Research Centers

Currently, there are 15 University approved centers and institutes within Purdue ECE. At the Purdue level, there are 137. Each center is developed to fill a particular need.

  • Discovery Park centers extend campus infrastructure to the entire University allowing multidisciplinary groups to come together on campus and respond to grand challenges and opportunities.
  • Large project centers or institutes, generally funded by an outside agency, are organized around a specific objective and have a natural lifespan.
  • Grassroots centers or institutes vary in size and are formed from faculty initiatives; they are frequently funded by the departments.

Centers and institutes are valued and encouraged at Purdue. They create a venue for faculty to come together to solve a common goal. Additional opportunities for joint projects and funding are created as investigators interact.

Birck Nanotechnology Center (BNC)

Director: Zhihong Chen

A Discovery Park center that provides scientific equipment, specialized laboratories, a nanofabrication cleanroom, offices, technical staff, and administrative support for nanotechnology research.

Center for Brain Inspired Computing Enabling Autonomous Intelligence (C-BRIC)

Director: Kaushik Roy

C-BRIC's mission is to deliver key advances in cognitive computing, with the goal of enabling a new generation of autonomous intelligent systems such as self-flying drones and interactive personal robots. C-BRIC will co-develop the next generation neuro-inspired algorithms and theory, neuromorphic computing fabrics and distributed intelligence.


Center for Innovation in Control, Optimization, and Networks (ICON)

Co-Director: Shreyas Sundaram

ICON’s mission is to integrate diverse expertise in the areas of control, optimization, and networks in the pursuit of innovative solutions to grand challenges.  ICON researchers, coming together from across Purdue’s College of Engineering, are establishing foundational knowledge and developing advanced techniques for controlling and optimizing complex dynamical systems, with applications including intelligent transportation systems, power and communication networks, manufacturing systems, social networks, and robotic swarms.

Center for PRedictive Materials and Devices (c-PRIMED)

Director: Gerhard Kilmeck

The mission of the center is to develop unique software and computational modeling capabilities that will revolutionize the design of products, devices and systems.

Center for Resilient Infrastructures, Systems, and Processes (CRISP)

Director: Saurabh Bagchi

CRISP provides scientific methods to analyze the failure modes of a variety of critical infrastructures and provides engineering tools to systematically incorporate resilience. The Center will develop techniques that apply broadly across multiple domains to complement existing domain-specific techniques. Initial focus areas will be resilient and adaptive cyberinfrastructure, resilient cyber-physical systems, and the scientific foundations of resilient socio-technical systems.

Elmore ECE Emerging Frontiers Center: Crossroads of Quantum and AI

Director: Alexandra Boltasseva
The Center builds on the team’s seminal, complementary contributions in the areas of machine learning, nano- and quantum photonics, neuromorphic computing, large-scale manufacturing and big data. With the team’s many “world’s firsts” in the above areas and unique, integrated EE/CISE expertise, the team is uniquely positioned to achieve preeminence in the proposed effort. The Center activities are expected to attract an increasing attention in the coming years at the government and corporate levels, thus offering a great potential for Purdue ECE to become the Leader in merging AI, quantum and beyond.

Elmore ECE Emerging Frontiers Center: Center for Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (CUAS)

Director: Yung-Hsiang Lu
This center will provide a tiered approach to create and evaluate commercially viable UAS technologies. The first tier uses simulation to evaluate control algorithms and artificial intelligence for situational understanding. The second tier builds miniature cities and conducts experiments in natural and controlled environments. The third tier uses augmented reality to create realistic scenarios and test the responses. UAS are a driver of many engineering research topics and has great potential to change many industries.

Elmore ECE Emerging Frontiers Center: Rapid Heterogeneous Integration Design Institute (Rapid-HI)

Director: Dan Jaio
The objective of Rapid-HI Design Institute is to develop rapid and large-scale multiphysics modeling and analysis and multiphysics informed physical design to automate the HI design from intent to fabrication. We will fuse machine intelligence and domain expertise for significantly accelerated modeling, analysis, and optimization. This collaborative research effort will result in a rapid hardware compiler of HI systems enabled by multiphysics (electrical, thermal, and mechanical) design automation and it will be used to transform current manual, partially-automated, and non-optimal practice of package and system design to fully automated and optimized design. The HI hardware compiler will be made open source, contributing to the design ecosystem.

NSF Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NSF NCN)

Director: Gerhard Kilmeck

The Network for Computational Nanotechnology supports the National Nanotechnology Initiative by designing, constructing, deploying, and operating a national cyber-resource for nanotechnology theory, modeling, and simulation. Its mission is embodied in

Open Agricultural Technology and Systems Center (OATS)

Director: James Krogmeier

OATS will capitalize on the catalyzing effect of open source technologies to enhance agricultural innovation and education in areas such as sensing, control, logistics, and data management

Purdue Center for Programming Principles and Software Systems (PurPL)

Co-Director: Milind Kulkarni

Supported by large government grants from various agencies and an industry consortium including Facebook, Microsoft, and AI chip startup SambaNova Systems, the PurPL center will work with its partners in industry and academia to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face. The founding group of affiliated faculty includes 10 experts in PL, covering all areas from theory to systems, as well as eight experts in domains spanning AI, machine learning, security, cryptography, as well as computational science and engineering, with a proven track record of successful collaboration and tech transfer.

Purdue Center for Topological Materials (PCTM)

Director: Michael Manfra

The center will focus on emergent phenomena brought about by unusual topology in condensed matter systems. The mission is to foster internal collaboration focused on elucidating the role of topology in condensed matter systems, to provide a forum for discussion and dissemination of the latest developments in condensed matter physics and provide a crucial link to the larger research community outside of Purdue, and to leverage existing strengths at Purdue to compete nationally for large-scale funding opportunities

Purdue Quantum Science and Engineering Institute (PQSEI)

Director: Yong P. Chen

PQSEI will help grow and support quantum information science (QIS) research across campus to make Purdue a leading Hub in QIS and maximally competitive to attract major QIS funding, with a cross disciplinary approach.