James C. Squire, Ph.D., P.E.

Undergraduate Research in ECE

ee491Students have produced an extraordinary variety of quality work in various independent research projects.  Like any engineering project, much of the work lies in the documentation, and I require cadets to provide an oral presentation and submit a written project report and a web page for every project undertaken.  The following pages show a sampling of the work of the students I have advised.  These are truly some of the finest men and women with whom I have had the pleasure of collaboration.


Seismic Communicator
G. Will Flathers

By using seismic waves, the Seismic Communicator allows miners trapped in an underground mine collapses to inform rescue teams of their positions and vital statistics.  Tested to more than 200' in the Natural Bridge Caverns, this project was a feature segment on Discovery Channel Canada, won first place in the IEEE sectional paper competition, and is currently pending patent approval.

Link to page


Endovascular Stent Weave
Lisa Martinez, Raevon Pulliam

Washington & Lee premed student Lisa Martinez teamed with VMI mechanical engineers Raevon Pulliam and Ted Davis to investigate a novel endovascular stent weave pattern inspired by ancient Celtic knots.  Their work was featured on local TV WSLS and published/presented at the 2008 National Council of Undergraduate Research.

Link to video (right-click to download, 40MB)


Hearing Impairment Simulator
G. Will Flathers

The Hearing Impairment Simulator allows parents of hearing-disabled children to hear as their children hear.  Parents enter their child's audiology chart and record their own voice or a pre-recorded sound for processing.  The project is co-advised by Roger Ruth, M.D., president of the American Academy of Audiology, won second place among engineering posters at the VMI URS 2006 and was featured on Channel 10 News, Roanoke, WSLS.



Tick-Collecting Robot
Justin Woulfe, Barry Hammond, Dennis Crump 

The Autonomous Tick Rover collects and exterminates ticks while traversing an area. The robot follows a chemoattractant tube that attracts ticks to the robot's path. It won first place in the VMS Section's 2005 IEEE student paper's contest and a Wetmore Research Grant.  Patent rights were filed in 2006 naming the cadets and their advisors as the primary inventors.



Internet-Aware Medical Refrigerator
Matthew York, Paul Kuwik, Tom Largi, Dennis Crump

The Internet-Aware Medical Refrigerator monitors how frequently a patient takes a medication (e.g. insulin, as shown during field testing by a diabetic patient).  If an unexplained delay is detected it sends a warning email to the patient's family and doctor.  It won first place in engineering in the 2004 VMI Undergraduate Research Symposium and has a patent pending.



Museum of Science Optical Multiplexer Demo
Paul Kuwik, Tom Largi

Kuwik and Largi designed this demonstration to show how multiple different signals can be combined onto a single communications line, such as on a computer network or telephone wire. Combining optics, microprocessors, and analog control circuitry it was displayed in the 2003 VMI URS Symposium and earned a Wetmore Research Grant.



Computerized Parking Garage
Brian Holt, Jenny Dineen, Tsung-Ta Ho

The Computerized Parking Garage routes cars in a crowded garage to an optimal parking space.  The system combines electrical and computer engineering and mathematics in an algorithm and internet-based hardware to provide a solution to this difficult problem.  Cadets have a patent pending and are seeking licensure. It won first place in engineering in the 2003 VMI Undergraduate Research Symposium.


Smart Catheter
Matt Brooks and Steve Lee 

The Smart Catheter Project involved constructing biomedical catheters with integrated sensors and the hardware and software necessary to display the results on a laptop computer.  The work was funded by a grant from MIT and resulted in first place sectional and regional 2002 IEEE Student Paper Competition awards (one of seven such awards in the country), a Hinman Research Award, and an honors thesis for Brooks.


Museum of Science Laser Communications Display
Matt Brooks and Brian Holt 

Brooks, Holt, and the ECE class of 2001 designed this demonstration of laser-based communication systems for the Science Museum of Western Virginia.  It won third place in the 2002 VMI Undergraduate Research Symposium.