Cyber-Physical Systems Education

Undergraduate and graduate education specializing in Cyber Physical Systems.

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) is an emerging engineering discipline focused on the interface between cyber and physical in the areas of smart health, smart cities and autonomous systems. The focus requires a forward thinking and interdisciplinary approach to education and research – both of which the University of Virginia is uniquely positioned to lead - through the Link Lab and the new CPS NRT Program.

A recent National Academies Consensus Study Report authored by John A. Stankovic (Director, UVA LinkLab) James W. Sturges, and Jon Eisenberg, highlights the critical need for 21st Century Cyber-Physical System Education.

Education Areas of Focus

Overall, the key technical principles that underlie a CPS education span both the physical side (physics, digital signal processing, embedded hardware such as sensors and actuators, control and hybrid systems, wireless communication and dynamic systems modeling) and the cyber side (networking, embedded systems programming, machine learning, model-based design and formal methods, privacy and security, real-time systems and software engineering).

Cyber-Physical Systems courses are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels in various departments.

Details of UVA's approach to CPS education are outlined in an article entitled: A Graduate Curriculum in Cyber-Physical Systems

Research Areas of Focus

Specific research areas of particular interest to our program include, but are not limited to:

- Formal and model-based reasoning through all levels of design and operation
- Sensor design, including RF sensing, novel sensing devices, and application thereof
- RF and mixed-signal circuits
- Robotics, drones, and autonomous and connected vehicles
- Machine learning and signal processing as applied to cyber-physical systems
- Communications, and networking and applications to support the Internet of Things IoT)
- Cyber-Physical Systems with humans in the loop; human-automation interaction
- Smart Cities
- Smart and Connected Health
- Internet of Things (IoT)

CPS NRT Program

The National Science Foundation awarded UVA a five-year NRT grant to create a Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) education program. The program launched in Fall 2019 with 21 PhD students and 6 ME students. A fundamental aspect of the CPS NRT Program is the highly interdisciplinary nature of the program, which is similar to the Link Lab (the physical home of the program). In all NAE studies on engineering education and also with significant feedback from our grant Industry Advisory Board, successful students need to acquire multidisciplinary skills, teamwork skills, hands-on practicum, and both policy and ethics knowledge. These topics are all aspects of our CPS NRT Program.