Recent Graduates

Daniel Skehan

Research Work

I have recently completed my MS in ECE. The goal of my thesis work was to design and implement a prototype interactive ultrasound training system. This system has been designed to limit the amount of hardware needed to allow for low-cost and portability, and it is able to utilize a desktop or laptop to run the software. To represent the patient to be scanned, a specific scan surface has been produced that allows for an optical sensor to track the position of the sham transducer. The orientation of the sham transducer is tracked by using an inexpensive Inertial Measurement Unit that relies on quaternions to be integrated into the system. The ultrasound image is generated in accordance with the position and orientation of the sham transducer, by ‘reslicing’ a stored 3D image volume. In place of a physical manikin, the training system displays a virtual patient along with a virtual transducer that reflects the sham transducer movements on the scan surface. Pre-processing is performed on a selected 3D image volume to provide coordinate transformation parameters that yield a least-mean square fit from the scan surface to the scanning region of the virtual patient.

Background

I grew up in western Massachusetts and graduated from Longmeadow High School in 2006. I graduated with distinction from WPI with a BS and finished my MS in ECE by 2011. In 2008 I had a Firmware Engineer internship within the R&D department at The Bose Corporation. In 2009 I had an internship in the Embedded Digital Systems group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The following year I began a position for directed research in the WPI Ultrasound Research Lab.
Outside of my research, I enjoy cooking/eating, playing guitar, ridiculous sports (i.e. trampoline dodgeball), and what kind of a technical person would I be without video games.

Future Plans

After graduate school I began working at the Raytheon in Andover, MA as part of their Engineering Leadership Development Program. I have since transferred to a Research and Development project in Santa Barbara, CA within Raytheon’s Electronic Warfare Division. My work has been building upon my experience with software, firmware, and signal processing.
I also have plans to continue my education and return to my friends/family in MA, but for the time being I think I will enjoy myself in California.

Christian Banker

Research Work

I am currently working toward a M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. My research involves the design of a Virtual Interactive Ultrasound Training System. This primarily software-based system uses a sham transducer, consisting of only a 6 degree of freedom position sensor, to control the display seen by the user. The display is updated in real time to show the part of the anatomy corresponding to the transducer position. By loading different data sets and using included training and evaluation tools, users will be able to hone their skills for scanning and identifying different pathologies without needing to work with real patients.

Background

I am from Norwich, CT, where I lived until coming to college. I attended high school at Norwich Free Academy, where I was involved in the music program and environmental club. I came to WPI for my undergraduate studies in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and was awarded a B.S. in May 2007. I have been actively involved in WPI’s stage band, concert band, brass ensemble and orchestra during my time at WPI. I am a brother of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and have held various positions including treasurer and webmaster. Outside of electrical engineering, my interests include mountain biking, photography, music and cooking.

During the course of my studies, I have a held several electrical engineering internships at companies around New England. My internship experiences have included work at The Lee Company, Adaptive Instruments, and Bose Corporation. My latest work at Bose involved the design of an amplifier control system for their fully active automotive suspension system.

Future Plans

I plan to continue working in the field of electrical engineering after I am done with school. After I complete my master’s I plan to seek an electrical engineering R&D position in industry.

Brett Dickson

Research Work

I am a research assistant in Professor Pedersen’s ultrasound lab pursuing a M.S. degree in ECE. My research work involves characterizing the channel properties of various wireless communication options such as 802.11, 3G cellular networks, and satellite networks. This information is necessary to determine the limitations on the range and type of data that can be transmitted from a previously developed portable ultrasound system.

Background

I went to high school in Manchester, New Hampshire where I spent the majority of my childhood. I received my B.E. in Electrical and Computer Engineering in May of 2006 from WPI. As an undergraduate, I played varsity basketball for WPI and where I was a captain for three years. After graduation, I began working in the ultrasound lab which has been a very fulfilling experience thus far. I have learned a significant amount since beginning my research work which has been very enjoyable and challenging at the same time.

Future Plans

As of now, I am a little unsure of what I hope to do after I leave WPI. My main areas of interest include computer engineering and bioengineering; however I feel that I won’t truly figure out exactly what I want to do until I am able get my feet wet working in industry. Additional interests of mine include music, sports and traveling.

Abraham Goldsmith

Research Work

I am currently near the completion of my MSEE. The goal of my thesis research is to develop a tracking system suitable for quantitative, freehand, 3D ultrasound. The system attaches to the ultrasound transducer and records its position and orientation during the scanning process. The position and orientation data is then used to correctly reconstruct a 3D volume from the individual 2D ultrasound images. This ability represents a significant step forward in ultrasound technology. Up until now, freehand 3D ultrasound required an external tracking system that maintained a fixed frame of reference during the scanning process. My system uses only inertial forces as a frame of reference and therefore requires nothing external to the transducer itself. This feature makes the system suitable for use in environments that were previously off limits to 3D ultrasound systems, such as in ambulances, helicopters, rural settings, and on the battlefield.

Background

I grew up in Somerset, MA and graduated from Somerset High School in 1998. I graduated with distinction from WPI with a BSEE in 2002. From 2001 to 2006 I worked for Maxtor Corporation in Shrewsbury, MA. I had been thinking about going back to get a MS, at the very end of 2005, when it was announced that Seagate would acquire Maxtor. Shortly thereafter I began taking graduate classes part time and not long after that I found a position in the Ultrasound Research Lab and became a full-time graduate student.

Back when I had free time I enjoyed all manner activities. Skiing and snowboarding are an obsession in the winter time. In the summer I like to scuba dive, camp, sail, fish, and sometimes just lie on the beach. I am also an expert mechanic. In the summer of 06 I bought a 1987 Toyota landcruiser in Utah, drove it back to Worcester, MA on 5 of 6 cylinders, and then rebuilt the motor in my driveway. I have also rebuilt a Ford CD4E automatic transmission.

Future Plans

After graduate school I will be working at the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory in Cambridge, MA. I will be doing fundamental research in areas of interest to Mitsubishi, such as mechanatronix, advanced display technologies, video processing, and human / computer interaction. I also have ambitions to continue my education, but I think I will relax for a little while at least.

I plan to build my own house somewhere down the line and this summer I will begin constructing a small-scale wind farm in southern RI.

John David Quartararo

Research Work

I am studying for a masters degree in Electrical Engineering. Currently, I am working on boundary detection algorithms for ultrasound images. By taking several ultrasound scan planes, and finding the boundaries (cysts, organs, etc.), a 3D model of the target can be constructed. The goal is to have a robust boundary detection algorithm that is also implementable in real time to bring 3D visualization in a portable ultrasound scanner to battlefields and hospitals.

Background

I was born in Maine, and raised in the small town of Alfred. I have two wonderful, loving parents and two sisters I am proud to call my own. My first and middle name are said together (John David).

As a kid, I loved taking things apart. Everything. Now that I am studying electrical engineering, I am finally learning how to put all those broken electronic toys back together. Curiosity about devices such as microwaves, radios, TVs (and of course, Nintendos) is what sparked my desire to pursue engineering. Enjoying math didn’t hurt, either.

I came to WPI in 2001, and had the opportunity to complete my MQP in Limerick, Ireland with two other fantastic group members. I graduated from WPI with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2005.

Future Plans

Once I graduate, I would like to work at a job involving biomedical instrumentation.