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Dr. Rumpf's EM Lab: New patent and grant | Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre/UTEP Communications

UTEP Team Earns NSF Grant for Electromagnetics and Photonics Research

The EM Lab, a group of UTEP researchers led by Raymond Rumpf, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has secured a new patent for anisotropic metamaterials for electromagnetic compatibility, and a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The NSF grant was awarded for research on photon funnels, which are “nanoscale 3-D lattices that direct the flow of light using a new optical phenomenon recently invented by the EM Lab,” said Noel Pedro Martinez, doctoral candidate in electrical engineering. Rumpf and his EM Lab team are working with Stephen Kuebler, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at the University of Central Florida (UCF), and his Kuebler Lab.

“In one area, we’ve invented a new electromagnetic phenomenon that lets us change the shape of the electromagnetic fields around devices,” Rumpf said.

The discovery related to the patent allows the researchers to sculpt electromagnetic fields like clay. One of the applications of their invention could be used in cell phones. The team is presently working with cell phone antennae.

Rumpf founded the EM Lab in 2011 and his team has already delivered an array of very significant breakthroughs, including inventing at least two new electromagnetic phenomena.

Rumpf is a pioneer in 3-D printing of high-frequency circuits and electromagnetic devices. His mission at UTEP is to develop revolutionary technologies that are enabled by 3-D printing.

Three other patents are pending related to the work at the EM Lab. Rumpf came to UTEP with 13 patents. The Schellenger Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the EM Lab says the awards are rewarding for the work the team conducts, as many couldn’t believe their discoveries were possible.

“In the beginning, it was just a bunch of insane ideas that people were shaking their heads at,” Rumpf recalled. “Over the years, we’ve managed to prove our concepts to a point where people are convinced and are seeing all of the ways the concepts can be used.”

To learn more about the EM Lab, visit it online.

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