July 11, 2005
ECE alumnus Tom Martin (Ph.D. 1999; M.S. 1994), an assistant professor of ECE at Virginia Tech, has received a five-year National Science Foundation CAREER grant for $400,000. This is the most prestigious award for creative junior faculty who are likely to become academic leaders of the future.
His CAREER project is designing e-textiles that can sense their own shapes, the wearer's motions, and the position of the sensing elements. These "smart" clothes appear and feel normal but provide sensing and computing capabilities. Martin and his colleague Mark Jones, an associate professor of ECE at Virginia Tech, have been working with representatives from Dan River Inc., a textiles manufacturer in Danville, Va., to ensure that e-textile fabrics can be woven on production looms.
"If e-textiles can be manufactured using traditional techniques, it might help rejuvenate the textile industry in Southside Virginia," said Martin, whose research is part of the Virginia Tech E-Textiles Laboratory.
For his Ph.D. work at Carnegie Mellon, he integrated models of battery behavior and system performance in order to increase the amount of computing that can be performed in a battery life. His thesis was titled, "Balancing Batteries, Performance, and Power: System Issues in CPU Speed-Setting for Mobile Computing."
Martin was affiliated with the Wearable Computing Group in the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) and advised by Buhl University Professor Daniel Siewiorek. He was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship from 1993-1996 and was a National Science Foundation Engineering Education Scholar in 1995. As a student, he belonged to IEEE, Eta Kappa Nu, and Phi Kappa Phi.