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FIU receives NSF grant to develop high-frequency communications technologies, train critical workforce

FIU receives NSF grant to develop high-frequency communications technologies, train critical workforce

April 21, 2022 at 12:33pm

Florida International University’s College of Engineering and Computing has received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for Phase 1 development of the Center for High-Frequency Electronics and Circuits for Communication Systems (CHECCS). The center’s research focuses on innovative circuits and electronic devices for high-frequency communications applications in a wide range of fields, from national security and defense systems to 5G/6G wireless communications, autonomous cars, personalized medicine and more.

The creation of CHECCS acknowledges that high-frequency communications systems are a vital, multibillion-dollar industry. CHECCS will collaborate with industry to accelerate the development of prototypes into commercially viable products. The technology explored has multiple applications that range from cell phones and 5G+ communications, to autonomous cars, personalized medicine and monitored healthcare, agricultural sensing and merchandise inventory. The CHECCS group anticipates these products will give way to spin-offs and start-up businesses.

Two other universities ― the University of Arkansas and University of Tennessee Knoxville ― have joined FIU in the endeavor. CHECCS includes an outreach component to recruit and mentor high school students.
“The rapid and continuing evolution of the field requires experienced workers capable of very technically challenging careers,” said John L. Volakis, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing and CHECCS principal investigator. “Our diverse student body is a major plus in preparing our nation’s future workforce.”
The FIU CHECCS team, with both academic and industry research experience, is led by Volakis and co-principal investigators Markondeya Raj Pulugurtha, associate professor; Dimitris Pavlidis, director of emerging research programs; and Habarakada Madanayake, associate professor.

“This group is at the forefront of multidisciplinary research in high-frequency communications devices, circuits and systems, electromagnetics and antennas,” said Andres Gil, senior vice president for research and economic development. “The advances this team makes in this important technology and in critical workforce training will have a longstanding positive impact in a myriad of areas involving everyday life - homeland security, transportation infrastructures, medicine and more.”