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Anthony Bisulco (on right) is a second year student at Northeastern pursuing a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is on the executive board for Tau Beta Pi and involved in the IEEE/AIAA Student Chapter, ALERT Student Research Council and the Wireless Club. Anthony’s freshman summer was spent working at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratories. As for the future Anthony, will be performing his first co-op at CERN in Switzerland, which he was one of the seven spots of the national pool.
One portion of Northeastern’s curriculum is the possibility to perform an Honors in the Discipline project. The College of Engineering Honors in the Discipline involved three different pathways: research, entrepreneurship or service learning. Each of these pathways allow for students to further apply classroom skills and enhance their own knowledge. For my project, I focused on the research component which involved developing a research project and presenting my results at a conference. I had already been performing research with Assistant Professor Jose A. Martinez-Lorenzo (ECE/MIE) in the Sensing, Imaging, Control and Actuation (SICA) laboratory, so this process was fairly simple. Basically, I met with him and we discussed what could be further done on the project. Then, I wrote up a basic summary of my project and applied to perform a directed study with Professor Martinez.
The project that I began to study was titled, “Massive MIMO Millimeter Wave Radar Imaging System.” The motivation behind the work that I was performing looks to better passenger experience in airports via an “On the Move” configuration checkpoint. An “On the Move” configuration checkpoint looks to perform the same security scanning currently done at airports without passenger divestiture or stopping. This configuration will decrease passenger waiting time, thereby increasing passenger throughput. To perform real-time security threat detection, SICA’s proposed solution is to replace the current system which moves an array of transmitters and receivers with a fully static system of elements. Hence, the data collection time will be reduced and reduced datasets from a static system allow for faster quasi real time security threat detection. My contribution to this system involved simulating the optimal geometry of transmitters and receivers for security threat detection, implementing a hardware system to perform this imaging, and updating data collection algorithms to test this static system.
To fulfill my Northeastern Honors in the Discipline, I then sought to disseminate SICA’s work in a conference. Through consultation with my advisor, we decided the best places to highlight the SICA lab’s work was at the International Antennas and Propagation Symposium (APS) in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Therefore, to begin the application process for this conference, I began to write an abstract of the work performed. After this was complete, the abstract was reviewed via an international panel and accepted for presentation at the APS. At this point, the next step for the conference was developing a thoroughly reviewed presentation to illustrate the work performed. Finally, I was able to attend the conference, thanks to support from the Northeastern’s College of Engineering and Honors Program.
Attending the conference was a great factor to highlight the culmination of my work. At the conference, there were multiple sessions dealing with highly technical work in my field. These were great to see as I was able to place the work I had done in context and see what applicable information I could use to improve it. During my session, I was able to get feedback on my own work from my peers to see what improvements can be performed on the system.
The feedback and knowledge that I was able obtain at the APS conference was invaluable. I believe if you are performing undergraduate research, you should attend a conference, as it is a great way to understand the latest breakthroughs in your field how your work fits into the web of international research performed. In conclusion, going to a conference is a must for undergraduate researchers in order to help jumpstart their ideas in research.