IEEEXtreme is a global challenge in which teams of IEEE student members, supported by an IEEE Student Branch, advised and proctored by an IEEE member, compete in a 24-hour time span against each other to solve a set of programming problems. This year the worldwide IEEEXtreme competition was held on the weekend of October 25-26. A team of three GSU Electrical Engineering Students: Matthew Cowart (left), Josh Blasius (center) and Stephen Hickman (right), competed in this prestigious event against teams of students from all over the world. In the last ranking, before the end of the competition, our team was situated among the best 100 in the US and the best 1000 in the world.
Georgia Southern University has embarked on a bold journey where no Eagle has ever gone before. GUS, the University’s mascot, has landed safely after being launched into the stratosphere on a mission to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning.
To gain a bird’s-eye view of earth, GUS was attached to a weather balloon and a rig with multiple high definition video cameras and tracking equipment for lift-off at Paulson Stadium. GUS reached an altitude of 102,000 feet before the weather balloon burst and a parachute returned the Eagle mascot to Earth. He traveled more than 70 miles and touched down in some woods outside Mount Vernon, Ga.
“GUS in Space wasn’t just a gimmick because there was a lot of technology behind it,” said University President Brooks A. Keel, Ph.D. “This was a great experiment for our University to blend the wow factor with real science, technology, engineering and math and give our students an opportunity to put textbook material into a real-life situation for a great learning experience.”
The GUS in Space project included the Center for Academic Technology Support, faculty, staff and two students, Cameron Cato and Jeremy Goodman who were responsible for designing the telemetry system to track GUS. “It was quite impressive that what we made could go up more than one hundred thousand feet and survive the extreme cold of 95 degrees below zero,” explained Cato. “All the electronics came through in great shape and were working fine when we recovered GUS.” Goodman took pride in his role in sending GUS into the stratosphere. “The cameras captured some amazing video which shows the curvature of the Earth and should help promote STEM education,” said Goodman. “This is an exciting experience. How many people can say they put something into near space?”
The goal of GUS in Space was to showcase the University’s efforts in STEM education which include practical, hands-on use of technology in the telemetry, satellite and antenna labs. “It’s not difficult to launch something into space with a weather balloon, but to track its every move from launch to landing was really something special for our students,” said Vice President for Research and Economic Development Charles Patterson, Ph.D. “By being able to show the science behind such a fun and entertaining project, we hope to get more children interested in STEM careers.”
Associate Dean of Faculty and Research Programs Karin Scarpinato, Ph.D., said this experiment demonstrated that science does not have to be boring or intimidating and that GUS in Space brought people together who typically don’t work with each other. “This definitely shows how important it is to be interdisciplinary in STEM education, but also shows that what you learn in the classroom can be applied in real life whether it’s doing something fun like putting GUS in space or in a career choice where you will need the same skills,” said Scarpinato.
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 125 degree programs serving more than 20,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education.
Electrical Engineering faculty and students participated in the I2 Explore -STEM Festival activities that offered K-12 students, teachers and families a free event to explore experiments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
K-12 students were guided by EE faculty and students to do experiments with solar cells, robotics, antennas, buoyancy and structures that are related to engineering principles and applications.
The main purpose of the event was to motivate K-12 students towards the STEM area and to increase their interest in the engineering field at an early stage.
EE graduate student Cameron Cato placed first among College of Engineering and Information Technology participants in the 2013 Graduate Research Symposium sponsored by the Georgia Southern University, College of Graduate Studies for his research on Miniaturized Antennas.
A Miniaturized Circularly Polarized, Parasitic Array Antenna for Ground Station Communication with Cube Satellites
Cameron Cato / Sungkyun Lim adviser
A circular polarized, electrically small, two element parasitic array is proposed for ground based communication with cube satellites. Miniaturization is achieved through the use of a top loaded structure along with multiple folds in the driver for close spacing between parasitic elements. Circular polarization is created through the use of a single feed point utilizing perpendicular dipole of differing electrical length. The total volume of the antenna is 54cm X 54cm X 7.14cm (0.262 λ X 0.262 λ X 0.035 λ) and the electrical size of kr is 0.84. The realized gain of the antenna is 4.96 dB and the minimum axial ratio is 0.21 dB.View Poster
Assistant Professor Sungkyun Lim in the Department of Electrical Engineering has been awarded his second Georgia Research for Academic Partnership in Engineering (GRAPE) grant funded by Georgia Power/Southern Company for his project “Realization of cyber-security/intrusion risk free zone for IEEE 802.15-based wireless sensor technologies by controlling the propagation of RF signals.” within the Laboratory for Antennas and Wireless Propagation in the College of Engineering and Information Technology. The goal of this second GRAPE project is to achieve physical cyber security for wireless sensors in power plants/buildings by controlling radio frequency (RF) signals using directive antennas instead of omnidirectional antennas.
Professor Lim, along with his team of graduate and undergraduate researchers, study electrically small antennas, super gain arrays, artificial magnetic conductor (AMC) ground planes and electromagnetic wave propagation. The focus of their research has been developing applications such as RFID-tag/reader antennas, mobile-phone antennas, wireless energy transfer/harvesting, radar and propagation modeling.
Dr. Lim was awarded his first GRAPE grant for research on “Wireless energy harvest for self-powered wireless sensors using dissipated electromagnetic fields.” The goal of this ongoing research is to develop wireless sensors, like those found in cellphones, tablets or other electronic devices, which can automatically use ambient electromagnetic energy to continuously charge themselves. Electronic devices will not require a recharge quite as often when this technology is developed, saving money and energy.