Electrical Engineering Students Earn Regional Honors

Left to right: Kayla Midlam, Ian Spatz and Kaleb Kassaw
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Left to right: Kayla Midlam, Ian Spatz and Kaleb Kassaw

Three electrical engineering students took home awards for their work in engineering ethics and research writing in a regional competition hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The Institute of Electrical and Electrics Engineers (IEEE) Region 5 Conference, which supports more than 3,600 IEEE student members and covers universities located in 12 states, took place in Lafayette, La., April 5-7.

Students were invited to participate in four competitions related to circuit design, ethics, robotics and research paper writing.

Electrical Engineering sophomore Kayla Midlam and junior Kaleb Kassaw, both from Russellville, earned first place in the ethics competition. Senior Ian Spatz, from Conway, came in third place in the paper competition.

For Spatz, placing in this regional competition was a big accomplishment. 

"It felt really good to place and know that my hard work paid off," Spatz said. "I was happy to be able to represent the University of Arkansas Electrical Engineering Department and the IEEE Ozark Area as well."

Midlam and Kassaw also said placing in the competition was an exciting moment in their academic careers. 

"After spending Saturday morning working on the presentation, we knew we had an end result to be proud of," Kassaw said.

Kassaw and Midlam had about two hours to prepare a presentation involving a fictional ethics scenario. They competed against nine other teams.

For the paper competition, Spatz presented his honors thesis research. The work, under the guidance of Jingxian Wu, associate professor of electrical engineering, is titled 'Precision Agriculture and Counterfeit Detection Applications of Multispectral Imaging.'

"It's about measuring different types of light reflectance of objects in order to provide a location-specific analysis that can correlate to features of interest," Spatz said. "I'm trying to see if this special camera can detect the difference between elemental solutions, printer sources of documents and counterfeit clothing." 

All three students said attending the conference was a step in the right direction in their careers.  

"I believe engineers should be mindful of the policies affecting them," Kassaw said, "and this ethics competition highlights the importance of policy choices, even in a heavily technical field such as engineering."

For more information on the IEEE Region 5 Conference, click here.


Wendy Echeverria, multimedia specialist
Electrical Engineering
479-575-4037, wechever@uark.edu

Nick DeMoss, director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, ndemoss@uark.edu


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