Vladimir Stojanovic, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been awarded the 2006 Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization from the MIT Sea Grant College Program. Every year, the program selects one or two new faculty members for a supplemental award of $25,000 per year for two years.
Stojanovic's research will focus on improving the energy efficiency of underwater fiber optic links, which are critical to many marine applications. Currently, most short-range optical interconnects rely on multimode fiber, which exhibits modal dispersion at multi-gigabyte-per-second data rates.
In his Doherty-funded work, Stojanovic plans to compensate for the modal dispersion and turn the multimode fiber into a multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) system. Such a system, with its improved energy efficiency and enhanced capacity, will be relevant for applications such as the remote operation of underwater vehicles and telemetry and data acquisition networks for various sensor sites.
In 2005, the two-year Doherty Professorship was awarded to Patrick Doyle, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Doyle's Doherty-funded research focuses on understanding the dynamics of single polymers and biomolecules under forces and fields. By reliably measuring elongational viscosities and comparing these to molecular simulations, Doyle expects to increase that understanding and the ability to effectively reduce drag.
The Doherty Fellowship, endowed by the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation, encourages promising, nontenured professors to undertake marine-related research that will further innovative uses of the ocean's resources. The area of research may address any aspect of marine use and/or management, whether social, political, environmental or technological.