David Luneau


I started teaching at UALR in the fall of 1991 in the Department of Engineering Technology. I began teaching in the Information Technology Minor program in the spring of 2000. Prior to that I used my degrees in Electrical Engineering to do flight simulation programming at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and to do test engineering and database management at AT&T in Little Rock.

In Engineering Technology I teach courses in circuit analysis, analog electronics (transistors, op-amps, etc), data acquisition, mechanical instrumentation, and programming. In Information Technology I teach programming (JavaScript currently; formerly C and Visual Basic), Excel, Access, and some operating system (Windows) topics.

UALR Solar Splash teamI have been involved in the Solar Splash competition since its beginning in 1994. For the first five years I served as faculty advisor to the UALR team. Beginning in 1999 I became the Technical Manager of the event and have been serving in that capacity ever since.

I took a sabbatical in the fall of 2009 to travel to schools on the west coast to see if there is enough interest to start a second Solar Splash out west. I visited 15 schools and contacted others via email and phone, so we'll see in time. In the meanwhile, we hope that some of those west coast schools will come visit Solar Splash and maybe even bring a team to compete!

David Luneau wading in a swampMy areas of research and personal interest are in alternative energy (e.g. Solar Splash) and birding. What does birding have to do with engineering you ask? I am a lifelong birder, and I got very interested in a thought-to-be-extinct bird called the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in the early 1990s. I got involved in searching for the bird in 2000 after a very interesting report of a pair of the birds in south Louisiana. I have used my engineering skills to develop and deploy various technologies to help in the search for the bird. I have used remote sound and video recording equipment, video cameras, and motion-detecting cameras. You can read more about this work at my Ivory-bill site, www.ibwo.org.

I worked with a PhD student at Arkansas State University, Brandon Noel, on using wireless video cameras to monitor Pileated Woodpeckers, a large woodpecker similar in appearance to an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. We developed a wireless video camera system that works very well for his purposes, and in early 2010 we published a paper in the Journal of Field Ornithology that details the construction of the camera system titled A video camera for viewing tree cavities. If you are interested in a copy of the paper, please contact me. I now make a smaller version of the camera that you can see at www.ibwo.org/camera.php.

David Luneau

This photo was shot in 2001 in Louisiana. I'm a big fan of old-growth trees - I wish there were more around for all to see.

 

Giant redwood tree

Speaking of big trees, the giant redwood tree shown above is named Stratosphere Giant. It was the tallest known tree in the world when it was "discovered", but in 2006 Michael Taylor and Chris Atkins found three trees taller than this one. The Stratosphere Giant is 2000+ years old and around 370' tall.