AETC's research areas include:

  • Quantum Electronics and Optoelectronics
  • Semiconductor Devices
  • Modeling and Design
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Solar Cells
  • Analog-to-Digital Converter Design
  • Design for Reliability
  • Multi-Gigahertz Testing
  • Embedded Testing

To learn more please click on the tabs below to see specific AETC news.

  • Combination of solar PV and wind power generating system.

    Combination of solar PV and wind power generating system.

    Design of novel Solar Cells and Clean Energy Systems is significant part of AETC research activities simultaneously with research in Quantum Electronics and Optoelectronics, Semiconductor Devices, Biomedical Engineering.

    In recent years the importance of clean energy developments became to be a major focus of AETC research efforts.

    As far as the domain of energy sustainability is concerned, the researchers at AETC follow the philosophy of developing low-cost and scalable solutions to the challenges faced by these technologies.

    Wind turbine customized for trucking/antitracking control.

    Wind turbine customized for trucking/antitracking control.

    In 2020 – 2022 students of AETC designed first system, were solar panels and windmill were programmed to work together.

    Ph.D. student, Dhawal Asthana designed and wrote the programmed of tracking/anti-tracking for both, solar and wind subsystems.

    Ph.D. student, Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov, supervised student teams of AETC and students Nashoba High Technical School.

    In joint efforts these two teams designed and tested solar powered lawnmower and solar/electric cart for 4 passengers.

    Lawnmower powered by solar PV power system.

    Lawnmower powered by solar PV power system.

    M.Sc. student, Max Ushakov, together with Ph.D. students did teach classes on clean energy at Nashoba High Technical School.

    Success of AETC clean energy research was noticed and Ph.D. student, Dhawal Asthana, was awarded the Gold Medal on his graduation in Spring semester 2022. In two and half years of Ph.D. studies Dhawal Asthana patented and published 18 research items.

    Selected List of Publications on Clean Energy

    Solar/electric car with 60mile/hour speed for 4 passengers. Designed by AETC students

    Solar/electric car with 60mile/hour speed for 4 passengers. Designed by AETC students.

    • S. Mil’shtein, D. N. Asthana. Brief Comparison of Cascaded and Tandem Solar cells. Proceed. of IEEE PVSC Confer.48, 2021, pp. 2260-2263
    • S. Mil’shtein, M. Zinaddinov, Dhawal N. Asthana. Design and Testing of Solar/Electric Cart. Proceedings of ICASSCT 2021, IOP Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Vol. 1921, 012021, 2021
    • Samson Mil’shtein, Dhawal Asthana, Jeff Scheminger, S. Hummer, Energy Production by Solar Tracking/ Anti-tracking Combined with Wind Turbine. Proceed. IEEE PVSC Conf. 2020, p.1635-1639
    • Samson Mil’shtein, Dhawal Asthana, Solar Cells with Built-in Cascade of Intrinsic Regions. Proceedings of IEEE PVSC Conference, 2020, pp. 1910-1912
    Felicitation with the Dean for Research College Of Engineering Prof. S. Aghara

    Felicitation with the Dean for Research College of Engineering Prof. Sukesh Aghara

    • Dhawal Asthana, Samson Mil’shtein, Economic Assessment of Combination of Wind and Solar with Dual Axis Tracking and Anti-tracking for PV Panels. Proceed. of IEEE PVSC Conf., 2020, pp. 1829-1833
    • D. Asthana, M. Zinaddinov, M. Ushakov, S. Mil’shtein, Cost-Effective Snow Removal from Solar Panels. Proceedings of IEEE PVSC Conference 2019, pp.1312-1315
    • Brooks, W., Wang, H., Mil’shtein, S. Solar harvesting by a Heterostructured Cell with Built-in Variable Width Quantum Well, Proceedings of Low Diment. & Devices Syst. 2018. pp1934-1951.
    • Zinaddinov, M., Mil'shtein, S., Design of Cascaded Heterostructured p-i-i-n CdS/CdSe Low Cost Solar Cell Proceed. of IEEE PVSC Confer. 2017, pp. 2411--2413.
    • Mil'shtein, S., Zinaddinov, M. Cascaded heterostructured a-Si/c-Si solar cell with increased current production. Proceed. IEEE  PVSC Comfer. 2016. pp. 2487—2489.
    • Mil'shtein, S., Valenzuela, J., Podolskiv, V., Inampudi, S. Impact of Solar Cell Technology on Existing Solar Cell Resources (2: pp. 31). Intern. Economic Forum on Energy. Pp.31-34, 2014.
    • Mil’shtein, S., Palma, J. Improved Energy Harvesting by Cascaded Solar Cells. 3rd Internat. NASA Sympos. on Nanotechnology, Energy and Space, pp.47-51.2013.

    Shortened List of Patents on Clean Energy

    • Samson Mil’shtein, M. Zinaddinov, Dhawal Asthana, Maksym Ushakov, Solar panel heating system and method. U.S. Non-Provisional Application No: 16/903,747 June 2020
    • Samson Mil’shtein, Dhawal Asthana, Design and Fabrication Method of Hetero-structured Solar Cell Using Non-Crystalline a-Si/poly-Si. US Utility Patent Application number 17/535,813
  • Important Events at AETC in 2017

    AETC Undergraduate student Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov received the ECE Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Research Award.

    In academic 2016-2017 year Prof. S. Mil'shtein was elected to serve as a member of organizing committee at three international conferences:

    1. International committee of Quantum Electronics Conference on Low Dimensional Systems and Devices LDSD-2016”, August 2016 in Cancun, Mexico.
    2. Organizing committee of International IEEE Technology for Homeland Security Conference -2017”, April 2017, Waltham, Mass.
    3. Organizing committee of IEEE International MWCAS Conference, August 2017 in Boston, Mass.

    Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov presents at the IEEE International Technologies for Homeland Security Conference in Waltham, Mass.

    Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov presents at the IEEE International Technologies for Homeland Security Conference in Waltham, Mass. in 2017.

    At the end of April 2017 ECE B.Sc. student of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) Department., Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov presented his research on "Two-mode Biometrics Using Fingers".

    Congratulations Mukhammaddin!

    Important Events at AETC in 2016

    Bill Brooks impressive presentation at the International Conference in Cancun, Mexico.

    Bill Brooks impressive presentation at the International Quantum Electronics Conference, in Cancun, Mexico in 2016

    At the end of August 2016 ECE M.Sc. student of ECE Dept., Bill Brooks was traveling together with Prof. Sam Mil’shtein to the International Quantum Electronics Conference, LDSD-2016, which was held in Cancun, Mexico.

    Bill Brooks presented at the Conference his research results produced together with ECE Dept. doctoral student, Huan Wang. The novel idea and, mostly, high quality of Bill’s presentation was assessed by the Conference Committee to be the second best student talk of the conference.

    Congratulations Bill!

    AETC undergraduate student, Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov, received for the second year in a row another prestigious award, which is designed for best foreign students.

    AETC undergraduate student, Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov, received for the second year in a row another prestigious award, which is designed for best foreign students. Jeffrey Cosiol International Merit Scholarship provides scholarships to international students pursuing a degree in the Francis College of Engineering. Among most important achievements of Mukhammaddin is not only his high GPA but the fact, that during the freshman and sophomore years he completed the study of junior year as well and became to be senior in Fall semester 2016. Together with good scholastic achievements being 3.8/4 Mukhammaddin is very active in research. Two of his studies on efficient heterostructured solar cells were presented at International IEEE 43rd Conference of Photovoltaic Specialists in June 2016. His biomedical studies on blood vessels in human fingers were submitted for publication to IEEE Biometrics Journal in August 2016.

    In Spring semester of 2016 the team of undergraduate ECE students together with students of Nashoba Technical high school led by Mukhammaddin did designed and built a solar powered lawnmower. The lawnmower was tested in July 2016. Currently Mukhammaddin is engaged in redesign of four-wheel solar/electric car. In that project together with students from ECE and ME Mukhammaddin is responsible for programming and control of the powertrain of the new vehicle.

    Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov working on the redesign of four-wheel solar/electric car.

    Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov working on the redesign of four-wheel solar/electric car.

    Important Events at AETC in 2015

    AETC is proud to announce that an undergraduate student Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov received a special award as one of the best ECE Dept undergraduate students.

    Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov graduated from the National Specialized Physics and Mathematics High School in Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan. It is considered to be the best high schools in Kazakhstan. The school accepts only students with high academic performances. Mukhammaddin was one of the few students, who were accepted with no additional tests due to his achievements in math competitions on a regional level. Mukhammaddin was the number one student in his class. He demonstrated again high academic performance and graduated with all “A” grades except the only “B” in Russian language. M. Zinaddinov SAT subject scores for Mathematics Level 2 and Physics were 760 and 770 correspondingly. His freshmen, 2014 -2015 academic year at UMass was rather challenging but successful with GPA score 3.89/4. The score is high and considered to be excellent as it was achieved by student, whose native language is not English. Mukhammaddin successfully combined academic studies with participation in two research projects. His participation in building third generation solar/electric taxi and leading role in improving mammography diagnostics was very welcomed and appreciated by his team mates. M. Zinnaddinov achievements were noticed by management of UMass. At the end of his freshmen year Mukhammaddin was awarded endowed William and Elizabeth O’shia scholarship as one among the best undergraduate Electrical Engineering students. Being extremely busy with courses and research activities Mukhammaddin does not forget his hobby of drawing.

    A sketch of a Griffin by Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov. Image by Mukhammaddin Zinaddinov
    • The "Lowell Sun" published in the news the following article about AETC Solar Powered Taxi.
    • Professor S. Mil’shtein was elected to serve on Organizing Committee of 4th International NASA Conference on Nanotechnology, Energy and Space. The conference ran on May 12–14, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas.
    • Professor S. Mil’shtein was appointed to serve as the Chairman of the International Electrical Engineering Congress, which will ran from July 13 -15 in Barcelona, Spain. The Congress is comprised of 4 different Electrical and Computer Engineering Conferences.
    Prof. Sam Mil’shtein speaking at an Economic Forum in the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2015.

    During May 2015 Prof. S. Mil’shtein was traveling to Republic of Kazakhstan. He was invited to speak at Economic Forum – 2015. Economic Forum is the part of International Meeting of G-200. Countries such as Australia, Japan, countries of Africa and Latin America are participants of G-200 conferences. At the energy section of the Forum Prof. S. Mil’shtein presented the talk entitled “Future of Solar/Electric Transportation”. The presentation described design and work of AETC students. High interest of the audience and informative facts discuss in the presentation made this talk one of the best presentations at the Forum.

    The President of Academy of Science, N. Aktybaev presents Sam Mil’shtein with the special diploma in Kazakhstan in 2015.

    The President of Academy of Science, N. Aktybaev presents Sam Mil’shtein with the special diploma.

    On May 22, 2015 Prof. S. Mil’shtein was invited to be present at the general meeting of Academy of Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In this meeting the members of Academy voted to elect Prof. S. Mil’shtein as a member (Academician) of the Kazakh Academy. Being absolutely not prepared for the surprise Prof. Mil’shtein needed the help of two people to properly wear the academic cap and gown.

    Professor Martin Margala was awarded the Fulbright-CTU Distinguished Chair position at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Czech Technical University. His 1-year fellowship began on September 1, 2015.

    Important Events at AETC in 2014

    Moment of signing the agreement  between AETC UMass and IPT Academy of Science, Republic of Kazakhstan in 2014.

    Moment of signing the agreement between AETC UMass and IPT Academy of Science, Republic of Kazakhstan.

    Prof. S. Mil’shtein was invited to talk at Energy Forum of G-120 International Meeting on May 22, 2014 in capital of Kazakhstan, Astana. The novel heterostructured solar cells design by AETC team made very positive impression on the delegates of the Forum.Prof. S. Mil’shtein was interviewed by local newspaper and agreement of cooperation between Institute of Physics and Technology (IPT) Kazakh National Academy of Science and AETC was signed by Prof. S. Mil’shtein and Prof. Serekbol Tokmoldin, Director of IPT. The video clip about signing this agreement was shown at local news.

    Prof. S. Mil’shtein participated in 2011-2012 NASA events: 50th Anniversary of Man Flight in Space

    In 2011 the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first man in space, the flight performed by Russian cosmonaut Uri Gagarin. To celebrate this remarkable date, four members of NASA delegation (Profs. A. Ignatiev, A. Freundlich - both from University of Houston - Mrs. S. Tabarovsky, member of the Organizing Committee in Houston and S. Mil’shtein from UMass Lowell) traveled to the first Eco-center established in the Kaluga district to see the newly opened monument of U. Gagarin. They also set a corner stone for the monument of first man on the moon, American cosmonaut Neil Armstrong.

    Prof. S. Mil’shtein was invited to talk about principles of design of high efficient solar cells at the “Second International NASA Symposium on Nanotechnology and Energy in Space." The Symposium was held at the Chernogolovka Research Center of Russian Academy of Science, near Moscow on August 1 – 6, 2011.

    The first high efficient solar cell, described at the Symposium, was designed by UMass Lowell students in the ECE Dept., Advanced Electronic Technology Center and is already produced by students of Houston University. The cooperation between two groups will continue in fabrication of the second solar cell designed at UMass Lowell.

    Attendees of the Symposium were invited to visit the Star city, the Space Research Center of Russian Academy of Science. We were watching the live preparation of Russian cosmonaut for space flight. We also had the pleasure to meet Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev.

    There are 523 cosmonauts around the globe, however only Sergei Krikalev participated in six different space flights. Sergei Krikalev answered questions about his personal experienceand his training. Russian engineers and space scientists openly expressed regrets about ending of the American shuttle program, which was the platform for very successful cooperation of the two countries.

    Profs. A.Ignatiev (left), S. Mil’shtein (center), A. Friendlich (right) at the John Glenn monument in Houston in 2011.

    Profs. A.Ignatiev (left), S. Mil’shtein (center), A. Friendlich (right) at the John Glenn monument in Houston

    Profs. A.Ignatiev (left), S. Mil’shtein (center), A. Friendlich (right) at the Uri Gagarin monument in Houston in 2011.

    Profs. A.Ignatiev (left), S. Mil’shtein (center), A. Friendlich (right) at the Uri Gagarin monument in Houston.

    On Oct. 12 2012, Prof. S. Mil’shtein attended the opening of the Uri Gagarin and Neil Armstrong monuments at the first NASA headquarters in Houston and with Profs. A. Friendlich and A. Ignatiev (both of University of Houston) placed red roses on the monument. The celebration evening took place in Russian consulate in Houston with many Houston dignitaries, representatives of Russian government and NASA officials. Uri Gagarin’ daughter Ludmila and his grandson Sergei were among guests invited by NASA.

    It was then planned to open the monument for Uri Gagarin and for first American austronaut, who orbited the Earth, John Glen in Houston. John Glenn was selected to operate the experimental Mercury spacecraft in the Friendship 7 mission on February 20, 1962. On October 29, 1998, he became the oldest person to fly in space, and the only one to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs, when at age 77, he flew on Discovery.

    The ECE newsletter highlighted this Moscow event:

    The first man on the moon, American cosmonaut Neil Armstrong. He made his first space flight, as command pilot of Gemini 8, in 1966, becoming NASA's first civilian astronaut to fly in space. On this mission, he performed the first docking of two spacecraft, with pilot David Scott.

    N. Armstrong's second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11moon landing, in July 1969. On this mission, N. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent two and a half hours exploring, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit in the Command Module. Unfortunately on August 5th 2012 Neil Armstrong, passed away.

    In 2012 US government and NASA made a decision to install monuments for Uri Gagarin and John Glenn in Houston, TX. On October 12th 2012 Prof. S. Mil’shtein did attend opening of the Uri Gagarin and John Glenn monuments at first NASA headquarters in Houston and put red roses to both monuments together with members of NASA committee Profs. A. Friendlich and A. Ignatiev (both of University of Houston) See figures bellow. The celebration evening took place in Russian consulate in Houston with many Houston dignitaries, representatives of Russian government and NASA officials. Uri Gagarin’ daughter Ludmila and his grandson Sergei were among gests invited by NASA.

    Very open and sincere discussion with the general manager of Russian shuttle program revealed that this program being seven year old did not progress much due to the number of factors. It was regretfully admitted the missing American cooperation in Russian efforts to launch the shuttle from the big flying plane. Looking back at successful American – Russian space cooperation one can hope that in the near future these two countries will join forces in space again.

    Important Events at AETC in November 2012

    On Nov. 9, doctoral student Anup Pillai defended his Ph.D. thesis. The dissertation committee of professors C. Armiento, M. Mufeed, and S. Mil’shtein agreed that the research presented novel development in fingerprinting technology and image processing. The members of the committee said that 60 plus pages describing Anup’ research were not long enough and additional wording was needed. Anup did have additional material which he included into his thesis.

    Homeland Security Conference

    On November 13 – Our 16th doctoral student Anup Pillai and Prof. S. Mil’shtein attended IEEE International Conference on homeland security in Waltham, Massachusetts. Anup Pillai made an oral presentation entitled “Can contactless fingerprinting be compared to an existing database” at morning session of biometrics. The twenty five-minute presentation was extended to about another hour thanks to presence of you people in the room, who were interested in the critical subject of comparison and compatibility between fingerprint libraries, namely, vet ink, digitized fingerprinting, and contactless (touch less) fingerprinting.

    Invention Is a Sustainable, Greener Way to Commute

    Riding electric bicycles is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of cycling in the country. Not only can it give you the freedom and fun of being a kid again, but it is also a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to commute and run errands.

    Christopher Leger, an electrical engineering and math sophomore, and Josiah Hackendorf, a mechanical engineering senior, have created a prototype electric-powered tricycle that would help commuters cut down on air pollution and gas consumption.

    “You can use the trike daily for commuting to school,” says Leger, who lives in Tyngsboro. “Its three-wheel design makes it safer and more stable on the road.”

    A Low-Cost Alternative Commercial electric bikes can cost anywhere from $400 to more than $1,000. “Do-it-yourselfers can follow our design and build one for only $250,” says Leger.

    The trike uses a 500-watt DC motor for the front wheel’s hub, which directly drives the trike at speeds of up to nearly 20 miles per hour. The motor is powered by rechargeable lead-acid batteries that produce a total of 36 volts. A computerized controller adjusts the voltage output and the motor’s speed.

    “Our trike has a range of about 40 to 50 miles on a single charge,” notes Leger. “It weighs about 40 pounds, including the batteries.”

    The trike still has pedals in case the rider wants to exercise, or when there is an electrical/mechanical breakdown, or the batteries simply run out of juice, he adds.

    Next Step: Solar Power

    The students are planning to make improvements to the trike’s design, including replacing the rear basket with another seat so two people can ride at the same time. They also plan to add a solar panel, which will be mounted above the riders to power the motor and act as a sun shade.

    “With the solar panel, you won’t need a storage battery to operate the trike,” explains Prof. Samson Mil’shtein, director of UMass Lowell’s Advanced Electronic Technology Center and the students’ faculty adviser. “It will run directly off the solar panel. But you can certainly add a battery if you want to ride on a cloudy day. On a sunny day, the panel can run the trike and recharge the battery at the same time.”

  • Equipment Is Sustainable, Environmentally Friendly

    Each weekend, an estimated 54 million Americans mow their lawns, consuming about 800 million gallons of gasoline every year and producing tons of air pollutants. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lawn mowers (like snow blowers, chain saws, leaf blowers and similar gas-powered garden equipment) emit high levels of carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas.

    “They also emit hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, pollutants that contribute to the formation of ozone,” states an EPA report. “While ozone occurs naturally in the upper atmosphere and shields the earth from harmful radiation, ozone at ground level is a noxious pollutant. Ground-level ozone impairs lung function, inhibits plant growth and is a key ingredient of smog.”

    Samuel Hamill, a senior electrical engineering student from Lawrence, has created a prototype solar-powered push mower to help cut down on air pollution, gas consumption and noise. “It’s a sustainable, environmentally friendly way of maintaining one’s lawn,” says Hamill, who is scheduled to graduate in May.

    His design is part of his capstone project, with Prof. Samson Mil’shtein as faculty adviser. Alan Rux of the Assistive Technology Program supervises all the senior capstone projects.

    Hamill’s solar panel generates up to 160 watts, enough to power two small DC motors — one for driving the blades of a regular reel mower to cut grass and the other for turning the solar panel. A pair of photoresistors helps the panel keep track of the sun as the mower moves back and forth across the lawn.

    “You don’t need a storage battery to operate the mower,” explains Hamill. “It will run directly off the solar panel. But you can certainly add a battery if you want to mow on a cloudy day. On a sunny day, the panel can run the mower and recharge the battery at the same time.”

    AETC Staff Get Married

    Winter usually brings pandemic of flu, cold in head and other viruses. However in December 2011 some of AETC students were bitten by a new virus; they married one after another.

    In the month of December two AETC graduate students from India were married: Anup Pillai married Kavitha and Vishal Kunnil married Neeraja were married.

    More December 2011 News

    The month of December did bring another pleasant event for AETC. Doctoral student, John Palma, who graduated in the spring semester 2011, became the Professor - lecturer John Palma at our ECE department. There are already two ECE faculty, Joel Therrien (now Associate Professor) and John Palma who did their graduate studies with AETC. We wish John Palma successful professional career.

    Pillai and McPherson Attend 2011 IEEE Homeland Security Conference

    Doctoral student A. Pillai and undergraduate student C. McPherson of the ECE Dept. attended the 2011 IEEE Homeland Security Conference held at Westin Hotel, Waltham, MA. They were demonstrating a contactless handheld fingerprinting system as well as a network protocol secured by using biometrics. The IEEE Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security (IEEE HST) is the leading international conference addressing the challenges of homeland security technology innovation gaps. Since conception, this annual conference has gained prominence and recognition for bringing together science and technology leaders from around the world.

    The demonstration was attended by big crowd of conference participants. The leading technology experts did positively comment the novel work being done by students at the Advanced Electronic Technology Center, UML ECE Dept.

    Doctoral Student Anup Pillai Speaks at LDSD 2011, Mexico

    Doctoral student Anup Pillai recently attended the International Conference on Low Dimensional Structures and Devices. The conference was held at Telchac, Nuevo Yucatan, Mexico from May 22nd-May 27th, 2011. Anup was giving an oral presentation and also presenting two posters. When asked about his experience at the conference, he had the following to say:-

    The conference provided a forum for researchers, engineers, and product development. In addition, the conference also provided me an opportunity to get a broad overview of the field by covering a wide range of growth techniques, materials, nanostructures, characterization, processing, device fabrication, microsystems, applications, and other related topics. It was an indispensable experience as LDSD 2011 was my first international conference outside of United States. This quantum electronic conference had surprisingly large number of solar energy conversion presentations. This indicated to me that a lot of interest is being generated and research is being done in the solar energy conversion area around the world. I also got to experience the Mexican heat and also had a wonderful and a memorable visit to Chechen Itza.

    Researchers Develop Superfast Computer Chip
    Processor Can Make PCs 20 Times Faster

    Frustrated with slow computers? Tired of waiting for your files to download? Researchers from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and UMass Lowell have created a new processor that will pave the way for superfast desktop PCs. This technology will be a boon especially for users who work with vast amounts of data, play video games or do heavy graphic editing. “Our processor’s performance, or data throughput, is five gigabytes per second, which is about 20 times faster than microprocessors currently in the market,” says Assoc. Prof. Martin Margala of UMass Lowell’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Margala worked on the project along with Ph.D. student Sai Rahul Chalamalasetti.

    Margala says the team was able to achieve this breakthrough by squeezing more than 1,000 cores onto the computer chip, called a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). The core is the part of a computer’s central processing unit (CPU) that reads and executes commands. For comparison, today’s PCs have only two, four or 16 cores.

    “We were able to make the FPGA processor run faster by creating more than 1,000 mini-circuits within the FPGA chip,” says Margala. “This effectively turned the chip into a 1,000-core processor, with each core performing a different task.”

    In addition to enhanced processing speed, the new chip design consumes very little energy, so it represents a “greener,” more environmentally friendly option.

    Although the work is still in an early, proof-of-concept stage, Margala believes that FPGA processors will become more widely used in consumer electronics and will help usher in a new era of high-speed computing.

    ECE Students Attend Inventor Conference

    On Feb. 5, 2010, six members of Prof. Sam Mil’shtein group (AETC), Vishal Oliyil Kunnil, Paula Bustos, Michael Paradis, Michael Baier, Michael Moore, and Josh Northrup, participated at the Invention to Venture workshop sponsored but the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA. This was the first event of a series of workshops that introduces university students-inventors and entrepreneurs to the opportunities of funding and commercialization of their invention. The students made a splash after pitching their “Mobile Contactless Fingerprinting and Blood Vessel Mapping System”, and were asked by NCIIA coordinators to return in April to compete for the promise of commercialization and investor backed funding. When asked about their experience, the students relied that they were grateful for the opportunity to compete and that the opportunity to speak with venture capitalists and established entrepreneurs was a great learning experience, especially for those whose future plans are to have their own businesses. The AETC team was the biggest student group among students from different Massachusetts’s universities and colleges (MIT, Boston University, UMass campuses, and others). In April the AETC team is planning to present to investors three projects ready for commercialization, namely, a mobile fingerprint system; credit card and ATM crime preventing electronics with biometric signature; and a method of reducingelectronic waste generated by computers.

    Bustos Receives Special Scholarship

    Graduate student Paula Bustos attended the HENAAC Conference organized by the Great Minds in STEM organization. The HENAAC conference focuses on identifying, honoring and documenting the contributions of outstanding Hispanic American in science, engineering, technology and math. They are dedicated to highlight Hispanic talent in the United States. This is the third time Bustos attended the conference. The HENAAC conference was a great opportunity to meet professionals who have succeeded in the STEM field. Bustos networked with professionals from companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Chevron, Ford, NASA, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and more. As well, Bustos was able to network with other engineering students in the United States. She met people from MIT, Penn State, Cal Pomona, and Florida International University. As a scholarship recipient by Booz Allen Hamilton, Bustos is very thankful for the opportunity to attend the HENAAC conference and meet the Hispanic community in the STEM field. This conference does not only highlight the Hispanic talent but also looks to inspire future generations. After three days of extensive work, Great Minds in STEM gave away World Disney passes to the HENAAC attendees. Bustos went to Disney World for the first time.


    AETC-STL (Submillimeter-wave Technology Lab) Project: Photomixing and Detection Applications using BDT (Ballistic Deflection Transistor) technology

    The project will be jointly managed by Prof. Margala of AETC and Dr. Guy DeMartinis of STL. The focus of this project is on applications of BDT technology in photomixing and as a detection medium. There has been prior work published in literature that demonstrated the capabilities of ballistic devices in mixing two signals of different frequencies and as phase detectors. In both studies the authors explained the theoretical principles of operation and experimentally demonstrated their findings using lower frequency signals in order to reduce the effect of impedance mismatches in their measurements. The student leading this project is Kevin Rosario.

    AETC-NEFCA (New England Forensic Consulting Associates) Project: Comparison of fingerprints taken by ink and paper, live-scan and contact-less technologies

    The project will be jointly conducted by Prof. Mil'sthein of AETC and C. Walsh and Drew Webb of NEFCA. Can law enforcement officers use a fingerprint taken from a crime scene and compare it simultaneously to a wet-ink / digitized and touch-less fingerprint. Dominant presence of wet-ink/digitized fingerprints requires that these questions be answered immediately. In this study, we have identified potential problems that will arise during the inter-comparison of the three libraries of fingerprints. The student leading this project is Anup Pillai.