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12-10-2014

Clarkson University Doctoral Student Wins Award for Research on Underwater Laser-Radar Systems

Clarkson University electrical and computer engineering doctoral candidate David Illig recently was awarded second prize at a poster session for his research on improving underwater laser-radar systems.

David IlligIllig, who is funded under an Office of Naval Research grant, placed second in the Student Posters Program and Competition at the OCEANS '14 St. John's Marine Technology Society / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Conference.

Illig's poster, "Statistical Backscatter Suppression Technique for a Wideband Hybrid Lidar-Radar Ranging System," was selected out of 21 posters presented. He was awarded $2,000.

Illig said his research focuses on using signal processing to enhance the performance of underwater laser-radar systems. He compared underwater navigation to driving a car at night.

"Imagine you're driving and it's a clear night, and with your high beams you can see further down the road. If you're driving and it's rainy or cloudy, you can try to use your high beams, but the light just bounces off," he said. "In the ocean, there is a lot of stuff in the water that scatters the light and makes it harder to track what you're trying to find."

Illig of Norfolk, N.Y., also is a 2013 Department of Defense and American Society for Engineering Education Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship recipient. He has worked with researchers at the Naval Air Systems Command's Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Patuxent River, Md., and he looks forward to continuing his work with the Department of Defense after graduation.

"I'm really proud of this achievement," he said. "This is recognition on an international stage for the work I've been doing here at Clarkson and with our Navy partners, so it's really exciting to be recognized for our efforts."

This is the second consecutive year that a graduate student of Professor & Chair of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Vice Provost for Research William Jemison, Office of Naval Research principal investigator, has won the second prize at this annual conference's student poster competition.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University electrical and computer engineering doctoral candidate David Illig won second prize in the Student Posters Program and Competition at the OCEANS '14 St. John's Marine Technology Society / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Conference.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/dillig.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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