UNM Gardner-Zemke Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Edl Schamiloglu recently returned from presenting a series of lectures at Tsinghua University in China. Schamiloglu is an internationally known scholar in the area of applied electromagnetics and was invited to speak by a colleague, Professor Meng Cui, from the International Electrotechnical Commission. Cui is a member of the Chinese delegation as well as a faculty member at Tsinghua Universityand Schamiloglu is a member and technical advisor on the U.S. delegation.
Tsinghua University is sometimes described as the M.I.T. of China. Schamiloglu says he was impressed by the students who had read the research materials he provided in advance of the lectures and were prepared to participate in the discussions. Schamiloglu presented a series of three half-day lectures and was able to combine sightseeing in Beijing with his academic work.
His lectures on high power electromagnetics, on wave chaos and the random coupling model and on plasma diagnostics were well received and the lecture of plasma diagnostics was attended by representatives from the Chinese Academy of Sciences who were interested in making plasmas for medical applications.
Schamiloglu says his work consists of basic research and is unclassified. He is lead researcher on a five year seven and one half million dollar Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant that has recently been awarded by the Department of Defense. UNM is the lead instituion and is partnering with M.I.T., Ohio State, UC Irvine and Louisiana State University. The research into sources of electromagnetic energy will investigate the use of meta-materials to develop new sources of coherent electromagnetic radiation.
Schamiloglu says this research is interesting because they will make sources of coherent electromagnetic energy in structures that do not exist in nature. Meta materials have periodicity that is very very small compared to the wavelength and may allow them to design new types of interactions between electrons and electromagnetic waves to make electromagnetic energy in new ways. “We’re in the business of basically pushing the envelope,” says Schamiloglu. “This is a basic research program which means all our research can be published and there are no restrictions on students.”
There are 15 people in Schamiloglu’s research group. He has 11 graduate students, most of whom are seeking a Ph.D. He also has four research professors and a number of undergraduate students.
Long term applications for this research could include cloud penetrating radar. That might be used to create short pulse radars that could allow detection of low-flying aircraft. That is something that traditional radars cannot do. Schamiloglu says there are also possible applications for use in particle accelerators.
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