Air Force awards FIU $4.82 million to propel research on origami antennas

MIAMI, Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) has awarded Florida International University (FIU) an additional $4.82 million to expand its groundbreaking research on origami antennas. Last year, the AFOSR granted $4.82 million to establish the Transforming Antennas Center (TAC). The funding total, close to $10 million, will be distributed over six years.

TAC develops innovative and advanced origami-based antennas for the next-generation of Air Force and Department of Defense systems. The dynamically adaptable antennas can be compactly stowed, easily collapsed and quickly deployed, enhancing, for example, the agility of warfighters in the battlefield and satellite communications. The new grant builds on existing research, such as the expansion of designs and materials to be used, and will enable TAC to perform fundamental studies as well as develop new computational tools and building blocks for these robust foldable antenna systems. It will also support convergence research and enhance the center's workforce development efforts.

"The grant augments TAC's workforce development initiatives by increasing the number of postdoctoral researchers, Ph.D. students and undergraduate students for our already strong research in the radio frequency (RF) and millimeter wave/5G applications," said John Volakis, dean of FIU's College of Engineering & Computing. "It will also contribute to state-of-the-art undergraduate and graduate curricula in antennas and electromagnetics and strengthens collaboration with industry partners."

The additional funding enhances TAC's research collaboration opportunities with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and facilitates the exchange of technical information between AFRL scientists and FIU faculty and students. It also brings two new collaborating institutions to the TAC - Brigham Young University and Cornell University.

"The goal of convergence research is to merge different disciplines together in the spirit of collaboration and create new ways of examining and investigating problems in the hopes of solving them and leading to breakthroughs," said Stavros Georgakopoulos, TAC director and professor in the College of Engineering & Computing's Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. "This grant allows us to grow our research in origami antennas by bringing together intellectually diverse experts to pool resources and develop novel systems. It also strengthens industry partnerships and creates job opportunities for our students. I am looking forward to what our research will unfold."

Georgakopoulos is the inventor of several foldable origami antenna systems. He pioneered the development of the first-generation origami electromagnetic system through a previously awarded National Science Foundation Emerging Frontier in Research and Innovation (ERFI) grant, which was co-funded by AFOSR. Inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding, origami electromagnetic systems include reconfigurable, foldable and deployable multifunctional antennas and antenna arrays, adaptable "smart skins" for communication and sensing, and compact/collapsible wearable antennas.

To learn more, visit the Transforming Antennas Center website.


About FIU:
Florida International University is Miami's public research university. FIU is focused on student success and research excellence, with several programs among the best in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report rankings and more than $200 million in annual research expenditures. The Next Horizon fundraising campaign is furthering FIU's commitment to providing students Worlds Ahead opportunities. Today FIU has two campuses and multiple centers, including sites in Qingdao and Tianjin, China, and supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA, with more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. The university has awarded more than 330,000 degrees to many leaders in South Florida and beyond. For more information about FIU, visit

Media Contact:
Diana Hernandez
College of Engineering & Computing

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SOURCE Florida International University