Engineering Professor Organizes Terahertz Workshop

Thursday, January 12, 2012
Magda El-Shenawee

Magda El-Shenawee

Magda El-Shenawee, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Arkansas, is hosting a full day workshop at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ International Microwave Symposium, which will be held in Montreal, Canada on June 22, 2012.

El-Shenawee’s workshop includes a presentations from experts in the field of terahertz imaging. This approach to imaging uses the terahertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum, which lies between the optical and microwave ranges. This frequency, which has a higher resolution than microwaves and greater penetration than the optical frequency, is ideal for producing high-quality images that can be used in many fields, including the security and medical fields.

“Scientists favor terahertz radiation because it can transmit through most non-metallic materials,” explained El-Shenawee.  “With a terahertz system, one can see through concealing barriers such as packaging, corrugated cardboard, walls, clothing, shoes, book bags, pill coatings, etc. Once the terahertz rays penetrate those materials, they can also characterize what might be hidden — explosives, chemical agents, biological threats, and so forth.”

El-Shenawee’s current funded research in this area includes investigating the use of terahertz imaging to identify bacteria inside envelopes and packages, in order to prevent acts of bio-terrorism such as the 2001 anthrax attacks. With a high-resolution image of the contents of suspicious mail, security professionals can decide whether it presents a threat.

El-Shenawee is also developing a method to use terahertz imaging on breast tumors. Using this technology, pathologists could easily check the margins of a tumor that has been removed from a patient and determine if all of the cancer cells have been successfully removed.

Other experts involved in the workshop will present research in different fields, including space exploration, bio-nanomaterials, and pharmaceuticals. Interested researchers are encouraged to attend to learn more about terahertz imaging. For more information on the conference and this workshop, visit


Camilla Medders , director of communications
College of Engineering
(479) 575-5697,

News by Keyword