SMART Hub, Baylor School of Engineering & Computer Science Host Wireless Spectrum Workshop

June 12, 2024
Spectrum Sizzle 2024

41 undergraduate students from across the U.S. participated in Spectrum Sizzle: An NSF-sponsored Radio Spectrum Workshop at Baylor University June 3-6, 2024.

WACO, Texas (June 12, 2024) – 41 undergraduate students from universities across the U.S. met at Baylor University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science June 3-6, 2024. Spectrum Sizzle is a workshop that could help influence the future of wireless spectrum in the U.S. and the career trajectories of the participants. This is the second year for the workshop, and there is potential that this workshop series could be expanded to more locations as soon as next year.


Spectrum Sizzle, an undergraduate spectrum workshop operated by SMART Hub and funded by the National Science Foundation, was led by Charles Baylis, Director of SMART Hub and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University, along with Austin Egbert, SMART Hub Director of Strategic Initiatives and Tom Brooks, SMART Hub Director of Business Development. SMART Hub is short for Spectrum Management with Adaptive and Reconfigurable Technology Hub, a Department of Defense Spectrum Innovation Center to conduct multifaceted spectrum research to meet national defense needs. SMART Hub organizes research efforts from 17 institutions to revolutionize the increasingly crowded communication spectrum used by both U.S. Defense efforts and the population at large.

Anyone who uses a cellular phone relies on the spectrum for communication, along with a variety of other wireless methods. Baylis describes the spectrum as the “real estate” of wireless transmission.

“When I send or receive a phone call, I have to use some type of bandwidth on the spectrum to transmit. It’s the same for anyone,” Baylis said. “Now, when you factor in the exponential increase in the number of wireless devices, you can imagine that the spectrum has become crowded to the point that there’s really no spectrum left.”

Both military and corporate organizations recognize that dwindling space will soon have an impact on their users. The need has led researchers to pursue entirely new approaches to spectrum communication, which is the focus of SMART Hub. A priority of SMART Hub is workforce development, and workshops like Spectrum Sizzle give young people great opportunities to learn about this interesting and in-demand field.

Invited experts taught sessions across the wide field of spectrum management and wireless engineering. Programming included hands-on lab activities with industry-standard tools and equipment, discussions about workforce and graduate school opportunities, and communications and passive systems, and a radio transmitter hunt for hidden transmitters on campus.

The workshop was developed collaboratively with Keysight Technologies, who provided cutting-edge test equipment for use in laboratory exercises.  Keysight also designed and led the on-campus transmitter hunt.   

In addition to the workshop leadership, clinicians included:

Andy Clegg, Ph.D., Spectrum Engineering lead at Google and SMART Hub Senior Research Scientist

Casey Latham, Keysight Technologies

Arvind Aradhya, University of Colorado

Robert Marks, Ph.D., Baylor University, SMART Hub Algorithms Team Lead

Yang Li, Baylor University, SMART Hub Radar Systems Team Lead 

Topics included Spectrum Analysis, Frequency Allocations, Communication SystemsWireless Circuits, Radar Systems and Spectrum Policy.

55% of the attendees reported being first generation college students, more than 80% identified as belonging to a racial minority population, and more than 30% were female, according to a survey. 24% of students attend HBCU institutions (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). One-third of the participants came from the eastern region of the United States.

Student comments

“My favorite things were learning about the “Spectrum Crisis” and the need for the U.S. to manage it, and also being able to use high-quality lab equipment.”

“The radar lecture definitely taught me the most. The policy activity gave me perspectives that I hadn't considered. Overall, this camp has broadened my view in terms of careers.”

“My favorite thing about the program is the understanding I received as the instructors were teaching. I love that they made themselves so available for us. The Baylor graduate students in the program made us feel comfortable and welcomed us with open arms. I really appreciate that they made us one of their own.” 

“The professors and other experts were so diverse and engaging and their stories. I found their personal journeys and stories interesting.”

“I am so thankful that Baylor, NSF, and the leaders dedicated time and energy towards educating us on spectrum and how it applies to us in so many different areas. It is truly fascinating how many areas there are for research and development. After this workshop, I’d certainly be interested in learning more about and working in this field.”



SMART Hub (Hub for Spectrum Management with Adaptive and Reconfigurable Technology) was commissioned as a Department of Defense Spectrum Innovation Center in October 2023.  Funded by the United States Congress through a $5 Million anchor appropriation, SMART Hub focuses on innovation and workforce development that will forward U.S. spectrum capabilities into the future. Headquartered at Baylor University, SMART Hub consists of 29 researchers at 17 universities across the U.S. 


Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) has been preparing its students for more than 25 years as innovators for worldwide impact by training graduates for professional practice and responsible leadership with a Christian worldview. Students can choose from majors including bioinformatics, computer science, data science, electrical and computer engineering, general engineering and mechanical engineering. ECS also offers graduate programs in all areas of study within the School. We stand out from the crowd through Christian commitment, R1 research, a strong community, personalized career support, expert accessibility, and leading practical experience. Visit the ECS website to learn more and follow on Instagram and Facebook.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.