University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science
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University of Cincinnati: Advancing electrical and computer engineering through impactful research

When Vinitha Thiyagarajan Upaassana was exploring doctoral degrees in the US, she sought a research programme that matched her goals of impacting people’s lives through electrical engineering.

“I did a lot of homework on the specific kind of facilities available and what type of papers are being published from different universities, and the University of Cincinnati (UC) was strikingly mind-blowing in that perspective,” Upaassana says.

Home to the College of Engineering and Applied Science, UC is a powerhouse of innovation that draws many talented students like Upaassana to its campus every year. Ranked # 4 for co-op programmes among public and private universities nationwide by US News and World Report, UC ensures its students gain a minimum of a year’s experience before graduating. As graduates, they hold a competitive advantage in the job market.

Zoom into UC, and you’ll find the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering — known for advancing the profound impact of electrical engineering and computing systems. The department offers four BS degrees, two MS degrees, three MEng degrees, and two PhD degrees. As part of the BS curriculum, students can build an impressive resume and professional network by participating in the nationally recognised co-op programme at companies such as FirstEnergy, Kohrs Lonnemann Heil Engineers (KLH), L-3 Cincinnati Electronics, General Cable Corporation, Northrop Grumman, and General Electric.

University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science

Source: University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science

The MS and PhD provide students with outstanding education and excellent opportunities to work on exciting and challenging projects in various research areas — ranging from semiconductor devices to robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). Among the transformative graduate programmes available are MS Electrical Engineering and PhD Electrical Engineering. Those seeking to expand their skills for the technical workforce while also developing professional skills that enhance their organisational effectiveness can pursue the MEng. It differs from an MS degree in that it is focused on direct industry application more than research.

The department is also renowned for its robust and well-funded research programmes in the areas of chip design and fabrication, alongside a strong focus on cybersecurity. These programmes offer students a gateway to hands-on experience and groundbreaking discoveries — something Upaassana can attest to.

Upaassana worked in electrical engineering professor Chong Ahn‘s lab, focusing on point-of-care diagnostic devices and sensors that use saliva to detect mental and physical disorders and diseases. “I have had the opportunity to be able to customise our devices to various diseases, and COVID-19 has become one of our focuses,” she says. “We are trying to specialise in asymptomatic testing and also do a rapid test that takes less than 20 minutes.”

One of the department’s crown jewels is the NSF-sponsored University-Industry Collaborative Research Centre for Hardware and Embedded Systems Security and Trust (CHEST). This initiative works hand in hand with industry partners to fortify the security of connected electronic devices and networks, shielding them from external threats. Some research areas include hardware assurance, counterfeit detection, integrated circuit authentication, anti-reverse engineering and anti-tampering and more.

There’s more. The Ohio Cyber Range Institute spearheads research in cybersecurity, fuelling education, workforce development, and entrepreneurial ventures in cyber-related fields throughout the state. However, the spectrum of research programmes offered at UC extends far beyond security alone. From neuromorphic chips to emerging computing systems, sensors, robotics, and intelligent systems, students have the opportunity to delve into many exciting and evolving fields, preparing them to become the innovators of tomorrow.

Situated in the region dubbed the “Silicon Heartland,” Cincinnati benefits from major tech investments like Intel’s semiconductor chip fabrication plant. UC’s state-of-the-art facilities, including a high-level cleanroom, empower students and researchers to explore the frontiers of semiconductor technology. Plus, active participation in the Midwest Microelectronics Consortium underscores UC’s pivotal role in advancing research and education in semiconductor-related domains.

Amidst this innovation hub lies the vibrant city of Cincinnati, offering affordable living and a rich cultural tapestry. Students benefit not only from the academic excellence within UC’s walls but also from the dynamic experiences found in the city’s embrace.

What sets UC apart is not just its groundbreaking research and educational opportunities but the diverse community it attracts. With students hailing from all 50 US states and 110 countries, the campus is a melting pot of cultures, ideas, and perspectives, fostering an environment that thrives on diversity.

Interested? Join a webinar on Nov. 30, 2023 to learn more about the graduate programmes offered in the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.

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