Online Profiles

University of Washington - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department

Aeronautics and Astronautics

Aeronautics and Astronautics degree programs focus on aircraft systems, space systems and energy systems, with research being carried out by faculty and students in areas such as: aerospace control systems, advanced composite materials and structures, aeroservoelasticity and multidisciplinary design optimization, fluid mechanics, autonomous flight systems and underwater vehicles, distributed space systems, space and terrestrial energy systems, planetary resource utilization, plasma dynamics and fusion reactors, airbreathing and space propulsion, and hypervelocity accelerators.


UW Bioengineering provides integrated, multidisciplinary educational programs and research opportunities to about 100 undergraduates and 120 graduate students. Our 28 core faculty head cutting-edge laboratories where new knowledge and technology from the physical sciences and engineering are applied to challenges in the life sciences. Bioengineering also uses new knowledge from the life sciences to provide solutions to challenging engineering problems.

Chemical Engineering

Graduate students perform research on materials processing and characterization, optical and electronic polymers, surface science, biochemical engineering and bioengineering, computational chemistry, environmental studies, computers and process control, macromolecular rheology.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

This department offers three separate research and academic programs: structural and geotechnical engineering, transportation and construction engineering, and water and environmental engineering.

UW Civil and Environmental Engineering continues to be recognized as one of the world's premier programs, with both undergraduate and graduate programs of the department ranking in the top 20 in polls such as US News & World Report and the Gorman Report. Our program strengths include water treatment, structural and geotechnical earthquake engineering, water resources, and transportation systems planning, construction, and operations, and our faculty are at the forefront of developments in these and related areas.

As the flagship civil and environmental engineering program in the Pacific Northwest, our department continues to seek out new educational and research opportunities to prepare students for successful careers in design, construction, research, teaching, and management.

College of Engineering, Dean's Office

Graduate students can select interdisciplinary classes in Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Materials Science and Engineering, and Aeronautics and Astronautics Departments to graduate with a Master of Engineering degree.

Computer Science and Engineering

The Department of Computer Science & Engineering is ranked
among the top ten in the nation. The department has a fully-dimensioned
set of research activities in computer science and computer engineering.

These are complemented by a host of multi-disciplinary initiatives and
by close relationships with the region's burgeoning information
technology industry. The department is also blessed with extraordinary
undergraduates, who in the recent past have won a Rhodes Scholarship,
several Goldwater Fellowships, the computing Research Association's
national "Outstanding Undergraduate" award, and the UW President's
Sophomore and Junior Medals.

Electrical Engineering

Research by faculty, staff and students includes microelectromechanical (MEMS) systems, advanced wireless networks and communications, nanotechnology, biorobotics, signal processing and compression, multimedia streaming and broadcast, systems-on-a-chip design and testing, speech-based and haptic human-computer interfaces, mechatronics, genomics automation, intelligent transportations systems, electromagnetics and remote sensing, "smart" sensor design, and energy systems analysis.

Human Centered Design & Engineering

The Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering is at the forefront of human-centered design and engineering using next-generation technologies. The department offers its students award-winning professional education based on active-learning strategies. Students work with faculty doing hands-on research in the areas of usability testing, rhetorical and empirical exploration of basic communication phenomena, computer documentation, technology assessment, educational assessment, and also web, multimedia, and user interface design.

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Industrial Systems & Engineering offers a robust graduate program for an M.S.I.E. and Ph.D. with specializations in manufacturing, systems engineering and integration, optimization, human factors, virtual reality, quality and reliability, large-scale assembly, and supply chain management. It is also involved in major research collaborations in the area of health systems engineering, including work with Global Health and major urban hospitals.
ISE's research portfolio is regularly supported by federal agencies such as National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and Office of Naval Research, as well as companies such as Boeing, Intel and IBM. The state of Washington is home to numerous information technology companies. Industrial Systems & Engineering is poised to capitalize on the growth of the information technology services industry. Research projects, internships and co-op opportunities abound.

Materials Science and Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering offers a broad program of education
in research, with faculty focusing on synthesis, structure, property, and processing relationships in metals, ceramics, polymers,composites, optical and electronic materials. Special initiatives are under way in nanotechnology, photonics, optoelectonics, energy, along with bionaotechnolgy, nanomedicines, and biomimetics, computational modeling of materials and processes, functional and structural materials and polymer optoelectronics.

Mechanical Engineering

Research in the department can be loosely grouped into four areas:
environmentally-friendly energy conversion, mechanics and advanced material systems; system and dynamics, and bio-health systems. Topical areas include: microfluidics, combustion of biofuels, and wind/solar/tidal energy systems; microcellular plastics, fracture mechanics, and composite materials and structures (plastics, metals, ceramics); control systems, non-linear and random processes, and magnetic resonance force microscopy; development of medical devices, modeling of hard and soft biological tissues, and cell mechanics.

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Boeing Advanced Research Center (BARC)

The Boeing Advanced Research Center (BARC) is a facility housed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering that fosters collaborative basic and applied research, translational research and development, and student education-­‐related activities in the area of manufacturing and assembly of aircraft and spacecraft structures.

Center for Collaborative Systems for Security, Safety, & Regional Resilience (CoSSaR)

The Center for Collaborative Systems for Security, Safety, and Regional Resilience (CoSSaR) is a multi-disciplinary facility and environment where professionals from a wide range of entities (federal, state, county, city, tribal, international, public and private) team with university experts to align strategies, processes and investments in systems for security, safety and resilience.

Center for Design of Analog-Digital Integrated Circuits (CDADIC), NSF & Industry Collaboration

One of the few research consortia in the country that addresses problems associated with analog and mixed-signal research.

Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching (CELT)

The Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching (CELT) is a unique national resource which will integrate research and education and provide national leadership in engineering education. Specifically, CELT will conduct research on engineering student learning with the College's faculty and then help to implement appropriate findings in classrooms on the UW campus. The Center will offer resources to implement pedagogical innovations in engineering classrooms by providing professional development in areas such as cooperative learning, team-based approaches to learning, peer teaching and the use of multimedia software.

Center for Game Science

The Center for Game Science focuses on solving hard problems facing humanity today in a game based environment. The focus is on scientific discovery games, games that discover optimal learning pathways for STEM education, cognitive skill training games, games that promote human creativity, games that explore collective over individual intelligence, and many more.

Center for Institutional Change (ADVANCE)

The UW ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change is a campus and national resource for best practices in academic leadership development, cultural change and policy transformation, and increasing the advancement and number of women in STEM fields. UW ADVANCE strives to increase the participation of women in academic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers with funding opportunities for individuals and organizations to help pursue these goals.

Center for Intelligent Materials and Systems (CIMS)

Center for Intelligent Materials and Systems (CIMS) was established in 2000 by a group of faculty in the College of Engineering and the Department of Botany with an aim of accelerating the research and educational program in the area of design of actuator materials, actuators and bio-inspired design of intelligent materials and systems. The goals of CIMS are multi-fold, (1) design a series of actuator materials and their devices, (2) learn intelligent sensor and actuation mechanism inherent in biological species, thus inspiring our brains while the bio-inspired knowledge will be transferred to designing man-made materials and systems, and (3) our research subjects and products remain to be compatible with healthy functions of surrounding natural environment.

Center for Synthetic Biology (CSB)

The UW Synthetic Biology web portal represents a community of interdisciplinary researchers exploring one of the most exciting frontiers in science and technology: the engineering and evolution of novel life-forms to address technical challenges in health, energy and the environment and to enhance our general understanding of living systems.

Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials in Transport (AMTAS); funded by FAA, Boeing

The Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials in Transport Aircraft Structures (AMTAS) is a consortium of academic institutions, aerospace companies, and government agencies that seeks solutions to problems associated with existing, near- and long-term applications of composites and advanced materials for large transport commercial aircraft.

Clean Energy Institute

The mission of the Clean Energy Institute is to accelerate the adoption of a clean energy future by advancing next generation solar energy and electrical energy storage materials, devices and systems, as well as their integration with the grid. The CEI seeks to accomplish this mission by creating the ideas and forming the people needed to generate these innovations, while facilitating the pathways to bring them to market.

Our goals include establishing distinctive education and research training programs that create future innovators in clean energy; creating shared facilities and knowledge that are a regional resource for research and translation to the marketplace; fostering synergies and partnerships that grow our international visibility and prominence in clean energy research, education, and technology translation; recruiting top students, post doctorates and faculty to campus; and leveraging CEI resources to significantly increase the scope, impact, and funding of UW research and education activities in clean energy.

Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) Center

The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through technology and education. It promotes awareness and accessibility"in both the classroom and the workplace"to maximize the potential of individuals with disabilities and make our communities more vibrant, diverse, and inclusive.

eScience Institute

Rapid advances in technology are transforming nearly every field from “data-poor” to “data-rich.” The ability to extract knowledge from this abundance of data is the cornerstone of 21st century discovery. At the University of Washington eScience Institute, our mission is to engage researchers across disciplines in developing and applying advanced computational methods and tools to real world problems in data-intensive discovery.

Institute for Nanoengineered Systems

NanoES leads and acts as a national magnet for design, processing and integration of scalable nano-engineered devices and systems. NanoES will leverage UW’s component-level expertise on nanoscale processing, materials, physics and biology to collaboratively develop engineered devices and systems that can be scaled to positively impact global challenges in energy, health, transportation and related areas.

Intel Science & Technology Center on Pervasive Computing

The Pervasive Computing Center at the University of Washington brings together researchers from top-tier research universities including leaders in pervasive computing, wireless communication and sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer vision and HCI.

Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation

The Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation (JCATI) - cooperatively managed by Washington State University and University of Washington - described in RCW 28B.155.010, was established in 2012 by the governor and legislature to support the aerospace industry in Washington State in three ways by:

1.) pursuing joint industry-university research in new technologies relevant to aerospace firms;
2) providing aerospace industry-focused r4esearch opportunities for engineering and computer science students at the UW, WSU and Washington's other public four-year institutions of higher education, through assisting the development of internship programs and undergraduate and graduate student research opportunities that students hands-on and undergraduate and graduate student research opportunities that give students hands-on experience with aerospace firms;
3.) in concert with aerospace firms and aerospace industry associations, indentifying research needs and opportunities for technology transfer that benefit the State's aerospace industry.

Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute

The Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute brings together faculty teams from across the University of Washington campus to catalyze translational research in the Clean Tech and Biotech areas. The Institute is intended to serve both as an intellectual accelerator to bring fresh approaches and ideas to societal grand challenges in sustainable energy and materials, and in medical therapeutics and diagnostics, and as a physical incubator where new interdisciplinary teams can come together in a shared space. It currently has more than 75 members from 14 different departments.

The Institute is located in the new Molecular Engineering and Sciences Building, a facility specially designed to promote collaborative molecular-scale research. The building houses more than fifteen faculty members, three research centers and four major instrumentation centers. Together the instrumentation centers provides state-of-the-art instrumentation for molecular characterization and analysis for the use of the research community at the UW, as well as the larger non-profit and tech communities in Seattle.

The Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute is also creating and coordinating interdisciplinary education programs for undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. Drawing on the expertise of multiple departments, these programs teach students the fundamental aspects of molecular-level engineering through core courses and top-notch research opportunities.

National ESCA Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical Problems (NESAC-BIO)

NESAC/BIO's mission is to develop and apply new surface analysis technologies for biomedical research. This surface analysis expertise combined with state-of-the-art instrumentation and data analysis methods allows NESAC-BIO to expand the frontiers of biomedical surface analysis.


The NHERI RAPID Facility is a NSF shared use major equipment facility that houses state-of-the-art equipment to support the collection of perishable data during and after the occurance of natural hazards. High-quality reconnaissance data is crucial to improving our understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of communities to natural hazards. The facility supports the collection of high-quality scientific, engineering and social data.

Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC)

he Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) is a partnership between the University of Washington, Oregon State University, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks supported by a range of federal and non-federal sponsors.

Our mission is to facilitate commercialization of marine energy technology, inform regulatory and policy decisions, and close key gaps in scientific understanding with a focus on student growth and development.

We work closely with a variety of stakeholders, including marine energy device developers, community members, ocean users, federal and state regulators, and government officials to conduct research on wave, tidal, in-river energy, and off-shore wind technologies.

NSF Engineering Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (ERC/SNE)

The Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering is one of 20 Engineering Research Centers across the country supported by the National Science Foundation. Our headquarters are based at the University of Washington in Seattle, and our core partners are at MIT and San Diego State University.

We work closely with industry partners to create technologies that are useful, right from the start. And we place an emphasis on education, offering neuroscience and neural engineering lesson plans for students ranging from kindergarten to high school, partnering with traditionally underrepresented students in STEM fields and offering summer research experiences for military veterans and students. Our leaders develop new courses for undergraduate and grad students, with an aim to inspire them.

We also have a team that studies ethical concerns related to our research. The Neuroethics team looks at how ethical issues such as identity, privacy, authority and moral or legal responsibility are intertwined with neural technologies. Our leaders, researchers and staff know that it is important to have these conversations now about our research, instead of 10 years from now.

Over the last decade, the field of neural engineering has demonstrated to the world that a computer cursor, a wheelchair, or a prosthetic limb can be controlled using direct brain-machine and brain-computer neural signals. We are excited at the possibilities that currently exist and proud to be at the forefront of this very important work.

NSF Northwest Nanotechnology Infrastructure (NWNI) Program. An NNCI site

The Northwest Nanotechnology Infrastructure site specializes in world class nanotechnology infrastructure paired with technical and educational leadership in integrated photonics, advanced energy materials and devices, and bio-nano interfaces and systems; for a broad and diverse user base, its facilities act as a center for innovation for making, measuring, modeling, and mentoring to advance the use of nanotechnology in science and society.

Pacific Northwest Transporation Consortium (PacTrans)

The Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans) is the Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) for Federal Region 10. PacTrans focuses on using technological advances to develop data-driven, sustainable solutions for the diverse transportation needs of the Pacific Northwest. Major goals and objectives of PacTrans include serving as Region 10’s research engine, applied technology showcase, workforce development base, education leader, information center, and collaboration platform. PacTrans is a consortium of transportation professionals and educators from five universities located around the Pacific Northwest: Oregon State University (OSU), the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF), University of Idaho (UI), University of Washington (UW), and Washington State University (WSU).

Plasma Science and Innovation Center

The Plasma Science and Innovation Center (PSI-Center) is refining and developing codes to accurately simulate innovative confinement concept (ICC) experiments, with the goal of achieving predictive capability. The PSI-Center development focuses on geometries, boundary conditions, and atomic physics, plus two-fluid, non-local parallel heat flow closures, and kinetic effects, appropriate for ICCs. Simulations are performed in collaboration with twelve ICC experiments at seven institutions, and are compared with experimental data. The results of these comparisons guide further code development and refinement for improved predictability.

The PSI-Center is adding the necessary physics and algorithmic capability to extended magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) codes, and is working with experimentalists to validate code results with experimental data. The computational groups work closely with the experimentalists to iterate this process, summarized in this Mission Statement: “In concert with smaller innovative plasma physics experiments, refine and optimize existing MHD codes to achieve significantly improved predictive capability.” The PSI-Center emphasizes physics that may extend beyond the standard analysis presently applied to the mainline fusion programs.

Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics (SCTL) Center

The SCTL Center is a world leader in supply chain, transportation and logistics research and education serving the powerful nexus of industry, transportation infrastructure agencies, and policy makers. The Center is the go-to place to analyze and solve urban goods delivery, sustainability, logistic hubs and ports, and freight system performance management problems that overlay private and public spaces and control. The Center pilots and tests research concepts in its Urban Freight Lab. The SCTL Master’s program is an interactive online program that prepares working professionals to lead end-to-end management of transportation in global supply chains. It is anchored in engineering, focused on business results, and starts the year with an intensive week at the Seattle UW campus.

Turing Center

The Turing Center is a multidisciplinary research center at the University of Washington, investigating problems at the crossroads of natural language processing, data mining, Web search, and the Semantic Web. The mission is to advance the philosophy, science, and technology of pan-lingual communication and collaboration among human and artificial agents.

The Center was established in May 2005 with a multi-million dollar gift from the Utilika Foundation, which is augmented by federal research grants and contracts from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Office, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity as well as support from Google and the Washington Research Foundation.

UW BioFab Center

The UW Biofabrication Center is a unique service laboratory operating through the EE dpartment at UW. Clients use Aquarium software to store sample infomraiton and remotely submit molecular biology and microbiology jobs. Technicians in the BIOFAB execute the protocols and upload the results to Aquarium. Therefore, cloning projects can be executed from start to finish, without the client ever having to touch a pipette! Records of all jobs and samples are permanently stored in the Aquarium inventory database, elimiating the need for messy lab notebooks and complex inventory systems.

Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF)

The University of Washington " Washington Nanofabrication Facility (UW WNF) is a national user facility that is a part of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) network. Located on the University of Washington, Seattle campus, UW WNF is a full service micro and nanotechnology user facility and is the largest public access fabrication center in the Pacific Northwest, with 15,000 square feet of laboratories, cleanrooms, and user spaces focused on enabling basic and applied research, advanced research and development, and prototype production. With substantial equipment and developed capabilities, UW WNF bridges academia with local start-ups, businesses, and professional organizations and seeks to promote economic and job growth in the local region by fostering innovation. Nationally and internationally, UW WNF provides foundry services (remote use) through which finite fabrication and characterization efforts can be performed by expert staff engineers.

Washington State Transportaton Center (TRAC)

The Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC) is a cooperative, interdisciplinary transportation research agency.

Its members, Washington State University (WSU), the University of Washington (UW), and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), formed TRAC in 1983 to coordinate transportation research efforts"both state and commercial, public and private"and to develop research opportunities both nationally and locally. TRAC acts as a link among government agencies, university researchers, and the private sector.

TRAC researchers conduct projects in the areas of bridges and structures, construction management, environment, ferry systems, freeway and arterial management, freight transportation, geotechnical engineering, health and transportation, highway design and safety, intelligent transportation systems, knowledge management, maintenance, multimodal travel, pavements, security, technology transfer, traffic engineering, transportation planning, and vehicle design and operation.