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Engineering students pursuing summer projects

Harley Myler adjusts device Student involvement in faculty research and innovation is a hallmark at LU that continues year-round.

This summer, Tyler Mackey and Nic Nikoloutsos, both sophomore electrical engineering majors and both from Vidor, are working with Harley Myler, professor and chair of the Phillip M. Drayer Department of Electrical Engineering at Lamar, on two projects. 

One project is a special device suggested by the Texas Department of Transportation to assist law enforcement in verifying proper permitting of trucking as well as oversize/overweight loads on Texas roads.

Tyler Mackey and LUPD Officer Meadows“The goal of this device is to enable law enforcement to be able to verify proper permitting without having to make traffic stops,” Myler said. “This would save time not only for the officers, but also for the drivers, saving resources. It would also enhance safety by significantly reducing the frequency of highway stops.”

The user will connect the patent pending device to the Texas permitting system via the Internet. Once proper permits are verified and the data uploaded to the device, it is returned to the vehicle.  On the road, the device can be activated by radar gun. This challenge-response will give law enforcement an instant answer on whether a particular truck has proper permitting, Myler said.

Mackey, a Mirabeau Scholar at Lamar, assembled the circuit for the device. The initial tests where done with the help of Officer Thomas Meadows of the LUPD using the standard Ku-Band radar gun.  The device was able to isolate the frequency and additional refinements will be made based on the tests, Myler said.

Nic NikoloutsosThe device can be tailored not only to Ku-Band radar currently used in Texas, but any frequency band, Myler said. 

In another project, Nikoloutsos is continuing work on Robo-Card, a Segway being converted from a weight driven vehicle to a remote controlled vehicle with four T-shirt cannons for use at Lamar sporting events.  The project will incorporate numerous innovations, including Bluetooth and 3D printer technology.