Student takes home judges’ choice award in National NSF IGERT Online Video & Poster Competition

Margery Hines, a graduate student conducting research with the Northeastern University Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship for Intelligent Diagnostics (IGERT-ID) has been awarded judges’ choice in the 2012 National NSF IGERT Online Video & Poster Competition. The victory earned the IGERT-ID program a $2,000 prize. 

Margery is a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering, working with Carey Rappaport – Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and deputy director of the IGERT-ID program. The project title was “Modeling the Detection and Localization of Anti-Personnel Landmines using Ground-Contact Antennas for Ground-Penetrating Radar.” 

The online competition ran from May 22nd – May 25th; during that time judges, IGERT members, and the public were able to vote and discuss the 114 videos and posters created by students from IGERT programs across the country. The intent of hosting the competition online was to use media to promote an understanding and dissemination of scientific ideas to a broader community. The competition received over 14,000 unique visitors over the course of the four days. This was also the first year that the competition included a video component, in an attempt to facilitate scientific conversation with a general audience. 

The competition included projects from all branches of engineering and science, and promoted the use of interdisciplinary research. The judging criterion was not only based on the novelty and presentation of the scientific research, but also the ability to communicate the project to a general audience. Overall, there were twenty judges’ choice awards, four community choice awards chosen by the national IGERT members, and one public choice award chosen by the general public. Each award received a $2,000 prize for their respective IGERT program. 

Margery’s project is in the development of a novel system for humanitarian demining. The video and poster presented a computational study demonstrating an ability to locate both metallic and non-metallic anti-personnel landmines, using ground-penetrating radar when the antennas are in direct contact with the ground. Each year more than 15,000 people are injured or killed by landmines, and it is estimated that over 100 million landmines still remain hidden throughout more than 62 countries. Faster, cheaper and more accurate landmine detection is required to effectively address this issue. 

The judging consisted of 50 IGERT faculty members from numerous disciplines of engineering and science. The judges were divided into groups of five to evaluate individual posters. The awards were presented at the IGERT 2012 Annual Pi Meeting in Washington D.C. on June 1, 2012. IGERT is the NSF’s flagship interdisciplinary training programing, educating Ph.D. scientists and engineers by building on the foundations of their disciplinary knowledge with interdisciplinary training. Each IGERT program focusses on a different issue, ranging from flexible electronics for biological and life science applications to studying polar environmental changes. To learn more visit 

Related Faculty: Carey Rappaport

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering