Student Updates

Wosen AgedieWosen graduated from the Univsersity of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Scinece degree in Electrical Engineering. He is now employed as a hardware design engineer at Amphenol Advanced Sensors in Silver Spring, MD.

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Sam WalkerSam graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechancial engineering. He is now pursuing his MS in Automotive Engineering at Clemson University while also working at Clemson in IT Student Support.

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Laci Sears CarterLaci Sears Carter graduated from Norfolk State University in 2014 with a Bacelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Engineering. Laci is now an analyst with HCL Technologies in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

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Hannah BowersHannah Bowers graduated from Sweet Briar College with a Bachelors in Engineering Science in 2015. She is now employed as a systems engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division.

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Sam HendersonSam Henderson is now an RF design engineer for US Cellular.

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Cecilia ChenCecilia graduated from the University of PUerto Rico at Mayaguez with a bachelor's degree in computer science and is now a systems engineer at Verizon in New Jersey.

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Ethel BaberEthel graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and is now working at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI, which operates a ‘Smart Road’ in addition to other research activities) as a data reductionist analyst.

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Boubacar TchoussoBoubacar graduated December, 2014 and is now working as a patent examiner at the Univted States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA. He began work on his MS in telecommunications in the fall of 2016 at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Boubacar hopes to graduate in December of 2018.

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Akshay IyerAkshay Iyer graduated witha Bachelor's of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from NC State in 2015 and is now employed by Harris Corporation in Palm Bay, Fl. He is planning to pursue his MS in Electrical Engineering .

Matt DavisMatt Davis, a 2013 REU student has just joined the Georgia Tech Research Institute as a RF Engineer. He has his DREAM JOB! Specifically, Matt is a Research Engineer 1 in the Electronic Systems Laboratory (ELSYS). He is a member of the Receiver Development Branch (RDB) in the Systems Engineering Division, conducting research relative to embedded software in electronic warfare systems, more specifically, high-speed, real-time software targeted for radar warning systems installed on US military aircraft.

"The Virginia Tech REU program provided me with the necessary tools and experience to overcome the everyday challenges that arise in my work today. In addition to an unforgettable summer, the VT REU program provides invaluable insight on how to pursue and achieve a graduate degree, both from a logistics and research standpoint. I highly recommend this program for any individual serious about the pursuit of an advanced degree, or anyone interested in finding out what higher education or research is all about." Matt Davis

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Amos AjoAmos is now a PhD student working with Dr. Carl Dietrich as well as employed by the Naval Research Lab in Washington, DC.

"My experience in the Cognitive Communications REU was amazing. Firstly we were able to experience the beauty of Blacksburg, VA and all of the wonderful comforts of the Virginia Tech campus. Secondly we were afforded the opportunity to attend workshops and listen to lectures and utilize the mentorship of some of the most brilliant professors and scholars in the field of Cognitive Radio. Our research enlightened us greatly about the state of the wireless communications industry, the pressing issue of scarcity of accessible spectrum, and the various technologies which are being implemented to develop smart radios which will efficiently utilize this most precious resource of wireless spectrum.

I was personally awarded the pleasure to work alongside my partner Samuel Henderson, under the incredible tutelage of Dr. Louis Beex and Dr. Carl Dietrich. Our research, entitled “Acoustic Channel Model of Dynamic Spectrum Access” was fun, challenging, and, with the support of our mentors, positively rewarding as I was able to eventually present our research at the 2014 IEEE SoutheastCon in Lexington, KY. In all I can say my experience with the Cognitive REU was phenomenal, and I hope to carry on the relationships I made that summer as I enroll in graduate school in the fall to come as a proud Hokie!" Amos Ajo

Chris DavisChris Davis placed first in a student competition held on Thursday, October 24, 2013 by the IEEE Hampton Roads section.  Congratulations also to Matt Davis, his teammate in the project  “Sampling Mixer for Software Defined Radio Applications in 0.18um CMOS Technology” on which the presentation was based, and to their project mentors, Assistant Professor Kwang-Jin (K-J) Koh and PhD student Hedieh Elyasi. “It was good experience presenting to [the IEEE section],” said Mr. Davis.

Christopher Davis is a senior majoring in Electronics Engineering at Norfolk State University, where he also plans to attend graduate school, and Matt Davis is a senior double-majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering at the University of Kentucky.  The two students participated in Virginia Tech’s NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site in Cognitive Communications (, directed by Research Associate Professor Carl Dietrich, during the summer of 2013. 

In addition to Christopher Davis, five other students or teams of students from nearby universities participated in the IEEE Hampton Roads section competition, representing Old Dominion University, Christopher Newport University, and Hampton University as well as Norfolk State University.

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Garrett VanHoyAfter two consecutive years of participating in the REU program at Virginia Tech, Garrett Vanhoy co-authored three conference papers and one journal paper in the field of Cognitive Radio. When he graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Arizona, he enrolled in the Ph. D. program. After two years in the graduate program, Garrett has become a confident researcher. He has co-authored three additional conference papers, constructed many over-the-air demonstrations for three SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) projects, and co-wrote five proposals. His research has included topics in Modulation Classification and Radio-Frequency Mapping which are technologies pertinent to the next generation of wireless applications. Garrett is now a lecturer at the University of Arizona.

“This REU program made my career path quite clear. I went into the program equipped with plenty of theoretical background and a desire to learn, but I really did not know what I wanted to do with my education. By working with other eager students and seasoned researchers alike on several research projects, I was able to construct a clear image of what a future in research looks like. Thus, I entered graduate school being well-equipped to handle many fundamental research tasks. This is an invaluable experience for anyone interested in a future in research.” Garrett Vanhoy

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Duyun ChenDuyun graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 with a B.S.E. in Bioengineering. He participated in the 2010 REU program at VT under the supervision of Dr. Carl Dietrich. Duyun and his team (Garrett Vanhoy, MaryPat Beaufait) achieved very successful results from their project, culminating in three publications and two conference invites. Duyun states that the exposure to quality graduate research discipline and the caring mentorship of Dr. Dietrich was key to the success of the project and the program as a whole. Previously, Duyun participated in the CISST REU program at Johns Hopkins, which also resulted in two publications and an international conference. Duyun's interest in computer science and research partly stemmed from his experience at the VT REU, and he decided to switch from a biomedical path to computer science. He is currently employed as a developer at a rising Silicon Valley startup. Duyun was also involved in research and engineering efforts at UC Berkeley. Starting Fall 2014, he will be enrolling in the MSCS program at Stanford with a focus in machine learning and AI while continuing his involvement in industry part-time. Duyun is currently a software engineer at Google in Mountain View California.

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