You are here

Chipengo takes first at university graduate research forum

Ushe ChipengoAn Ohio State University electrical and computer engineering student rose to the top in a recent university-wide research forum.

Ushemadzoro "Ushe" Chipengo earned first place at the annual Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum held March 3. His winning research is titled, “Novel Concepts for Slow Wave Structures Used in High Power Backward Wave Oscillators.”

Chipengo said the win helped him gain confidence in his work, especially among the best students among Ohio State’s 12 engineering departments.

“This is a unique honor for me because it’s the first time I have competed outside the electrical engineering discipline,” he said. “For our work to be recognized as the best across 12 departments in the school of engineering is an achievement that I do not take lightly or for granted.”

Chipengo is advised by Prof. John L. Volakis and Niru Nahr, studying primarily out of Ohio State's ElectroScience Laboratory.

“Over the past couple of years, I have been focused on developing novel concepts for slow wave structures used in high powered backward wave oscillators, or simply BWOs. These are devices capable of generating electromagnetic radiation that can be a million times more powerful than the conventional home microwave,” Chipengo said.

Among other applications, he said, the devices have real-world uses in satellite communications, high power RADAR and plasma physics.

“My goal has been to design slow wave structures to significantly enhance the operating efficiency of these devices while ensuring high output mode purity,” he said. “To date, we have achieved efficiency improvements of over 40 percent.”

Chipengo's first-place award in the Engineering category comes with a $600 cash prize.

The Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum showcases the innovative and exemplary research being conducted by Ohio State graduate students across the full range of graduate degree programs and facilitates fruitful exchanges between students, faculty, the administration, and the public.

Cash prizes are awarded to the top-judged presentations in each academic area. The forum is co-sponsored by the Council of Graduate Students, the Graduate School, and the Office of Research.