Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Since its founding in 1893 by two legends, George Westinghouse and Reginald Fessenden, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Pitt has excelled in education, research, and service.  Today, the department features innovative undergraduate and graduate programs and world-class research centers and labs, combining theory with practice at the nexus of computer and electrical engineering, for our students to learn, develop, and lead lives of impact.





Oct
31
2018

ECE Tenure-Stream and Non-Tenure-Stream Positions

Electrical & Computer, Open Positions

The ECE Department (http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/ECE/) at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) invites applications for tenure-stream (TS) faculty positions as Assistant Professor in the areas of computer engineering and systems or nanoscale electronics and photonics, with special interest in space electronics and systems, high-performance computing and biomedical apps, and quantum computing. We also invite applications for non-tenure-stream (NTS) faculty positions as Assistant Professor for teaching and education research. The expected start date is Sept. 1, 2019. Candidates must show strong potential to become leaders in their field, synergy with strengths in and around our Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE) (http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/), and commitment to high-quality education for a diverse body of undergraduate and graduate students. Founded in 1787, Pitt is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the nation and located in one of the most beautiful, family-friendly, affordable, and vibrant of the major US cities. The ECE Department at Pitt dates back to 1893, when it was created by two engineering legends, George Westinghouse and Reginald Fessenden, and for 125 years it has excelled in education, research, and service. Today, Pitt ECE features innovative undergraduate and graduate programs and world-class research centers and labs, combining theory with practice at the nexus of computer and electrical engineering, for our students to learn, develop, and lead lives of impact.  Pitt ECE is experiencing major growth and achievement in its academic and research programs, with 10 new faculty members joining our department in the past two years. Pitt-ECE is home to the NSF Center for Space, High-performance, and Resilient Computing (SHREC), University Center for Energy, and Energy Grid Institute, and a leading partner in the Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering (PINSE). ECE faculty members benefit from strong collaborations with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and School of Medicine, Pittsburgh Quantum Institute (PQI), Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), Pitt Center for Research Computing (CRC), Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI), and dozens of industrial and agency research partners in the region and across the nation. With 30 full-time faculty members, Pitt ECE offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering. Enrollment consists of over 500 undergraduate and nearly 200 graduate students. The SSOE recently completed a $100 million renovation and redesign of Benedum Engineering Hall (BEH), home of Pitt ECE, with state-of-the-art teaching and research labs. As part of its growth, Pitt ECE has additional space in Schenley Place, a new research building within walking distance of BEH, and the Energy Innovation Center in downtown Pittsburgh, both major hubs for industry and university collaboration. Strong candidates in these targeted areas will be carefully considered. Applications are due by Jan. 7, 2019, although candidates will continue to be considered until positions are filled. Please submit a CV, research and teaching statements, and contact information for at least three references, all in a single PDF file, to ecesearch-TS@pitt.edu for TS positions, or to ecesearch-NTS@pitt.edu for NTS. The University of Pittsburgh is an EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled Employer.

Oct
29
2018

Pitt Engineers Get First Look at Next Project Bound for ISS

Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (October 29, 2018) … Computer and electrical engineers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering got a sneak peek at their new space supercomputer as it finishes final integration testing before heading to the International Space Station (ISS).The photos, which were taken by an engineer at NASA Kennedy Space Center, show the Space Test Program-Houston 6 (STP-H6) pallet featuring a hybrid and reconfigurable space supercomputer developed at Pitt. The spaceflight computer is the first of its kind and is supported by dual high-resolution cameras capable of capturing five megapixel images of Earth.“This new research experiment and testbed is called Spacecraft Supercomputing for Image and Video Processing, or SSIVP,” explains Dr. Alan George, the Mickle Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the Swanson School. “Space is the ultimate challenge, where systems face big-data demands in an extreme environment with limited power, size, and weight.  Our SSIVP system represents a leap forward for high-speed computing in space.”Dr. George is the founder of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Space, High-performance, and Resilient Computing (SHREC). The research center focuses on “mission-critical computing,” a field of ECE that includes space computing, high-performance computing and data analytics, and resilient computing to ensure system dependability at high speed and low power in harsh environments like outer space. The SSIVP system at the University of Pittsburgh (left) and a closeup of the system on the STP-H6 pallet (right, edited for clarity) at NASA Kennedy.Credit: (left) Swanson School of Engineering; (right) NASA The STP-H6 pallet, including Pitt’s SSIVP system, completed integration and testing at NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas last spring. Further environmental testing took place at NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia over the summer. The pallet is at NASA Kennedy this fall for final integration and testing before launch in February 2019. “We collaborated with a team of Pitt mechanical engineers led by Professors Dave Schmidt and Matthew Barry to design and build our enclosure to meet NASA requirements,” says Dr. George. “They managed mechanical design challenges and ensured the system was safe and could dissipate heat generated by the high-performance electronics.” A team of ECE students assembled the SSIVP enclosure and electronics in a cleanroom at the Spacecraft Assembly Lab at SHREC. The enclosure, a golden outer case emblazoned with the Pitt script, can be seen in the middle of the pallet. The SSIVP team traveled to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland to conduct environmental testing to assess the SSIVP payload’s ability to survive the vibrations of launch and the thermal vacuum of space. The team also traveled to NASA Johnson to integrate and validate the SSIVP payload on the STP-H6 pallet and NASA Langley Research Center to program and validate the final flight software. “We handled testing for the power systems to characterize our payload and ensure conformance with NASA and Department of Defense standards,” says Nicholas Franconi, an ECE PhD student on the SSIVP team. “We delivered and integrated the SSIVP payload this past spring and are excited to see it launch in spring 2019.” The STP-H6 pallet is headed for the ISS via a SpaceX rocket. Once aboard the space station, it will join its predecessor STP-H5, which launched in 2017. The SHREC team developed a payload for the H5 pallet as well, and the two systems will work on a variety of space technology experiments conducted by the Pitt engineers. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Oct
18
2018

University of Pittsburgh Scientist Receives $1.2 Million NSF Grant to Find Big Data Solutions for Complications from Anesthesia

Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (October 18, 2018) … The National Science Foundation awarded $1,182,305 to the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering to support research into using machine learning and Big Data to analyze electronic anesthesia records and prevent postoperative complications and death.Heng Huang, John A. Jurenko Professor in Computer Engineering at Pitt, is principal investigator on the study titled “SCH: INT: New Machine Learning Framework to Conduct Anesthesia Risk Stratification and Decision Support for Precision Health” (Award No. 1838627). Dr. Huang will analyze more than two million cases of anesthesia data taken from 303 UPMC clinics and treatment centers.“A human doctor uses guidelines from manuals in combination with subjective experience to determine patients’ risk factors and needs,” says Dr. Huang. “We are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop an objective way to predict surgical outcomes based on historical patient data.”Dr. Huang is collaborating with University of Pittsburgh co-principal investigators Dan Li, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, and Fei Zhang, certified registered nurse anesthetist in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. The research team will design new deep learning algorithms and software to mine patient data and identify common risk factors in patients about to receive anesthesia. They will then develop a “decision support system” to better inform doctors when patients are at high risk for post-operative complications and in-hospital mortality.Dr. Huang explains, “Many patients come in to the hospital with so much information about them on file that doctors don’t have a comprehensive way to consider all the variables and their interactions. With a computer, you really can do a better job than a human of determining how all that data is going to predict patient outcomes.” To create a large-scale, machine learning framework capable of predicting patient outcomes, Dr. Huang will employ several emerging computational technologies including deep learning, semi-supervised learning, and large-scale optimization.Dr. Huang has been creating new machine learning techniques to address biomedical applications throughout his career. Some of his past projects involved analyzing big imaging genomic data to help identify Alzheimer’s disease at earlier stages, data mining electronic medical records to personalize patient treatment, integrating histopathological images and cancer genomics for personalized medicine and building interactive gene expression databases. “I’ve focused on applying computational techniques to biomedical applications for about the past 15 years because you can really make a big impact on improving people’s quality of life and benefiting humanity with A.I. in ways humans cannot achieve alone,” says Dr. Huang. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Oct
16
2018

New Design Education Lab Sparks Next Generation of Electrical and Computer Engineers

Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (October 16, 2018) … Sometimes a learning environment needs to not only be inspiring, but also “electrifying.”The Swanson School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering opened its Design Education Laboratory at the beginning of the fall semester 2018. The space combines cutting-edge technology with a sleek, contemporary design to reflect the modernization of the department, which has been taking place over the past few semesters.“The new lab is the showcase of the ECE department, not just for its looks but also the functionality,” says James Lyle, ECE department technology lead. “The space brings together everything an electrical and computer engineer can do. It provides an environment for our students to gain the knowledge and experience to build things on their own.”Located on the 12th floor of Benedum Hall, the lab serves as a classroom, a meeting place for workshops and study space. It’s open 24 hours and gives students access to a variety of tools and equipment. Features include: Custom-designed work benches Testing equipment (soldering stations, power supplies, multimeters, oscilloscopes, etc.) Five smart TVs Clean, wireless workspaces Professors and instructors can use the smart TVs during their lessons and demonstrations, and students can use them to facilitate group projects. They are fully accessible by students for wireless pairing with their smart phones, laptops or other devices. Pitt ECE alumni Thomas Cook and Corey Weimann led the design of the "work benches" while undergraduate students. Credit: Swanson School of Engineering/Ric Evans Photography “Students today embrace technology, and they know how this stuff works. It only makes sense to give them access to it,” says William McGahey , ECE department technology lead. Pitt ECE alumni Thomas Cook and Corey Weimann led the design of the room’s “work benches” while they were still undergraduate students. Instead of a typical, austere work bench, the lab’s benches are topped with butcher block to provide a non-conductive, durable surface for working on electronic projects. Cook and Weimann also designed the benches to complement the room’s aesthetics. “Since the room is entirely glassed in, we designed the benches to look appealing to people walking past the lab, especially prospective students who are on tours with family,” says Cook. “Another goal of the room and desks was to make students comfortable and give them lots of space to learn and work on their projects without being confined to a small area.” Dr. Alan George , who joined the Swanson School as chair of the ECE department in January 2017, has encouraged students and the department to undertake projects that are large in scope and require a range of skills to complete. “The lab provides students with a space to design and test hardware. It was common for students to develop software for their senior design projects in the past, now we’re seeing a lot more complex projects with software and hardware components,” says Samuel Dickerson , assistant professor and undergraduate director of computer engineering. For example, Dr. Dickerson and ECE Assistant Professor Dr. Ahmed Dallal advised a team of electrical engineers for the Swanson School’s Spring 2018 Design Expo . The team, called SoleSense, designed an IoT-enabled shoe with biometric capabilities and won the prize for Best Overall Project. “The Design Education Laboratory is another valuable asset for providing our students with the resources and knowledge they need to take on these complex projects,” says Dr. Dickerson. “I think we’re going to see a lot more ECE students winning design competitions like the SoleSense team, and I really look forward to the caliber of Senior Design project in upcoming semesters.” ### Prof. Dickerson (right) with ECE student Jennifer Gingerich (left). ECE 1895: Junior Design course. ECE Department Technology Leads William McGahey (left) and James Lyle (right). The ECE Design Education Laboratory. *All photo credits: Swanson School of Engineering/Ric Evans Photography
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Oct
9
2018

ECE’s Ervin Sejdic to Participate in the Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Symposium

Bioengineering, Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (October 9, 2018) … Ervin Sejdić, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, will participate in the sixth annual Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine symposium. The meeting is presented by the US National Academy of Sciences and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences. The symposium brings together a multidisciplinary group of young scientists, engineers, and medical professionals from across the US and the 22 Arab League countries. It aims to foster a collaborative and open dialogue amongst industry leaders and program participants. It will be held at the Kuwait National Library in Kuwait City on November 4-6, 2018. The program’s organizing committee selects and chairs session topics and suggests speakers who are experts in their field. This year’s topics include big data, water systems, the microbiome, air quality, and next generation buildings and infrastructure. Sejdić will be presenting a talk on the use of modern data analytics tools to develop computational biomarkers to track diseases during the big data session on Tuesday afternoon. “A human body is comprised of several physiological systems that carry out specific functions necessary for daily living,” said Sejdić. “Traumatic injuries, diseases, and aging negatively impact human functions, which can cause a decreased quality of life and many other socio-economical and medical issues. “Accurate models of human functions are needed to propose interventions and treatments that can restore deteriorated human functions,” continued Sejdić. “Therefore, our research aims to develop novel data analytics and instrumentation approaches that can accurately assess changes in swallowing, and gait functions by focusing on dynamical interactions between musculoskeletal and other physiological systems.” For the Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine symposium, Sejdić will present some of his lab’s recent contributions dealing with both engineering and clinical aspects of their work as well as future research goals and strategies. Sejdić leads the Innovative Medical Engineering Developments (iMED) laboratory in the Swanson School of Engineering with a core expertise in signal processing, instrumentation, and physiological monitoring. ###

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