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Student and Faculty Awards

Professors Win AT&T Prize for Technology and Environment

Departmental Students and Mentors Recognized

Silicon Solar Solutions Wins Competition

University of Arkansas & APEI receive R&D 100 Award

Students Win Prestigious Texas Instruments Analog Circuit Design Award

Derik Trowler and Bret Whitaker, 2008 graduates of the Electrical Engineering Department, recently received first place in Texas Instruments' "University Analog Design Contest" and became the winners of the "Engibous Prize" for Innovation in Analog. They will split a monetary award of $10,000. The competition involved teams composed of a minimum of two members from at least 16 universities. Second and third places went to The University of Arizona and Ohio State respectively. More information about the contest can be found at: Analog Circuit Design competition.

Their senior design project, which became their contest entry, presented a scaled down grid-connected battery energy storage system capable of bidirectional operation. In the "discharge" mode the system draws energy from the batteries and supplements the grid. In the "charge" mode the system draws energy from the grid and charges the batteries. The project utilized a bidirectional dc-dc converter, h-bridge inverter, transformer, three 12 V lead-acid batteries and the necessary control circuitry.

A full-scale battery energy storage system would mainly be used in grid demand peak shaving applications. The batteries are charged at night when demand is low and energy can be generated at a lower cost. That stored energy is then injected back into the grid during peak demand periods. This allows power plants to operate on a more predictable output profile and decreases the need for costly power generation during peak periods.

Energy storage systems have several other benefits. They can improve power quality, prevent brown-outs, and help postpone costly upgrades to substations, thereby allowing capital to be redirected elsewhere.

This project was funded by American Electric Power (AEP), and was designed to function similarly to the large scale sodium sulfur (NAS) battery systems already being implemented in AEP's "gridSMART" activities.

Dr. Roy McCann wins the College of Engineering
Outstanding Teacher Award

Roy McCann, associate professor of electrical engineering and director of the Control Systems Laboratory, received the College of Engineering's 2008 Imhoff Outstanding Teacher Award. Since his arrival in 2003, Dr. McCann has made many contributions towards integrating engineering theory and practice for undergraduate students within the classroom and through design-oriented activities with practical applications.

Dr. McCann serves as a faculty advisor for the University of Arkansas SolarSplash boat team. His interaction with students grooms them for their future roles as leaders in project management and electrical design. To date, Dr. McCann has mentored and coached over 30 electrical engineering students through the SolarSplash competitions.

Dr. McCann is dedicated to expanding horizons for students. He has developed new courses to strengthen the technical electives that are available to seniors. In addition, he has worked diligently to recruit students from historically black colleges and universities to pursue graduate degrees with the support of the university's George Washington Carver Project. His dedication to excellence in teaching will benefit his students for years to come.

Awards Received by Students of Dr. Magda El-Shenawee

Jordan Greenlee, Junior undergraduate, has received the following awards:

  1. Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship of $7,500 for the 2008/2009 academic year. The title of his research project is "An Interdisciplinary Approach to Full Breast Mathematical Modeling."
  2. State Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) of $3,353 to support his research from January 1 to August 15, 2008. His research project is "Computational Model of Breast Blood Vessels and Ducts".
  3. NSF/IREE Grant of $7250 to study abroad at the University of Dundee in Scotland during the spring semester of 2007.
  4. Honors College Study Abroad Tuition Grant of $3000 for the spring of 2007 at the University of Dundee in Scotland.
  5. Honors College Research Travel Grant of $825 to attend and present at the Ohio Collaborative Conference on Bioinformatics in June 2-4, 2008.

Lauren Megee, Junior undergraduate, has been awarded NSF/IREE Grant of $4952 to travel to France from May 18-August 13, 2008. She will conduct research on breast cancer at the University of Technology of Troyes in Troyes, France.

Jessica Rutledge, Junior undergraduate, has been awarded the MicroEP site REU grant of $6000 to conduct research on signal processing, software and hardware, in the electrical engineering department for 10 weeks from May 18 to July 26, 2008. Jessica will work with Dr. Magda El-Shenawee and Dr. Scott Smith.

Douglas Woten, PhD student, has received the following awards:

  1. Best Student Paper of $300 in the Competition at the 2008 Applied Computational Electromagnetics Symposium in Niagara Falls, Canada, March 30 - April 4, 2008. The title of his paper is "Breast Skin Effect on Scattered Electromagnetic Fields".  
  2. NSF Fellowship of $121,500 to pursue his graduate degree from June 2006-May 2009  

Mohammad Reza Hajihashemi, PhD student, has received the following awards:

  1. Honorable Mention Paper of $1000 in the Student Paper Contest of 2008 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation in San Diego, CA, July 5-12, 2008. The title of his paper is "Level Set Algorithm for Shape Reconstruction of Multiple Conducting Cylinders with Arbitrary Cross-Sections".
  2. NSF Cyberinfrastructure Grant of $6500 to spend 11 weeks at the Supercomputer Center of San Diego for training and experience on using the supercomputing facilities to speed up his computational computer codes for shape reconstruction.  

Seth Shumate, MS/PhD student, has received the NSF/IREE Grant of $16,250 to travel to Scotland from June 8 to December 3, 2008 to conduct research at the University of Dundee on the subject of mathematical biology models of breast cancer.