Indiana State University Newsroom

Technology professors deliver keynote speeches at international conference in China

October 24, 2011

Two technology professors at Indiana State University delivered keynote speeches during an international conference in China.

Joe E. Ashby, who chairs the electronics and computer engineering technology department in ISU's College of Technology, presented "A Discussion of Remote Lab Technology and Related Educational Research" at the International Conference on Electrical and Control Engineering in Yichang, China. Xiaolong Li, assistant professor in the same department, presented "MAC Protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks."

In his presentation, Ashby discussed the recently created automation lab in the College of Technology, a joint initiative between ISU and Ivy Tech Community College which received a grant from the National Science Foundation. In the lab, students can remotely operate machines over the Internet to perform lab exercises and other activities.

"As we advance technologies, and system integrators and engineers put automated systems in the field, they're often in places where they don't have an expert there to work on them when there are maintenance issues or breakdowns or there is troubleshooting required," Ashby said. "So the whole idea of being able to log into an automated system and do remote diagnostics and troubleshooting is of real interest to people in automation."

In his presentation, Li discussed many different elements of medium access control (MAC) protocols. While researchers are interested in wireless sensor networks because of their potential use in a variety of areas, lower sensor ranges lead to dense networks, according to a description of his presentation.

"I received a lot of feedback after the presentation," Li said. "Professor Ashby's topic on remote labs was very popular, too. We are very glad to have had this opportunity to share our research experience at ISU with the international community."

Though Ashby has traveled to other parts of the world, the conference marked the first time that he visited China, which he enjoyed.

"I had no clear mental picture at all of what China was like, and I was surprised at how industrial it is, how much construction and expansion is going on," Ashby said. "China is aggressively growing in the business and industrial areas."

This may not be Ashby's last trip to China. He has been invited to be part of the group organizing the 2012 International Conference on Mechanic Automation and Control Engineering, which will be in Inner Mongolia. Li also has been sought to organize other upcoming international conferences, including a conference on electric information and control engineering and another one on electric technology and civil engineering.

Joe E. Ashby

Xiaolong Li

Contact: Joe Ashby, chair, electronics and computer engineering technology department, College of Technology, Indiana State University, 812-237-3387 or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or

Story Highlights

Joe E. Ashby and Xiaolong Li, who are both part of the electronics and computer engineering technology department in the College of Technology, gave keynote presentations at the International Conference on Electrical and Control Engineering in China.

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