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German PhD Student Advised by Villanova Engineering Professor Wins International Thesis Contest

Dr. Moeness Amin, Ms. Ann-Kathrin Seifert and Dr. Abdelhak Zoubir
Dr. Moeness Amin, Ms. Ann-Kathrin Seifert and Dr. Abdelhak Zoubir

As a core objective of his Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, Dr. Moeness Amin, director of Villanova’s Center for Advanced Communications, has instigated at Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt, Germany, research on using radar for indoor monitoring of human daily activities. This research finds applications in assisted living and contactless man-machine interfaces. Since 2016, Dr. Amin, together with Dr. Abdelhak Zoubir at TU Dramstadt, has been supervising the work of Ms. Ann-Kathrin Seifert who, this September, won the Three Minute Doctoral Thesis Contest at the European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO) in A Coruña, Spain. Her PhD topic “Signal Processing for Radar-based Medical Gait Analysis” considers the medical diagnosis application of radio frequency, in particular, detection of gait abnormality using radar.

This year, 10 doctoral candidates were invited to EUSIPCO based on 3-minute videos submitted in advance. The candidates from different universities had to present their doctoral topic live in three minutes in front of 125 spectators. The audience then voted to select the three winners.

Seifert has been researching radar-based gait detection since October 2016. Using the so-called radar micro-Doppler signatures, abnormalities in the gait can be detected without the need for wearable sensors Earlier this year, a paper he co-authored with Seifert and Dr. Zoubi—"Detection of gait asymmetry using indoor doppler radar”—won the best paper award at the 2019 IEEE Radar Conference.