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U.S. National Committee for URSI


Past Activities and Events 

2018 National Radio Science Meeting in Boulder, Colorado
The 2018 NRSM, sponsored by the USNC-URSI, was held Thursday through Sunday, January 4 through 7, in Boulder, CO. The URSI-URSI supported the travel of 127 students going to this year's NRSM.

The fifth Hans Liebe Lecture was given at the 2018 NRSM by Dr. Maria P. Cadeddu of the Argonne National Laboratory. Her talk was titled "Spectroscopy and Remote Sensing Studies with the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Ground-based Microwave and Millimeter-wave Radiometers: A Review of Accomplishments and Recent Challenges.".
Click here for more information on the Hans Liebe Lecture series.

The USNC-URSI was also proud to host the Ernest K. Smith Student Paper Competition. More information on the competition is available at or by contacting the Student Paper Chair, Professor Erdem Topsakal, at Student papers and top three paper awards were presented as follows:

First prize ($1000): Yahya Mohtashami, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Paper Title: "A balun-free hybrid helix/monopole antenna for microwave ablation"

Second prize ($750): Daisong Zhang, University of California, Los Angeles
Paper Title: "A novel flexible electro-textile 3T MRI RF coil array for stroke prevention: Design, characterization, and prototyping"

Third prize ($500): Wenyang Li, Brown University
Paper Title: "Comparison redundant and sky model based interferometric calibration: A first look with phase II of the MWA"

URSI GASS 2017 in Montréal, Canada
For the 32nd time since the inception of URSI, Radio Scientists from across the world gathered for the URSI General Assembly and Scientific Symposium on August 19-26, 2017 in Montréal, Canada.  This event was a unique opportunity to learn about recent advances in all fields of Radio Science, as covered by all ten URSI Commissions. 

The USNC-URSI supported 85 total attendees of the GASS in three different categories: 17 graduate students, 32 early career scientists, and 36 commission members. URSI was able to award travel assistance as part of its Young Scientists Program, supported by the French and Japanese Member Committees. The complete list of award finalists 
is available on the GASS website. URSI was also proud to hold its 4th Student Paper Competition at the GASS, funded by U.S. National Committee (USNC-URSI). Five full-time university students had the opportunity to present their papers in front of a panel at the GASS, and the results are as follows:
  • First prize ($1500): Shubhendu Bhardwaj, The Ohio State University
  • Second prize ($1250): Satheesh Bojja Venkatakrishnan, The Ohio State University
  • Third prize ($1000): Takashi Nagasaka, Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan
  • Fourth prize ($750): Navid Rezazadeh, University of Manitoba, Canada
  • Fifth prize ($500): Surajit Bose, CSIR Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata, India
URSI additionally announces the recipients of three prestigious awards. The Santimay Basu prize was awarded to Dr. Jamesina J. Simpson, Associate Professor at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Dr. Lotfollah Shafai, Distinguished Professor at Canada's University of Manitoba received the Booker Gold Medal. And Dr. John Pendry, Professor at Imperial College London in the UK, received the John Howard Dellinger Medal. 

The USNC-URSI hosted two events at the URSI GASS. The first was a U.S. Reception for all U.S. attendees at the GASS on Tuesday, August 22. The second was a Mentoring Luncheon for graduate students and early careers, on Wednesday, August 23, which five U.S. students were invited to attend.

Professor Piergiorgio Uslenghi (University of Illinois, Chicago) was elected as one of URSI's newest vice presidents. The USNC-URSI congratulates Dr. Uslenghi on starting his term with URSI.

For more information on GASS 2017, please visit the website:

2017 NRSM Meeting and Student Paper Competition
The most recent annual National Radio Science Meeting (NRSM) was held from Wednesday, January 4 through Saturday, January 7 in Boulder, Colorado. The meeting offered Student Travel Grant awards to both graduate and undergraduate students, and featured the 120 Ernest K. Smith Student Paper Competition.

This student paper competition is organized at each National Radio Science Meeting. Papers are reviewed by representatives of the 10 USNC-URSI Commissions and the top three authors are invited to present their research at the Ernest K. Smith Student Competition held during the Plenary event. This year, the top three winners received a prize of $750 each:

Radio-Frequency Emission Detection and Scaling from Hypervelocity Impacts on Charged Targets
(Commission G)
Andrew Nuttall* and Sigrid Close, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University

Warm Plasma Raytracing of Whistler Mode 2 Waves in the Earth's Magnetosphere
(Comission H)
Ashanti S. Maxworth* and Mark Golkowski, Department of Electrical Engineerng, University of Colorado at Denver

Miniaturized Antenna System Designs and Characterizations for Wireless and Fully-Passive Brain-Machine Interface
(Commission K)
Lingnan Song* and Yayha Rahmat-Samii, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California at Los Angeles

2016 NRSM Meeting: January 6-9
This open scientific meeting was sponsored by the USNC-URSI. Through technical co-sponsorship of the meeting by the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, the authors of summaries that were presented at the meeting had the option of archiving their summaries on IEEE Xplore.

The USNC-URSI awarded a total of 106 travel fellowships to Boulder. On Wednesday, January 7, the committee held a student luncheon and a Reception for Women in Radio Science. Sixteen women attended the reception, and were able to network and exchange their experiences working in a highly male-dominated field.

The Ernest K. Smith Student Paper Competition is organized at each National Radio Science Meeting. Papers are reviewed by representatives of the 10 USNC-URSI commissions and the top three authors are invited to present their research at a special plenary session. The 2016 winners were:

First Prize: Experimental Validation of Mode Dominance Reversal in Novel Slow Wave Structure for High Power Backward Wave Oscillators (Commission B)
Ushemadzoro Chipengo and John L. Volakis (Advisor)
ElectroScience Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Second Prize (tie): Modification of the Lower Ionosphere Conductivity by Thunderstorm Electrostatic Fields (Commission H)
Mohammad A. Salem, Ningyu Liu (Advisor), and Hamid K. Rassoul
Geospace Physics Laboratory, Department of Physics and Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL

Second Prize (tie): A Novel Array with 6:1 Bandwidth and 70° Scanning using FSS Superstrate (Commission B)
Ersin Yetisir, Nima Ghalichechian, and John L. Volakis (Advisor)
ElectroScience Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

  • 1st Place -- Luz Maria Neira, "Investigation of High Resolution Microwave Breast Imaging Using a 3-D Inverse Scattering Algorithm with a Variable-Strength Spatial Prior Constraints"
  • 2nd Place -- Jeffrey S. Jensen, "A Cognitive Spatial Learning Control System For 3-Dimensional Random Arrays"
  • 3rd Place (Tie) -- Jonathan M. Pozderac, "X-Band Beacon-Receiver Array Evaporation Duct Height Estimation," and
    Seyed Mohamad Amin Momeni Hasan Abadi, "Wideband Polarization Converters Based on Miniaturized-Element Frequency Selective Surfaces

2016 URSI David Jackson and Steven Reising
Steven C. Reising (right) receives an Outstanding Service Award from the Chair of USNC-URSI, David R. Jackson (left), for his three years of dedicated service as the previous Chair of USNC-URSI.

2016 URSI Student Paper Competition
Winners and mentors of the Ernest K. Smith Student Paper Competition. From left to right: John L. Volakis, Ushemadzoro Chipengo,
David R. Jackson, Erdem Topsakal, Mohammad A. Salem, Ningyu Liu, Ersin Yetisir.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number AST-1708170. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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