Department News

Prof. Randy Beard and former PhD student Dr. Wei Ren publish book

Prof. Randy Beard and his former PhD student Dr. Wei Ren published a book this month titled "Distributed Consensus in Multi-Vehicles Cooperative Control," with Springer Verlag. The book develops the basic theory for dynamic consensus seeking and discusses applications in unmanned air vehicles, mobile robotics, and deep spacecraft systems. Dr. Ren is currently an assistant professor at Utah State University. More

Radio Astronomy Research Group Completes Successful Array Experiment at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Graduate students Jonathan Landon, Jacob Waldron, David Jones, Allan Stemmons, Mike Elmer, together with ECEn faculty Brian Jeffs and Karl Warnick deployed a BYU-built focal plane array feed on the 20 meter reflector antenna at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. The array feed promises to allow astronomers to more rapidly search the sky for radio sources and at the same time to cancel manmade signals that could interfer with sensitive observations. More

Prof. David Long Elevated to IEEE Fellow

David Long was elevated to Fellow of the IEEE on 15 November 2007 "for contributions to systems and applications of radar scatterometry and synthetic aperture radar in land and ice studies." Each year, the IEEE Fellow Committee recommends a select group for IEEE's most prestigious honor. David Long joined the BYU faculty in 1990 and is the director of the Microwave Earth Remote Sensing (MERS) Laboratory. Dr. Long is currently the Director of the BYU Center for Remote Sensing.

Dr. D. J. Lee Presented a Paper at the IEEE/NIH LISSA Workshop

Dr. D. J. Lee presented a paper titled "Embedded Stereo Vision System Providing Visual Guidance to the Visually Impaired" at the IEEE/NIH Life Science Systems and Applications Workshop. He was also invited to join the organizing committee of this workshop. This paper, coauthored by Jonathan Anderson and Dr. James Archibald, is the result of one of several ongoing projects in the Robotic Vision Lab (RVL) that uses its latest locally-developed embedded vision sensor. The project represents RVL's continuing commitment to the use of latest technologies to improve medical and health care. This project is supported in part by the Huber Scholarship.

Scholarship Endowment for ECEn Students Created by BYU Alumni at National Instruments

With generous donations from BYU alumni currently working for National Instruments, an endowed scholarship has been established for undergraduates in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department. Currently, the endowment will fund one half-scholarship per year in perpetuity, with the alumni looking to increase to two half scholarships in the future.

Doug Clifford wins Mayoral Race

Doug Clifford won the mayoral election in Pleasant View, Utah on November 6, 2007 with 54% of the votes. After retiring from an executive position at Hewlett Packard (he was at Iomega before that), Doug joined the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering as an Adjunct Professor teaching business management and teamwork to senior project teams. Doug, who is also the chair of the College of Engineering's ACET (Advancement Council for Engineering and Technology), was the 2007 Honored Alumnus for the College of Engineering.

Drs. D.J. Lee and James Archibald have received a renewed research contract

Doug Clifford won the mayoral election in Pleasant View, Utah on November 6, 2007 with 54% of the votes. After retiring from an executive position at Hewlett Packard (he was at Iomega before that), Doug joined the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering as an Adjunct Professor teaching business management and teamwork to senior project teams. Doug, who is also the chair of the College of Engineering's ACET (Advancement Council for Engineering and Technology), was the 2007 Honored Alumnus for the College of Engineering.

Prof. Rice Wins Best Paper Award

Prof. Michael Rice, the Jim Abrams Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering has won the Best Paper Award at the International Telemetering Conference for the paper "Differential Encoding Revealed: An Explanation of the Tier-1 Differential Encoding in IRIG 106." The conference was held 22 - 25 October 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dr. Wirthlin is awarded a research grant

Sandia National Laboratory recently awarded a research grant to Dr. Michael Wirthlin to investigate alternative mitigation techiques for FPGAs operating in radiation environments. This grant will investigate non-traditional mitigation techniques, non-volatile memories for FPGA configuration data, and the use of partial reconfiguration for improving FPGA fault tolerance.

Xiaoyu Dang wins student paper contest

Xiaoyu Dang, a PhD student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has won first place in the graduate category of the student paper contest at the International Telemetering Conference. His paper, entitled "An Optimum Detector for Space - Time Trellis coded Differential MSK" will be presented on Wednesday morning, 24 October 2007, at the ITC in Las Vegas, NV. Xiaoyu will receive a $1,000 along with travel expenses to attend the conference. Xiaoyu's advisor is Professor Michael Rice.

Micron donates $320K to BYU for microelectronics research

Brigham Young University has announced it will receive a $320,000 donation from the Micron Technology Foundation. This donation will help fund microelectronics research and undergraduate training in the Fulton College of Engineering and Technology.More

'Light pipes' help BYU engineers use a microchip to detect gas vapors

A Brigham Young University professor and his research collaborators have created a portable laboratory the size of a microchip that uses light to detect gases.More

Professor Stirling is awarded STIR Grant

The Army Research Office recently awarded a Short Term Innovative Research Grant to Dr. Wynn Stirling entitled "Socially Coherent Negotiations for Cooperative Multiagent Systems." The objective of this project is to develop a mathematical framework for the design of autonomous decision makers that accommodates sophisticated social behaviors such as cooperation, negotiation, and altuism.

ECEn Faculty selected for DARPA Study on FPGA Design Productivity

The US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) recently awarded a $350k contract to Professor Mike Wirthlin, Brent Nelson, and Brad Hutchings to investigate current and future design methodologies for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FRGAs). Working with colleagues from Virginia Tech, the faculty will investigate and evaluate techniques that may lead to significant improvements in FPGA design productivity. The study will culminate with a DARPA-sponsored workshop on the topic to be held summer 2008.

Seven papers presented at AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference

Graduate students and professors of the BYU MAGICC lab (directed by Profs. Randy Beard, Clark Taylor, and Tim McLain) recently presented seven papers at the AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference. Paper topics include "Multiple UAV Task Allocation Using Distributed Auctions," "Obstacle Avoidance Using Circular Paths," "Wind Estimation Using and Optical Flow Sensor on a MAV," and "Particle Filter Based Mosaicking for Tracking Forest Fires." The conference was held in South Carolina during August 2007.

Two Articles Published in IEEE Transactions

BYU professors and graduate students published two articles this month in IEEE Transactions on Aerospace Electronic Systems. Professors Michael Jensen and Michael Rice and graduate student Adam Anderson authored the article “Aeronautical Telemetry Using Multiple-Antenna Transmitters.” This article develops the theory behind the use of transmit diversity to overcome self-interference when multiple transmit antennas are used for the air-to-ground link in aeronautical telemetry applications. Rice and graduate student Erik Perrins authored the article “Reduced-Complexity Detectors for Multi-h CPM in Aeronautical Telemetry.” This article examines complexity-performance trade-off for the multi-h CPM modulation defined in the IRIG 106-04 standard for aeronautical telemetry.

Professor Publishes Article on Python

Dr. Olipant's article on the use of Python in Science and Engineering is a feature publication for the May/June edition of "Computers in Science and Engineering". The article can be accessed here.

Dr. Wirthlin Honored with Outstanding Faculty Award

On March 8th the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology presented an Outstanding Faculty award to Dr. Michael J. Wirthlin. Professor Wirthlin is recognized for having published eight peer-reviewed articles in the last two years, serving as the ECEn Graduate Coordinator, assisting in the development of the Computer Engineering curriculum and engaging in collaboration with other universities and national laboratories.

Employee Honored with Matt Brown Award

Mark Ormsby, current President of the Utah Rugby Union, has been chosen to recieve the annual Matt Brown Award, which recognizes distinguished BYU Rugby Alumni and Boosters who have given much to promote and support the game at BYU and beyond. Ormsby was honored at BYU's 2007 rugby kick-off dinner. He has worked for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department for over seven years.

Professor's Paper Chosen as One of Most Cited

Prof. Randy Beard's May 2005 IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control article, "Consensus Seeking in Multiagent Systems Under Dynamically Changing Interaction Topologies," has been selected by Essential Science Indicators ( as one of the most cited recent papers in engineering as part of their "Fast Breaking Papers" series for February 2007.

Students from BYU's MAGICC Lab participate in Micro Air Vehicle Competition

BYU was one of eight teams from North America and Europe that participated in the Micro Air Vehicle competition held at Eglin Air Force Base. Grading was based on the MAVs ability to takeoff, navigate to three waypoints, hit a target with a paintball and finally land. This new technology has a host of applications for both military and civilian use.

Recent Alumnus Receives Honorable Mention

Dr. Will Curtis, a research scientist at the Munitions Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory and a recent alumnus of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has recently received honorable mentions for the prestigious John L. McLucas Basic Research Award which recognizes individuals making significant achievements in basic research activities supporting the Air Force mission. Dr. Curtis received the award for pioneering work in the synthesis of control laws for autonomous aircraft and smart weapon systems. Competition for the award is extremely competitive and the honorable mention places Dr. Curtis among the top four engineers and scientists performing basic research in the Air Force. Dr. Curtis received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from BYU in 2002.

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