Undergrad Researchers Win With Efficient Lighting Proposal
Physics Honor Society Team Designing Test Equipment to Help Create Improved LED Systems
Mar. 29, 2012
Undergraduate students from the UT Dallas chapter of the Society of Physics Students have earned a national award for their proposal to create high-efficiency devices for displays and lighting.
They were one of only nine research groups in the country selected to receive the Sigma Pi Sigma Undergraduate Research Award, which comes with about $2,000 in research funds.
The project included undergraduate students Jonny Bursa, Roxanne Lee, Christine Liou, An-Ting Liu, Armand Halbert, Omar Hasan and Anthony Phung; graduate student Clint Naquin; physics technician David Taylor; and the SPS faculty advisor, Assistant Professor Jason Slinker.
“Our team of eight students drafted this proposal and we were incredibly pleased they were chosen,” said Dr. Jason Slinker, assistant professor of physics and faculty advisor on the project. “It really shows the quality of their work and the caliber of students we have at UT Dallas.”
The research project will focus on creating test equipment for light emitting diode or LEDs with more energy-efficient lighting sources. The team created the proposal complete with a cost-benefit analysis and an estimate of funds to complete the research.
“The main innovation of this project is to use conventional optical scanners to track the light output changes of LEDs with time,” said Omar Hasan, an electrical engineering major. “Our hypothesis is that, unlike conventional photodetectors, which only return information on emitted light intensity, the scanner will also simultaneously track color changes occurring in the LEDs.”
The undergraduates participating in the project span a wide range of majors including physics, computer science, electrical engineering, biology, and biochemistry. Biology student Wei-Ting Liou said he became involved in drafting the proposal after taking a biophysics course taught by Slinker.
“I was interested in doing research, so I asked him if I could get involved with any kind of project,” Liou said. “We all wrote a portion of the proposal and that kind of collaboration really brought us all together.”
Sigma Pi Sigma, the National Physics Honor Society, award program provides support to local chapter activities.
“This was the first science award I have ever received so it was really exciting,” Liou added.
Now that the student researchers have received the award, they are executing the work — designing and building the driving circuits, writing software for automated testing, and investigating scanner and photo technology.
“We hope to have an initial prototype tester complete by the end of March or early April. The award support runs through December, at which time we will submit a final report to SPS,” Slinker said. “The award will also provide an additional supplement for the students to present their work at a conference.”
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