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From MATLAB to Radar Analysis: It Ties Together

David Mabius (ECE ’07, MS ’09)

David Mabius (ECE ’07, MS ’09)
David Mabius (ECE ’07, MS ’09)

For students, it can be hard to imagine how the tools used in MATLAB or notes taken on the fundamentals of electromagnetics and statistics can be applied in the real world. But David Mabius (ECE ’07, MS ’09) was once in their shoes and said that he applies many of the things he learned at Boston University to his job at the MITRE Corporation today.

The MITRE Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that manages five Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) including centers for the IRS and Department of Defense. As a Senior Sensors Systems Engineer, Mabius’s job varies on a day-to-day basis depending on what is going on within the government programs he’s supporting.

“Most of the time, I work in a radar analysis lab where we process data received from various missile defense installations located around the world,” he said.

Mabius’s system assessment challenges include trying to trace backwards, within a large web of logic and software definitions, the root cause of a potential issue.

While the systems he deals with tend to be large and extremely complex, Mabius has a positive outlook, saying, “If the problems were easy to solve, then this job would not be any fun.”

Mabius first learned about electromagnetics as an undergraduate in class with Professor Min-Chang Lee (ECE).

“He was very capable and productive in independent and team projects,” Lee recalled of his student.  “He is truly an asset to MITRE for research and development (R&D). It is a pleasure to watch him grow professionally.”

As a student, Mabius even had a chance to travel with Lee to Puerto Rico and Alaska and conduct experiments at the Arecibo Observatory and the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programs (HAARP), respectively.

Mabius advises ECE students to be mindful of the future but not to worry so much about where they might be in ten years from now. He added: “If you are genuinely interested and enthusiastic about a particular topic, you will be successful.”

Samantha Gordon (COM ’12)
December 2011