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.

Apr
9
2015

Computer Engineering junior Zachary Barnes one of two Pitt students awarded 2015 Goldwater Scholarships

All SSoE News, Electrical & Computer, Student Profiles

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH NEWS RELEASE   PITTSBURGH- Two University of Pittsburgh students, Zachary A. Barnes and Joseph P. Johnston, have been named 2015 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship winners. The two undergraduates were awarded the prestigious honor for their exceptional research in the areas of embedded computer system technology and high-energy particle physics, respectively. University of Pittsburgh students have now won 45 Goldwater Scholarships in the last 20 years.  The Goldwater Scholarship, established in 1986 by U.S. Congress and named for then-Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona, supports outstanding students who are pursuing careers in the fields of engineering, mathematics, and the natural sciences. The award-granted in either a student's sophomore or junior year-assists in covering the costs of books, room and board, and tuition for each student's remaining period of study. In addition to Barnes and Johnston's recognition as Goldwater Scholars, Pitt students Reginald J. Caginalp and Zachary A. Eddinger received 2015 Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention designations. Institutions can nominate up to four students per year for the scholarship. This is the third consecutive year that all of Pitt's nominees have received either a Goldwater Scholarship or an Honorable Mention designation.  "I am happy to offer my congratulations to these students who have been recognized in the Goldwater Scholarship competition for their hard work and talent," Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said. "Their accomplishments bolster the legacy of excellence in undergraduate education and research at the University of Pittsburgh and are another example of the outstanding capabilities of Pitt students."  "The research pursuits of Zachary Barnes and Joseph Johnston are fascinating and deserving of the support of this prestigious scholarship," said University Honors College Dean Edward M. Stricker. "With the aid of the Goldwater Scholarship, both of these undergraduate students will move forward in their respective fields and continue to exemplify the type of students and professionals who are educated at the University of Pittsburgh."  A native of San Diego, Calif., Zachary A. Barnes is a junior majoring in computer engineering within the Swanson School of Engineering.  Barnes has helped to conduct research in the fields of medical technology research, embedded computer systems, and complex robotics within the laboratories of several Pitt faculty members. Most recently, he assisted in the development of safe-control algorithms for surgical robotics as well as a smart syringe for use in teaching proper drug-administration techniques to students in the medical fields. He also played a key role in the design of an autonomous aerial tracking system for monitoring animals in the wild. Barnes plans to pursue a PhD in computer engineering. He intends to focus his graduate study on complex embedded computer system technology with a specialization in personal robotics and prostheses.  Barnes is the vice president of the student technological-ideation organization Design Hub and a member of the engineering honors society Tau Beta Pi. He has served as president of Scientists, Engineers, and Mathematicians for Service, a student organization that provides educational outreach activities for K-12 students in Pittsburgh.  The University of Pittsburgh has honored Barnes with its University Honors Scholarship as well as the University Scholarship, which is annually awarded to the top two percent of Pitt juniors, seniors, and most recent graduating class. Barnes' other awards and distinctions include a 2015 Student Research Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University and a 2014 Research Experience for Undergraduates Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.  A native of Webster, N.Y., Joseph P. Johnston is a junior majoring in mathematics and physics within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.  Johnston has assisted Pitt faculty with research on particle physics. As a freshman, he assisted in the condensed matter physics lab of Jeremy Levy, a distinguished professor in Pitt's Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Dietrich School and director of the University's Pittsburgh Quantum Institute. Since his sophomore year, he has been involved in research on neutrino physics within the lab of Pitt Physics and Astronomy Professor Steven A. Dytman. Within Dytman's lab, he has collaborated on numerous projects with researchers from other nations for the GENIE Neutrino Monte Carlo Generator, a large-scale, long-term event generator project developed by an international partnership of scientists.  Johnston plans to pursue a PhD in high-energy particle physics. Upon completion of his academic career, he intends to attain a faculty position at a major research university, where he could teach physics and conduct further research in the field of high-energy particle physics. Johnston's professional affiliations have included the Society of Physics Students, the Pitt Math Club, and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, the nation's oldest and largest freshman honor society.  Upon arriving at Pitt in 2012, Johnston was awarded a University of Pittsburgh Academic Scholarship. His other awards and distinctions include the 2012 Get it Straight Orthodontics Community Service Award and the 2012 Shirley Miller Scholarship from the Webster Community Chest, which also recognizes exemplary community-service activities. Johnston was the valedictorian of Webster Thomas High School's class of 2012.  Goldwater Honorable Mention designee Reginald J. Caginalp , a native of Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, is a junior majoring in physics and astronomy as well as mathematics. Goldwater Honorable Mention designee Zachary A. Eddinger , from Fleetwood, Pa., is a junior majoring in chemistry as well as in history and philosophy of science.  Pitt's four 2015 Goldwater Scholarship students were nominated with assistance from Pitt's University Honors College, which advises Pitt undergraduate students and alumni who are interested in pursuing national and international awards. ###  
Anthony M. Moore
Mar
30
2015

Pitt designated an Innovation Corps Site by National Science Foundation

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

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH NEWS RELEASE PITTSBURGH- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has designated the University of Pittsburgh as an NSF I-Corps site. The award, which supports innovation activities at select academic institutions, comes with a three-year, $300,000 grant to be used to advance innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship at Pitt. The University's Innovation Institute will manage the Pitt I-Corps site. (The "I" in I-Corps stands for "Innovation.") Through the I-Corps grant, 30 Pitt Innovator teams per year will receive $3,000 to participate in the Institute's Pitt Ventures program, which provides Pitt teams with hands-on commercialization and entrepreneurial education activities in partnership with entrepreneurs-in-residence, investors, and local business mentors. Pitt Innovator teams may use the $3,000 stipends for market research, customer-discovery analyses, and other development efforts.  "We're honored to receive this prestigious NSF award to support our commercialization efforts," says Marc Malandro, founding director of the Innovation Institute and associate vice chancellor for technology management and commercialization at Pitt. "This award builds on our efforts to instill a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the entire University, bringing together more faculty, staff, and student innovators with educators, mentors, and other community partners to advance our commercialization activities." The Innovation Institute's goals for the I-Corps program are to accomplish the following: Increase the number of entrepreneurially minded faculty, staff, and students at Pitt through education, training, and outreach-particularly among innovators from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented academic disciplines. Enhance a recently deployed commercialization process at Pitt that includes experiential learning and customer-discovery support for Pitt Innovator teams. Improve Pitt's connection to-and support of-the Pittsburgh region's entrepreneurial ecosystem in nurturing startup companies emerging from University innovations. "Through support provided by the I-Corps program, the University of Pittsburgh now will be able to develop an even deeper pipeline of commercialization opportunities from a broader group of innovators, further enhancing our impact on regional and national economic development," Malandro says. The Innovation Institute , launched in November 2013, serves as the hub of innovation commercialization and entrepreneurship activities at the University of Pittsburgh.   ###
Joe Miksch
Mar
30
2015

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
Mar
10
2015

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
Feb
10
2015

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. ###  

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