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Svetlana Avramov-Zamurovic

Courses and Student Projects

Teaching Philosophy

Student research involvement

1.     Trident scholars

Trident Thomas J. Wilson, Systems major (2016/17)

Thesis Modeling the Effects of Meteorological Conditions on the Neutron Flux

MIDN Wilson developed a model that predicts the relationship between the environmental neutron flux and barometric pressure, temperature, and humidity from experimental data collected in Annapolis. The objective of the study is to aid in homeland security applications and predict significant neutron counts fluctuations related to the changing weather conditions that are masking effective detection of special nuclear material at location.

I am co-advised MIDN Wilson and assisted with experimental set. Assistant Professor M. G. Millett and Professor (Ret) M. E. Nelson, Nuclear Engineering, are the experts on neutron detection, VADM (Ret)  C. J. Leidig,  Mechanical Engineering, is the liaison with the various agencies involved in security matters, Assistant Professor D.N. VanDerwerken, Mathematics,  overseen statistical modeling and LT K. J. Barron, Office of the Superintendent, was responsible for the policies related to the neutron detection.

Conference paper Hardware and Software Simulation Technology (DITRA) 2017 “Modeling the Effects of Meteorological Conditions on the Neutron Flux”, HEART conference proceedings, Denver, CO


Journal paper “Meteorologically Driven Neutron Background Prediction for Homeland Security”, submitted to IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science. Note: This paper has been written by faculty, (VanDerwerken, Millet, nelson and Avramov-Zamurovic) using the data MIDN Wilson collected.

Trident Kayla J. Sax (married Barron) , Systems major,

recipient of the Best Trident Project Award, 2010

Thesis Characterization and Comparison of New Concepts in Neutron Detection

MIDN Sax investigated a possibility of using memory chips as detectors of neutron radiation in a dirty bomb scenario. She studied the physics and engineering of memory chip alternations in order to implement the detector. She was an extraordinary student capable of integrating comments from a diverse committee. As her home department mentor, my role was focused on the metrology of the experiments she performed and the project integration. She wrote an excellent journal paper describing her major findings that has been caught up in the Navy review process.

Co-advisors Professor Martin E. Nelson (Mechanical Engineering), Professor Svetlana Avramov-Zamurovic (Systems Engineering), CAPT Charles B. Cameron (Electrical and Computer Engineering), and Professor James F. Ziegler (Physics)

Journal paper completed during the Tridentship.

K. J. Sax, M. E. Nelson, S. Avramov-Zamurovic, C. B. Cameron, J. F. Ziegler, K. J. Delikat, and H. Hughes,  “Evaluation of an SRAM-Based Thermal Neutron-Detection System”  to be submitted.

2.     Independent research Honors students

System Engineering (Honors) students focus on their projects for three semesters: a) taking a research methods class in the spring of junior year culminating in the research proposal, b) working with an advisor on researching their topic in the fall and c) doing the capstone project in the spring of the senior year. As an advisor, I mentor each advisee twice a week throughout three semesters.

MIDN  Kelly,   Analyzing Laser Propagation Underwater                                        2017 Fall

Underwater Experimental set up for Laser propagation         2017 Spring

MIDN  Collins,  Analyzing Laser Scattering Underwater,       2017 Spring

MIDN  Rooney, Research proposal 2014 Spring, Research 2014 Fall,  Capstone project 2015 Spring

Analyzing Laser Propagation Data To Minimize Variance In A Maritime Environment

Capturing lasers in Maritime Environment

AERO major MIDN Cully, Co-advised with R. Malek-Madani

Introduction to Research Analysis Tools: Spectral Analysis                     2014 Fall

Lasers countermeasures: finding the beam form scattering in the environment

2014 Spring

MIDN  Lipp, Co-advised with C. Nelson

Introduction To Laser Light Physics                                                           2013 Fall,

Introduction to Research Analysis Tools: Convolution And Spectral Analysis  

2014 Spring

MIDN  Whitsett,  Research proposal 2012 Spring, Research 2012 Fall,  Capstone project 2013

Analysis of Laser Light Propagation over Water with an Emphasis on Directed Energy Application to Naval Warfare

MIDN  Iiams, Research proposal 2010, Spring, Research 2010 Fall

Laser light propagation in maritime environment

MIDN Turchan Substance Detection, 2015 independent study, 2016 spring, capstone project

3.     Course for Plebes : Introduction to laser research

SM282                         2012-16 co-teaching with R. Malek-Madani

ES282                          2017 co-teaching with C. Brownell    14 students completed the class

2018 co-teaching with R. Malek-Madani       32 students enrolled

In ES282 the students are introduced to basics of research methodology in the context of laser light propagation. Students gain experience in performing a literature search, use MATLAB to create the models of interest, investigate laser light propagating in the maritime environment, analyze and interpret data they collect in field experiments. Their final projects are four weeks long experimental studies supported by LIME laboratory. The plebes’ end-of-the-year yard-wide presentations are very well received by the Academy faculty and professional guests.  The early exposure to both research and hands-on experience motivates the students to further inquire about additional research opportunities and even leading them to become Trident and Bowman scholars.

In the spring of 2017 class moved from Mathematics Department to Weapons and System Department. Since the course is open to only students that have validated mathematics courses and are qualified to follow the advanced research methods, it has been encouraging to see record enrolment this year.

Mentorship contributions

Mentored student projects                       Introduction to Laser Research


Hallgren, Stensrud

Analysis of Gaussian Beam Distribution Qualities of a Helium-Neon Laser

Maldonado, Carothers, Lucas

Laser beam propagation in the environment of the HydroLab 

Kuerbitz, Suqi

Young’s Double Slit Experiment: the Accuracy of Diffraction and Interference Models 


Lipp, Quandt

An Evaluation of the Scintillation Index and Average Intensity of Coherent and Incoherent Laser Light


MATLAB model verification of double slit experiment


Kelsey, Rosenthal

Laser Propagation in an Ocean Environment

Bandarra, Vegel

Home-grown Laser Countermeasures with Paint

Cully, Giornelli

Laser Guidance Countermeasures - Materials


Probability Density Analyses of Partially Coherent Gaussian Laser Beam in a Turbulent Environment


Peeleman, Carlson, Vasconez

Submarine Laser Propagation

Carpenter, O’Bryant

Laser Light Propagation in Fog

Vasconez, Carpenter

Far-Field Propagation Through a Round Aperture

O’Bryant, Carlson, Peeleman

Modeling Laser Propagation Through Slits


Cabrera, Slavens

Laser Propagation in the Maritime Environment

Zion, Lanham

Atmospheric Effects on Laser Propagation


Sweet , Pattison

Laser propagation through the turbulent atmosphere


Using SVD to Efficiently Analyze Data

Advising projects in ES282/SM282 often requires more than one instructors.

4.      Laser light experiments across Systems courses introduced since 2011

I use the facilities of LIME laboratory to engage Systems majors in the laser propagation field experiments. I perform the “Laser Light in the Maritime Environment” experiment with most of the Systems classes I teach, when scheduling permits. The experiment has been introduced to 300 students so far. The students are divided in teams to setup instrumentation in the Sherman field, or in corridors, and observe laser light propagation properties. In the follow-up report, they address their qualitative measurements and relate this hands-on practice to the applications of lasers in the Navy. This motivating experience is often mentioned in student class opinion forms as a favorite activity.

5.     Lasers in maritime environment (course based on my research)   ES486A

Pilot class offered in the fall 2016.

I developed Lasers in maritime environment course based on my ongoing research. This three-credit course is the only engineering lasers class at the Academy that offers the hands-on experience to students.  It is focused on the experiments with the laser light as it scatters in the air, fog and water. Students finish the class with a four weeks long final project and last year MIDN Collins and MIDN Stabler presented their experimental results at the Directed Energy Professional Society conference.

This year students took initiative to perform overnight filed experiments on their own to explore the laser light propagation in true maritime environment over hundreds of meters long link. This action demonstrates their confidence in operating on their own, complex instrumentation under unpredictable conditions, curiosity to explore a phenomenon of laser beam spreading under different optical conditions over a long enough laser link to observe realistic laser transmission effects, and persistence to get job done well.


Student projects



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