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Svetlana Avramov-Zamurovic

Education and Profile

Svetlana Avramov-Zamurovic attended University of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia (Serbia), and moved to US 1990 where she received PhD from University of Maryland.  From 1990 to 1994, she was involved in developing a voltage ratio bridge for the NASA Zeno experiment, that flue in space in 1994 and onboard the follow up mission in 1997.  She has been a Guest Researcher with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, since 1990.  She is currently a Professor with the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. Her recent work involves the development of impedance measuring techniques and developing displacement sensors using nano technology.  


B.S. College of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. EE. December 1986.
M.S. College of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. EE. July 1990.
Ph.D. University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. EE. May 1994.
     Advisors Chris Davis of UM and Nile Oldham of NIST


  • 30 years of experience in METROLGY and LASERS in MERITIME ENVIROENEMNT
    Aug. 1994 – present Faculty
         Department of Weapons and Systems Engineering
         United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, USA.
    Sep. 1990 – present Guest Scientist
         National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.
    Sep. 1990 - Aug. 1994 Graduate-Research Assistant
         Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of MD, USA.
    Apr. 1987 - Sep. 1990 Faculty
         Institute for Computer Science, Control and Measurements,
         University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia, Yugoslavia.
    Jan. 2009 – June 2009 Researcher
         Special appointment at USNA Research Office to conduct Compressive Sensing research

Research Narrative

This chronicle links millstones of my professional carrier and provides personal views. The framework of my scientific achievements is provided in the Research Context segment.

I am a metrologist, a scientist concerned with measurement errors. I started my career at University of Novi Sad, Serbia, by building and evaluating a comparator of AC signals. After presenting the results of this study at the international Conference on Precision Electromagnetic Measurements, CPEM, I was invited by Nile Oldham of NIST to calibrate the inductive voltage for the NASA micro gravity Zeno experiment that flew in space onboard a shuttle in 1995 and 1997. This engagement led to my PhD thesis: Measuring AC voltage ratio using inductive voltage dividers. The project challenge was to develop an instrument that can estimate the voltage ratio at the part per billion precision. I built binary inductive dividers and developed measurement procedures to successfully apply binary vs decade schemes and achieve required level of accuracy. During the period from 1990-1994 I was solely focused on the research, gaining in-depth knowledge on voltage ratio measurements, utilizing full capacity of facilities and expertize at NIST, presenting the research findings at various forums. The glimpse of the NASA Shuttle launched into space at Kennedy Space Center carrying a piece of my work will never flee from my dreams.

In the fall of 1994 I joined the faculty at the Academy.  My research focus shifted to the impedance measurements with the challenge of calibrating capacitance standards.  Thorough frequency analysis of the standard capacitors and the extensive measurement uncertainty study culminated in the current national standard calibration procedure. The papers associated with this study are the most frequently sought after by the national laboratories around world. The details of the investigation are given in the technical note:  NIST Special Test of Four-Terminal-Pair Capacitance Standards from 0.01 μF to 10 μF

Faculty activities at the Academy balanced the pace of research deliverables and engagements with students. I started to publish in the educational journals on my activities in integrating research and teaching. In the period from 1996-2008 I attended the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference, yearly and was able to publish regularly in the Instrumentation Division ASEE proceedings. I was actively involved in the Conference activities as a reviewer, session moderator, and finally becoming the Instrumentation Division Chair. The funding changes at the Academy eliminated this professional involvement opportunity. At this time I am predominantly active as a reviewer to dozen journal publications.

During the next phase, 2008 – present, my metrology research interests revolved around designing sensors. I used open plate capacitor principle to first construct displacement sensors at micro scale, and later used MEMS designs to support nano positioning devices developed at NIST. The challenges of the MEMS scale devices required a new set of skills in order to achieve nano meter sensitivities in measuring displacement of a positioning platform at the range of 100 microns. I was successful in designing pillar type sensors that are simple and reliable, and do not load the nano scale positioner.  The results of this effort are summarized in Embedded Capacitive Displacement Sensor for Nanopositioning Applications and Displacement Sensor for Detecting Submicrometer Motion. This research avenue is expanding into a new project to design safety mechanisms in the environment where industrial robots and humans share workspace. For 27 years I am proud to be a guest scientist at NIST.

Even when I left the University of Novi Sad to live in the United States I kept engaged with my alma mater. I discuss current metrological issues with professors and colleagues during my yearly visits. The formal aspects of our continuing connection are the co-authored papers, invited talks and collaboration on PhD program in the field of power measurements. My latest involvement with the scientific community of Serbia is with the International ETRAN Conference where I was invited to present keynote addresses in 2014-16 and 2016. I selected to emphasize MEMS sensor design in 2015, laser beam generation in 2014 and the overview of significance of partially coherent beams in reducing laser light scintillation in 2016. I strongly believe that one’s roots define the person.

In 2010 I was on sabbatical. I decided to explore a new area of research and learn about the propagation of laser light in the maritime environment. Since I am an experimentalist, I created a mobile laboratory to conduct field trials at the Academy. The Academy grounds provide true maritime environment and when laser light propagates through such a complex medium, it scintillates due to the optical turbulence. The challenge is to generate laser beams that keep their profile on propagation. Our team focuses on generating spatially partially coherent beams that have theoretically proven beneficial characteristics.  As an engineer and metrologist I bring in the instrumentation expertise and measurement uncertainty aspects. Body of published work demonstrates the details of our contributions in reducing scintillation in turbulent conditions in air and underwater. Our forthcoming efforts include scattering of laser light in maritime environment. Presently, laser research efforts are the predominant accomplishments of my scientific career.

One of the most rewarding research experience I had with a student at the Academy was with trident MIDN Sax, married Barron. She is a remarkable person, capable of learning complex physical and engineering concepts with ease. We had numerous in-depth conversions on the metrology of her experimental results. She received the Best Trident award for her successful demonstration of advantages when detecting dirty bomb using modified SRAM chips. Her measurements were noteworthy and it was truly my privilege to collaborate with her. In AY2017 she was at the Academy as the aid to the superintendent and she is co-mentored trident MIDN Wilson. Presently Kayla Barron is training with NASA to become an astronaut.

Most of the midshipmen are naturally more interested in the research with lasers rather than in metrology.  Yearly, a number of students joins me in performing experiments and exploring the properties of laser light. Most notably the honors students in Systems Engineering and plebes in the Introduction to Laser Research class.  I introduced an experimental course on Lasers in maritime environment that is based on my current research efforts. Through these classes I bridge the education and research by bringing the challenging real-world scientific issues to students who are academically proficient.

I do research because science captivates me.  I presented my first research results on controlling agricultural process when I was a college junior and to this day I feel the wonder of the unknown.

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