Maurizio Manzo and Hector Siller
Maurizio Manzo and Hector Siller

Maurizio Manzo and Hector Siller in the College of Engineering, along with Abdulrahman Habib in the College of Science, were recently selected by UNT’s Jim McNatt Institute for Logistics Research as one of four teams to receive $10,000 in seed grant funding for their project on embedded fiber optical sensing for autonomous vehicles.

Their research aims to use fiber optic sensors attached to autonomous vehicles, or drones, to help with day-to-day tracking and monitoring. They also plan to evaluate machine learning techniques to help optimize the integration of the sensors.

“These sensors would make it possible for autonomous vehicles to help detect pollution levels, monitor traffic, or help locate contaminants or chemical substances in emergency situations,” said Manzo, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The team also plans to demonstrate the project to the Army Research Laboratory as part of the next-generation Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aerial Systems initiative.

Biomedical Engineering founding chair Vijay Vaidyanathan is also part of another team selected by the Jim McNatt Institute for Logistics and Research. The team is based out of the Ryan College of Business and will focus on understanding if forklift operators are following best practices.

The seed funding comes as part of the new CIIMS initiative, which is a collaborative research unit focused on integrated intelligent mobility systems such as connected and autonomous vehicle research.