Electrical and computer engineering drives our digital life

ECE prepares the next generation of electrical and computer engineering leaders to solve society’s grand technological challenges and improve quality of life. We provide thought leadership via award-winning research, out-of-the-box solutions and turning-point ideas.


Electrical and computer engineering drives our digital life. Its impact can be found in our smart phones, wearable smart health devices and smart vehicles. From the optical fibers that connect the world to deep space exploration, many of humanity’s greatest achievements would have been unthinkable without electrical and computer engineers. The Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has played an important role in many of these achievements.

Research Strengths

We are well-known for our world-class photonics and high frequency diodes; we bridge quantum science, communication and engineering. We lead cutting-edge research in ultra low-power chip design. We are proud of our long-standing tradition in computer engineering, medical imaging, signals and systems, and machine learning research. Explore our current research thrusts.

Our Faculty

ECE currently has 40 faculty members. Thirty-five faculty are tenured or tenure-track, including 15 assistant professors. Research award funding rose 40% and research spending rose 47% from FY 2017 to FY 2019. Collectively, our faculty have earned many awards and honors. More than half of our tenured faculty are IEEE fellows. Ten have earned NSF CAREER awards while several others have earned young investigator, young inventor or young faculty awards. ECE faculty frequently serve as editors and program or conference chairs, and regularly publish at top conferences and journals, including Science and the Nature family of publications, earning 45 best paper awards. ECE faculty have also founded successful startups, which are an important part of the vibrant startup ecosystem that has blossomed in Charlottesville in recent years.

Mission and Vision

We pursue excellence through diversity in all aspects of our mission and vision. ECE’s mission is to prepare the next generation of electrical and computer engineering leaders to solve society’s grand technological challenges and improve quality of life. ECE’s vision is to provide thought leadership in electrical and computer engineering, via award-winning research, out-of-the-box solutions and turning-point ideas. ECE aspires to be an inclusive and welcoming place for all, and a hub of innovation where research and teaching go hand-in-hand. ECE is deliberate in being outward-looking. Faculty and students actively engage in cross-disciplinary research with the Medical School, the Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative, the School of Data Science and various other departments and laboratories within the School of Engineering.

Read Our Newsletters

Take a moment to learn about our investments, impacts, and accomplishments over the past few years.

2019:  Engineered to Empower

2018:  Investment and Impact

2017:  Rebranding and Investing in Electrical and Computer Engineering

2016:  Shaping the Future of Technology