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U of M Engineering Students Win National Infrared Imaging Competition

For release: July 27, 2012
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901-678-2843

Five students from the University of Memphis’ Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering recently won the national Student Infrared Imaging Competition sponsored by DRS Technologies. Final judging for the $10,000 competition was held June 30 in Melbourne, Fla.

The contest focused on developing non-military, commercially viable applications for DRS’ new miniature infrared camera.

The U of M team devised a method to detect the differences between genuine United States currency and counterfeit bills. With the assistance of the Memphis Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service, the students heated various denominations of bills under controlled conditions and recorded the responses using the infrared camera supplied by DRS Technologies. The process developed by the Memphis students successfully detected even the best specimen of counterfeit money from about 30 pieces tested.

Dr. George Skidmore (second from left) of DRS Technologies, congratulates the U of M students who won the 2012 DRS Technologies Student Infrared Imaging Competition. The students, from left, are Cody Fernandez, Micah Lies, Tyler Canup, David Blix, and David Campisi.

Potential commercial applications include a compact portable unit that can be used by merchants and banks. One law enforcement agency expressed interest in using the system to track characteristics of various sources of counterfeiting.

The Memphis team included Cody Fernandez of Bartlett, Micah Lies of Collierville, Tyler Canup of Millington, David Blix of Thompson’s Station, Tenn., and David Campisi of Texarkana, Texas. All five are pursing bachelor of science degrees in electrical and computer engineering.

Faculty sponsors were Dr. Aaron Robinson and Tom Wyatt.

“I am extremely proud of those guys,” said Robinson, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. “I had a great time watching them work through the project challenges to come up with a product that is definitely worthy of this recognition. They are excellent examples of the ‘Dreamers, Thinkers, Doers’ we seek to produce in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program. You couldn’t ask for better representatives of the Department, the College, and the University.”

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