:Chattanooga; :Oct 27, 2009; :Life; :32

UTC, Armenia university linked for remote lab access

By Clint Cooper ccooper@timesfreepress.com

Online: Hear Dr. Jim Henr y talk about UTC’s remoteaccess link. Comment.

    Students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and students at the State Engineering University in Armenia now can run experiments in each other’s labs.

    Dr. Jim Henry, a professor of chemical and environmental engineering at UTC, and Alan Voss, a Tennessee Valley Authority retiree, recently traveled to Yerevan, Armenia, to install equipment to facilitate the remote electronic access.

    The equipment in Armenia is funded by a grant from the NATO Science for Peace and Security Program and another from the Engineering Information Foundation.

    Dr. Henry said Dr. Oleg Gasparyan, a world-renowned control engineer in Armenia, learned about UTC’s remote operated laboratories, e-mailed him and suggested they apply for a NATO grant, which they received.

    The grants, according to NATO, are given for cooperative projects between principals in NATO nations such as the United States and principals in what are called NATO partner nations such as Armenia.

    The work both labs do, according to Dr. Henry, who along with Mr. Voss spoke about the project at the Chattanooga Engineering Club on Monday, leads to results such as improved design of industrial plants, automobile cruise-control systems and oven thermostats.

    The UTC professor, who previously worked with people on similar projects within remoteaccess labs in Germany, Mexico, Canada and Australia, said the state-of-the-art equipment installed in Armenia allows for Web, audio and video links.

    “It will be a 24-7 operation,” he said. “They will be operating here (at UTC) if I’m at home.”