ECE Research

ECE is on the front lines, deeply involved in the explosion of knowledge that is energizing electrical and computer engineering. Our research program has made important contributions in such areas as dependable, resilient and reconfigurable computing, cyber-physical and embedded computer systems, wireless communications, adaptive and nonlinear control, image and signal processing, robotics, photonics, energy and power management, safety assessment and fault-tolerant design, ultra-high-frequency semiconductor and superconducting devices and systems, and in many other emerging technologies.


One reason for the vitality of our programs is our size. With over thirty academic and research faculty, the department is large enough to build areas of substantial strength, while small and flexible enough to respond rapidly to changes in our field. These qualities not only distinguish our research program but also make the department an ideal setting to study electrical and computer engineering. Our students have the opportunity to learn from and work closely with eminent researchers who are actively redefining the state of knowledge in their field.

Research Groups and Labs

  • Adaptive Systems and Control Group

    Professor Gang Tao


    Our research is focused on designing resilient control systems capable of maintaining desired performance in the presence of uncertain system faults such as actuator failures, structural damage and sensor failures. We are developing adaptive control techniques for compensation of uncertain actuator failures and nonlinearities, sensor uncertainties and failures, and uncertain structural damage in dynamic systems, for guaranteed feedback control system performance, and apply them to aircraft systems and robotic systems, for resilient and autonomous control. 

    Adaptive Systems and Control Group
  • CHEETAH: Circuit-switched High-speed End-to-End Transport ArcHitecture

    Professor Malathi Veeraraghavan


    CHEETAH is a comprehensive effort to develop the infrastructure and networking technologies to support a broad class of eScience projects and specifically the Terascale Supernova Initiative (TSI). It is a high-performance, experimental, optical network infrastructure connecting UVa, ORNL, NCSU, CUNY, G. Tech, via a three PoP network. The current network deployment consists of three GbEthernet/SONET Sycamore SN16000 GMPLS control enabled switches. We have developed CHEETAH end-host software, consisting primarily of an RSVP-TE client to enable end users and applications to invoke the setup of dedicated GbEthernet circuits between two computers or clusters connected to the CHEETAH network. We have also created a transport protocol for operation on these dedicated high-speed circuits called Circuit-TCP (CTCP). Finally, we have tested applications such as vsftp, bbcp, Ensight (for remote visualization), web caching (with Squid) on dedicated CHEETAH circuits. A detailed control-plane design document about the CHEETAH network is available here.

    CHEETAH: Circuit-switched High-speed End-to-End Transport ArcHitecture
  • Energy Science and Nanotechnology Laboratory

    Professor Mona Zebarjadi


    Energy Science Nanotechnology and Imagination Lab is directed by Mona Zebarjadi, a joint professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials Science Engineering at University of Virginia. We are interested in designing materials with altered thermal and electrical properties and new hybrid energy conversion devices. The main applications are in thermal management, semiconductor devices and energy conversion technologies such as thermoelectrics. Our design is based on fundamental understanding of electron and phonon transport in small length and time scales.  Most of our materials design is targeted for real systems and we are aiming for fabrication and characterization of these materials. You can find more details by looking at our research, publications and News tabs.

    Energy Science and Nanotechnology Laboratory
  • High-Performance Low-Power (hplp) Lab

    Professor Mircea Stan


    The High-Performance Low-Power (HPLP) Laboratory is dedicated to research in the area of Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) Circuit design. Ongoing research ranges from power-, temperature- and reliability-aware CMOS circuit design to explorations in spintronics and nanoelectronics.

    High-Performance Low-Power (hplp) Lab
  • Bean Lab

    Professor John C. Bean


    I teach about microtechnology, nanoscience, and sustainable energy. These are very exciting subjects which deservedly capture a lot of press and public attention. But they are also exceptionally broad and complex subjects. And while they will certainly change our world, it's not clear that all of those changes will be for the better.

    We Can Figure This Out
  • Optical Multiuser/Multichannel Communications Lab

    Professor Maite Brandt-Pearce


    The appeal of the optical medium for communications, its tremendous bandwidth, is only fully exploitable through multiplexing of many signals, in time, wavelength, or other domain. Our research explores the use of signal processing, communication theory, and optical techniques in designing high capacity optical multiuser/multichannel systems and networks.

    Optical Multiuser/Multichannel Communications Lab
  • Robust Low Power VLSI

    Professor Benton H. Calhoun


    The Robust Low Power VLSI Group, led by Professor Ben Calhoun, investigates research topics related to modern VLSI design. Among the many challenges facing circuit designers in deep sub-micron technologies, power and variation are perhaps the most critical. Our group's focus is to confront these problems in a range of applications and different regions of the design space. Our specific research interests include low power digital circuit design, sub-threshold digital circuits, SRAM design for end-of-the-roadmap silicon, variation tolerant circuit design methodologies, and medical applications for low energy electronics. The group is engaged in projects related to each of these topics.

    Robust Low Power VLSI
  • Superconducting Devices and Materials Research Group

    Professor Arthur Lichtenberger


    The SDMRG was once known as 'SIS' for its cutting edge research in the field of SIS (superconductor/insulator/superconductor) heterodyne mixers. In recent years, research within the SDMRG has expanded to include the investigation of materials, processing technologies and devices for a variety of superconducting circuits. The driving force of this research is the need for ultra-low-noise heterodyne receivers at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. Of particular emphasis is the investigation of complex integrated balanced and image rejection superconducting-insulating-superconducting (SIS) mixers open to Development Contracts for established mixers.  The group is also researching both diffusion-cooled hot-electron bolometers (d-HEBs) and phonon-cooled hot-electron bolometers (p-HEBs) for submillimeter applications.

    Superconducting Devices and Materials Research Group
  • University of Virginia Microfabrication Laboratories (UVML)


    The Virginia Microfabrication Laboratories serve as the University of Virginia's center for research across a broad front of activity in devices, circuits, microsystems, materials and processing methods. The laboratories reside in the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science. The UVML replaces the previous AEpL lab structure that was founded in 1967. These activities share a 3,500 square foot clean room facility for microfabrication and materials research as well as a variety of other facilities for nanotechnology, microwave and optical analysis, and device design and testing. The research facilities are maintained and operated by the research staff of the UVML, which includes graduate and undergraduate students, a full-time facilities manager and a full time equipment manager.

    Microfabrication Laboratories
  • UVA Center for Wireless Health

    Professor John Lach


    Wireless Health is an emerging field that seeks to infuse wireless technologies in healthcare and medical research with the goals of improving patient care and quality of life while reducing healthcare costs. Efforts in this field are necessarily interdisciplinary, bringing together engineers with doctors, nurses, psychologists, medical researchers, caretakers, family members, and patients themselves.

    UVA Center for Wireless Health
  • Virginia Image and Video Analysis

    Professor Scott Acton


    Welcome to VIVA -- the Virginia Image and Video Analysis laboratory.

    We concentrate on image analysis problems (tracking, segmentation, retrieval), with an emphasis on biological and biomedical image analysis. Check out our stuff! 

    Google is a bit better at updating their website than we are. To check out the latest, go to my Google Scholar page. 

    I want to draw your attention to the Bioimage Analysis Toolbelt. It contains useful demos and lectures for biological and biomedical image analysis.

    Virginia Image & Video Analysis
  • Virginia Nano-Computing Group

    Professor Avik Ghosh


    At the Virginia Nano-Computing Research Group, our focus is on understanding non-equilibrium properties of nano-scale material structures. Our work applies a combined understanding of fundamental physics , chemistry, material science, and device engineering to explore novel device concepts.

    Virginia Nano-Computing Group
  • Multifunctional Thin Film Group

    Professor John Ihlefeld


    The Multifunctional Thin Film Group aims to develop new understanding of how processing and integration affects materials electronic responses and how to leverage this understanding to realize new functionality and unique devices.

     

    Multifunctional Thin Film Group
  • Imaging and Data Science Lab

    Professor Gustavo Rohde


    We build intelligent systems based on mathematical modeling of signal and image data, with applications in biomedicine, mobile and remote sensing. We specialize on objective and quantitative modeling of data from imaging and other types of sensors by incorporating knowledge from multiple disciplines including applied mathematics, signal processing, machine learning and statistics. Past and current work includes inverse problems, biometrics, digital pathology, MRI interpretation, high content screening, and communications.

    Imaging and Data Science Lab
  • Photonic Devices Group

    Professor Joe Campbell


    The Photonic Devices Group focuses on developing novel optoelectronic devices with emphasis on photodetectors. The research projects tend to fall into two broad areas: high-sensitivity photodetectors, e.g., avalanche photodiodes and high-power photodiodes. 

    Photonic Devices Group
  • Virginia Imaging Theory and Algorithms Laboratory

    Professor Dan Weller


     Our lab focuses on computational models and practical algorithms to advance imaging systems beyond the physical limits of the acquisition. Enabling unprecedented levels of detail, these techniques promise to reveal new insights regarding a wide range of diseases and disorders and make diagnosing them more efficient and accurate.

    Virginia Imaging Theory and Algorithms Laboratory