Mallik and Ferlic Win Dean's Doctoral and Master's Student Research Awards

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Ayan Mallik (Ph.D.) and Nathaniel Ferlic (M.S.)

The University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering has announced the winners of the 2019 Dean’s Doctoral and Master’s Student Research Awards.

Created by Clark School Dean Darryll Pines, the competition recognizes distinguished graduate student researchers in order to help propel their careers and demonstrate the value of high-quality engineering research. Student entries were judged by members of advisory boards in department-level and final college-level competitions. Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Ph.D. student Ayan Mallik and ECE Master's student Nathaniel Ferlic's winning research awards are listed below.

Doctoral Student Research Award

First Place: Ayan Mallik, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Advisor: Alireza Khaligh, Associate Professor
Project Title: Regulated Transformer Rectifier Unit for More Electric Aircrafts

In order to enhance the flying range and improve the fuel economy of aircraft, pneumatic and hydraulic components are being replaced by electric components with lightweight and efficient solutions in more electric aircrafts (MEA). This research proposes an innovative and transformative solution of developing a highly efficient, ultracompact, lightweight, and reliable silicon carbide (SiC)-based regulated transformer rectifier unit (RTRU) for more electric aircraft. One of the key contributions has been to perform accurate noise modeling for the switching converters by estimating the dominant corner frequencies in the electromagnetic interference (EMI) spectrum and, thus, designing an ultra-high-density EMI filter stage. Being enabled by fundamental and scientific breakthroughs in terms of utilizing cutting-edge wide bandgap semiconductor technology, novel control methodologies, and multi-objective optimization techniques, this research has resulted into an RTRU design that is 35% smaller, 40% lighter, and 8% higher in efficiency.

Master’s Student Research Award

Second Place: Nathaniel Ferlic, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Advisor: Christopher Davis, Professor
Project Title: Forward Scattering Meter for Visibility Measurements

Atmospheric aerosols, containing water, constitute most of the air during non-ideal weather conditions including fog, haze, and mist. These aerosols cause light to be attenuated while propagating through the atmosphere causing the effective visibility to decrease. The visibility is dependent on the extinction coefficient of the aerosol distribution that can be found using Mie scattering theory. In the case of a real environment, a distribution of particle sizes must be considered where the particles present are described by a weighted value relative to the number density. In this project a forward scattering meter is devised that measures the amount of scattered light at a specific forward scattering angle under the assumption that the scattered light is linearly related to the extinction coefficient of different weather conditions. To validate the design, it will be compared against a commercial visibility meter along with using a fog chamber to simulate various weather conditions.

Published June 5, 2019