Skip to main content

Dayton Engineer

Michael Taylor and Allison Schafer

Undergraduate Research Key to Finding Future Career Interests

For many undergraduate students in the School of Engineering, research is an integral part of their time as Flyers. Many students choose to work alongside faculty researchers on their personal projects or even research sponsored by national organizations and the military. 

Two students currently conducting research with associate professor Dr. Brad Ratliff in his Applied Sensing Lab have found a future career interest in research thanks to the experience. 



Michael Taylor

Senior electrical engineering student Michael Taylor just started research work with Dr. Ratliff this semester, but he’s already secured a paid graduate assistantship in the Applied Sensing Lab. 

Taylor, from Fairborn, is eager to continue studying for his master’s degree in electrical engineering at UD while also learning more about image and signal processing.

“I found out about Dr. Ratliff’s lab after I mentioned to a friend who was working with him that I was interested in image and signal processing,” Taylor said. “I emailed Dr. Ratliff then met with him and he took me right in. It never occurred to me that finding research opportunities would be that easy.”

Taylor will be working on an Army sponsored project that utilizes object detection. Right now, he’s mainly learning more about the field before he starts working with hands-on applications this summer.

“With research, I like that I kind of can guide it myself,” Taylor said. “I can say, ‘This is something I'm interested in’, and then go do it. I don't feel limited.”


Allison Schafer

For Allison Schafer, an electrical engineering student from Beavercreek, Ohio, UD, electrical engineering — and even research — is a family affair. 

Her brother and father are also electrical engineers, her siblings are Flyers and now she is working in Dr. Brad Ratliff’s lab alongside her brother, Austin, who introduced her to Dr. Ratliff during her freshman year and now continues research as a graduate student.

“The research that I am working on has to do with machine learning and image processing,” Schafer said. “My brother and I are taking scans of a parking lot scene Dr. Ratliff made, and we are trying to teach the software to be able to decipher between what in the scan is a car, and what is not.”

Schafer enjoys her research because it provides her an opportunity to learn more about electrical engineering outside of her classes.

“As an undergrad, we have to take some classes that we may not be interested in,” Schafer said. “Doing this research really just helps guide you on the right path with what elective classes you may want to take here, and sparked my interest to learn more and take certain classes dealing with image and signal processing.”

After graduation, Schafer is looking forward to continuing into a master’s program and a career in research.

“I very much enjoy the research aspect of this job because I enjoy furthering my knowledge every day with what I do,” Schafer said.

Previous Post

UD chosen to lead state efforts to increase 5G broadband workforce and training in Western Ohio area

The University of Dayton was chosen to lead the state of Ohio’s Office of Workforce Transformation 5G Broadband grant for the West node, representing 12 counties in Ohio.
Read More
Next Post

Flyer Pitch prizes go to better disease detection, Black health, fatherless girls

The University of Dayton’s Flyer Pitch awarded top prizes from among 100 applicants to a new rapid test to detect disease among farm animals and crops; a social enterprise to promote better health for Black Americans; and a nonprofit dedicated to helping fatherless teen girls. 

Read More