its size received by Claus and his colleagues in the Fiber and Electro-Optics Research Center. It is also the first of its size in a decade received by the University.

-The virtual corporation students are building the first-of-its-kind maglev propulsion system using a switched-reluctance actuator.

-This past spring, Virginia Tech became the first university in the United States to own a section of the LMDS wireless high bandwidth radio spectrum. This spectrum will be used to develop a research testbed for advanced wireless telecommunications. CWT, under the direction of Charles Bostian, is coordinating the research activity.

-The University is offering a Graduate Program in Information Technology (GPIT). This is the first program through which students may choose to earn certification in a speciality or a complete master's degree under the same program.

-The Alexandria Research Institute opened this fall; the first research institute sponsored by the Department and the College of Engineering. Saifur Rahman has been named the first director of the Institute.

-A team of electrical engineering graduate students came in first in the America's competition in the 1998 Texas Instruments DSP Solutions Challenge. This is the first time a team from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has won this competition.

-John Bay has received the Eta Kappa Nu National C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Teacher Award for 1997. This also a first for a faculty member in the Department.

-The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) tied for first place out of 13 schools in the 1998 FutureCar Challenge this past summer.

-Nevel, one of Virginia Tech's Autonomous Vehicle Team's entries in the 6th International Ground Robotics Competition, took first place in design.

This is an impressive list of achievements for a six-month period. These successes testify to the strength of the ECE program at Tech, both in education and in research.

As further evidence of our success and global reputation, we are continuing to attract highly motivated students at all levels; our enrollments are steadily growing in both EE and CpE. We have been allocated five new faculty positions for expansion of the Blacksburg and Northern Virginia programs. In addition, research funding continues to grow at a steady rate.

With strong support of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, we will continue to advance both our programs and electrical and computer engineering technology.

Leonard Ferrari

Department Head

The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech

Last Updated, November 22 1998
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