Undergraduate researchers Jason Aquino and George Levi Captain, electrical and computer engineering students, were recently awarded Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) grants. This award will fund their research projects throughout the summer and help them gain research experience in their fields.
“REU is a program that encourages undergraduate students to gain experience in the world of research and scientific discovery in a university setting,” Captain said. “A lot of research ends up being put off until your master’s program, which you may end up realizing you don’t want to pursue a career in.”
Captain’s research, Soil Monitoring Through UAV-Assisted LoRa Underground Sensors, will attempt to design sensors that can be implanted into fields to collect data and information from the soil. The sensors will be non-intrusive to the soil. He will be working with different types of equipment like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), transmitters, receivers, and long-range communication tools.
“I want to be a software developer,“ Captain said. “A big part of that is working in teams because very rarely is a program designed by one single person. Not only will this program help me experience working in a team environment, but it will also help me experience working with other software developers and other types of people who may not think exactly how I do.”
Aquino is doing research on Electrical Power Resilience Against Ice-Storms. “What really motivated me to do this project was the November 2020 ice storms in Oklahoma,” Aquino said. “Many people I know were out of power for several days. I realized it was a huge problem for lots of people, and I want to help find a solution.”
Aquino wants to partake in research that benefits more people than just himself. “I am excited to partake in research that has the potential to benefit people,” Aquino said. “I think that seeing a problem and finding a solution benefits me and others around me so much more than just having a part-time job.” Aquino’s end goal is to propose an ice storm, self-healing solution for power systems.
The award amount given to each student will cover their wages and some of the equipment costs. The research that both Aquino and Captain do will help prepare them for their careers in the future and help further their knowledge on their respective topics.
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