Consortium brings together researchers and local industry

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State researchers are collaborating with local radio-frequency and wireless-technology companies to help enhance each others' work and find more internship and employment opportunities for Penn State students.

The State College Area Radio Frequency Consortium (SCARF), comprised of researchers in Penn State’s College of Engineering, Applied Research Laboratory and Materials Research Institute; and local businesses Harris Corporation, Homeland Manufacturing Services, HyQ Research Solutions, Microwave Measurement Systems, Mission Critical Partners, Olympus Scientific Solutions, Remcom, Teledyne Paradise Datacom, VideoMining Corporation, and Videon Central, met for the first time this week to discuss their active research and development initiatives.

The groups discussed radio frequency (RF) propagation, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), electromagnetic interference (EMI), high frequency and RF circuit design, low-loss materials and metamaterials, wireless systems, biomedical systems, RF identification devices (RFID), sensors — both close-range and stand-off — software defined radio (SDR), and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“The motivation to form SCARF is the fact that RF and wireless technologies are ubiquitous and here to stay since they have now become part of everyday life,” said Ram Narayanan, professor of electrical engineering in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “A high level of activity in this area is ongoing in Centre County. We felt that a partnership between Penn State and local industry would be mutually beneficial and provide opportunities for closer research collaboration, as well as student internship and employment opportunities.”

Narayanan said that he hopes this collaboration will open opportunities for students. They can intern locally, with the hopes of being hired after graduation. And companies can hire employees knowing they have the experience needed to work for their company.

Priya Baboo, Penn State College of Engineering’s director of industry, innovation and development, attended the meeting and underscored strong support from her office for this exciting initiative.

“I think a local collaboration between Penn State research and industry could be very symbionic,” said John Bonislewski, president and CEO of Homeland Manufacturing Services, Inc., of State College. “They could get together and discuss the research Penn State is doing and the products that are being made and both groups could really learn from one another.”

Bonislewski’s company builds satellite communications and RF electronics and ships them all over the country. Homeland Manufacturing Services also works with a number of local RF and wireless-technology industry and researchers in State College and at Penn State.

The collaboration between industry and academia will be beneficial to all companies and researchers involved.

Electrical engineering professor Ram Narayanan speaks to the State College Area Radio Frequency Consortium. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated March 10, 2017