ECE Welcomes new staff member Jeni McDonald and new faculty member Timothy Burg:
Jeni is originally from Topeka. Graduated Dec 2014 from KSU with a bachelors degree in Anthropology. She is obtaining her master’s in Public Health with a focus in Epidemiology at KSU as well. Hobbies include spending time with family and friends, traveling, trying new recipes and learning new things.
Dr.Timothy Burg has extensive experience in industrial applications of robotics and nonlinear control design techniques and the academic investigation of the basis and future directions of these techniques. He moved to Kansas State University in August 2014 from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University, Clemson, SC where he taught classes and led research on intelligent systems.
An intelligent system can be defined as the integration of hardware and software to create a new system that exceeds the capabilities of the hardware alone, for example adding computer control to an electric motor. Prior to that, he worked for Michelin Americas Research and Development Corporation developing systems for tire pressure monitoring, algorithms for predicting tire performance, and implemented specialized analysis and optimization software. Dr. Burg also worked at SE Huffman Corporation where he designed and implemented computer control systems for machine tools, including computer controlled laser welding, waterjet cutting, and 5-axis grinding machines. Generally, these activities represent the use of a systems approach to design, fabricate and assemble, manage, analyze, and control connections of complex components. Current projects that capitalize on the promise of the intelligent systems approach include haptic trainers for laparoscopic surgery training, force control algorithms for robots, and control of unmanned aerial vehicles.
An important skill honed on past projects is the ability to work with domain experts, like bioengineers or psychologists, to define interfaces for connecting complex subsystems, i.e., projects that require a multidisciplinary team. An ongoing project centers on the application of controls and robotics tools to fabricate systems of living tissues. He is working with students and other collaborators to build a unique biofabrication system that assembles tissues in an assembly line fashion. The ultimate goal of this work is to assemble blocks of living tissue that can be used for drug discovery and understanding of basic biology. One component of this system, a bio-printer that uses ink-jet printing to place living cells, was developed during an US National Science Foundation grant. Dr. Burg strives to connect the exciting research at the university level with K-12 students. For example, he was very involved with the Women in Science and Engineering program (WISE) at Clemson. He requires that all of his graduate students participate in at least one outreach activity.
Kim Fowler, published his fourth textbook, “Developing and Managing Embedded Systems and Products,” through Elsevier Newnes. He also addressed a teleconference audience of the International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan, attended by both students and IEEE chapter members.
Timothy Burg, was an invited speaker at the DARPA/ISAT Computational Tissue Fabrication (COTIF) Workshop 2014 held at the MIT Endicott House near Boston, MA
Dr. Bala Natarajan presented an invited Webinar series on “Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods for Bayesian Data Analysis” for faculty in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, India, Aug – Sep 2014.
Steve Warren, and Punit Prakash, organized and co-chaired a special session on Technologies for around-the-clock health assessment of special needs children at the 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society in Chicago, IL. They presented an invited paper within this session and are both Associate Editors for the conference proceedings.
Dr. Behrooz Mirafzal serves as a member of the advisory committee of the IEEE International Electric Machines and Drives Conference (IEMDC 2015), May 2015.