NRT Program

The National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program at UVA is the first of its kind in the U.S. and is leading the way in Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) education.

Join the Cyber-Physical Systems NRT Program - Fall 2021

UVA Engineering is actively recruiting Ph.D. and Master’s students who are interested in Cyber-Physical Systems. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive and interdisciplinary education program including the opportunity to:

  • Work in the Link Lab, a 17,000-square-foot interdisciplinary facility that is home to over 40 faculty and 200 students from six different engineering degree programs
  • Take hands-on, testbed-driven cyber-physical systems courses, including:

-Embedded Systems
-Machine Learning, Signal Processing, and Control
-Dynamical Systems
-Formal Methods, Safety, and Security

  • Conduct interdisciplinary research focused on smart cities, smart health, autonomous systems, hardware for IoT
  • Connect with an industry advisory board that includes Northrop Grumman, IBM, Leidos, National Instruments (NI), Perrone Robotics and Azbil
  • Earn a graduate certificate in cyber-physical systems

NRT Program Informational Flyer

About the NRT Program

The National Science Foundation awarded UVA a five-year National Research Traineeship (NRT) grant to create a Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) education program. Through the CPS NRT Program, PhD and ME students will receive a degree in their respective degree program with a focus in CPS. Students in this exciting new education program will take core and in-depth CPS courses focused on a deep understanding of the interfaces between the cyber and physical worlds - driving discovery, innovation and education forward in the areas of Smart Health, Smart Cities, Autonomous Systems and Hardware for IoT. The curriculum is based on integrated and testbed-driven CPS education as well as CPS research activities and professional development.

Industry Involvement

The CPS NRT Program utilizes an Industry Advisory Board to help identify skills and knowledge needed in industry, provide feedback on curriculum, offer ideas, support and resources for testbeds, and identify possible internships or full time post-graduation employment for students. The CPS NRT Advisory Board includes: Northrop Grumman, IBM, Leidos, EY, National Instruments, Perrone Robotics, and Azbil.

NRT Curriculum

Students in the CPS NRT Program will take a minimum of 3 “Core CPS Courses” and 3 “In-Depth CPS Courses”. Ph.D. and ME students will work with faculty advisors to create an individual plan for course selection (and research options for Ph.D. students). CPS courses listed below are also available for non-CPS NRT Program participants. The course requirements align with the requirements of the Graduate Certificate in CPS, so NRT students who complete the program will also be eligible for the certificate.

NRT Fellowship

NRT Fellowships are available for incoming Ph.D. students for Fall 2021.

The NRT Fellowship is for one year and includes paid tuition, fees, insurance and a $34,000 stipend. Following the first year, students would remain in the CPS NRT Program for the duration of their degree program, but receive funding directly from their Ph.D. advisor or departmental funding.

To be considered for the NRT Fellowship, Ph.D. candidates must be U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents and have a B.Sc. or M.Sc. in a related STEM field. Please indicate your interest in CPS in your admissions application. We also welcome you to contact Link Lab Faculty, the NRT Program Manager or your department’s Graduate Program Coordinator to share your interest.

Additional information:

CPS Core Courses

  • Comm, Testbeds & Policy

    This is a core Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) class. This course is designed to develop cross-competency in the technical, analytical and professional capabilities necessary for the emerging field of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). It provides convergence learning activities that are based around developing CPS test-beds and exploring the ethical, social and policy dimensions of CPS work. The course also introduces and emphasizes the importance of communication as a necessary skill.

    Course Name: CPS1 Communications, Testbeds & Policy


    Course Numbers: SYS 6581, CS 6501, CE 6500, ENGR 6559, MAE 6592

    Instructors: Tolu Odumosu and Brad Campbell

    Course is offered in Fall

  • Embedded Systems

    This is a core Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) class. Embedded systems are special-purpose computers that are often tightly coupled with electronic and physical components and must operate within real-time performance, battery, and size constraints.

    Course Name: CPS2: Advanced Embedded Systems


    Course Numbers: CS 6501 (19386) or ECE 6501 (19201)

    Instructor: Homa Alemzadeh

    Course is offered in Fall

  • Signal Processing, Machine Learning and Control

    This is a core Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) class. This course provides basic graduate level material in signal processing, machine learning, and feedback control. Knowledge in these areas is central to understanding and building CPS. However, the material is not presented in a traditional manner and does not replace deep domain expertise in these topics. Rather, the principles and skills taught highlight the intersection of the cyber and the physical and how they impact each other.

    Course Name: CPS3: Signal Processing, Machine Learning and Control


    Course Number: CS 6501 (12042)

    Instructor: Jack Stankovic

    Course is offered in Fall

  • Dynamical Systems

    This is a core Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) class. The course will focus on topics that are critical to CPS applications, e.g. pipe networks, lift/drag on vehicles, and relative reference frames in the context of autonomous vehicles and satellites, while avoiding topics that are specific only to advanced Mechanical Engineering, e.g. fluid instabilities and complex potential functions.

    Course Name: CPS4: Dynamical Systems


    Instructor: Osman Ozbulut

    Course Number: MAE 6592 (20543) / CE 6500 (20542)

    Spring 2021

    M/W 8:30am - 9:45am

  • Formal Methods, Safety, and Security

    This is a core Cyber Physical Systems class. Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are smart systems that include co-engineered interacting networks of physical and computational components. Examples of CPS include medical devices, cars, and robots. Increasingly, such systems are everywhere. It becomes more and more important to assure the safety and security of CPS, since many CPS applications are safety-critical and life-critical. This course will give you the required skills to formally analyze the CPS that are all around us, so that when you contribute to the design of CPS, you are able to understand important safety-critical aspects and feel confident designing and analyzing CPS system models.

    Course Name: CPS5: Formal Methods, Safety, and Security


    Instructor: Lu Feng

    Course Number: CS 6501 (16625) / SYS 6582 (16237)

    Spring 2021

    M/W 5:00pm - 6:15pm

In-depth CPS courses

  • Spring 2021

    Spring 2021 In-Depth CPS Courses

    CS 8501 (16648) -Cyber Physical Systems and the Internet of Things - John (Jack) Stankovic - M/W 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    CS 6111 (19081) - Cloud Computing - Haiying Shen -T/Th 9:30 am - 10:45 am

    CE 6500 (19285) - Smart Cities and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) - Jonathan Goodall - T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    CE 6500 (19286) - Remote Sensing for Environmental Engineers - Venkataraman Lakshmi- Day/Time TBD

    CE 6460 (19284) - Introduction to Integrated Transportation Systems Models - B. Brian Park - T/Th 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    ECE 5502 (16683) - Hardware-Software Security - Barry Johnson - Day/Time TBD

    ECE 6332 (16211) VLSI Design - Mircea Stan - T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    ECE 6434 (19091) - Dependable Computing Systems - Homa Alemzadeh -T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    ECE 6465 (16453) / SYS 6465 (16455) - Robots and Humans - Tariq Iqbal - T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    ECE 6502 (16215) - Advanced Digital Design Laboratory -Mircea Stan - T/Th 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    MAE 6592 (16432) – Wind Energy -Eric Loth -T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    MAE 6592 (16831) - Robotic Autonomy - Tomonari Furukawa - We 10:00am - 12:30pm

    MAE 6720 (19041) - Computational Fluid Dynamics I - Haibo Dong - M/W 11:00am - 12:15pm

    SYS 6050 (15519) - Risk Analysis - James Lambert - Day/Time TBD

    SYS 6582 (20582) - Reinforcement Learning - Peter Beling - T/Th 3:30-4:45

  • Fall 2020


    CPS1: Communication, Test-Beds & Policy 12538 (ENGR 6559, CE 6500, CS 6501, MAE 6592, SYS 6581)

    Brad Campbell/Tolu Odumosu M/W 11:00am - 12:15pm

    CPS2: Advanced Embedded Computing Systems 19386 (CS 6501, ECE 6501)

    Homa Alemzadeh T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    CPS3: Signal Processing, Machine Learning, and Control 12042 (CS 6501)

    John Stankovic T/Th 12:30pm - 1:45pm


    CE 5000 Management Large-Scale Construction Projects 12360 Arsalan Heydarian T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    CE 5400 Traffic Operations 11098 Brian Park T/Th 11:00am - 12:15pm

    CS 6501 Principles of Modeling for Cyber Physical Systems 11819 Madhur Behl T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    CS 6501 Cloud Computing 18798 Haiying Shen T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    CS 6501 Mobile and IoT Security 12239 Yuan Tian T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    CS 6501 Human-Computer Interaction 12350 Seongkook Heo M/W 5pm-6:15pm

    CS 6501 Autonomous Mobile Robots 19396 Nicola Bezzo Tu 5:00pm - 6:15pm and W 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    ECE 6501 Low Power Wireless Transceivers for IoT 19198 Steven Bowers T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    ECE 6501 Autonomous Mobile Robots 11919 Nicola Bezzo Tu 5:00pm - 6:15pm and W 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    MAE 6310 Fluid Mechanics I 19003 Daniel Quinn T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    MAE 6592 Modeling & Control of Manufacturing Processes 12357 Qing Chang T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    MAE 6592 Experimental Robotics 12597 Tomonari Furukawa W 10:00am - 12:30pm

    SYS 6005 Stochastic Modeling I 11190 Tariq Iqbal T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    SYS 6021 Statistical Modeling I 11632 Julianne Quinn/Laura Barnes M/W 2:00pm - 3:15pm

    SYS 6581 Autonomous Mobile Robots Nicola Bezzo Tu 5:00pm - 6:15pm and  W 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    SYS 6581 Modeling and Control of Manufacturing Processes 12386 Qing Chang T/Th 9:30am - 10:45am

    SYS 6581 Principles of Modeling for Cyber Physical Systems 12088 Madhur Behl T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm 

    SYS 6581 Mobile Sensing and Health 12385 Mahdi Boukhechba Th 3:30pm - 6:00pm

    SYS 6581 Introduction to Reinforcement Learning 18934 Peter Beling M/W 11:00am - 12:15pm

    SYS 6581 AI for Good 18935 Afsaneh Doryab T/Th 2:00pm - 3:15pm

  • Spring 2020

    In-Depth CPS Courses (Spring 2020)
    CS 8501 Cyber Physical Systems and the Internet of Things M/W 2:00-3:15 18896 (Jack Stankovic)

    CS 6456 Operating Systems M/W 9:30am - 10:45am 19969 (Brad Campbell)

    CS 6465 (ECE 6465, CS 6465, SYS 6465) - Robots and Humans T/Th 9:30 – 10:45 16205 (Joanne Dugan and Tariq Iqbal)

    CS 6501 Engineering Interactive Technologies M/W/F 1pm - 1:50pm 20298 (Seongkook Heo)

    SYS 6581 (CE 5500) Human Considerations In Smart Infrastructure W 2-4:30 18667 (Arsalan Heydarian)

    ECE 6332 VLSI Design T/Th 11-12:15 15905 (Mircea Stan)

    ECE 6502 Advanced Digital Design Laboratory T/Th 12:30-01:45  15911 (Mircea Stan)

    CE 6500 Forefronts of Civil Engineering Th 2:00 - 4:45 18679 (Venkataraman Lakshmi)

    SYS 6024 User Experience Design M/W 10:30-11:45 16041 (Greg Gerling)

    SYS 6050 Risk Analysis M/W 5-6:15 15160 (Jim Lambert)

    SYS 6582 Human Error in Complex Systems T/Th 3:30-4:45 16322 (Sara Riggs)

    MAE 6210 Analytical Dynamics M/W 2:00 - 3:15 15888 (Cindy Chang)

    MAE 6592 Robotic Autonomy Day/Time/Course Number (Tomo Furukawa)

    ECE 5502 - Hardware-Software Security T/Th 12:30pm - 1:45pm 19772 (Barry Johnson)
    *please note, this is a 5000 level course – make sure it satisfies your degree requirements

    Core CPS Courses (Spring 2020)
    CPS 4 - MAE 6592: Special Topics – Dynamical Systems
    T/Th 11am – 12:15pm 19448 (Quinn)

    CPS5 - CS 6501 (SYS 6582): Special Topics – Formal Methods, Safety, and Security
    M/W 5pm – 6:15pm (Feng) 18658

  • Fall 2019

    Below is a sample of some of the In-Depth CPS courses that were offered in Fall 2019.

    ECE 6501 Self powered system for the IoT - Ben Calhoun

    SYS 6581 / ECE 6501 / CS 6501 Autonomous Mobile Robots - Nicola Bezzo

    CE 6500 Remote Sensing for Environmental Engineers - Venkataraman Lakshmi

    CS 6501 / SYS 6582: Principles of Modeling for Cyber-Physical Systems - Madhur Behl

    CS 6501: CPS and Cloud Computing - Haiying Shen

    CS 6456: Operating Systems – Brad Campbell

    CS 8501: Mobile and IoT Security – Yuan Tian

    SYS 6021: Statistical Modeling I - Laura Barnes

    SYS 6581: Modeling and Control of Manufacturing Processes and Systems – Cindy Chang

    MAE 6592: Experimental Robotics - Tomonari Furukawa

    MAE 6720: Computational Fluid Dynamics – Haibo Dong