NAECON Awards and Grand Challenge

2018 Larrell Walters Grand Challenge on
Cooperative Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST)

(No 2017 WINNER)

Background: The concept of autonomy is finding its way into systems and technologies for a diverse range of commercial and defense applications from smart cars to unmanned aerial systems (UAS) within a supporting autonomy architecture consisting of command and control, information exploitation and dissemination, and manned-unmanned teaming. The grand challenge of autonomy exists at both the systems and technologies level.

Challenge Problem: Design or fabrication approaches, and/or possible innovative concepts for either hardware (to include sensing and computing technologies), embedded algorithms, and architectures that could be adapted to assist smart cars traveling on smart roads through smart towns. Judges will determine the Grand Challenge Winner, details will be on the web page.

Approach: This design challenge can be based either (a) simulation, (b) hardware, or (c) software design and validation. Note that the submission includes a paper, and presentation. Please indicate “NAECON Grand Challenge” on the abstract submission to NAECON.

STEM Poster Session: A separate poster session will showcase undergraduate CAST-related projects from area high school and undergraduate students (tentative).

NOTE: This award is selected from all submissions from the prior years’ NAECON conference , so at NAECON 2018, the NAECON 2017 winner will be honored.

2018 Joe Sciabica Innovation and Collaboration Award

2018 WINNER: Morley Stone, Chief Technology Officer, Air Force Research Lab

At the 2012 Ohio Innovation Summit for Sensors, an award was established to recognize a major innovator and collaborator in the technology sector. The first recipient of the award was Mr. Joe Sciabica, Senior Executive Service (SES) and former Executive Director of Air Force Research Lab. Mr. Sciabica’s vision and efforts played an integral role in the Dayton Region’s collaborative growth of innovative technical capabilities in advanced sensor technology. The award has since been named in his honor.

If a suitable nominee is proposed, the Joe Sciabica Innovation and Collaboration Award will be presented to the winner(s) at NAECON 2018.

Review Criteria for Joe Sciabica Innovation and Collaboration Award

Any person or entity in the Dayton region meeting the established criteria may be nominated. The Dayton region will be defined as being within 90 miles of the City of Dayton. Other criteria for the award are:

Primary Criteria

  1. The individual, team, or entity has been an innovative thought leader by either leading innovation, or being an innovator in the area of advanced sensor technology.
  2. The innovation must have been achieved through collaboration.
  3. Using the definition of innovation as ideas used in collaboration to promote different groups/entities working together; the collaborative innovation must create economic/performance value, dramatically improved effectiveness, or jobs.
  4. The innovation/collaboration must be in a sensor systems/data-to-decisions technology areas including, but not limited to, devices, software, algorithms, visualization, and sensor exploitation.
  5. The type of innovation/collaboration is prioritized from low to high: improvement< bridging< transformational.

Nominations should be submitted to the NAECON General Co-Chairs

2018 Dan Repperger Memorial Best Paper Award 

2017 WINNER: “New High-Extinction Wire-Grid Polarizers for Polarimetric W-Band Radar”Weidong Zhang, Andrea Mingardi, and Elliott Brown, Wright State University

The Repperger Best Paper Award honors the life and works of Dr. Daniel W.Repperger (1942-2010) a scientist and mentor to many young engineers andscientists. As a researcher in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate for 35 years, Dr. Repperger’s mathematical andscientific innovations have revolutionized image and network complexity analysis. He received international recognition in haptic controllers, human-machine interface performance enhancement, and mathematical methods development. While Dr. Repperger’s significant research accomplishments helped advanced the performance of Air Force airmen and the field of human-centered research, his most significant accomplishment may well be the impact he had as a kind and caring mentor of many young Air Force scientists and science and engineering students.

NOTE: This award is selected from all final manuscript submissions from the prior years’ NAECON conference , so at NAECON 2018, the NAECON 2017 winner will be honored.

2018 Best Poster Awards 


1st place:     Ngalula Sandrine Mubenga, University of Toledo, “A Bilevel Equalizer for Lithium Ion Batteries”
2nd place:    Vasily Astratov – presented by Aaron Brettin, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, “Observation of the Resonantly Enhanced Resolution of Imaging of Fluorescent Nanospheres due to their Coupling to the Metallic Nanoplasmonic Arrays”
3rd place:    Md Zahangir Alom, University of Dayton, “Nuclei Segmentation with Recurrent Residual Convolutional Neural Network based U-Net (R2U-Net)”