Pitt | Swanson Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh emphasizes educational programs that combine theory with practice in the electrical engineering field. Whether students want a broad understanding of electrical engineering, or want to place specific emphasis on interests like computers, signal processing, power, or electronics, the department offers the education that sparks great careers.


Pitt Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Emma Raszmann Awarded Second IEEE Scholarship

All SSoE News, Electrical & Computer, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (December 20, 2016) … The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power and Energy Society (PES) recognized Emma Raszmann, a senior studying electrical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, with her second IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Award. Raszmann also received the award in October 2015, and she is the ninth Pitt student to be named a PES Scholar since the award’s inception in 2011. “Pitt lengthens its streak of having a student awarded a PES Scholarship each year since the program started,” said Gregory Reed, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of Pitt’s Center for Energy and the Electric Power Systems Lab. “Emma has shown remarkable commitment to power engineering and the desire to use her education to truly impact the field. We at the Center for Energy are happy to encourage that passion in our students.” Raszmann will graduate this semester with a B.S. in electrical engineering and a minor in computer science with a concentration in electric power. This spring she will intern with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, where she will be working with the power electronics and controls group for distributed grid integration. Raszmann also worked at NREL over the summer with the residential group on battery modeling for home energy management. She is currently in the process of applying to graduate school and would like to pursue a PhD in electrical engineering with a focus in power electronics. “I chose to study electrical engineering because I knew it would allow me to solve complex yet rewarding problems and lead me to create an exciting, lifelong career,” says Raszmann. “Although there is a theoretical side to electrical engineering, we also have a hands-on side to our design problems, such as soldering circuits and using test equipment. I love the balance between both theoretical problem solving and hands-on engineering problems. It’s challenging and fun at the same time. I hope to someday pursue a career in a research and development environment such as a national lab. My goal is to contribute to electrical engineering research for renewable energy integration and energy efficiency applications.” After enrolling in Dr. Reed’s Power System Analysis class, Raszmann worked in the Electric Power Systems Lab for two semesters. She designed a DC-DC dual active bridge converter circuit and performed exploratory research on high power density converter circuit design considerations and applications. When she began studying grant and proposal writing to help prepare her for a future career in research, the Center for Energy staff helped her network with energy related non-profits to get experience writing technical grants. “I worked with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to get practice grant writing by working on a proposal for on the PEC’s energy efficiency initiatives in Pennsylvania,” said Raszmann. “The support from the Center for Energy has been outstanding, and I hope more Pitt students take advantage of such a great resource that we have at Pitt.” About the IEEE Power Engineering Plus Scholarship The IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative encourages undergraduate students to pursue careers in power and energy engineering. The program provides scholarships and facilitates internships and co-op experience, but also offers many opportunities to gain experience and build knowledge in power and energy engineering careers, including mentoring opportunities and special recognition as a PES Scholar. ### Photo (from left): Dr. Brandon Grainger, research assistant professor and Pittsburgh Power Electronics Society Chapter Chair, Dr. Gregory Reed, Emma Raszmann, and U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering Gerald Holder in the Swanson School's Electric Power Systems Laboratory.
Author: Matthew Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Pitt’s Mascaro Center Announces 2017 Faculty Fellows in Sustainability

Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (December 15, 2016) … The University of Pittsburgh Office of the Provost and Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation have named the 2017 Faculty Fellows in Sustainability: Kyle Bibby, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering; Emily Elliott, associate professor of geology and environmental science; Shanti Gamper-Rabindran, associate professor of environment, health and development economics and policy; and Alex Jones, associate professor of electrical engineering and Director of Pitt’s Computer Engineering Program.The Faculty Fellowships in Sustainability serve to enhance the University’s mission of interdisciplinary excellence in research and education. The 2017 Fellows represent the Swanson School of Engineering, the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Fellows receive $25,000 to support efforts to contribute research, inside and outside of their fields, and may decide to renew their fellowships for one additional year. Other potential expectations for faculty fellows include taking the lead on large grant proposal submissions; establishing teams for new research collaborations; developing community engagement projects and sustained partnerships with community organizations; designing a new course; and organizing workshops, symposia and exhibitions on sustainability. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Pitt Engineering Student Teams Crowd Top Spots at 10th Annual Ergonomics Design Competition

Bioengineering, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (December 12, 2016) … Four University of Pittsburgh teams made a lasting impression at the 10th Annual Ergonomics Design Competition hosted by Auburn Engineers, Inc. by all finishing in the Top 10 and taking three spots in the top five—becoming the first school to achieve that feat in the 10 years of the competition. The top Pitt team finished in second place overall, for the second time in two years. “This is just our second year of competing, and I am so pleased with our teams’ successes in this national competition,” said Joel Haight, associate professor in Pitt’s Department of Industrial Engineering, director of the School’s Safety Engineering program and faculty advisor to the Ergonomics Design Competition teams.  The Ergonomics Design Competition began with a Preliminary Design project that challenged students to identify workplace stressors and design solutions to alleviate them. The project took place over the course of the fall semester and required students to apply ergonomic principles in a given scenario to tool design, complex workstation design, design of manufacturing cells, product handling devices, evaluation of work system and other considerations.  This year the students evaluated and compared the ergonomics of car washing at a commercial car wash, at home by the owner of the vehicle and with an “Uber” type service in which car washers travel to the customers upon request.  Students also had to complete a Final Design project, which was less complex but had strict 48-hour deadline. The teams analyzed a pizza making operation and the stressors of each position involved in the process of making pizza. Results from the Preliminary Design project and the Final Design project, along with a series of “Lightning Round” questions related to ergonomics, allowed the judges to select the Top Five teams. The finalists gave live presentations via WebEx to a panel of professional ergonomists across the country to determine the winner. (Second Place overall team. Left to right: Dr. Haight, Lauren Judge, Mikayla Ferchaw,Emily Zullo, Jonathan Kenneson and Andrew Becker) After thorough evaluation by the judges, one of the two teams from the University of Michigan slipped into first place, edging out the Pitt team, which consisted of the Department of Industrial Engineering’s (IE) Lauren Judge and Emily Zullo; Bioengineering’s (BioE) Mikayla Ferchaw and Andrew Becker; and Electrical and Computer Engineering’s (ECE) Jonathan Kenneson. As the second place finisher, the team will also serve as the alternate for presenting the results of their work at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Conference in Austin, TX in October 2017. Two of the Pitt teams finished in the Top Five. (Top Five finisher. Left to right: Dr. Haight, Piyusha Sane (BioE), Riddhi Gandhi (BioE), McKenzie Kallquist (IE), Geena Petrone (IE) and Kor'an Sharif (IE)) (Top Five finisher. Left to right: Dr. Haight, Jacqueline Schauble (BioE), Cagla Duzbasan (IE), Max Jablunovsky (IE) and Anthony Sciulli(IE)) The final Pitt team received an honorable mention for an overall Top 10 finish. (Top 10 finisher. Left to right: Kristyna Finikiotis (IE), Rob McCauley (IE), Dr. Haight,Sarah Masterson (IE), Emily Lain (IE) and Chris Jambor (IE)) The competition began with a total of 35 teams and ended with 28 completing all of the required tasks. In addition to the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan, participating universities included Texas A&M University, University of Utah, Auburn University, University of Buffalo and University of Puerto Rico, among others. Auburn Engineers, Inc., sponsor of the competition, is an international ergonomics consulting company based in Auburn, Alabama. ###
Author: Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

The Virtual Education

Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (December 8, 2016) … Despite exponential advancements in computing and internet technology, the majority of digital devices still rely on human-computer interface to gather and use data. The technology community has been buzzing recently about a new landscape in which devices spend more time interacting with the physical and virtual world than actual users. However, people are not entirely removed from the equation - in fact, more than ever before they will be able to reap the benefits of all this data.Samuel Dickerson, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, has designed the course “Introduction to Cyber-Physical Systems” to teach students about the emerging field of cyber-physical systems—or what is more commonly referred to as “The Internet of Things” or simply “IoT.” The course will be available to undergraduate students beginning spring 2017.“The Internet of Things is projected to be the next industrial revolution,” said Dickerson. “It’s a new area in itself. Not many universities have an entire course dedicated to it, but we’re going to take a top-to-bottom approach. Students will begin with building and attaching sensors to devices, then be challenged to find effective ways to use the data collected and even develop business plans to look at product markets for their creations.”Many business leaders and publications are projecting the IoT market to be worth more than $1 trillion by 2020. Smart cars, wired homes and wearable devices herald a future in which people have complete connectivity with their devices and the ability to seamlessly share data on demand. However, much of the technology required to make this possibility a reality has not been invented yet.“Now more than ever we require innovation to keep pace with the speed of our imagination,” said Dickerson. “Students that complete Introduction to Cyber-Physical Systems will have a good understanding of the present and future demands of this new industry as well as a concrete understanding of how to turn engineering knowledge into marketable products.”After students acquire an understanding of “IoT” related skills, Dickerson will introduce the “Lean Launchpad” methodology, which teaches entrepreneurial business and product development by encouraging experimentation and hands-on experience. The students will take their technical projects and look for ways to innovate and prototype IoT devices.“More than 200 universities have adopted Lean Launchpad since its inception in 2011,” said Dickerson. “Building off some of the ingenuity in emerging fields, Pitt students are not just going to learn about startups and innovation, they might also leave the class as entrepreneurs.”“Introduction to Cyber Physical Systems” received funding as one of eight teaching proposals selected by the Office of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence as part of the 2016 Innovation in Education Awards Program. ### Image above: Dr. Dickerson with sophomore David Skrovanek.
Author: Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

ECE NTS Assistant Professor

Electrical & Computer, Open Positions

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Pittsburgh (http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/ece) is seeking candidates for a non-tenure stream (NTS) teaching position at the level of assistant professor. The anticipated start date is September 2017. This position will be eligible for consideration for later career promotion and advancement through the NTS evaluation process of the Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE). We seek a person whose primary responsibilities will be undergraduate teaching and mentoring along with education and curriculum development. This faculty member will ideally hold a PhD degree and be capable of teaching courses in both the electrical and computer engineering undergraduate programs. The preferred candidate should possess technical background strength in signal processing, communications, control theory, and/or computer engineering. The ECE Department currently has 27 faculty members and offers B.S., M.S., and PhD degrees in electrical and computer engineering. Current enrollment consists of nearly 500 undergraduate and 200 graduate students. The SSOE just completed a $100 million renovation and redesign of Benedum Engineering Hall with state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories for ECE. For full consideration, applications must be received by March 3, 2017, although later applications may be considered. Please submit a CV, contact information for four references, plus a letter summarizing your teaching interests and research background, in a single PDF file, to teachingece@pitt.edu. The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, marital status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.


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