Florida Tech Students Vie for $10,000 Award in Infrared Imaging Competition Sponsored by DRS Technologies

MELBOURNE, FLA.—The Florida Institute of Technology team of electrical engineering graduate students, Jenusha Shanmugam and Mohanapriya Swaminathan, have been recognized for their participation in a Student Infrared Imaging Competition sponsored by the DRS Technologies RSTA Group. Florida Tech is one of only 13 universities that DRS chose to compete, based on leadership in the field of imaging technology. The top prize of $10,000 will be awarded in a ceremony on June 30 in Melbourne Beach.

Back in January, DRS provided the universities with Tamarisk thermal infrared cameras in a 320 x 240 format. According to DRS, these are the world’s smallest uncooled thermal imaging cameras. Students used the cameras in creative ways in senior design or other design projects. The best of the entries were awarded $1,000.

The invited Florida Tech team received one of the $1,000 awards for their project, titled “Happy Feet.” In the project, they created thermal images of feet after running to measure various angles of the heel bone and the arch. These angles relate to foot and heel pain as well as Achilles tendonitis.

Some related research currently taking place at Florida Tech includes work in infrared detection methods by Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor Brian Lail, and that of Biological Sciences Associate Professor Michael Grace. Grace’s work relates to infrared imaging in snakes.

“We are very happy to have been acknowledged in this way, and our students were excited about the chance to participate,” said Sam Kozaitis, head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and point of contact.

Among the other participating universities are: University of Texas at Dallas and at Arlington, Norwich University, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Michigan, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Johns Hopkins, University of Memphis, Boston University, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio University and Oklahoma State University.

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