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Posted by raherschbach on 21 Sep 2017

Building global internet access is an endeavor that betters the lives of billions, and the global communications firm OneWeb is helping to spearhead the effort.

Hank Tseu, a senior ground software architect at the firm, will be visiting the Capitol Technology University on Tuesday (September 26) to discuss OneWeb’s plans to build the world’s largest satellite constellation in a bid to make affordable internet access available to everyone on the planet.

According to the company, “we’re applying advanced technologies such as cloud computing and big data to launch and operate the world’s largest satellite constellation. And by doing so, we will transform how the world interacts with the internet through affordable, ubiquitous access for all.”

Tseu is the keynote speaker at this fall’s Career Conference at Capitol, a twice-yearly event designed to help match companies and organizations with up-and-coming talent in the business and technology fields.

“We’re excited,” said associate director of career services Sarah Alspaw, who is organizing the event. “The skills and qualifications of our students happen to match OneWeb’s hiring needs closely, and we also believe students will be excited to hear about the company’s mission and the opportunities they might have to contribute.”

Firms like OneWeb depend on being able to recruit qualified engineers and technologists, and Capitol attracts these industries because of the degree programs offered at the university, including astronautical engineering and computer science, Alspaw said.

Industry is drawn to Capitol because of its ABET-accredited engineering programs and its designation as Center of Excellence in cybersecurity, and because of the practical experience that students at the university acquire early on, she said.

“They’re impressed by the hands-on projects that students are involved in here, such as the Cactus-1 satellite project, and by the fact that these projects are largely student-driven,” she said. “We enable our students to become leaders early on in their academic career, whereas at other schools that might not get that experience until their senior year.

Companies, Alspaw said, are also impressed by the Capitol Technology University Commitment, under which the school pledges that qualified graduates will be hired at competitive salaries within their fields within 90 days of graduation. Should that not happen, Capitol offers up to 36 undergraduate credits tuition-free.

“It shows we have great confidence in our programs and in the employability of our graduates,” she said. “Not many schools are willing to make that kind of commitment.”

The Career Conference will take place from at the McGowan Center on the Capitol campus in Laurel, MD. Doors open at 10 am for juniors and seniors, and at 11 am for freshmen and sophomores. Workshops will be held in the afternoon, from 2pm to 5pm. You do not have to be a Capitol student to attend; the event is open to interested members of the wider community. For more information, contact Career Services at careers@captechu.edu

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 14 Sep 2017

Dr. Soheil Hosseini holds a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Toledo and has also accumulated extensive experience in the private sector. While a graduate student, he developed a new machine learning algorithm to forecast short-term electricity load using the data from a North American electric utility, potentially leading to millions of dollars in savings due to better prediction accuracy.

Dr. Hosseini joined the faculty of Capitol Technology University in August, 2017.

How did you first become interested in the engineering field?

When I was a teenager, I used to experiment with making simple circuits. That was the starting point.

 At the time, I was very interested in mathematics. During high school, I learned that mathematical formulas could be used to model circuits, and that was fascinating to me. Eventually I decided on electrical engineering as my field of study.

As a professor and researcher, what are your main areas of focus within the field?

Mathematical modeling of circuits remains my primary interest. I like modeling and analyzing circuits, building them, and seeing the results – the way they work not only on paper, but in real-world applications.  

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I like being able to convey the things that I’ve learned to students, to transfer that knowledge to them. In order for this to happen, it’s important to make sure the class is engaging, not boring. Students have to be engaged in order for them to learn something. My goal is for the students to leave each class session knowing something that they did not know before – understanding a new concept, for instance. And I want them to be interested in the concept, so that they’re motivated to go home and study it further. I like students who are active learners, and I try to encourage that through providing opportunities for extra credit, among other things.

What drew you to Capitol Technology University? What do you find most appealing about this university?

It’s a small university, and there’s a future here. Capitol is growing and I want to be part of that.

Outside of your teaching and academic work, what are some of your interests?

I do some boxing, and I like to go to the gym regularly.

 

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 14 Sep 2017

Are you a high school or community college student with an interest in computers, coding, gaming and cybersecurity?

If that sounds like you, you’ll want to be at the McGowan Center on the Capitol campus starting at 9 am on Saturday, September 23 for a series of exciting, game-type activities, including virtual lockpicking.

The event is part of an ongoing series of Cyber Saturdays held on at Capitol Technology University's Cyber Lab, a pioneering facility that provides a venue for practicing cybersecurity skills and techniques in a real-time setting.

Food will be provided, and participants will also have the opportunity to win door prizes. The lab is located on the second floor of the McGowan Center at Capitol's campus in Laurel, MD. Look for Room M201.

Cyber Saturdays are mainly intended to be fun, while at the same time involving skills utilized in cybersecurity, one of today’s most in-demand fields.

“These events increase awareness and then they get students interested in the [cybersecurity] profession,” says Dr. William Butler, chair of the Cybersecurity program at Capitol.

Cyber Saturdays have been a recurring event at Capitol since 2013. Meghan Young, director of admissions, says the program has been highly popular.

"Capitol is in an ideal position to offer events like these because of our designated Cyber Lab and our faculty who take the time to make learning fun and interesting,” Young said. “It gets better and better each year."

The event is open to anyone with an interest in computers or gaming, but space is limited. To find out more, contact the Cyber Lab at cybersat@captechu.edu.

The event is free, but registration is requested. To register, click here.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 13 Sep 2017

Not many college graduates can say they have had the experience of building a payload and seeing NASA launch it into space.

For the Capitol Technology University students who attended RockSat-X this summer, it was an experience they won’t forget.

“The launch was at 5:30 am,” recalls Christopher Murray, the team’s flight software specialist. “We had a smooth recovery, with our payload still intact – although a little seawater got in. Our antenna was preserved. Most of our stuff was retrievable; we just had to wipe off the water.”

Murray and his fellow team members were there to test Project Hermes, an ongoing, student-led effort to investigate new approaches to satellite control and telemetry. Initiated by Capitol professor Rishabh Maharaja in 2014, the project has experimented with methods of linking up with a satellite payload using a mobile phone.

Attending RockSat-X in August along with Murray were fellow team members Marissa Jagarnath, Sam Lawson, Sophia LoSchiavo, Erik Schroen, Pierce Smith, and Dean Zanetti, together with mentor Ryan Schrenk.

At RockSat-X, the team’s goal was to communicate with its payload via the Iridium constellation, a globe-spanning network of 66 satellites in polar orbit.

“We were able to achieve instantaneous communication between the rocket and our smartphones, allowing us to track it at apogee and plot its path,” Murray explains. “We’re the first to do that using Iridium. It’s quite groundbreaking.”

Sophia LoSchiavo, Hermes project manager, said the team is pleased with the results, despite some anomalies.

“We received messages to our cell phones containing GPS data as well as maintenance data,” she said. “We received latitude and longitude – the longitude was accurate, though the latitude data was iffy. Even though we didn’t receive as much data as we would have liked, there was definitely enough to call it successful.”

Team member Sam Lawson played a key role in designing and building the payload structure. He says he values the practical experience gained through RockSat-X – and through Project Hermes and similar endeavors at Capitol.

“You get to design a payload from the ground up while working within NASA guidelines,” he said. “Working as part of a team to co-ordinate and build your own thing and at the end of the process see it get sent into space – it’s really exciting.”

Students also see gaining hands-on experience as essential to forging a successful career, Murray said.

“Everything that we’re doing here benefits the students and is helping us look better when we go out into the job market. Not many people in a job interview can honestly say that they have participated in designing a payload that went up into space,” he said.

“It’s a great thing to have on your resume,” LoSchiavo agreed.

Photos: a) From left: Sophia LoSchiavo, Ryan Schrenk, Pierce Smith, Christopher Murray, Marissa Jagarnath, Sam Lawson; b) the Hermnes payload. Photos by Marissa Jagarnath

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 24 Aug 2017

With a rare astronomical event coinciding with the first day of classes, the fall semester at Capitol got off to a memorable start Monday (August 21).

During the afternoon, students, faculty, and administration gathered outside for the solar eclipse that captivated viewers across the United States. While Maryland was outside the path of totality, viewers in the state were able to see the moon obscuring approximately 80% of the sun’s surface. University personnel were on hand to provide NASA-approved solar eclipse glasses for safe viewing.

Sharhonda Whitfield was among the students who turned out to watch the event. “It was my first time seeing an eclipse,” she said. “I grew up watching space shows on PBS, so I’d seen eclipses shown on TV, but I’d never witnessed one live. I really liked the way it brought everyone outside.”

The eclipse capped a busy day at the university, with a new school year officially under way. Incoming freshmen arrived on campus last week for orientation, and returning students were due back on campus on Saturday.

The enthusiasm among students – both new and returning – was everywhere to be felt, said Brandi McKee, director of residential life and student services.

“The students had a lot of fun at orientation, and the energy is still going,” she said. “We had over 50 students show up for the eclipse viewing.”

“Everyone seems very excited and happy,” she said.

Capitol's incoming freshman class is 65-strong, with applicants each year drawn to the university's diverse variety of business, engineering, and technology programs, as well as the close-knit, supportive atmosphere of a small campus.

Many graduates go on to work for agencies such as NASA and  the NSA, as well as major companies such as General Dynamics, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, and Verizon. The university boasts a strong employability track record, with 80% of graduates landing jobs within three months of graduation, at salaries nearly double the national average, according to 2016 data.

Asked about their goals for the semester, students highlighted academics and career preparation, while some also said campus clubs and activities are important.

Cybersecurity major Raekwon Banks aims to maintain a high GPA and land an internship that can ultimately lead to a full-time job in the field. “I hope to work either at a company like Northrop Grumman, or for the federal government,” he said.

Elijah Therrien, who studies computer engineering, is beginning his first year as a resident assistant. For him, the first week of school is a time to relax after prepping the dorms – and after a demanding internship over the summer.

“I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and hanging out with them,” he said. He also hopes to maintain his current 4.0 GPA average while transitioning to mostly online classes as a junior this year.

For new students, he has this advice: although academics are crucial, it’s also important to get out and get involved.

 “Interact with the community. Don’t just stay in the dorms. If there’s an opportunity to volunteer or help out with something, then try to do so,” he says. “That way, when you’re looking for a job down the road or need a letter of reference, you’ll have more opportunities, you’ll have more people who know you and know your work ethic.”

Photo: Student Annie Yang watches the solar eclipse at Capitol on Monday (August 21).


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