UNT engineering researchers earn 2015 Tech Titan Award

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 15:19

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- University of North Texas College of Engineering faculty members Shengli Fu and Yan Wan received the 2015 Tech Titan of the Future – University Level award from The Metroplex Technology Business Council. UNT also won Tech Titan awards in 2012 and 2010.

The award recognizes higher education institutions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that perpetuate tech-related knowledge transfer and also encourage and support students to choose engineering and technology related disciplines as a preferred career path. Fu and Wan received the award for demonstrating a creative, innovative approach that reaches out to students and other learning-minded professionals and related institutions.

"We are very honored to receive this prestigious award. The judges recognized our enthusiastic efforts to reach out to emergency response professionals and young students in the nation," Wan said.

In 2014, Fu and Wan created a drone-carried Wi-Fi communication infrastructure that can be used to support emergency response missions when an emergency strikes. The professors participated in the Smart Emergency Response System project for the SmartAmerica Challenge that earned Fu and Wan a trip to Washington D.C. to present their work at the White House.

This year, the professors successfully demonstrated the use of this technology in search and rescue missions with collaborators from Austin Fire Department, Mathworks, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute as part of the Global Cities Team Challenge.

"The drone-carried Wi-Fi system provides an attractive platform for students to gain hands-on learning experiences of various technologies including control, communication, mechanics and energy," Fu said.

The drone-carried Wi-Fi communication infrastructure provides Wi-Fi and Internet access on the ground and creates an on-demand emergency communication infrastructure that benefits first responders, control centers and survivors.

The drone-carried Wi-Fi project has received multiple awards, including the US Ignite and GENI demonstration awards. More information about the project can be found online.

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