LAWRENCE — A professor at the University of Kansas School of Engineering has been named the first editor of a new academic journal.
Shannon Blunt is the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at KU. He will head up IEEE Transactions on Radar Systems, a new online journal published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
“This journal is going to create a sort of one-stop shop for all things radar research related,” Blunt said.
Blunt, who joined KU in 2005, brings a wealth of experience to the task. In addition to his work at KU, he has served on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology (PCAST) and as chair for multiple IEEE Radar Conferences. Most recently he served as a senior editor on radar systems for another journal from the same organization, IEEE Transactions on Aerospace & Electronic Systems.
“I've sort of been doing the job to a degree for the last year, just at a slightly lower level,” Blunt said. “And that was good training to take this next step.”
He said the new journal is needed because “the radar community is very large, both in terms of people and geography.”
“It's global, but it's also kind of somewhat disconnected,” he said. “And so some of us had been talking for a while about the fact there needed to be an actual journal that became the focal point.”
Research on radar used to be focused almost exclusively on defense and aviation applications, but in recent decades, it has sprawled to include weather, cars, medical uses and wearable technology.
“There’s all kinds of emerging applications that keep showing up,” Blunt said.
Some researchers are focused on theoretical ideas regarding radar, while others are looking to bring research into the real world. Blunt said the new journal should be a place where ideas from all those disparate parts of the field can be exchanged: It will focus on submissions involving theoretical, experimental and applications-oriented research.
“I think if we do our job well, we’ll reconnect all these different parts of the community,” Blunt said, “because again, often there's very little interaction, but yet we're all kind of working on similar problems to a degree.”
The radar community views Blunt as a good fit for this role.
"Professor Blunt is the right person to lead the new journal because he has a broad expertise on radar systems from the hardware and software point of view,” said Maria Sabrina Greco, an engineering professor at the University of Pisa who helped get the new publication off the ground. “He also has a long experience as an editorial member of other technical journals and an excellent attitude in leading and organizing a group of people. This aspect is quite important, particularly as far as the launch of a new journal is concerned.”
Blunt said he hopes the journal becomes a focal point for the far-flung radar research community.
“Despite the fact that all that stuff is on the internet, it's almost to the point where there's so much on there you can't really separate things out. It's too distributed,” he said. By bringing everybody together, “I think that will cause basically the rate of advance to accelerate.”
IEEE Transactions on Radar Systems will begin accepting submissions this fall. The journal will launch in early 2023.