WVU Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

WVU Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources - Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering - Lane Signals - August 2019 - lcsee.statler.wvu.edu

Letter from the Chair

Dear Alumni and Friends:

I’m pleased to introduce the re-launch of the Lane Department newsletter. Although the format has evolved from its previous printed version, this electronic newsletter will continue to serve as a way to promote the achievements of our students and faculty.

While this has been a busy year for the entire department, I would be remiss if I did not take the opportunity to recognize Dr. Brian Woerner who has recently stepped down from his service as department chair after being in that role for 15 years. Thanks to his leadership, the Lane Department has seen tremendous growth and success, whether that be measured by increasing enrollments, new programs, the impact of our research, or the accomplishments of our students.

This leads to our first story ... Building upon the success of EcoCAR 3, WVU has been selected to compete in the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge. Professor Woerner will continue to play a major role in the department by leading LCSEE’s contribution to EcoCAR, which will focus on connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology. We look forward to the challenge of another competition, one that will see an increasing role for LCSEE students who now have the option to do their senior design projects on topics related to EcoCAR.

And speaking of student success stories, our robotics team has continued its streak of victories. Its most recent was at NASA’s Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge, its second win in three years.

In addition to national recognition, there have also been a number of accolades here at home. Two members of the Lane Department family were selected as Most Outstanding MountaineersProfessor Powsiri Klinkhachorn (WVU Ph.D., 1983), who leads our competitive robotics team, and alumnus William Cawthorne (WVU B.S., 1994; M.S., 1997; Ph.D. 1999) who works at General Motors and has been generously serving as the industrial mentor for our successful EcoCAR team. Additionally, the Amateur Radio Club (ARC) was selected WVU’s Outstanding Student Organization by the Student Government Association.

In faculty news, we hired Dr. Brian Powell (WVU M.S., 2006; Ph.D., 2018) as a new teaching assistant professor. Powell has been awarded a grant from Google to develop a new sequence of courses based on Python and targeted for non-engineers. This helps to strengthen the role of the Lane Department in fostering technical literacy throughout the university.

Dr. Kevin Bandura, who has been on the faculty as an assistant professor since 2015, has taken a leading role in our collaborations with WVU’s world-class astrophysics program. In the stories linked below, you will be able to read about his work on the CHIME instrument, which was recently documented in his article in the prestigious journal Nature.

While it is impossible to point out all student accomplishments, I would like to call attention to one of our Ph.D. students: Claudia Flores-Saviaga, who has been awarded a competitive fellowship from Facebook. Fellowships and scholarships can be transformational for students. They can also be an important tool for recruiting. Along these lines, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Katerina Goseva-Popstojanova, the Lane Department has received an award from the NSF that will provide scholarships for students studying cybersecurity.

This 2019-2020 academic year promises to be an exciting one for the Lane Department. I hope to share many more good things with you in the next newsletter, and in the meantime, I look forward to working with you to continue to move the department forward.


Matthew Valenti, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor and Interim Chair

Team leads and the advisors for EcoCar include (front row, from left) Joshua Strogen (engineering manager), Nikola Janevski (CAV co-lead), Haleigh Fields (communications manager), Curtis Stapleton (controls/modeling lead), Benton Morris (project manager); back row: Vinod Kulathumani (CAV faculty advisor), Thomas Harris (propulsion systems/modeling lead), Andrew Nix (lead faculty advisor), Zach Purdy (mechanical team lead), Scott Wayne (co-faculty advisor) and Priyash Misra (CAV lead).

WVU team selected to compete in EcoCAR Mobility Challenge

Seeking to build off its second-place finish in the final year of the EcoCAR 3 competition, the team from WVU was one of 12 to be selected for the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, which will feature the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer as the vehicle platform.
WVU Professor Powsiri Klinkhachorn, Derek Roesch, Bertrand Wieliczko Ian Hostottle, Nathan Owen and Karan (Kermit) Sah make up the MIDAS III team.

WVU robotics team on top again, wins second NASA competition in 3 years

Persistence, combined with a bit of a gambling spirit, carried WVU’s robotic drilling team to another first place finish Thursday (June 6) in NASA’s Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge, the team’s second top finish in three years.
Klinkhachorn and Cawthorne

'Most Loyals' chosen for Mountaineer Week at WVU

A Morgantown couple who has given back to the University, a successful alumnus engineer, an internationally-known professor, a dedicated residence life employee, and a late director of the Mountainlair are being honored as “Most Loyals” during the 71st Mountaineer Week, a celebration of Appalachian Heritage, Oct. 19-28, on WVU’s campus.
Google logo

WVU partners with Google for applied computing series

To be successful in today’s workforce, students need to be proficient at analyzing and applying data. Thanks to a partnership with Google, WVU will now offer a series of introductory data science courses as part of its curriculum.
people on the CHIME radio telescope

Bandura's work on detection of fast radio bursts detailed in 'Nature'

When researchers first began working on the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME, they envisioned a radio telescope that would make precise measurements of the acceleration of the Universe to improve the knowledge of why the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Instead, it has become ideal for detecting fast radio bursts—radio flashes happening from far outside the Milky Way galaxy.
Claudia Flores-Saviaga

Flores-Saviaga wins Facebook Emerging Scholar Fellowship

Claudia Flores-Saviaga, a doctoral candidate at WVU, has won a 2019 Facebook Emerging Scholar Fellowship.
Person wearing headphones facing computer screen

Hacking off the hackers: WVU programmed to fill cybersecurity jobs with NSF award

By 2021, an estimated 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs across the globe will be unfilled, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. The Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering hopes to help plug the demand with a project called ‘ACCESS’ that cultivates cybersecurity experts through scholarships.
WVU Football Player - Tailgating engineering style. Let's go.


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Lane Signals is an e-newsletter produced by the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at West Virginia University. Please share your comments and suggestions by emailing us at engineeringwv@mail.wvu.edu.