In the heart of North Carolina lies its urban research university: the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte). Here, 6,300 graduate students access a top-notch education through more than 175 exemplary graduate programmes. Together with UNC Charlotte, they are set to fuel the American innovation system to shape the future of North Carolina and beyond.
Its Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) offers dynamic bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes, covering numerous engineering disciplines such as electronic and electrical systems, electromagnetics, information processing, communications and networking and control systems, among others. These programmes have one thing in common — they strike a balance between theory and practical knowledge for a well-rounded education. Little wonder why engineering aspirants flock to UNC Charlotte.
The ECE’s newest Master of Science in Computer Engineering (MSCpE) launched in the fall of 2021 with only 22 students. For the upcoming 2022 fall term, the MSCpE program received over 200 applications. Such numbers are a testament to the promising engineering education provided by UNC Charlotte.
With UNC Charlotte’s exemplary reputation and academic excellence, landing a highly successful internship is possible. Source: UNC Charlotte
MSCpE students gain advanced knowledge on current and future generation computer hardware and software technologies. They explore three focus areas — computer architecture and hardware design, computer systems and applications software, and distributed and real-time systems. They pursue research that covers computer architecture; VHDL; hardware security and trust; cloud-native application architecture; AI; machine learning; the Internet of Things (IoT); robotics; computer networks, VLSI systems design; and heterogeneous computing; to name a few. Such in-depth learning develops highly sought-after experts in the field.
A department that fosters technological, economic, and social growth
ECE aims to develop human and intellectual resources in electrical and computer engineering disciplines, including machine learning, AI, deep learning and computer vision. It regularly develops new courses and research projects so students can learn about various theories and their applications.
Associate Professor Dr. Jeremy Holleman’s “Machine Learning for IoT” course is an excellent example. Here, students work on projects, allowing them to learn to build, train and deploy modern machine learning algorithms (neural networks) in battery-powered IoT devices based on microcontrollers (MCUs). They learn the principles of maximising performance and minimising cost, power and time while porting neural network-based learning models into constrained hardware.
A promising education, a promising outcome
At ECE, graduate students are encouraged to get involved with industrial internships while pursuing their master’s or PhD. Plus, with UNC Charlotte’s exemplary reputation and academic excellence, landing a highly successful internship is possible.
Graduate Shyamal Patel from Gujarat, India can attest to this. In 2015, he joined the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) programme with a focus on power systems. Shortly after the completion of his master’s, Patel landed a job at Smarter Grid Solutions — a company later acquired by Mitsubishi. His academic journey, however, was far from over.
In 2018, he returned to UNC Charlotte to pursue his PhD — working on the Department of Energy’s sponsored research project on data-driven management techniques for the distribution of grids with high penetration. He would go on to win the 2022 Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Award. The best part? Patel received a job offer to work at Raleigh-based Hitachi Energy too.
Many students can only dream of working or even interning at the globally-renowned American automotive company Tesla — but graduate Xiwen Xu lived the dream. Xu landed the internship during her graduate studies in ECE, and shortly after her graduation, she received an offer for a full-time position. Such an achievement does not go unrecognised at ECE. In 2022, ECE awarded Xu the Outstanding Graduate Student award.
Meanwhile, graduate student Shobhit Aggarwal is currently pursuing his PhD in low power wide area networks for IoT applications. He has been interning with Oxit — a Charlotte startup company — for the last two years, working on the development of IoT solutions using state-of-the-art LPWAN technologies. During his free time, Aggarwal spends time working as a volunteer during the fall and spring terms.
These graduates are just the cream of the crop. Many graduates at ECE who have completed thesis research and coursework on AI, deep learning, and hardware implementation for AI algorithms in the last two years have found employment with reputed companies such as Intel, Qualcomm, Facebook, Bank of America, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Nvidia and Siemens, among others. Discover how you can be one of these graduates here.