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Competitions in Engineering Education
In a single day, Tom Martin, an associate professor of ECE might be involved with a laptop orchestra, a fashion show curtain, and an intelligent jump suit. In all these efforts, he’s engaging undergraduate ECE students in a world far from engineering. “The most interesting ideas,” he says, “come alive at the margins between disciplines.”
ECE students [and professors] are creating their own outdoor laboratory to study alternative energy issues. With funding from the engineering fee, students in ECE 4304 Design in Power Engineering are pouring concrete to support their equipment, building their systems, and repurposing old technology.
Nathaniel Frissell spent spring semester 2010 at The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), which is located on the Svalbard archipelago, well north of the Arctic Circle. Svalbard is a land of few inhabitants and trees – but an incredible view of auroras and night-shining (noctilucent) clouds that are the visible effects of space weather.
Shocked by the low efficiency and high cost of solar-energy systems, many potential buyers decide to wait till new materials or photovoltaic (PV) technology improve the affordability. Consumers don’t realize that with a better power conditioning system, even today’s technology can be more affordable, according to Jason Lai, director of ECE’s Future Energy Electronics Center (FEEC).
A Virginia Tech microelectronics team is developing a technology not just to continue semiconductor miniaturization for logic and memory chips, but also to colocate photonics applications with silicon-based circuitry, including light generation by lasers and more efficient solar cells.
Success in integrating III-V compounds on silicon substrates can lead to affordable (cost-efficient) photovoltaic (PV) and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems, says Mantu Hudait.
- Miniature dc-dc converter
- SiC high-temp switch
- Converter for airplanes
- Concentrating gases at micro scale
Power & Energy
- Analyzing audio using FNET
- Smart grid clearinghouse
- MRI-quality grid monitoring
- Graph trace analysis
- Synchrophasors prevent blackouts
- New ultrasound tech
- Catching cancer cells
- Building SAM-CT
- Systems biology cancer center
- Burning cancer
- Holey scaffolds for medical use
- Monitoring welding fumes
- Fingerprinting wireless networks
- Wireless REU
- Signal propagation in foliage
- Improving railway communication
- Center for Intelligence Community
- Energy harvesting
- On-chip fingerprints
- Crypto algorithms
- Submicron variance
- Sunshine for network design