FIU Receives $1.69 Million to Support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Research and Education |  FIU News

FIU Receives $1.69 Million to Support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Research and Education | FIU News

FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) has received three awards totaling $1.69 million from the Department of Defense (DoD) in support of the research, education, and goals of the Department of Defense.

The FIU has received awards as part of 2022 Department of Defense Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions Research and Teaching Program.

“We have an important and long-standing partnership with the Department of Defense that not only supports the interdisciplinary research we conduct, but also the academic enrichment of our diverse student body,” said John L. Volakis, dean of the Graduate School. College of Engineering and Computers Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “We are grateful to the Department of Defense for its continued cooperation and generous donation of state-of-the-art equipment that will support important research priorities for the Department of Defense.”

Complete the fleet

Professor Dwayne McDaniel and his research team have received an award for two robots from Boston Dynamics. Inspired by a dog’s biology, Spot bots are designed to capture data as they navigate rough terrain.

“We want to reduce the risks to soldiers and have robotic platforms take risks instead,” said McDaniel, principal investigator for the Department of Defense award. “Robots will likely be used in areas without Wi-Fi or GPS, so one of the things we’ll be doing is developing new communication and planning methods for robots and soldiers.”

Seeing like Ant-Man

The Department of Defense award was given to CEC Professor Daniela Radu for studying how optical communication between components in computer chips can eliminate the need for wires, making electronics lighter overall. With funding from the Department of Defense, the FIU is acquiring a transmission electron microscope (TEM), which can pick up details as small as billionths of a meter across. The technology will enable faculty to show undergraduates samples of material at the atomic level.

“If you replace electronic communications with the light emitted by nanoactuators, you reduce the need for wires, and so you go toward ultra-small, very lightweight components. But to miniaturize these electronics that send and receive light, you have to be able to see on a small scale,” Radu said. Prize Principal Investigator, “You Must Be the Size of Ant-Man”.

Professor Cheng Yulai of CEC and Associate Professor of Physics Hebin me from the College of Arts, Sciences and Education on the scholarship, with a focus on quantum science research that will be facilitated by access to TEM.

Control electronics at the atomic scale

Emerging electronics and biomedical electronics perform very specific and important functions that every aspect must be just right. For example, a medical device that enters the human body needs to be packaged so that it can retrieve health information and perform the required electronic treatment, but its size and interactions do not harm the body.

CEC professors Pulugurtha Markondeya Raj and Vladimir Pozdin received an award from the Department of Defense for research on packaging devices for health monitoring, therapeutics, high-bandwidth communications and computing power management. The team will purchase an atomic layer deposition tool, which forms coatings at the atomic level.

“For undergraduates, this will be a bridge between basic science in the classroom and the next generation of technology with immediate market appeal,” said Pologurtha, Principal Investigator of the award. “This will allow students to apply their fundamental knowledge about engineering to design and build highly efficient devices at the atomic level by foundational principles.”

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