Trailblazer Incorporates Undergrads in Work
Creating enthusiasm for research in the hearts of undergraduates is a tall order, but not for Donaghey College of Information Science and Systems Engineering Professor Hirak Patangia. He has worked with these students on a number of projects, and they have been credited as co-authors for 13 of his papers on electronic devices and power manipulation techniques.
Throughout his career, Dr. Patangia has brought in approximately $1.5 million in research project funding. Just this year, he submitted â€“ and won project funding â€“ for a study on harnessing solar energy for highway applications. But funding is not the sole reason that Dr. Patangia pursues research. He hopes to make a positive impact on society â€“ creating greater highway safety â€“ through the use of his current area of research on intelligent transportation design.
Dr. Patangiaâ€™s work with electrical circuits and systems not only has theoretical applications, he has worked to use his research to develop practical concepts that are in demand in the private sector. For instance, his development work on Amplitude Division Multiplexing is currently being assessed by the Arkansas State Highway Department for use in rural areas of the state. By using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and solar panels, Dr. Patangia plans to increase the effectiveness of reflectors used in construction zones to warn drivers of dangerous lane changes.
â€śBy using the sunâ€™s light to power these warning LEDs, we are able to save money on batteries that are traditionally used to power lighted reflectors in construction zones,â€ť Patangia said. â€śWe tested the system out with students and found that this system is much more effective at getting the driverâ€™s attention. We are working on ensuring greater safety for motorists through this project, and if we can save lives that will make the work worthwhile.â€ť
After earning his bachelorâ€™s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and his masterâ€™s degree from the University of New Brunswick, Dr. Patangia completed work on his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from McGill University. His career has grown along with UALRâ€™s focus on engineering education in the 29 years he has been with the University. Dr. Patangia served as program director for electronics engineering technology, as associate dean in the College of Science and Engineering Technology, and department chair in the College of Information Science and Systems Engineering.