February 20, 2006
ECE Professor Daniel Stancil received the Philip L. Dowd Fellowship Award from the College of Engineering. The award recognizes educational contributions and encourages the undertaking of an educational project, and will provide a year of funding for Stancil to complete an undergraduate textbook on antennas for wireless communications while on sabbatical at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech). At CalTech, Stancil will be hosted by David Rutledge, chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, and will collaborate with their microwave devices group.
At Carnegie Mellon, Stancil directs the Center for Wireless and Broadband Networking (CWBN), and has led the development of a remote laboratory concept, recently receiving a Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant will be used to establish a Remote Educational Antenna Laboratory (REAL), which will be available for antenna project courses throughout the country, and potentially worldwide.
ECE Department Head Ed Schlesinger noted that the new lab could make important strides in the curriculum: "The Award would not only recognize Dan's sustained educational contributions, but together with the book and remote antenna laboratory, could lead to significant impact on undergraduate electromagnetics education."
The lab will offer an indoor antenna range within an anechoic chamber that is large enough to characterize the types of antennas that are suitable for personal electronic devices. "Such a facility could play an important role in educating engineers with the knowledge needed by the wireless industry--particularly students at institutions with limited resources--and help to invigorate undergraduate courses in engineering electromagnetics by providing timely, hands-on applications through antenna design," wrote Schlesinger. REAL will be founded in collaboration with San Diego State University, and will be beta tested there, as well as at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Washington.
Serving on the "Wipe the Slate Clean Committee" that designed a new ECE curriculum in the early 1990s, Stancil was also associate dean of engineering (1996-2000) and associate department head of ECE (1992-94). He has brought five courses to Carnegie Mellon: Microwave and Optical Magnetics, Introduction to Superconductive Devices, Advanced ECE Laboratory Techniques (Virtual Laboratory), Wireless Communications, and Antennas for Wireless Communications. Stancil's project for the Dowd Award will build on his prior work with the virtual laboratory and his antenna courses.
Stancil will be honored for the fellowship at a banquet later in the spring with other faculty award winners from the College of Engineering, including ECE professors Stanley Charap and Tsuhan Chen.
Philip L. Dowd (B.S., Metallurgical Engineering, 1963), who endowed Stancil's award, built his career with SunGard Data Systems, a giant in the financial services software industry. He is retired from his position as corporate senior vice president of the company and has served as a trustee of the university since 1995.