Kurum receives NSF CAREER award to study microwave remote sensing

April 25, 2022

KurumA faculty member in Mississippi State’s Bagley College of Engineering has earned one of the top educational honors from the National Science Foundation.

Mehmet Kurum, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is MSU’s latest recipient of the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the NSF. Kurum has earned a $500,000 grant from the NSF to study microwave remote sensing methods in the agriculture industry.

Kurum’s research focuses on changing the paradigm of remote sensing methods and developing next generation technologies and ideas that are more spectrum efficient, more effective and meet the challenges of present and future radio spectrum congestion. Currently, Kurum is researching spectrum recycling in the application of precision agriculture.

“Precision agriculture most commonly makes use of sensors like multispectral cameras, thermal or lidar. In this project, we hope to push the current paradigm for precision agriculture towards radio spectrum,” Kurum said. “With a little work and some engineering, we hope to use low-cost drones and smartphones to monitor soil and crop health for farms across the world.”

Kurum also hopes to make a difference through his research in water conservation.

“One of the most effective ways one can monitor water is through the adoption of satellite technology in our daily lives. It’s affordable and usable by everyone across the globe. I believe that one of the biggest challenges to making this technology have an effect on people’s everyday lives is to simply increase public awareness of the opportunities of radio spectrum recycling and the possibilities of microwave remote sensing as a whole,” Kurum said. “We hope that the research we do at MSU will shine a light so that others can see what radio spectrum recycling can offer the world.”

Kurum said he is very fortunate to work with a highly talented group of both graduate and undergraduate students at Mississippi State and is thankful to be honored by the National Science Foundation.

“I’m honored and excited to have been selected as a recipient for the NSF’s prestigious CAREER program. This opportunity will further establish our group at Mississippi State University as leading researchers in the field of radio spectrum recycling in the applications of precision agriculture, forestry, water conservation, and much more,” Kurum said. “MSU is perfect for conducting applied research due to its stance as a land-grant university with many research centers such as the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) and Geosystems Research Institute (GRI). The people, infrastructure, and land available at these centers were invaluable resources for me to collect preliminary data and develop this proof-of-concept in the field.”

Kurum joins a list of recent Bagley College of Engineering faculty members who have earned the CAREER Award. Recent recipients of the honor include Bo Tang,  Jean Mohammadi-AraghAli GurbuzWenmeng “Meg” Tian, Neeraj Rai and Maxwell Young.

The Faculty Early Career Development Program is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-wide activity that supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education.

The Bagley College of Engineering is online at www.bagley.msstate.edu and can be found on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube at @msuengineering.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

By Emily Cambre