Old Dominion University
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Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering




Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowships

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Old Dominion University (ODU) has received a grant from the US Department of Education's Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Program. The program at ODU/ECE is coordinated by Drs. Min Song (msong@odu.edu) and Sacharia Albin (salbin@odu.edu). The primary objective of this program is to prepare outstanding scholars who are well motivated to pursue academic careers that stress teaching and research in the fields of electrical and computer engineering. Four PhD students of superior academic ability who demonstrate financial need will be awarded fellowship package that includes an annual stipend of $30,000, a full tuition waiver, and educational and professional travel allowances. GAANN fellowships are limited to citizens and permanent residents. Women and individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented are especially encouraged to apply.

Old Dominion University is ranked as one of the top 100 engineering institutions in the country for research and development (R&D) expenditures, according to the latest report by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The 2003 overall R&D Expenditure Ranking by NSF places ECE Department at number 29 nationwide. The ECE Department consists of 22 tenured and tenure-track faculty, all of whom possess earned terminal degrees and participate in undergraduate and graduate instruction. These faculty members are active researchers and regularly publish the results of their work. Brief descriptions of the research laboratories at ECE are given below. (More details can be found at http://eng.odu.edu/ece/research/research.shtml.)

The Wireless Communications and Networking (WCAN) Laboratory at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is led by Dr. Min Song. The mission of the WCAN Laboratory is to advance the state-of-the-art in high performance networking and networked applications. The WCAN Laboratory was established with equipment funds (approximately $180,000) from NASA,NSF, and ODU. Currently five PhD students and six Master students use the lab to conduct their research. Representative projects include: Spacecraft Wireless Bus, Wireless Sensor Networks, Wireless Communications, Network Security, Packet Switches Architecture, and Distributed Data Mining of Terrorist Communications.

The Photonics Research Laboratory, headed by Dr. Sacharia Albin, consists of experimentalists and theoreticians devoted to working on design, fabrication and applications of photonic crystal fiber, photonic bandgap devices, nanophotonics and optical fiber lasers. The group also conducts research on fiber Bragg gratings, fiber tapers, and high sensitivity spectroscopy for aerospace applications.

The Systems Research Laboratory is directed by two faculty members, Drs. GonzŠlez and Gray, who are currently advising six doctoral students and one master's student.The laboratory's research activities are funded with grants from NASA Langley Research Center.The primary area of research is in the analysis of stochastic upsets or disruptions of embedded computer systems in safety critical flight control systems as well as in the development of design guidelines to minimize their effect.

The Applied Plasma Technology Laboratory is directed by Dr. Mounir Laroussi. The main research emphasis at APTL is the generation of non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasmas and their applications, including biomedical applications. A novel device that meets exactly such requirements was recently developed. This device is capable of generating a cold plasma plume several centimeters in length. It exhibits low power requirements as shown by its current voltage characteristics. Using helium as a carrier gas, very little ozone is generated and the gas temperature, as measured by emission spectroscopy, remains at room temperature even after hours of operations. The plasma plume can be touched by bare hands and can be directed manually by a user to come in contact with delicate objects and materials including skin and dental gum without causing any heating or painful sensation.

The VLSI Systems and Vision Laboratory was established in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2001 as an initiative to establish a full-fledged embedded systems design center under the leadership of Dr. Vijayan Asari. The laboratory is configured to support the design, simulation and verification of VLSI circuits and systems and contains several up-to-date computer workstations and design software packages. Main research activities in this laboratory include design and development of new algorithms and high performance digital architectures for real-time applications in the areas of digital image processing, artificial neural networks, computer vision, and pattern recognition.

Laser and Plasma Engineering Institute (LPEI), M. Laroussi, Director
The Laser and Plasma Research Institute (LPEI) is a research facility focused on conducting fundamental and applied investigations using Laser and Plasma Technologies. It offers a state-of-the-art facility and a vibrant academic environment where faculty, graduate and undergraduate students engage together in advanced research encompassing fundamental and applied research aspects in the fields of lasers, plasmas, and their applications in engineering.

More information about the faculty and their expertise can be found at http://eng.odu.edu/ece/directory/faculty.shtml.

Applicants may submit the GAANN Information Form to the program directors by July 31 (for fall semester), December 1 (for spring semester), and April 15 (for Summer semester).

Project Directors

Dr. Min Song
Associate Professor
Director, WCAN Laboratory
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Old Dominion University
231 Kaufman Hall
Norfolk, VA 23529
Phone: (757) 683 - 5294
Fax: (757) 683 - 3220
Email: msong@odu.edu
Web: http://www.odu.edu/networking
      Dr. Sacharia Albin
      Professor & Graduate Program Director
      Director, Photonics Research Laboratory
      Electrical & Computer Engineering
      Old Dominion University
      231 Kauffman Hall
      Norfolk, Virginia 23529
      Phone: 757-683 4967
      Fax: 757-683 3220
      Email: salbin@odu.edu
      Web: http://www.ece.odu.edu/~albin/