Microwave Research Lab bridges the gap between engineering and physics
Assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering Chung-Tse (Michael) Wu has been the recipient of multiple research grants since joining the School of Engineering faculty in 2017.
He is leading a department team of researchers that was recently awarded a two-year, $300,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) grant. The project is addressing a security issue in Internet of Things (IoT) applications vulnerable to malicious spoofing attacks with an innovative physical layer (PHY) solution.
Wu was the recipient of a 2019 DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Young Faculty Award for a project that seeks to develop and demonstrate an antenna array with ultra-broad instantaneous bandwidth able to provide spectrum flexibility for both civilian and defense operations.
Students working in Wu’s Microwave Research Lab (MWLab) share his novel approach to electromagnetics. Current projects are primarily focused on microwave and millimeter wave components and circuits; passive and active antennas and phased arrays; periodic structures and electromagnetic metamaterials; and microwave imaging and radar sensors.
Four Questions for Prof. Michael Wu
What sparked your interest in electrical and computer engineering – and your primary research areas?
I have always been fascinated by the area of electromagnetic waves, as it bridges the gap between physics and engineering. In this area, antennas and arrays are of particular interest since they transmit and receive the electromagnetic waves from which energy and useful information can be extracted. We’re also interested in developing new microwave radar sensors for use in detecting vital signs such as heartbeats and respiration rates.
What most excites and inspires you about your research?
I’m most excited when I see that the outcome of our fundamental research can be potentially beneficial and useful for real world applications for everything from cybersecurity and defense to patient healthcare.
Who would benefit most from your research?
It depends on the research projects. For instance, people who need long-term constant vital sign monitoring can directly benefit from the advantage brought by vital sign radar sensors due to their non-contact and non-invasive characteristics.
How are Rutgers engineering students contributing to your research?
While our graduate students certainly play the main role in conducting the research projects in my lab, undergraduate students are also involved in our research activities. For instance, in 2018, through the Ronald E. McNair program, ECE senior student Michael Edwin won first place at the 6th Annual Black Doctoral Network Conference for his project that applied electromagnetic waves in the detection of human vital signs and human tracking.