From left: Paul Plassman, Scott Midkiff, Alireza Mahmoudian, and Wayne Scales
May 31, 2012 — Alireza Mahmoudian has been named winner of ECE's 2012 Blackwell Award for the best research paper by a graduate student. Students are nominated by faculty members and the award winner is selected from among the nominees by the ECE department's Graduate Committee.
Mahmoudian was recognized for two companion papers. The papers were published in the U.S. Journal of Geophysical Research and the European Annales of Geophsicae.
According to his advisor, Wayne Scales, "these papers develop a radar technique for measuring the aerosol (or dust) density in the space environment during active experiments in which turbulence associated with the aerosol layer is modulated by high power radio wave heating."
Mahmoudian spent two summers at the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) Summer Research Campaign in Alaska. He will be graduating this fall and plans to continue his work as a postdoctoral researcher.
The award was established in honor of William A. Blackwell, the former head of the ECE department. Blackwell joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1966 and served as department head until 1981. He is considered the founder of the modern ECE department at Virginia Tech.