$4.8 Million Grant Encourages Mix Of Art And Science

Courtesy FIU

Luna Theus/Staff Writer

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research has given FIU a research grant of $4.8 million to continue their study on origami antennas.

FIU Professor and Director of Radio Frequency Communications and Transforming Antennas Center, Stavros Georgakopoulos, has been leading origami antenna research since 2015.

“Origami antennas are basically antennas that fold and unfold… when you send them into space there is limited room for antennas so these will make it easier to pack, also soldiers need light weight antennas to carry,” Georgakopoulos said. “Now instead of having three antennas for ground communication at different frequencies, soldiers will only need one oragami antenna that they can reconfigure for frequency changes.”

 FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing students can also help with the ongoing research.

“We have a very large team of grad and undergrad students, the PhD students do research for their dissertation, while the undergrad work for about two semesters to a year and get exposed to antenna research, some of them like it so much that they go on to pursue a career in this field,” Georgakopoulos said.

Georgakopoulos explains that many students are excited to see how versatile engineering can be. Not only will students build technology but they will incorporate art into engineering, by working with Physicist and Origami artist, Robert J. Lang.

The College of Engineering and Computing has come a long way with antenna research. 

Georgakopoulos started his research on origami antennas in 2015, with a grant from the National Science Foundation, and help from, present partner, Georgia Tech. Just last year the AFOSR granted FIU another $4.8 million to establish their Transforming Antennas Center, a center that is dedicated to antenna technology research..

“Our team members have been amazing since we first started doing research on origami antennas, we partnered with Georgia Tech, who is still partnering with us today, and now have new partners from Cornell and Brigham Young University,” Georgakopoulos said.

Amidst the antenna research, the Engineering College is also working on different projects, like radio frequency, and Georgakopoulos hopes  FIU will remain leaders in origami and antenna technology.




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