ECE Professor Presents Paper at ASEE Conference

DR_LISA_M_ANNEBERG_1COLDr Lisa Anneberg presented a paper at the 2014 American Society For Engineering Education North Central Section Conference, held on April 4 and 5. The ASEE NCS was hosted by Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science in  Rochester, MI. The paper, entitled “Sustainable Global Engineering Education Program with the USA and China,” details a ten-year collaboration between LTU and SUES (Shanghai University of Engineering Science). Anneberg’s coauthor is Suyun Luo, Assistant Dean of the Automotive College at Shanghai University of Engineering Science, in Songjiang, Shanghai, China.

LTU’s Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering Departments also had a paper in the conference:  “Using NFPA-Funded Capstone Project to Teach Fluid Power and Mechanical Design.” The authors include James Mynderse, Liping Liu, and Selin Arslan. For more information, see http://www.oakland.edu/SECS/asee2014

Professor to Present Conference Paper

JABER_Nabih Dr Nabih Jaber has had a paper accepted for publication in the IEEE NTMS’2014 – the Sixth IFIP International Conference on New Technologies, Mobility and Security. The conference will be held from March 30th to April 2nd at Zayed University, Dubai, UAE. The abstract of the paper entitled “Efficient Home Energy Management System” is as follows:

Consumer domain energy management systems or home energy management system (HEMS) is largely neglected in existing practical smart grid EMS studies. This paper presents a practical HEMS that supports various existing and emerging actors. Some of the proposed features include the support of automatic and manual scheduling and control of the devices, continuous monitoring and efficient notification. The goal of the design is to achieve optimized performance under dynamic situations. For better understanding and implementation of the concepts behind our proposed design, detailed Use Case diagrams of the various actors and their functionalities are presented. A substantial amount of peak shaving/shifting is observed using the proposed application.

Announcement: Call for Papers

huaDr. Kun Hua is serving as the chair of Mobile Multimedia Networks Workshop, in conjunction with the 14th IEEE International Conference on Computer and Information Technology (CIT 2014), which will be held in Xi’an, China, Sep 11-13, 2014. Dr. Nabih Jaber is serving as a Program Committee Member.

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Call for Papers
IEEE CIT 2014 Workshop on Mobile Multimedia Networks
(MMN 2014)

We have witnessed the rapid development of wireless sensor networks over the past decade, with advancements in network communication protocols, system design, signal processing, controls and other aspects. Especially, there has been increasing interest on Mobile Multimedia Networks (MMN) in recent years. Such mobile multimedia networks are extremely valuable in situations where traditional deployment mechanisms fail or just not suitable, and where sensors cannot be manually deployed or air-dropped. Such areas include underwater or airborne sensor networks, robotic sensing, structural health monitoring, advanced health care delivery, video surveillance, traffic enforcement and control systems, etc.   Many challenging and interesting topics will be involved in research of mobile multimedia networks, (e.g., energy-efficient multimedia source coding, MIMO techniques for multimedia delivery, cross-layer optimization, secure multimedia streaming, network localization, coverage and deployment, and cooperative transmission for multimedia delivery, etc.).

The MMN 2014 workshop aims to provide researchers who share similar research interests to meet and address various aspects of analysis, design, optimization, implementation, and application of mobile multimedia networks. In this workshop, we solicit research papers with respect to all aspects of mobile multimedia networks. Particularly, we are interested in the research submissions focusing on the following aspects, but not limited to:

(1)    Capacity modeling, performance analysis, and theoretical analysis
(2)    Experimental and test bed studies, simulation tools
(3)    Joint multimedia processing and communication solutions
(4)    Real-time and reliable multimedia streaming
(5)    Mobile multimedia network architectures, deployments, and heterogeneous applications
(6)    Semantic annotation for mobile multimedia streams processing and management
(7)    Energy-efficient mobile multimedia networks
(8)    Cross-layer optimization for effective communications
(9)    Context/content aware approaches for facilitating multimedia streaming
(10)    Secure multimedia streaming transmission and QoS
(11)    Cooperative transmission for multimedia delivery and collaborative in-network processing
(12)    Energy-efficient multimedia source coding
(13)    Topology control and synchronization protocols
(14)    Distributed source coding and multimedia encoding techniques
(15)    Network localization, coverage and deployment techniques
(16)    MIMO techniques for multimedia delivery

Submissions and Publishing

Papers submitted to MMN2014 should be written in English conforming to the IEEE Conference Proceedings Format(8.5″ x 11″, Two-Column). The length of the papers should not exceed 6 pages + 2 pages for over length charges. The paper should be submitted in PDF format through the EasyChair paper submission system at the workshop website (EasyChair submission link: https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=citmmn2014).

Accepted and presented papers will be included into the IEEE Conference Proceedings published by IEEE CS Press (indexed by EI). Distinguished papers accepted and presented in MMN 2014, after further extensions, will be published in special issues of several SCI/SCIE Indexed Journals.

Submission Deadline:        April 10st, 2014
Author Notification:            May 20th, 2014
Camera Ready:                  June 20th, 2014
Registration Deadline:         June 20th, 2014

Workshop Chairs

Kun Hua, Lawrence Technological University, USA
Tao Ma, Xidian University, China

TPC member list:

Qiang Duan, Pennsylvania State University, USA
Jiancun Fan, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China
Jun Huang, Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, China
Nabih Jaber, Lawrence Technological University, USA
Yanqing, Ji, Gonzaga University, USA
Tigang Jiang, University of Electronic, Science and Technology of China
Honggang Wang, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA
Wei Wang,  South Dakota State University, USA
Yin Wang, Lawrence Technological University, USA
Jianjun Yang, University of North Georgia, USA
Liang Zhou, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, China
Ruonan Zhang, Northwestern Polytechnical University, China

A Dozen NSF Power Engineering Scholarships Awarded; More Available

huaScholarships have been awarded to seven students at Lawrence Technological University and five at Monroe County Community College (MCCC) under a scholarship program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to address the need for more engineers for the power industry.

The five MCCC scholarship recipients are expected to enroll at Lawrence Tech within the next year.

As a result, the full five-year grant of $598,000 for the Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program has been approved based on the results during the first year under the leadership of Assistant Professor Kun Hua of the Department of Electric and Computer Engineering.

Thanks to the NSF grant, Lawrence Tech is offering $10,000 scholarships for two years to community college graduates to complete a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a power engineering concentration. Community college students working on their associate degree in this area also qualify.

Responding to an impending national shortage of power engineers needed for the nation’s electricity production plants and distribution system, last year NSF awarded LTU the five-year grant to provide scholarship assistance to students in this field.

Power engineers develop, maintain, and modernize “the Grid,” the vast network of transformers, generators, motors and electronics that supply electrical power.

LTU’s S-STEM scholarship recipients gain additional knowledge about the power industry from outside speakers, field trips and participation in professional organizations. Internships and job placement are also part of the scholarship program.

“LTU is leveraging its network of local and regional partnerships to aid in the recruitment, retention, and job placement of the S-STEM scholars,” said Hua, the S-STEM advisor.

One of those partners is DTE Energy, which has a specific need to hire more nuclear engineers for its Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station near Monroe. DTE Energy worked with Monroe County Community College in developing the associate degree in nuclear engineering technology, and graduates of that program are eligible for the scholarship program to continue their studies at LTU.

Guest Speaker Addresses Smartgrid Students

ECE.guest.8160_sDr Jaber’s smartgrid students received a presentation from Mr Clifford Grimm. Grimm works with DTE Energy in Load Research. He is also Chairman of the Demand Response Working Group at the Midwest ISO (MISO), and a member of Michigan Smart Grid Collaborative Steering Committee.

The talk emphasized the importance of knowing the quantity and timing of customer electricity usage.

“We were fortunate to have Mr Grimm as our speaker,” said Jaber. “My students and I enjoyed every part of it because it was informative as well as engaging. The topic, ‘Load Research – The Measurement of Customer Energy Usage,’ was much appreciated.”

One of Jaber’s students expressed gratitude in an email: “Thank you for the great opportunity today. It was great and informative and not every professor would go the extra mile. I really do appreciate it.”

Smart Grid Collaborative Presentation by Dr. Jaber

The Smart Grid Collaborative meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 20th from 1:00 until 3:30 in the Forum Room at the Library of Michigan in downtown Lansing. Dr. Nabih Jaber will be giving a presentation titled “Ideas and benefits of education and collaboration for more efficient smart grid communications”.  For a brief synopsis, click here.

ECE Professor Authors Journal Paper on Image Segmentation

Dr Umasankar Kandaswamy and colleagues from Washington University St Louis have had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods. The paper, entitled “Automated condition-invariable neurite segmentation and synapse classification using textural analysis-based machine-learning algorithms”, describes a fully automated machine-learning approach to high-resolution live-cell imaging studies. The present lack of such tools, which can handle varying image acquisition conditions, represents a challenge in biomedical image analysis (which must otherwise be performed manually by physicians, at great cost). The new algorithm is shown to be accurate and to maintain its performance levels under a wide range of image acquisition conditions. Congratulations to Dr Kandaswamy on an interesting and significant publication!

Electrifying Your Engineering Lab Sessions

Dr Nabih Jaber has written an article to help lab instructors improve their teaching performance and offer students the best possible experiences in lab.

Introductory paragraph from the article:

Engaging students in a lab-based learning environment that is both safe and helps students understand the material is an important component of the responsibilities of instructors and Graduate/Teaching Assistants (GAs/TAs) in engineering. This article is designed to help new and experienced instructors/GAs/TAs who are teaching in labs to help their students get the most from their classes. Instructors/GAs/TAs will be referred as instructors from here on. Lab instructors are involved in many activities in their classes, including resource allocation, class preparation, grading student work, using specialized engineering equipment, software-based labs, and maintaining safety in the lab. Hence, this article will give the readers some tools to help them design lab-based lessons and facilitate discussions that engage their students in their own learning and help them to apply theoretical concepts to the practical laboratory setting.

The following major points are addressed:

  • What makes a lab effective?
  • Leading engaging labs
  • Planning a laboratory session
  • Preparing for the lab
  • Supervising the lab
  • Safety in the lab
  • Student performance evaluation

The article is available as a docx file and can be accessed here: download-article.

Professor Coauthors Book on Engineering Mathematics

Dr Michael Cloud has coauthored the second edition of Functional Analysis in Mechanics, a title in the Springer Monographs on Mathematics series. The first edition of the book, published by Springer in 2002, was written by Leonid P Lebedev (a mathematician and mechanicist at the National University of Colombia) and Iosif I Vorovich (deceased, formerly of Rostov State University, Russia, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences). The new 316 page book offers a brief, practically complete, and relatively simple introduction to applied functional analysis. It should be of interest to researchers, graduate students, and practicing engineers.

Smart Blood Glucose Meter

Students Kevin Mason and Zeran Gu collect data from different test strips. Photo by Michael Hall (LTU College of Architecture).

Article and graphics submitted by Dr. Umasankar Kandaswamy.

On a certain level, almost everyone is acquainted with the fact that self-blood-glucose measurement is an intrinsic and important part of a diabetic patient’s healthy life. However, only 17 million of us fully understand how heavily “living a near normal life” for a diabetic patient depends on “how effectively one can control and regulate” his or her blood glucose level. In other words, nearly 6% of the US population must self-measure the blood glucose level on a regular basis — in most cases several times a day — and adjust the insulin therapy accordingly (click here for further information on diabetes and its impact).

Since its introduction in 1970, the concept of self-measurement has grown from an obscure visual evaluation method requiring a large volume of blood (up to 25 microliters), to the use of fast and reliable electronic systems, referred to as blood glucose meters, that use electrochemical test strips to quantify blood glucose levels. Even though several types/brands of meters are commercially available for self-measurement — with options ranging from “smallest volume of blood needed” to “least amount of time taken” — no existing meter supports the option of interoperability. Simply put, if we buy a particular brand of test meter, we are forced to buy that brand’s test strips all the time. In most cases patients must endure an extensive period of trial and error before figuring out which meter/test strip combination is cost effective, easy to use, reliable, long lasting, and portable. To solve this problem, my students Kevin Mason (Electrical and Biomedical Engineering) and Zeran Gu (Mechanical Engineering) are working with me to develop a next generation smart blood glucose meter that is highly interoperable and convenient. In addition, the smart blood glucose meter is designed for compatibility with all types of mobile devices (e.g., iPad, iPhone, Android, Tablets).

The heart of the Smart Blood Glucose Meter is an electronic system called a transimpedance amplifier, which senses the electrochemical current (70 – 120 microamperes) produced by the glucose-induced reaction in a test strip and converts it to a readable voltage output (0 to 2.5V). Figure 1 shows a typical response of a transimpedance amplifier constructed in our LTU lab.

Figure 1. Quantifying glucose variation using One-touch-ultra test strip.

T1 instant (shown in Figure 1) is when the glucose is introduced at the test strip. After a so-called incubation period (the time period between T1 and T2), the output voltage of the amplifier starts to change in proportion to the rate at which gluconolactone (a resultant of the reaction between glucose and a mediator) is produced, thus relating the rate of change of the output voltage to the glucose concentration present in the test strip. Figure 2 shows the rate of change of the output voltage from the transimpedance amplifier for glucose concentrations ranging between 10 mg/dL to 400 mg/dL.

Figure 2. Change in glucose concentration impacts the rate of electrochemical reaction.

It can be observed that different glucose concentration levels produce output responses with distinct rise times, establishing a strong correlation between the glucose driven electrochemical reaction and the observable output voltage. Figure 3 shows the change in rise time (in seconds) for different values of glucose concentration and for three types of commercially available test strips: One-touch Ultra, Agamatrix, and Accu-Check. Experimental data shown in Figures 2 and 3 are average responses of three different sets of data collected by Kevin Mason during Spring and Summer 2012 using Electronic Explorer Kit and the Diligent-Waveforms software package.

Figure 3. Variation in rise time measured in seconds for different values of glucose concentration. (A) One touch ultra, (B) AgaMatrix, (C) Accu-Check.

Starting this Fall, students will be working on Phase II of the project. Phase II would involve finalizing the communication protocol (through which the transimpedance circuitry and mobile devices will communicate with each other), and developing an android/iPhone app through which the user will be able to access the device. Figure 4 shows the 3D rendering of the Smart Blood Glucose Meter designed by Natalie Haddad (student of College of Architecture, makeLab).

Figure 4. 3D rendering of the proposed smart blood glucose meter.

 

Professor Coauthors New Book on Engineering Mathematics

Dr Michael Cloud has cowritten a new text entitled Advanced Engineering Analysis: The Calculus of Variations and Functional Analysis with Applications in Mechanics. The book, published by World Scientific Publishing Company in March 2012, was produced in conjunction with Leonid P Lebedev (a mathematician at the National University of Colombia) and Victor A Eremeyev (a mechanicist with Otto von Guericke University, Germany, and South Federal University, Russia). The book’s preface states that “The present text offers rigorous insight and will enable an engineer to communicate effectively with the mathematicians who develop models and methods for machine computation. It should prove useful to those who wish to employ modern mathematical methods with some depth of understanding.”

Lawrence Tech Helps Develop a ‘Smart’ Glucose Meter

As published in Innovation Magazine

For nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes, using a glucose meter to check their blood sugar levels – often several times a day – is as routine as brushing their teeth or taking a shower. Monitoring and tracking these levels and compiling the patient’s history are critical to the proper control of diabetes, but the glucose tests are intrusive and cumbersome. Up until now there has been no direct connection with physicians or other health-care professionals.

InteractiveMD, a “telehealth” company based in Boca Raton, Fla., wants to take this medical technology to the next level by developing a “smart” glucose monitor that can be plugged into virtually any mobile communication device to acquire, display, and transmit blood glucose levels.

A Lawrence Tech student team led by Umasankar Kandaswamy, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is working with InteractiveMD to develop a working prototype. Launched in early February, the project’s first phase is slated for completion by early April.

“The future of diagnostic medicine hugely depends on reliable and simple devices that are both interoperable and interactive,” Kandaswamy said. “What we are trying to achieve is a device that provides maximum comfort and ease of use.”

The glucose meter is a solar-powered device, which means the user never has to worry about replacing its battery. Furthermore, because it uses an audio port to communicate with the smart phone, the user doesn’t need any special cord or base station to connect to a smart phone or tablet.

“One of the main missions of our various companies is to bring health-care access to the point where most people can get connected using a mobile device, such as an iPod, iPad, or any type of smart phone,” said Jesse Kessler, CEO of InteractiveM (www.interactivemd.com).

“The goal is to have a mobile diabetes application that can not only take tests throughout the day intermittently but can also store that data on a website to give the users and their physicians access to it,” he said. “This is taking it to a new level.”

The Lawrence Tech prototype is unique in that the monitor is small and easy to use, yet extraordinarily rich in features due to the marriage with a smart mobile device. Using the smart phone app, consumers will be able to choose options to track their activity, see how their day-to-day activity impacts their blood glucose level, and share the data with a medical professional. Consumers can also keep a log of their daily meals, workouts, and other activities.

“These details become very useful for getting the proper care from physicians,” Kandaswamy said. “Traditional diagnostic devices will give the user just one piece of information, but when we tie the diagnostic technology to the user’s smart phone, we get the whole enchilada.”

Robust Adaptive Software Radio Communication System

Dr Kun Hua and student Robert Reichel in the LTU Wireless Communication Lab.

Article by Dr Kun Hua

The Wireless Communication Lab is now available for undergraduate senior projects and graduate class projects involving Software Defined Radio.

I am using seed grant funding to develop an adaptive and robust software radio communication system with my undergraduate and graduate students. The aim is to generate an automotive embedded system to scan commercial radio stations and automatically select a station that is currently playing music, sports, a talk show, weather information, etc. This would allow users to skip commercials and listen to preferred content continuously without having to manually scan for stations. The system is designed to perform real time analysis of an audio stream through pattern recognition, data mining, nonlinear optimization, signal processing, and embedded techniques. Features and more advanced adaptation algorithms can be implemented at a later stage. In the future, with just one click, you will be able to listen to all live local games — Red Wings, Lions, Pistons, Wolverines, Spartans — whether you are driving along the coast of California or skiing in rural Colorado.

Adjunct Faculty Feature: Professor Ben Sweet

Greetings!

My name is (“Prof.”) Ben Sweet. My primary professional experience is in software engineering for real-time embedded applications, mainly for automotive products. (We make the little “smart” boxes under the hood, behind the dashboard and door panels, and under the seats of your cars. If we do our jobs right you never know that they are there!)

I presently work at Autoliv Electronics in Southfield, Michigan. My title is Senior Algorithm Engineer. In this role, I work on a team that implements and integrates radar safety features, such as “Blind Spot Monitoring” and “Rear Cross Path Traffic Detection.” I am also involved in an organizational team to define a corporate standard and process for defining System Architectural Design.

Throughout my career as a practicing software engineer I have been involved in all aspects of the software/product development life-cycle in some way (some aspects more than others.) I have also held “management” roles (although I MUCH prefer the “engineering” roles!)

In the evening I am an adjunct instructor at LTU. I have been teaching here since 1994 – just over eighteen years at this writing. I teach primarily for the departments of Electrical Engineering (ECE), and Math & Computer Science (MCS.) I also advise Senior Project Teams, and offer specific guidance with respect to the software development aspects of projects that contain microcontrollers. (Do NOT just “code it up!” I would much rather offer guidance at the beginning of a project than watch a team flounder in endless “debugging” as the final project presentation approaches.) In addition, I serve as the LTU IEEE Student Branch Mentor. I have also developed and given seminars under my LLC, TEKNOWLEDGE.

I feel VERY strongly about the need to enhance (and perhaps even “re-architect” to some extent) the “Embedded” related courses (i.e.: the content of the various courses, their expected outcomes, and how they integrate together.) However I cannot do it alone. I would be interested in working with a team (perhaps consisting of both faculty and students – and perhaps from various colleges and departments) to address this very challenging prospect. Given the rate of change of the related technologies and the associated development tools, we cannot sit still without actually falling behind. In order to keep up with the pace of technology, the needs of the companies that hire our graduates, and with the programs provided by the competing educational institutions, we need to address this important (and perhaps somewhat invisible) area of technology. I am looking for the right team, opportunity, and impetus.

My education includes a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University, and a Master’s from Wayne State University in Electrical and Computer Control Systems. I consider myself a perpetual student; one that really likes “show and tell.” I am constantly trying to learn and apply new ideas, techniques, and technologies; I always learn a great deal from my students. (Note that “Electronics” and “Software” are rapidly evolving fields, so ALL practitioners must engage in “lifelong learning” to remain relevant; we are NEVER “done” with school!)

I am proud to say that three of my four children are presently attending LTU. (So if I am seen embracing a student in the hallway, it may not be that scandalous!) They are making their own individual and unique impressions in the LTU fabric.

I hope that our students enjoy their learning experiences here at LTU as much as have enjoyed teaching them.

ECE Professor Coauthors Journal Paper on Interval Analysis as a Computational Tool for Students

Dr Michael Cloud has published a paper entitled Automatic Error Analysis Using Intervals in the February 2012 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Education. The paper, co-written with Dr Edward Rothwell of Michigan State University, describes how a relatively new branch of mathematics known as Interval Analysis can aid engineering undergraduates in doing routine error calculations.

The field was founded by Dr Ramon E Moore, formerly of Ohio State University. Drs Moore and Cloud teamed up with Dr Baker Kearfott of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to write the book Introduction to Interval Analysis, published by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) in 2009.

ECE Professor to Retire After 26 Years

 

Dr William (“Bill”) Kolasa is teaching his final set of courses for the ECE Department this semester.

Kolasa earned the PhD in physics from the University of Windsor in 1982. He joined LTU (then LIT, or Lawrence Institute of Technology) in 1986 after working as Group Leader for the General Dynamics Land Systems Division in Troy. Prior to that, he was Senior Engineer at the Bendix Engineering and Development Center in Southfield. His son Bill earned the BSME from LTU.

“Bill is an enthusiastic, animated lecturer: no one falls asleep during his lectures,” said professor and former department chair Dr Richard Johnston. “His contributions to the program will be deeply missed.”

“Dr Kolasa will be sorely missed by the students,” added ECE Technician Martha Thompson. “They really appreciate the care he puts into teaching.”