The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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ECE Student to Present Paper at IEEE Conference

A student from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, David Joy, has been invited to present a paper on his team’s senior capstone project at the eighth annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on RFID, being held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, from April 8 to 10. The title of the paper is "RFID Solution to Fighting Handicap Parking Abuse," which describes a capstone project being developed by Joy, Redwan Alzain, Andrew Baraby, and Mark Page. Their faculty advisor is Professor David McLaughlin, and the team is named Team HP-ID (for Handicap Parking ID).

As ECE Department Head Christopher Hollot explained, “The department and college covered these conference costs for three reasons: First, we encourage our students to participate in outside competitions as they build confidence and awareness. Second, it’s an easy call to provide support when students take initiative and control of their education. Lastly, this is simply a neat project idea. All of the teams are challenged to conceive their own capstone projects, and Team HP-ID, if I recall correctly, struggled in this phase. But they succeeded and now embrace a project which has such potential in making societal impact.”  

As the abstract of the paper explains, “We are engineering students at UMass Amherst who have developed an application using RFID technology to fight handicap parking abuse. Our system, HP-ID, will address handicap parking abuse using active RFID tags embedded in dashboard placards. A meter in each handicap spot will have a reader to receive the information from the tag. The meter is a self-sustaining system that will be run entirely on solar power. Our parking meter will automatically validate the RFID tag (in the placard) and will alert the authorities via Wi-Fi when someone is parked illegally. Our parking meter will reduce the response time by alerting authorities in real time and thus maintain handicap parking availability for those who are authorized to use it.”

Members of the team are expanding on their system in Professor McLaughlin’s Introduction to Systems Engineering course, where they are joined by Industrial Engineering senior Abigail Ellis, who is incorporating human factors and user-interface design into the system.

To see more details on the paper, go to To view all the ECE senior capstone projects for 2013-2014, go to (March 2014)