Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Our graduates are successful professionals in today's diverse, global environment, and are able to adapt to new and shifting technologies, in whatever career path they choose to pursue. This includes careers in electrical engineering through employment in industry, government or private practice, as well as careers in other engineering or professional disciplines such as bioengineering, computer engineering, business, law, or medicine. Our graduates will also pursue advanced study in electrical engineering or other engineering or professional fields.

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, telecommunications and signal processing, or electronics, the department offers the education that sparks great careers.


Research Papers by Computer Engineering Senior Donald Kline Jr. Accepted to Two International Conferences

All SSoE News, Electrical & Computer, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (March 30, 2015) ... Two research papers written by University of Pittsburgh senior Donald Kline Jr. will appear in the proceedings of upcoming peer-reviewed conferences in computer engineering. Mr. Kline, whose major is computer engineering at Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, is first author on both papers and will present the work at these conferences. Mr. Kline is a native of Wexford, Pa. and a graduate of Pittsburgh Central Catholic. The first paper, "Domain-wall Memory Buffer for Low-Energy Networks-on-Chips," was developed during a Swanson School undergraduate internship experience last summer, which built upon Kline's fall-term classwork and preliminary research in the spring. Working with Alex K. Jones, PhD , associate professor and director of the computer engineering program, Kline researched control schemes that leverage the "shift-register" nature of spintronic domain-wall memory to replace conventional memory buffers for networks-on-chips, which are a leading energy consumer in modern multi-core processors. "The university's high-performance computers were highly useful for running my simulations," said Mr. Kline. The computers enabled him to run multiple simultaneous simulations and receive timely results. The paper based on this research will appear at the Design Automation Conference (DAC), the premier conference for design and automation of electronic systems with an approximately 20% acceptance rate.  DAC will be held in San Francisco in June. Kline's second paper is entitled "MSCS: Multi-hop Segmented Circuit Switching," developed during his undergraduate design project with Dr. Jones and Rami Melhem, PhD , professor of computer science. Mr. Kline's research revealed a reservation-based circuit-switching design that provides simplified global control and multi-hop traversal while reducing latency. He presented his results at the senior design expo in December. This paper has been accepted at the GLSVLSI Symposium , an international conference on semiconductor technology and circuits, which happens to be held this year in Pittsburgh in May. The GLSVLSI Symposium has an acceptance rate of 29%. "Don's paper on domain-wall memory buffers at DAC, a premiere conference in chip design, is a significant achievement for an undergraduate student. However, to make two independent contributions in such a short period of time is quite remarkable," Dr. Jones said. "Don's work describes, fundamentally, how we can build queue structures using an emerging domain-wall magnetic storage structure which can reshape the landscape of computing architectures and networks." Pictured at top: Donald Kline Jr. (seated) with Dr. Alex Jones. ###
Rachel Baker

Pitt scores in U.S. News Best Graduate Schools Guidebook

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH NEWS RELEASE PITTSBURGH- In newly released statistics from U.S. News & World Report , a number of University of Pittsburgh schools and programs have excelled in the Best Graduate Schools 2016 guidebook. Pitt's School of Nursing is ranked no. 5 nationwide in an inaugural annual ranking of nursing schools that offer master's or doctorate programs. In nursing specialties, the school is no. 1 in the category of nurse anesthesia; no. 3 in clinical nurse leader; no. 3 in pediatric, primary care (tie); no. 5 in administration (tie); no. 5 in adult / gerontology, acute care (tie); and no. 5 in psychiatric / mental health, across the lifespan. Pitt's School of Medicine ranks no. 16 in the research category and no. 19 (tie) in the primary care category of the Best Medical Schools ranking. In medical specialties, Pitt is no. 4 in women's health. In new Health disciplines rankings, Pitt's master's and doctorate programs in public health in the Graduate School of Public Health are ranked no. 13, and the rehabilitation counseling program within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is no. 18 (tie). Among public universities, Pitt's graduate programs in education, engineering, and business are all ranked in the top 25. The School of Education is ranked no. 17 among public universities and no. 27 overall (tie); the Swanson School of Engineering is no. 24 among public universities and no. 43 overall (tie); and the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business is No. 23 among public universities and No. 48 overall (tie). The School of Law advanced three spots to no. 78 overall (tie). It is ranked no. 42 among public universities. Individual departments within the Swanson School of Engineering ranked as follows: Bioengineering: 7 among publics, 16 overall (tie) Chemical and Petroleum: 24 among publics, 39 overall (tie) Civil Engineering: 35 among publics, 53 overall (tie) Computer Engineering: 30 among publics, 54 overall (tie) Electrical Engineering: 30 among publics, 52 overall (tie) Industrial Engineering: 15 among publics, 22 overall (tie) Materials Science: 35 among publics, 53 overall (tie)   ###  
Cara Masset

Pitt ECE researchers capture IEEE IAS Outstanding Paper Award for research involving tandem hot strip mill controls

Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (February 10, 2015) … Two University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering faculty were recognized by the IEEE  Industry Application Society (IAS) for their research in the application of control systems for improving the performance of metal rolling mills. John Pittner, PhD, research faculty of electrical and computer engineering, with expertise in the control of metal rolling processes and more than 25 years' experience in this field, and Marwan A. Simaan, PhD, emeritus professor of electrical and computer engineering and currently distinguished professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Central Florida, were recognized by IEEE/IAS/Metals with its Outstanding Paper Award for " Improvement in Control of the Tandem Hot Strip Mill ." The award was presented at the IAS Annual Meeting in October 2014, for the paper which was presented at the Society's conference in 2012 and subsequently published in the Sept/Oct 2013 issue of the journal IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications. The award is presented for significant contributions in the electrical and control fields related to the advancement of the theory and practice in the making or treating of metals. According to Pittner and Simaan, "Our previous work has shown that the use of the state-dependent Riccati equation (SDRE) technique as a basis for the development of a suitable controller for the tandem hot metal rolling process has resulted in significant improvements in performance. However the method of setting the controller parameters was left as a part of future efforts. In this paper we show that improvements in the implementation of the SDRE method provides a method of easily setting initial control parameters and then making automatic adjustments to the controller as the strip is processed through the mill. This eliminates the need for an on-line solution of the state dependent Riccati equation or the need for lookup tables to make controller settings. These improvements greatly simplify the design and implementation of the controller and also make the SDRE technique even more attractive in the control of many similar complex industrial processes." Pittner and Simaan also noted that the application of newly emerging advanced methods, such as the SDRE technique, to the control of the tandem hot metal strip rolling process will lead to considerable savings in production costs by reducing yield losses and improving the quality of the final product. For example, it has recently been estimated that the domestic steel industry is experiencing a yield loss of about 1.5% in the product of hot rolling operations. Considering that domestic steel production is roughly estimated at nearly 100 million tons/year, with about one-half of this being manufactured on hot strip  mills, and with the price of hot band steel at about 650 USD per ton, the estimated loss is roughly about one-half billion USD per year. Their improved method can reduce this loss and improve quality, especially evident in the case of possible modernization of existing mills. It is recognized, based on a recent best estimate, that of the 27 domestic tandem hot strip finishing mills, 25 mills have control systems that are more than 5 years old; of these 22 are more than 10 years old, and 20 are more than 15 years old.  Thus, the potential exists for controller updates to realize significant improvement in the yield and quality, and thus the profitability, of many of these installations. ###  


Swanson School announces 2015 roster of Distinguished Alumni

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (January 26, 2015) … Seven alumni who have made an impact across public, private and government sectors will be recognized by the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering with the 51 st Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards. The award honors those Pitt alumni who have made a positive contribution within their respective fields across the School's six engineering departments. In addition, one individual who was previously selected as a department awardee will be recognized as the overall Swanson School awardee. The awards will be presented at the Swanson School's Distinguished Alumni Banquet on Thursday, March 26 at Pitt's Alumni Hall. "On behalf of the Swanson School we're proud to recognize these seven individuals who have excelled within their discipline and are exemplary ambassadors of Pitt engineering," noted Gerald D. Holder, PhD, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. "I look forward to welcoming them back to campus and celebrating their achievements." This year's recipients are: Swanson School of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Leonard K. Peters, BsChE '62, MSChE '69, PhD '71 Secretary of Energy and Environmental Cabinet, Commonwealth of Kentucky Bioengineering Fernando Aguel BSBioE '00, MSBioE '04 Branch Chief of the Circulatory Support Devices Branch, United States Food and Drug Administration  Civil and Environmental Engineering John D. Bossler, PhD, BSCE '59 Retired, Professor and Director of the Center for Mapping, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Studies, Ohio State University Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Michael J. Fetkovich, DSc, BSPet '54 Phillips Fellow Emeritus, Phillips Petroleum Co. Sr. Principal Reservoir Engineer Member of the National Academy of Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering Jeffrey M. Platt, BSEE '79  President and CEO, Tidewater, Inc. Industrial Engineering David M. Dunahay, BSIE '78 Founding president (retired), FAW-GM Light Duty Commercial Vehicle Co. in Changchun, China; and Adjunct Professor of International Business, Georgetown University Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Albert J. Neupaver, MSME '79, MBA '82 Executive Chairman, Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation   ###  


Swanson School’s Dr. Gregory Reed named Director of Pitt’s Center for Energy

All SSoE News, Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (December 17, 2014) … Gregory Reed, PhD , professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering, has been appointed Director for Pitt's Center for Energy in the Swanson School, according to an announcement by Gerald D. Holder, PhD, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. Dr. Reed succeeds Brian Gleeson, PhD , the Harry S. Tack Chair Professor, who was named Chair of the Swanson School's Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science in August 2014. "Greg has done a tremendous job in helping to grow the Center for Energy and advance the University's reputation as a regional nexus for energy research," Dean Holder said. "I want to thank Brian Gleeson for establishing a strong foundation as inaugural director and I expect Greg to further build upon the Center's strengths and regional and national visibility." "Energy represents one of the foremost grand challenges of engineering and science for our country and around the globe, while the Pittsburgh region, with our strong concentration of energy and power related industry and abundance of strategic resources, represents one of the nation's energy capitals for both technology and talent," Dr. Reed said. "Pitt's energy-related efforts are resulting in critical technology innovations through advanced research and development activities, as well as in educating a next generation of engineers, scientists and future leaders for the energy and power sectors. "Dr. Gleeson established a solid foundation from which to build, and I am very honored to have been selected by Dr. Holder as his predecessor." Dr. Reed has served as the Center's Interim Director since August 2014 and as Associate Director since the Center's inception. He also serves as Director of the Swanson School's Electric Power Initiative and Power Systems Lab, and as Director and Technical Lead of the Grid Technologies Collaborative for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory. In 2012 he was named an inaugural member of the National Academies of Science and Engineering's Energy Ambassador Program. He is the founder and chair of Pitt's annual Electric Power Industry Conference (EPIC), established in 2006, and co-founder/co-chair of the DOE NETL Grid Technologies Collaborative Conference. In addition to these roles, he is the owner and principal consultant of Power Grid Technology Consulting, LLC. His research interests, teaching activities, and related pursuits include advanced electric power grid and energy generation, transmission, and distribution system technologies; power electronics and control technologies (FACTS and HVDC systems); micro-grids and DC infrastructure development; renewable energy systems and integration; smart grid technologies and applications; and energy storage. Dr. Reed has nearly 30 years of combined industry and academic experience in the electric power and energy sector, including positions in engineering, research & development, and executive management throughout his career with the Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc., ABB Inc., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., and DNV-KEMA. He has authored or co-authored more than 75 papers and technical articles in the areas of electric power system analysis, the applications of advanced power systems and power electronics technologies, and power engineering education. He is an active member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE), including the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES), Power Electronics Society (PELS), and Industrial Applications Society (IAS); and is also a member of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). Past IEEE positions include governing board member of the Power & Energy Society, as well as the president of the IEEE PES Pittsburgh chapter. Dr. Reed earned his PhD in electric power engineering from the University of Pittsburgh (1997), M.Eng. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1986), and B.S. from Gannon University (1985). About the Center for Energy Established in 2008, the Center for Energy is dedicated to improving energy technology development, including energy and electric power delivery and reliability, advanced materials for energy applications, carbon management and utilization, energy sustainability and efficiency, and energy resource diversification. Joining the Center for Energy is a team of more than 90 faculty members campus-wide working in energy research from the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Information Sciences, Geology, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Physics, and other areas for the purpose of leveraging their work and expertise. The Center for Energy's key goals include attracting world-class faculty to Pitt, training the next generation of high-level engineers, scientists and leaders to work in key areas of energy research, facilitating technology transfer related to energy for economic development, increasing energy support, and raising the stature of our region as a leader in energy. In 2012 the Center received a $22 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation - one of the largest private foundation grants in Pitt's history - to create new faculty positions and graduate fellowships, and to establish a fund for spurring innovative research. ###    

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