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Research Areas

Automatic Control

Research in this area includes robust control, on-line and distributed optimization, fault detection and identification in control systems, learning methods, modeling immune systems, control with neural networks, fuzzy systems, and fault-tolerant robotic manipulators.

Biomedical Imaging and Sensing

The field of Biomedical Imaging and Sensing integrates multiple disciplines of electrical and computer engineering to solve problems of critical importance in clinical medicine. Topics of research activity include acoustic and stereo imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, finite element analysis of cardiac responses, induced currents and nerve stimulation from electromagnetic fields, and electronic medical databases. The results of this research are expected to improve diagnostic accuracy, improve the safety of diagnostic instrumentation, and enhance patient recovery through improved clinical instruments.

Communications, Networking, Signal & Image Processing

The communications, networking, signal & image processing area includes research directed toward wireless mobile and PCS communication, smart antennas, GPS, radar, speech recognition and synthesis, image processing and pattern recognition, print image quality, remote sensing, local and wide-area computer networks, and multimedia communication and processing. Results from this area impact how we communicate with cellular phones, faxes, and the Internet; the way that we travel using GPS and intelligent highways; and the video, audio, and data that we receive and transmit for personal entertainment and electronic commerce.

Computer Engineering

Computer engineering is the only one of the eight research areas in which a student can receive a specialized undergraduate degree (BSCmpE). Undergraduate and graduate students study in three main sub-areas -- computer architecture, software systems, and intelligent systems. Graduate students may pursue studies that cross between the sub-areas and combine a variety of topics. The Computer Engineering Faculty have the following labs and project groups.


Our area mission is to implement, encourage, promote visibility, and verify the effectiveness of instructional innovations in Electrical and Computer Engineering education. The ultimate purpose of innovating will be to prepare our students to be competitive as engineering leaders in a global environment.

Fields and Optics

Current research in electromagnetic fields and optics includes studies on high-speed optical communication, optical fibers, nonlinear optics, magnetism, modeling of interconnects, and microwave devices.

Microelectronics and Nanotechnology

The Microelectronics and Nanotechnology (MN) area consists of twenty-plus faculty members with active research and instructional programs in Nanoelectronics, Energy Conversion, Nanomaterials, Micro and Nanoelectromechanical Systems (MEMS/NEMS), Wide Bandgap Semiconductors,Computational Nanotechnology, and Nanophotonics. Experimental programs are located primarily in the new state-of-the-art facility at the Birck Nanotechnology Center (BNC). Purdue is also the home of the NSF-sponsored Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) that created the science gateway with nearly 100,000 users worldwide.

Power and Energy Systems

The Power and Energy Systems (PES) Area focuses on electrical power engineering. Societal challenges being addressed by Purdue faculty include technologies needed for sustainability and reduced carbon emissions, technologies needed to support an increasingly stressed bulk power system, and technologies needed to for the next generation of marine, aerospace, and vehicular power and propulsion systems. Purdue work focuses on electromechanical component design, power electronics design, passive component design, power magnetics, electric drive and actuator systems, marine and aerospace power and propulsion systems, and bulk power system control, power quality, optimal dispatch, and stability. Purdue’s work in advanced modeling, simulation, and automated design methods is of particular note.

VLSI and Circuit Design

Research is conducted in VLSI circuits and computer-aided design, building blocks for new circuit technology, integrated circuit testing and fault diagnosis, digital signal processing, computer-aided synthesis, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and design of low-power circuits. Software tools are under development to assist engineers in the simulation and design of VLSI circuits.