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UP-EEEI faculty garner top honors in regional design competition


Dr. Marciano and Prof. Paet receiving the NI ASEAN
Graphical System Design Achievement Award for
from Chandran Nair, Managing Director for National
Instruments – South East Asia.

(College of Engineering, January 6)—A team of faculty members from the University of the Philippines Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (UP-EEEI) received top honors in the 2011 National Instruments ASEAN (NI ASEAN) Graphical System Design Achievement Awards (GSDAA). The NI-ASEAN GSDAA is a yearly international competition that showcases the most innovative projects based on NI software and hardware and is participated in by universities and industries all over the ASEAN region. NI products such as LabVIEW are being used by top universities and industries worldwide for research and development in a wide variety of fields – from process control, mechatronics, data acquisition, biomedical, optics, wireless communications, etc. – and for automation and control of production and manufacturing processes.

The team, consisting of UP-EEEI instructors professors N. Fernando Bautista and  Leonard Bryan Paet and Professor Joel S. Marciano, Jr., bagged two awards: the “Overall Winner” prize in the Academic Category and the “Best Innovation in Wireless Technology” for their paper, “Using NI-PXI and LabVIEW to Build UHF RFID Development Platforms.” The entry, which beat over 50 other entries, including those from top universities in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, describes current research and development efforts at the Wireless Communications Engineering Laboratory (WCEL) of the UP-EEEI aimed at enhancing the performance of current passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology operating in the ultrahigh frequency (UHF) band. In particular, the team built software and hardware platforms that were able to emulate the behavior of RFID as well as interpret signals from commercial tags and readers. The aim, according to Marciano, is “to investigate, using actual hardware implementation, techniques such as multiple antenna signal processing and novel decoding structures that will enhance the read range and reliability of RFID communication.” This, he added, “would hopefully lead to the next generation of RFID systems.” The research has also resulted in three international refereed publications and an invention disclosure at the UP-OVCRD.

The awards came with a cash prize of Singapore $2,000.00 and plaques which were handed out in the awarding ceremony in Singapore on December 15, 2011. As part of winning the competition, the team from UP-EEEI will be invited to NIWeek – the worldwide Graphical System Design Conference and Exhibition of National Instruments and their entry will be automatically shortlisted for the global GSDAA competition. The winning paper may be obtained in full here: http://sine.ni.com/cs/app/doc/p/id/cs-14157.