|UND sweeps spring electrical engineering design competition|
Senior electrical engineering students in the School of Engineering and Mines swept the top three places in the annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Red River Valley (RRV) Section Presentation Contest, held April 26 in Grand Forks.
Each year, the RRV section of the IEEE hosts the competition, which features six oral presentations, three each from UND and NDSU. These projects are the result of the students’ year-long capstone senior design classes in electrical engineering at both institutions. In order to reach the IEEE presentation contest regional design competition, students must be finalists in a local competition judged at each school. Presentations are judged on technical content (25 percent), project originality (25 percent), oral presentation (20 percent), visual presentation (15 percent), and fielding of questions (15 percent).
Aaron Fredrickson received the first place award for his project, "Medical Ultrasound Therapy: Liquefaction of Liver Tumors." This project was initiated to create a linear stage for an ultrasound transducer, in order to perform biomedical research in the area of non-invasive medical ultrasound therapy by means of liquefying cancerous tissue in animals and humans.
Fredrickson is originally from Grand Rapids, Minn. After graduation from Itasca Community College with his associate of science in electrical engineering degree, he transferred to the University of North Dakota. He will graduate with his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degree in May. Fredrickson has accepted a position with 3M in St. Paul, Minn., where he will be a systems engineer. His teammate on this project is Ben Skogerboe, who will also graduate with his BSEE degree in May. Skogerboe recently accepted a position as a systems engineer with Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Placing second at the competition was Brian Berseth, with his project, "Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Sense & Avoid." For UAS to be allowed to operate in the U.S. national airspace, the Federal Aviation Administration requires "an equivalent level of safety, comparable to see-and-avoid requirements for manned aircraft." Since UAS do not have an onboard pilot, they require a "sense and avoid" system that replaces the pilot’s ability to "see and avoid" other aircraft. A ground control station was developed to retrieve and interpret ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) communication signals from properly equipped aircraft, such that collision avoidance algorithms may be developed for UAS to autonomously avoid other aircraft.
Originally from Detroit Lakes, Minn., Berseth is a senior at UND majoring in electrical engineering and honors, with minors in mathematics and entrepreneurial studies. Berseth served as the president of the IEEE student chapter at UND during this past school year. He will graduate with his BSEE degree in August, and he will continue his education in the electrical engineering graduate program at Stanford University in the fall. Berseth was recently awarded a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship to further his graduate studies. His teammates on this project include Carleen Beglau and James Jaszkowiak, who will graduate with their BSEE degrees in May. Beglau has accepted a position as a systems engineer with Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Jaszkowiak has accepted a position as an electrical engineer with Hutchinson Technology in Hutchinson, Minn..
Gina Garman placed third in the design competition for her project, "Active Vision for Navigation and Control." This design project used multiple video cameras to estimate range via stereo vision algorithms, with this depth information used to activate servos on a mobile robot platform for navigation in an unknown environment. The use of video cameras allows the visual data to be obtained without transmitting any electromagnetic or acoustic waves (unlike laser or sonar sensors), and it is potentially useful for navigation applications where stealth is required.
Garman was born and raised in Watford City, N.D., and she has served as the president of the Society of Women Engineers at UND. After graduation with her BSEE degree in May, Garman will begin working for Lockheed Martin in Manassas, Va. In her spare time, she enjoys singing and playing guitar, and often performs for weddings or other events. Garman’s teammates on this project include Ryan Berg and Mike King, who will also graduate with their BSEE degrees in May. Berg recently accepted a position as an engineer with Siemens in the Twin Cities, and King will continue his graduate studies in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign this fall.
-- Jan Orvik, Writer/Editor, University Relations, email@example.com, 777-3621