News | ECE | Virginia Tech

2017 Annual Report


Cover Story

GameChangineer: Learning logic and language through video game design

GameChangineer, developed by ECE's Michael Hsiao, uses video game design to keep students interested and motivated while introducing programming concepts and reinforcing English language lessons.


Objectively detecting ADHD

ECE Professor Louis Beex is researching and developing a method to diagnose ADHD based on data alone, which may not even require a physician to be present.

A culture of change: The tech changes—should the education?

Supported by a $2 million National Science Foundation grant, the ECE department is preparing its culture and curriculum for the challenges and innovations of the future.

Li receives CAREER Award to reinvent the voltage regulator

ECE's Qiang Li was awarded the NSF CAREER award to develop a voltage regulator that reduces microprocessor power consumption and increases battery life by 50 percent or more.

Rockets in the polar night: Reading the atmosphere by starlight

ECE Professor Scott Bailey and his team launched a NASA rocket experiment into the polar night to measure the altitude profile of a noxious upper-atmospheric gas.

Flying packets: Students launch SDR into space

The Virginia Tech RockSat-X team launched a payload on a NASA sounding rocket. The payload demonstrated the commercial viability of software-defined radios in space.

Textbooks to tarmac: Making solar-powered flight a reality

ECE alumna Paige Kassalen is the youngest ground crew member on the world's first solar-powered plane (Solar Impulse 2), which circumnavigated the globe in 2016.

New Faculty Members

Reliable, energy-efficient heterogeneous networks-on-chip

Paul Ampadu dreams of putting more than 1,000 electronic/photonic/nanomechanical cores on a single chip by developing reliable, energy-efficient, heterogeneous networks-on-chip.

Powering students' practical proficiency

Besides updating the lessons and equipment, ECE Instructor Arthur Ball is refocusing the labs to give students a working understanding of how to design circuits as well as analyze them.

Cyberphysical maneuvers: Safe, efficient autonomous vehicles

Besides developing embedded and cyberphysical systems, Tam Chantem is investigating methods to increase their efficiency while securing them against malicious attacks.

Fortifying algorithms for autonomous transportation

Ryan Gerdes must think like a hacker to fortify autonomous transportation systems at many different levels: outside, inside, and between cars.

Cybersecurity at a distance: Coordinating ECE courses online

Kendall Giles joined ECE to develop new courses, teach, and help coordinate the department's involvement with Virginia Tech's Master of Information Technology program.

Training computers to anticipate visual consequences

Jia-Bin Huang is crafting algorithms that teach computers how to understand and synthesize visual data—both images and video.

Multi-scale planning and distributed decisions at scale

Ryan Williams investigates how large-scale autonomous systems can coordinate and compute in a distributed and decentralized way.

Student Projects

Little box, big power: Shrinking power inverters

ECEs Future Energy Electronics Center team placed third in Google's $1 Million Little Box Challenge to drastically decrease the size of a power inverter.

Going Deep-X: ECE team advances to XPRIZE semifinals

Virginia DEEP-X, a team of students and faculty led by ECE Professor Dan Stilwell, advanced to the semifinals in the $7 million XPRIZE competition to map the ocean.

In the loop: Propelling transportation into the future

Virginia Tech Hyperloop students competed against teams from around the world, testing their pod design along SpaceX's one-mile testing track.

Amped up: AMP lab students win Best BeagleBone

Thanks in part to resources from the Autonomous Mastery Prototyping Lab, two ECE students built a BeagleBone-based speaker system that won Texas Instruments' BeagleBone Award.