As the Wireless Center for Excellence (WiCE) enters its fourth year, Dr. Chang Wen Chen, Allen S. Henry Distinguished Professor and WiCE director, leads
the center in a vital, supportive role in Brevard County’s high-tech industry.
Chen’s teaching and research background in wireless multimedia communication and networking made him a natural choice as the WiCE director. In its 2001
conception, the center’s primary focus was to build a strong educational foundation to serve the Florida Tech student body and the local wireless high-tech
To fulfill this goal, Chen and his colleagues, Dr. Ivica Kostanic and Dr. Michael Shahsavari, teach graduate and undergraduate courses in wireless
communication and networking technologies. In addition to classroom studies, several students have been working as interns in local companies to enrich
their educational experiences. Two students work at Locus Location Systems, a Melbourne, Fla.-based developer of products to complement global positioning
systems that locate users of various mobile wireless devices, especially in the emergency occasions.
Chen’s plans for 2005-2006 include building on the educational programs of the center and developing a stronger research base to support the local business
“The key to sustaining the center is to expand our research programs to attract investment business partners,” said Chen. Current partnerships include
Harris Corporation, Intersil, Agilent Technologies, Northrop Grumman and Rockwell Collins.
Chen hopes to transition from short-term, project-based contracts to long-term partnerships. With a strong student base, the center can offer its partners
distinct and individualized research.
For example, to address companies’ intellectual property (IP) security issues, Chen believes the one-on-one relationships the center forges can reassure
companies who are wary of joining a consortium.
Critical to securing partners in Florida’s high-tech industry is partnership with other educational institutions. The center’s partners include the
University of Central Florida (UCF) and the University of South Florida (USF). Chen believes that these relationships will ensure the success of the center
as well as generate national business opportunities.
Nationally, Chen positions the center as a resource for the Department of Homeland Security. The center can support that department through its research
into several key technologies related to security and monitoring. Center researchers, for example, are working on wireless sensor networks for monitoring
critical infrastructures via imaging, video and other sensors. They are also exploring new wireless location technology to track cell phone users for
Other efforts supporting the center include that of Dr. Barry Grossman, electrical and computer engineering professor, who is developing smart sensor
systems based on fiber-optic sensors. These are systems that can be placed underground to detect heavy vehicles for intrusion detection. Locally, Chen sees
an opportunity to help expand seaport defense at nearby Port Canaveral-the second busiest port in the world-by developing underwater video monitoring
Recently honored with a prestigious election as an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow, Chen came to Florida Tech almost two
years ago from the University of Missouri-Columbia where he was a professor of electrical and computer engineering. Prior to that, he was an Electrical
Engineering Department faculty member at the University of Rochester and headed the Interactive Media Group at David Sarnoff Research Labs, leading their
initiative in mobile wireless video.
Also active in professional organizations, Chen was been named as editor of several IEEE and international journals. He is serving as an associate editor
for IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology and IEEE Trans on Multimedia. He also serves on the editorial board of IEEE Multimedia
Magazine and the Journal of Visual Communication and Image Representation.
He has participated on U.S. National Science Foundation review panels and has been an adviser to national funding agencies of other countries, including
Australia, Austria, China and The Netherlands.