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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department

Aerospace Engineering

Active research programs include aeroacoustics, aeroelasticity, applied aerodynamics, aircraft icing, autonomous vehicles, autonomic aerospace materials, chemical propulsion, combustion, composites, computational fluid dynamics, control theory, dynamic fracture, dynamical systems, hypersonics, electric propulsion, information technology, nanoscale mechanics and MEMS, optimal orbit analysis, optimal spacecraft trajectories, plasma flow simulations, stochastic dynamics, structural dynamics, supersonic flow diagnostics, systems and control, systems engineering, and two-phase flow.

The department promotes a strong interaction with aerospace industries and government agencies, which sponsor many of its research projects, and maintains close cooperation in research and education with other campus departments and laboratories. Access to large-scale computing facilities and high-speed networking, along with a significant investment in modern experimental facilities, provide opportunities for computational and experimental research activities in various areas, including fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, structural analyses, materials development, vehicle performance simulation, propulsion, and space mission analyses.

Major research initiatives include aircraft icing safety, plasma-assisted combustion, aerial robotics, autonomous vehicles, composite materials, and autonomic biomimetic materials.

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Life and engineering sciences are developed, applied, and integrated for analyzing and designing bio-based systems (the concept of "integrating life and engineering," i.e., using life sciences as resources for engineering work and vice versa).

The overarching goal of agricultural and biological engineering work is to "enhance complex living systems" involving global agriculture, food, energy, and the environment. The department is organized into six sections: Bioenvironmental Engineering, Food and Bioprocess Engineering, Off-Road Equipment Engineering, Soil and Water Resources Engineering, Biological Engineering, and Technical Systems Management.

The research program areas of the department include Agricultural and Biological Systems and Technology (precision and information agriculture, plant and animal production, sustainable agricultural intensification, big data, informatics, analytics, health, and safety); Food and Bioproducts (processes and products, security, and safety), Energy (renewable energy and energy efficiency); Water (land and water resources and water quality and use); Environment (air, soil and water quality and built environment); Biological Engineering (biotechnology and biosensors).

Programs aimed at improving performance and reducing cost at all levels of bio-based production systems with minimal environmental impact are receiving considerable attention. Additionally, engineering solutions are being provided to achieve sustainable energy utilization and environmental quality.

Many agricultural engineering graduates who have been educated and trained in the modern teaching facilities and research laboratories of the University of Illinois Agricultural Engineering Sciences Building are employed throughout the nation and beyond. Interaction and cooperation with these graduates and other alumni and friends scattered throughout the world help maintain relevant, impactful, significant and exciting (R.I.S.E.) teaching, research, and extension/outreach programs.


At the intersection of modern molecular and cellular biology and systems engineering, bioengineering at Illinois is a multi-disciplinary, cross-collaborative effort that is focused on a new view of human health and disease. Bioengineering faculty and students are working within the following strategic areas to develop new technologies that address the grand challenges of global human health and fundamentally change how medicine is practiced in the 21st century and beyond:
• Bio-imaging at the multi-scale: Developing technologies for quantitative imaging of the structure and function of biological systems
• Bio-micro/nanotechnology: Developing molecular scale materials to Lab-on-Chip devices to sense, manipulate, and reengineer molecular and cellular structure and function;
• Molecular, cellular and tissue engineering: Drug delivery, stem cell engineering, development of biomaterials, and approaches for regenerative medicine, aimed at improving the understanding and treatment of disease
• Computational bioengineering: Computational medicine, systems biology, and computational biophysics - utilizing high-performance computation, large-scale informatics, and control systems to very large-scale complex systems of cell networks to generate a new understanding of human health
• Synthetic bioengineering: forward engineering and design using biological components at all scales, both in-vitro and in-vivo, with applications in human health, and sustainability

Illinois faculty provide a diverse portfolio of research on these topics surrounded by world-class campus resources such as research institutes, centers, and laboratories, including the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, Institute of Genomic Biology, Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, Materials Research Lab, Coordinated Science Laboratory, and National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

Our emphasis is on developing pre-clinical diagnostic and therapeutic technologies that eventually translate to clinics and hospitals to provide individualized patient care. Many faculty work closely with industry, including their own companies, to generate low-cost technologies for personalized diagnostic medicine and patient-specific treatments that minimize adverse effects while maximizing therapeutic outcomes. Translational research capabilities in biology and medicine are found in the entrepreneurial activities at the UI Research Park and with clinical partnering institutions that include the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN; Carle Health System in Urbana, IL; the OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL; and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

The Department of Bioengineering includes 18 tenured/tenure-track faculty and more than 50 graduate program faculty from across the campus.

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Research in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering encompasses a range of fundamental specialties that advance technologies in the chemical, energy, pharmaceutical, semiconductor, biotechnology, and human health industries. The strong, science-based approaches taken by the department's faculty provide these industries with a solid foundation on which to advance their technologies.
Our faculty members push the boundaries of engineering science. In addition to productive research programs in traditional areas such as fluid mechanics, reactor engineering, catalysis, and control, the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering faculty have established innovative efforts in nanotechnology, biotechnology, cell and tissue engineering, drug delivery, systems biology, and microchemical systems. The department has an outstanding tradition of fundamental research that is well supported by a strong base of corporate, federal, and private funding. These activities also sustain a leadership position in advancing technologies that affect our standard of living and improve our quality of life. Single investigator grants remain an important component of research support, but our faculty members also play central roles in a range of multidisciplinary research programs across the campus. These activities are centered at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (MRL), the Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB), the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), and the National Science Foundation Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center. Faculty participation in these activities is a testament to the centrality of chemical engineering fundamentals in a broad range of critical technologies. Participation in these multidisciplinary efforts also enable faculty members to leverage funding provided by the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Research in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering results from close, productive collaborations among faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Admission to graduate study is an extremely selective process. As part of their doctoral training, students carry out cutting-edge research in university laboratories and some participate in internships at corporate research laboratories. Joint research programs with the National University of Singapore and several research institutes in Singapore give an international accent to departmental efforts. The interdisciplinary and collaborative environment of the department provides an intellectually rich and exciting environment in which to learn and work. The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is part of the School of Chemical Sciences within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Civil and environmental engineers plan, design, and construct sustainable facilities required for society to function, for enhancing the quality of the environment and protecting the public health, and for mitigating the effects of earthquakes, floods, strong winds, and other natural and man-made hazards. Civil and environmental engineering is a very broad discipline encompassing activity in the following areas: construction processes and their management (planning, analysis, automation, and economics), environmental engineering and science (water treatment, control of air pollution, and bioprocessing), geotechnical engineering (foundations, tunnels, embankments, solid waste disposal, and remediation of contaminated ground),environmental hydrology and hydraulic engineering (dams, flood control, groundwater resources, stream and wetland remediation, and water resources management), construction materials engineering (understanding and improving the materials used for construction), structural engineering and mechanics (engineering and mechanics aspects of buildings, bridges, aircraft, ships, space structures, offshore facilities, and all types of industrial facilities), transportation engineering, both facilities and systems (highways, airports, and railroads)and various interdisciplinary areas addressing the nexus of energy, water and the environment, smart and resilient infrastructure systems, societal risk management, and public health engineering.

The evolving needs of humanity require development and application of new approaches, concepts, and products to the design and construction of facilities and the effective management and sustainability of the environment. Research programs in the department add to fundamental knowledge and are directed toward developing and applying new technologies. Graduate and undergraduate students participate actively with faculty members in conducting research; strong integration of research and education has been a decisive factor in the distinguished reputation enjoyed by this department.

Originally established with funding by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Mid-America Earthquake Center (renamed the Multi-hazard Approach to Engineering Center) studies approaches to reduce the impact of earthquakes and other natural hazards on infrastructure. The Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory (ATREL), funded largely by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, is home to the Center of Excellence for Airport Pavement Research and the Illinois Center of Transportation. The Safe Global Water Institute (SGWI), successor of the graduated NSF Science and Technology Center on Advanced Materials for Water Purification with systems (WaterCAMPWS), is a multidisciplinary effort focused on improving the effectiveness and the reliability, and reducing the cost of safe water supply for the nation and the world.

Our Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois is one of the most distinguished civil and environmental engineering departments in the world. Many of the 20th century's greatest civil engineering educators were former faculty members---Hardy Cross, Nathan Newmark, Ven Te Chow, Ralph Peck, Richard Engelbrecht, Chester Seiss, and William Hall to name a few. Since its founding 144 years ago, this Civil and Environmental Engineering Department has evolved to a large, comprehensive department with approximately 758 undergraduate students, 731 graduate students, and a faculty of 53.

Our program is characterized by world-class faculty, many of whom are among the best educators and researchers in their field; outstanding undergraduate and graduate students; a comprehensive curriculum; excellent support staff; a unique history and heritage; a tradition of outstanding scholarship and engineering leadership; strong demand for our graduates in industry and academia; research laboratories that are in some cases among the best in the world; and a strong association of more than 13,000 alumni.

Computer Science

For more than 50 years, the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign has led a revolution that has redefined the meaning of computing. Our students and faculty have designed and built the world's fastest computers, created the user interfaces that popularized the World Wide Web, built the first tools that made distributed collaboration possible, invented the compilation techniques that made parallel processing possible and GPUs practical, and pioneered new theory in areas ranging from differential equations to computational complexity.

Today, Illinois faculty are leading major multidisciplinary research centers focused on discovering new computing solutions to today's social, scientific, and engineering challenges. Illinois computer science faculty have helped lead the effort to create one of the world's first sustained petascale computers (Blue Waters), discovered computing solutions to aid in diagnosis of autism, innovated new solutions for cloud computing, developed the world’s dominant compiler ecosystem (LLVM), and led efforts to create privacy and trust solutions for electronic medical records, among other major initiatives.

With more than $30 million in annual research funding, CS at Illinois is a leading research institution in computing and is frequently among the top-funded institutions by the National Science Foundation. CS faculty members are pursuing research across all areas of computer science: artificial intelligence, theory and algorithms, data science, programming languages, software engineering, formal methods, architecture, networks and systems, scientific computing, human-computer interaction, graphics, real-time and embedded systems, and bioinformatics.

The department is home to several large, cross-disciplinary research centers. Examples include the Information Network Academic Research Center (INARC), the Multi-Modal Information Access & Synthesis Center (MIAS), and the Trustworthy Health and Wellness Center (THaW). In addition, CS faculty and students are major contributors to large multidisciplinary research centers across campus, including the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the Information Trust Institute (ITI), the Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB), the Center for Excellence for Big Data Computing (BD2K), the Advanced Digital Sciences Center (ADSC), the Coordinated Science Laboratory (CSL).

As the next generation of leaders in industry, academic institutions, and research labs, Illinois students continue to change the shape of computing as we know it, and Illinois alumni live up to a tradition of excellence. Companies like Netscape, YouTube, PayPal, Siebel Systems, Wind River, Yelp, Mozilla,, Andreessen Horowitz, and more have been founded or led by CS alumni.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering serves two main purposes. The generation of new fundamental knowledge is a primary function. Of equal importance is the education of graduate students who participate in research and contribute to the advancement of knowledge through their thesis research. The research programs described here provide facilities and support for graduate students and enable them to pursue their advanced study.

Another important function of research is the continuing development of the faculty members. A forward-looking undergraduate program depends upon the existence of a strong graduate program and the presence of excellent faculty members who are leaders in their respective fields.

Research in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign encompasses a broad spectrum of areas that reflect the wide range of interest and expertise of the faculty, as illustrated by the number and diversity of the research projects denoted in the following pages. Almost all of the faculty members in the department are engaged in research and many conduct research in interdisciplinary programs and hold joint appointments in other departments and interdisciplinary laboratories.

More than 550 graduate students and many undergraduates assist in this research effort. Support for this research is provided by contracts and grants from several agencies of the federal government as well as from industrial sources.

Other departments and laboratories in which the department's faculty hold affiliate status and are engaged in interdisciplinary research include Bioengineering; Computer Science; Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering; Physics; the Coordinated Science Laboratory; the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory; the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory; and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering

The Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering (ISE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign meets the needs of a radically networked world that integrates technology, people, and economics. The dramatically increased complexity of engineered products, services and business systems, large number of actors and agents, and vast number of interfaces challenge engineers to master multiple disciplines and perspectives, ranging across design, operations, finance, and decision making, from the qualitative to the quantitative. The department is committed to developing and integrating the knowledge and tools essential to create an engineering discipline of complex systems. This discipline borrows heavily from traditional engineering knowledge in industrial engineering, systems engineering, operations research, and computation; it couples these with insights drawn from economic, policy, business, social and sciences, and employs mathematical and computational tools. Areas of study and research include computer-aided design, computer graphics, optimization, equilibria, network design, simulation, manufacturing systems, product design, environmentally conscious design, real-time decision making, systems design, nondestructive evaluation, reliability, robotics, control systems, entrepreneurial engineering, biomechanics/rehabilitation engineering, decision and game theory, operations research, human factors, logistics, applied probability, analytics, and statistics.

The department offers MS and PhD degrees in Industrial Engineering (IE degree) and in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering (SEE degree) and an MS degree in Financial Engineering (FE degree). Research is conducted in several specialized laboratories.

The field of optimization and equilibria develops the theories and methodologies of these two topics and applies the results to significant engineering and economic problems of fundamental and emerging importance. Theories include duality for nonconvex optimization, nonsmooth and variational analysis, differential variational and complementarity systems, and generalized Nash equilibria, to name a few; computational methods are developed for these problems. Financial Engineering (FE) is a relatively young, multidisciplinary field that pertains to the application of engineering approaches and methods to the analysis and management of financial problems, particularly in the financial asset arena. Common problems involve identifying and managing financial risk in asset portfolios or asset positions. Other applications exist in proprietary security trading operations. Research methods include stochastic modeling, numerical algorithms, optimization, and Monte Carlo simulation.
The Decision Systems Laboratory research addresses the problem of tradeoffs under uncertainty during the design of engineering systems. Examples of systems include the product design and manufacturing system, a portfolio for product take-back and remanufacturing system, and an energy generation and supply system. Tradeoffs include attributes such as cost, environmental impact, quality, and reliability. A normative approach is taken; what design decisions best reflect the decision maker's true preferences? External funding for this research comes from a variety of sources, including the National Science Foundation, industry, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Enterprise Systems Optimizations Laboratory identifies and studies the fundamentals of the product development and product planning. Approaches are built on analytical methodologies based on the foundations of optimization theories and mathematical programming. Typical applications involve large-scale systems, such as automotive vehicles, aerospace systems, and enterprise-wide product planning that constitute system-of-systems.
Mechatronics is an interdisciplinary area that is a synergistic combination of concepts and principles from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronics, computer science, decision and control. The main objective is to design intelligent systems that make sensible decisions in response to their environments. Mechatronic systems are used in automotive systems, aerospace systems, consumer electronics, and robotics. The Mechatronics Laboratory supports project-based education in mechatronics and real-time embedded systems. It uses small mobile robots to teach control algorithms; DSP programming; motor control; image processing; Kalman filtering; software/hardware integration and mechatronic techniques. Students design and build grippers for their robots, add and control servomotors, and design custom software to help their robots complete real world tasks. The lab has a large collection of sensors and actuators along with a Vicon Motion tracking system that can be used to design complex mechatronic systems.
The Engineering System Design Laboratory (ESDL) investigates rigorous quantitative methods for engineering systems design with the objective of delivering new technical capabilities, deepening design knowledge, and understanding interfaces in design. Our work involves optimization, multidisciplinary physics-based models, and physical experimentation. ESDL thrust areas are 1) integrated physical and control system design and 2) generative design for topology and system architecture. Applications include robotics, space-based observatories, renewable energy, automotive systems, power electronics, and material and structural design. The ESDL has facilities for simulating (64-thread Linux cluster), prototyping (machining and additive manufacturing), and testing mechatronic systems.

The Monolithic Systems Lab (MSL) conducts research in the design and manufacturing of engineering artifacts that are made one-piece or monolithic. Typical examples of monolithic systems are compliant mechanisms, that perform useful work due to elastic deformation and soft robots that inflate like balloons to move. We work on several applications such as robotics, medical devices, flexure systems, prosthetics, and orthotics. MSL houses a novel polymer workstations, 3-D printers, CNC mills for manufacturing and a testbed to validate novel pneumatic actuators for manufacturing automation, assistive robots, rehabilitation and space applications.

The Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation Research Laboratory provides acoustic emission, ultrasonics, acousto-ultrasonics, eddy-current, magnetic particle, holography, and real-time microfocus x-ray equipment for nondestructive evaluation and characterization of a variety of materials and structures. The Laboratory continues to support projects regarding aging infrastructure and construction, manufacturing and manufacturing process control, inspection of manufactured assemblies, structural health monitoring, materials characterization, etc.

The Product Design Laboratory supports research leading to improved understanding, education, and management of complex product development systems. The research covers three realms in PD systems: system design and management, information-driven process management, and information technology support tools and methodologies.

The Operations Research Laboratory consists of 20 high-end PCs, 10 Linux-based workstations, and an 8-CPU server. In addition, there is a projection facility to allow for audio-visual instruction of undergraduate and graduate-level courses in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research.

The Virtual Reality Laboratory focuses on fundamental and applied research in virtual reality and robotics for medical applications. Research in virtual reality includes surgical simulations as well as development of virtual training environments and curriculums. The training environments are immersive and interactive. The trainee can move within the environment and also interact with virtual human models with the help of state-of-the-art visualization and imaging systems. Medical robotics include research in novel assistive and surgeon-augmented robotic systems. Such devices reduce the stress of a surgeon and prevents traumatic incidents by sensing the dynamics of the surgical tools. In addition to this, these devices can scale the forces from the surgeon for precision cutting of soft or hard tissues. The lab consists of virtual reality hardware, haptic devices, brain computer interface systems, several difference robotic interfaces and range of software and programming environments.

The Flexible Manufacturing and Manufacturing and Project Laboratory Flexible manufacturing lab is designed to introduce engineering undergraduate students to the fundamental concepts of industrial automation and flexible manufacturing. The lab has 6 stations for training and experimenting in programmable logic controllers (PLCs), two 5-degrees of freedom articulated robots, one table-top computer numerical controlled (CNC) milling machine and a flexible manufacturing cell.

Materials Science and Engineering

Progress in materials science and engineering enables advances in key technologies that impact the social and economic development of our nation. Materials usage is constantly changing as new materials and systems replace those that shaped our world. These changes generally improve manufacturability and performance by allowing for radical changes in design. The impact covers all areas, including energy production, delivery and usage, transportation, water purification, communication technologies, electronics, sports, and medicine, to name a few. The future will see the development of new materials with properties tailored to specific applications, and a reduction in time from development to application as computer simulation and modeling continues to impact processing and performance evaluation strategies.

Critical to the successful development and application of these new materials is the ability to correlate the properties of each material with its structure and determine how to use this knowledge to design, synthesize, process, and apply the materials in a cost effective manner. Structure, properties, processing, and application are the basis of the research programs in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois. The nature of materials science and engineering research requires an interdisciplinary approach, and research activities in the department are pursued in collaboration with groups in electrical, mechanical, civil, environmental, and chemical engineering, as well as physics, chemistry, and veterinary medicine.

Undergraduate students take common core courses, then focus on one subdiscipline of materials science and engineering according to their interests. The department is one of the largest in the nation, with nearly 600 undergraduate and graduate students. It has earned a reputation as one of the top materials programs in the nation with world leading research programs in self-healing materials, directed assembly of microstructure, materials for nanomedicine, electron microscopy, thermal sciences, computational methods, and materials for extreme conditions.

Mechanical Science and Engineering

Building upon longstanding strengths in mechanical engineering and in mechanics, the University of Illinois Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering (MechSE) has taken a bold approach to research and education that enables it to address some of the most pressing problems facing the nation and the world. Working across disciplines and at various length and time scales, MechSE scholars engage in cutting-edge research that serves some of society's greatest needs, including: clean water and reliable energy; better methods of disease detection and treatment; manufacturing solutions to facilitate the transition of nanoscale discoveries from the laboratory to the public; and quality of life enhancement and disaster response assistance using state-of-the-art robotics and autonomous control systems.

MechSE offers rigorous curricula in engineering mechanics, mechanical engineering, and theoretical and applied mechanics. Our graduate curriculum in theoretical and applied mechanics offers core courses in applied mathematics, fluid mechanics, and solid mechanics. These courses constitute the backbone of doctoral programs, not only in theoretical and applied mechanics, but also in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, and civil engineering. In mechanical engineering, we offer courses in emerging areas, integrating biology and mechanics from the cell to tissue to organ levels, as well as courses in thermal sciences, materials, nanofabrication, and robust adaptive control.

Our undergraduate curriculum offers courses in mechanics that serve students across the College of Engineering, as well as foundational and advanced courses in biomechanics; combustion, propulsion, and heat transfer; controls and dynamics; fluid mechanics; manufacturing; MEMS and nanomechanics; and solid mechanics and materials. Our science-based approach brings MechSE researchers into increasingly close contact with researchers in other departments, universities, and research institutions.

Our professors are key participants in a variety of research centers at the department, college, university, national, and international levels, including: International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER); Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS); Midwest Structural Sciences Center; Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power; Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems; Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute; Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures; Center for Exascale Simulation of Plasma-Coupled Combustion; Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center; Continuous Casting Consortium; Fracture Control Program; the Beckman Institute; Coordinated Science Laboratory; Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology; Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory; and the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory.

With its innovative approach to education and research, MechSE offers its students and faculty outstanding opportunities to make significant contributions in the high technology, research, and policy arenas. Explore the website to learn more about MechSE.

Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering

Research in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering is broadly based on issues surrounding the production, transport, and interactions of radiation with matter and the application of all nuclear processes. This includes the traditional areas of nuclear fission for production of electric power as well as nuclear fusion as a near-term scientific tool and as a future energy source.

In addition to these more traditional areas in nuclear engineering, the research efforts in the department now embrace a wide spectrum of plasma science, radiological science, medical physics, materials science, and other related applications. Also included are topics involving radiation analysis for homeland security, risk analysis and human factors, and national and global energy and security issues, particularly concerning the development and implementation of nuclear energy sources. These areas reflect the creative interests and breadth of experience of faculty members of the department. These diverse research areas are presented in 13 topical groups. Primary research directions within the department support the continued role of nuclear power in meeting society's electric power and energy resource needs through currently installed light water fission reactors and through development of advanced reactors, accelerator-based processes, and fusion systems for future applications.

Other directions being pursued are broad applications of plasma to materials processing measurement sensing and other processes; development and utilization of radiation sources, including radiological and medical applications; advanced computational and analytical methods; thermal hydraulics and reactor safety; and nuclear materials. Important contributions have been made recently by several research groups working in the following areas: inertial electrostatic confinement for fusion applications and for neutron, x-ray, and gamma radiation sources; energy cell performance for heat release and material transmutations; advanced computational techniques applied to stochastic radiation transport, reactor physics, and safety, including Lie groups and group invariant difference schemes; perceptual displays and temporal pattern recognition applied to reactor control and operation; nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards; fusion blanket and diverter materials behavior and performance; plasma processing of electronic materials, plasma-induced sputtering, and plasma measurements; nuclear radiation effects on materials and neutron scattering measurements; materials behavior under high-temperature corrosion and radiation bombardment environments, including nondestructive examination; magnetic resonance imaging for cancer cell treatment; and thermal hydraulics, including multiphase flows, boiling in porous media, molten jet breakup, and turbulent structure modeling; and large-scale computer modeling of fission reactor systems, including reactor and control systems visualization.


Stillman Robinson, the first dean of engineering at Illinois, believed that a deep understanding of physics was fundamental to the education of every engineer. Today’s physicists study problems ranging from the structure and evolution of the universe to the structure and function of the molecules that regulate DNA. They unravel the interactions of matter and energy that control how stars form, how electrons flow through superconductors, how earthquakes and avalanches propagate, and how prices fluctuate in the financial markets. They bring the tools of mathematics and computation to unlock the mechanisms of complex systems, and they design instruments to measure physical properties on scales as large as the universe and as small as the particles that make up atoms.

The Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, consistently ranked among the top ten physics graduate programs in the nation and currently #2 in undergraduate engineering physics, is known worldwide for excellence and innovation. We are committed to training new generations of researchers and teachers, to forging new partnerships with government and industry, and to applying the tools of physics to seek opportunities for creativity and discovery and to address problems that challenge our society. Device applications based on transistors, semiconductors, and superconductors, advances in magnetic resonance imaging, the development of computers and supercomputers, the application of radar, and the growth of the Internet have all arisen directly from fundamental research in physics at Illinois.

Major experimental and theoretical programs in the Department of Physics range from fundamental to applied science and are currently supported by external funding at a level of more than $28 million annually. In addition to our department's preeminence in traditional physics disciplines, such as condensed matter physics, nuclear and particle physics, and astrophysics, we are increasingly recognized for our strong programs in biological physics, computational physics, and the physics of quantum information. Physics research reaches out via interdisciplinary collaborations with other science and engineering departments at the University of Illinois--many also ranked within the top ten U.S. programs in their disciplines. An important focus is physics education research; we are creating and implementing innovative teaching techniques in science and engineering curricula and are recognized nationally for our introductory physics courseware. Faculty members, postdoctoral research associates, graduate students, and, increasingly, undergraduate students carry out research in a variety of state-of-the-art facilities on campus, including the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory (MNTL), the Beckman Institute, the Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB), and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), as well as at national and international laboratories such as Fermilab, Argonne National Laboratory, Jefferson National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Centre Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN), and the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY). Physics faculty lead a National Institutes of Health Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics, a National Science Foundation “Physics Frontiers Center” focused on the physics of living cells, a Department of Energy “Energy Frontiers Research Center,” focused on emergent superconductivity, and a NASA Astrobiology Institute, and they play key leadership roles in the Beckman Institute, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Center, and the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois. Our faculty includes a Nobel Laureate, nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, and thirty-four Fellows of the American Physical Society.

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory

The Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory (ATREL) is a state-of-the-art facility located on 47 acres just 15 miles north of the UIUC Campus. The complex includes 67,000 square feet of laboratories, high-tech distance learning/continuing education classrooms, office space, a technical library, and a computer facility.
ATREL’s goal is to provide high-quality education and research in the area of transportation and to advance the state of knowledge by developing innovative, economical, and reliable technologies for airport, highway, and rail systems.
To sustain the Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT) and the University of Illinois’ leadership in transportation research, ATREL is staffed and equipped to accommodate the investigation of a wide range of projects from basic science and theoretical research to full-scale field-testing and transportation infrastructure evaluation, including pavements, bridges, railroad traffic, and transportation systems. The lab is AASHTO-Accredited in the categories of quality systems, hot-mix asphalt (HMA), and aggregate.
ATREL houses several laboratories and an unequaled collection of equipment. It is home to several laboratory areas for testing large- and small-scale material samples with state-of-the art equipment, including several servo-hydraulic testing machines; asphalt binder and mixture equipment; concrete and aggregate equipment; vehicle-mounted equipment such as falling weight defelectometer (FWS) and ground penetrating radar (GPR); and imaging and noncontact stain measurement, among many other advanced systems.
ATREL is also home to the Accelerated Transportation Loading Assembly (ATLAS), which can evaluate full-scale transportation systems subject to real-life traffic and environmental conditions. A $2 million investment, ATLAS is capable of simulating aircraft, truck, or rail traffic distributions, testing all types of pavement systems, and applying load levels exceeding that of highway and airfield limits. ATLAS weighs 156 kips and is 124 feet long, 12 feet high, and 12 feet wide. Mounted on four crawler tracks, the test unit can be easily positioned on the pavement test section. ATLAS transmits loads to the pavement structure through a hydraulic ram attached to a wheel carriage, which can accommodate a single tire, dual tires, aircraft tire, or a single axle rail bogey. ATLAS is housed in a moveable sprung structure that also controls the effects of daily temperature and moisture changes on the pavement section being studied. ATLAS also has readily available data acquisition systems for collecting both static and dynamic data from instrumented pavement sections and can apply up to 10,000 repetitions per day.
The Traffic Operations Laboratory (TOL) is a valuable resource for hands-on instruction and research. It is located in a 7,400-square-foot building that houses equipment to evaluate traffic signal components and fiber optic communications and includes an extensive collection of traffic signal control hardware, such as controllers, detector units, and conflict monitors.
The materials used in highway research are stored and processed at the Materials Processing Facility (MPF), which features a testing frame capable of evaluating fully supported slabs as well as full-scale multilayered systems. MPF also features several large-scale permeameters for determining hydraulic conductivity of nearly any granular material.

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Center

ACRC, established by the National Science Foundation in 1988, conducts industry-university cooperative research on energy-efficient, environmentally sound technologies for human comfort, environment control, food preservation and transportation, and other applications. ACRC provides a forum for industry and university to coordinate research with long-term value. Graduate students and faculty members from across the College of Engineering pursue advanced study in acoustics, dynamics, control systems, design, materials, energy systems, heat transfer, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics. ACRC is an active collaboration between approximately 25 companies and the university. The Center's laboratory facilities are equipped with a range of equipment from anechoic rooms to wind tunnels to psychrometric chambers.

Applied Research Institute

The Illinois Applied Research Institute is the state's leader in performing translational R&D for commercial and government mission-driven organizations. Launched in late 2013 and helmed by Jeffrey L. Binder, a veteran of the DOE National Lab system, it is a joint initiative of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Engineering and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research that harnesses the considerable depth of creativity and scientific ability on the Illinois campus. The ARI is based in the University of Illinois Research Park, Champaign-Urbana's technology and scientific business center.

The ARI provides the University of Illinois with a formalized conduit for collaborating on open, proprietary, or classified projects. With over 25 employees, the ARI is rapidly expanding its ranks to perform specialized research in areas such as advanced materials and manufacturing, communications and cybersecurity, biotech, and Big Data. A flexible business model that allows for the hiring of expert researchers quickly to meet unique project demands and close deadlines is a core element of the ARI.

Beckman Inst. for Advanced Science and Tech.

The 313,000-square-foot Beckman Institute was made possible by a generous gift from University of Illinois alumnus and founder of Beckman Instruments, Inc., Arnold O. Beckman, and his wife, Mabel M. Beckman, with a supplement of $10 million from the State of Illinois. The Institute was dedicated in 1989, one of the first interdisciplinary institutes in the world. It is consistently recognized for its world-class research and facilities. Administrators and scientists from around the world continue to visit the Beckman Institute for insight into how they can use the Institute as a model at their own universities.

The Beckman Institute’s mission is to foster interdisciplinary research of the highest quality, transcending many of the limitations inherent in traditional university organizations and structures. The Institute was founded on the premise that reducing barriers between traditional scientific and technological disciplines can yield research advances that more conventional approaches cannot. For more than 25 years, the research community at large has increasingly recognized the important role of interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and translational research.

The Beckman Institute research portfolio is led by the faculty and organized into three interdisciplinary major research themes. The major research themes are Integrative Imaging (IntIm), Intelligent Systems (IntelSys) and Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures (M&ENS). Each major research theme consists of two to five research groups. The Beckman Institute is home to 235 faculty (as of July 2016) representing 11 colleges and 51 different departments as diverse as engineering, speech and hearing science, psychology, computer science, physics, and biochemistry.

The Beckman Institute houses two centralized research facilities that provide key technical capabilities to the campus: the Biomedical Imaging Center (BIC), and the Imaging Technology Group (ITG), which is comprised of the Microscopy Suite and the Visualization Laboratory.

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Center for Computational Electromagnetics and Electromagnetics Laboratory

The Center for Computational Electromagnetics and Electromagnetics Laboratory (CCEML) performs leading-edge research in electromagnetic technology. Research areas include electromagnetic scattering and interaction, solving scattering problems of unprecedented sizes, antenna arrays, inverse scattering, high-speed digital circuits, electro-optics, remote and geophysical sensing, genetic algorithms, and bioengineering. Electromagnetics and antenna research in the laboratory has a long and distinguished history. Frequency-independent (log-periodic) antennas and corrugated horns were invented here, in addition to uniform geometrical theory of diffraction, theory for random arrays, reflectors and lenses, and microstrip antennas. Some recent contributions are the development of fast computational algorithms and analysis techniques, and reconfigurable antennas, as well as antennas for wireless and sensing applications.

Center for Exascale Simulation-coupled Combustion

The Center for Exascale Simulation of Plasma-Coupled Combustion (XPACC) will be working to develop a new mode of managing combustion and aims to make breakthroughs in this emerging field at the basic science level.

It will be funded for five years by a $20 million grant from the National Nuclear Security Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Energy. The center, one of three Multidisciplinary Simulation Centers funded through NNSA’s Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program II, comprises of researchers from Illinois and the Ohio State University.

The Center is part of the Coordinated Science Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research laboratory, the Parallel Computing Institute and is a joint initiative between the Lab and Illinois’ Computational Science & Engineering program.

The Illinois researchers hail from aerospace engineering, chemistry, computational science and engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering and mechanical science and engineering. The Ohio State investigators are experts in plasma-assisted combustion, kinetics and experimental diagnostic techniques.

Center for Reliable and High-Performance Computing

The Center for Reliable and High-Performance Computing (CRHC) focuses on integrating research in the areas of reliable computing, high-performance architectures, dependability, security, testing, distributed and network computing, and optical and wireless networking. Research funding for the center comes from both industry and government. The center includes 25 faculty members and senior research staff and more than 100 graduate research assistants.

Center for Theoretical Astrophysics

The Center for Theoretical Astrophysics (CTA) addresses important current problems in theoretical astrophysics, general relativity, and cosmology. The center's research is highly interdisciplinary. Projects use knowledge of many different areas of physics and astronomy--high-energy processes, radiation hydrodynamics, atomic physics, plasma physics, magnetofluid dynamics, general relativity, and condensed matter physics--to interpret astronomical data and model successfully the astrophysical objects and phenomena being studied. Members of the center, who work with collaborators worldwide, include faculty in the departments of physics and astronomy and members of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

Center of Excellence for Airport Technology

The mission of the Center of Excellence for Airport Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is to develop new scientific knowledge and technology for the development, maintenance and operation of airports by conducting research in cooperation with government, industry and the private sector, enriching the engineering community through technology transfer, serving a diverse student population through educational programs, and educating the public to appreciate its investment in airport infrastructure. The CEAT Center is sponsored by the O'Hare Modernization Program (OMP) and has been a Center of Excellence with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since 1995.

Computational Science and Engineering

Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) is a relatively new paradigm for scientific research and engineering design in which large-scale simulation and high performance computing play a central role. CSE is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring expertise in advanced computing technology as well as in one or more applied disciplines. CSE manages a number of interdisciplinary research centers funded by various federal agencies.

- The Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets (CSAR), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Simulation and Computing program, is focused on integrated, whole-system simulation of solid propellant rockets under both normal and abnormal operating conditions.

- The Midwest Structural Sciences Center (MSSC) is a collaborative effort with the Air Vehicles Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop the new materials and structures needed for the air frames and space vehicles of the future, and in particular to develop risk-based tools for the design and simulation of spatially-tailored aero-thermal protective structures.

- The Stress WAve MItigation MURI (SWAMI) is a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative funded by the U.S. Army Research Office, whose goal is to develop and exploit nonlinear stress wave tailoring to design adaptive load mitigating materials that provide impact protection and improve crashworthiness of critical components, vehicles, and structures subject to impact loading.

- The Center for Process Simulation and Design (CPSD), funded by the National Science Foundation, is focused on improving the quality and performance of products and materials through simulation and optimization of the industrial processes, such as casting and extrusion, by which they are manufactured.

Coordinated Science Lab

The Coordinated Science Laboratory is a world-class multidisciplinary research laboratory that focuses on information technology at the crossroads of computing, control and communications. With a rich history of 60-plus years of innovation, CSL has developed and deployed innovations -- such as the first computer-assisted educational platform, the technology behind plasma TVs and a gyroscope that enabled submarines to navigate while submerged for months -- that have achieved international scientific recognition and transformed the way people interact with technology.

Led by a faculty of world-renowned experts and researchers, CSL explores critical issues in defense and trustworthy systems, economics, energy systems, computational genomics, professional and research ethics, environmental sciences, life-enhancement for the disabled, medicine and robotics. The Laboratory works toward breakthroughs at every level, from designing nanoscale circuits to architecture for massively parallel supercomputers.

In addition, CSL has been the incubator of nationally and internationally renowned institutes, centers and initiatives such as the Advanced Digital Sciences Center in Singapore, the Center for People and Infrastructures, the SONIC (Systems On Nanoscale Information fabriCs) Center, the Information Trust Institute, the National Center for Professional & Research Ethics, the Parallel Computing Institute, the Computation Genomics Initiative, the Health Care Engineering Systems Center (HCESC), the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory (IRL), and the Illinois Initiative for Engineering Next Generation Medical Systems. CSL had research expenditures totaling more than $50 million in FY2015.

Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute

The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI) conducts research and education to enhance the resiliency of the Nation’s critical infrastructures and the businesses and public entities that own and operate those assets and systems. CIRI is a joint partnership with ARI and the University of Illinois Information Trust Institute and involves the expertise of a number of DOE national labs and research universities.

CIRI is funded by a $20 million five-year grant from the Department of Homeland Security.

With an emphasis on outputs-oriented research, education and workforce development, and early and continuous engagement with end users and homeland security practitioners, CIRI will explore the organizational, policy, business, and technical dimensions of critical infrastructure’s dependence on cyber assets. CIRI will examine how computer hardware and software both contribute to and threaten resiliency and how industry makes decisions about cyber assets which contribute to resilience.

A significant focus of the CIRI will be on transitioning research outputs for use by DHS operational components, other homeland security end users, policy makers, decision makers across all levels of industry and government, and community leaders.

Cyber Resilient Energy Delivery Consortium (CREDC)

CREDC, a $28.1 million consortium, is advancing security and resiliency in the cyber support infrastructure as a key enabler of Energy Delivery System (EDS) resiliency. The cyber security of energy delivery systems, such as power grids and oil and gas (O&G) refinery and pipeline operations, has been the subject of media attention and been addressed in legislation, standards, and executive actions. However, there is growing awareness that we must also explicitly ensure cyber resiliency in order for an EDS to maintain critical functions in the presence of disruptive events, in particular those arising from attacks on the cyber infrastructure.

We are addressing project objectives through research and outreach activities at the partner institutions, working in close collaboration with industry (utilities, O&G asset owners, and equipment vendors). The CREDC model explicitly creates a pipeline that generates research results and takes them through to evaluation and deployment of prototypes in industrial settings, with a handoff to the sectors through licensing, startups, and open-source mechanisms. CREDC is impacting foundational science and engineering approaches to EDS cyber security and resiliency, will impact practice through provisioning of industry-vetted solutions to near-term and far-term problems, and will impact the practice of education and workforce training in EDS cyber security and resiliency.

An overarching theme of CREDC is security and resiliency mechanisms that operate non-intrusively without negatively impacting EDS operation, and are viable from the point of view of legal constraints, cost effectiveness, maximal impact, and industrial acceptance.

Frederick Seitz Materials Research Lab

The primary mission of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) is to foster interdisciplinary research at the forefront of materials science. The laboratory brings together world-class faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers with expertise in condensed matter physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical science, and electrical engineering. The MRL houses several multi-investigator programs in the broadly defined areas of quantum, nanoscale, computational, and soft materials.

Campus-wide research programs derive great benefit from the MRL central facilities for materials fabrication and characterization, which are widely recognized as amongst the finest mid-scale facilities in the nation. Specific facilities include the Center for Microanalysis of Materials, Microfabrication Facility, Laser and Spectroscopy Laboratory and the Computer Facility. MRL also supports a large number of more specialized facilities. Researchers at the University of Illinois, other universities, national laboratories, and industry are welcome to use MRL facilities, which are operated in open access mode to qualified users and supported by a talented cadre of staff scientists and engineers.

The MRL research is supported by multiple federal agencies, as well as several foundations and corporations, and there are major research efforts in areas including quantum materials at the nanoscale, programming function via soft materials, materials in extreme environments, and advanced materials for the oil and gas industry. The MRL is also a partner in two DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers; one focused on light-matter interactions for efficient energy harvesting and the other focused on emergent superconductivity. Other major research areas of interest include flexible electronics, quantum computing, directed assembly of nanostructures, theory and computational methods for materials, and catalysis.

Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics

The Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics (CEME) is dedicated to enhancing education, technology, understanding, and research activities in electrical energy, with emphasis on electric machinery. About two-thirds of global electrical energy is used to power electric machines. Major research thrusts include the design of machines, physics-based design for electromechanics, efficiency enhancement across the whole range of electric machines, alternative energy conversion, research to develop new semiconductor materials for power applications and machines, thermal management, and related energy conversion and processing technologies. The Center is involved in distributed energy generation, transportation electrification, low-energy buildings, and other major application areas. Programs of the Center and the director's Faculty Chair are supported by an endowment gift from The Grainger Foundation Inc.

Health Care Engineering Systems Center (HCESC)

The Health Care Engineering Systems Center (HCESC) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides clinical immersion and fosters collaboration between engineers and physicians. The goal is to use our deep expertise in the broad areas of health information technologies; sensing and devices; materials and mechanics; and human factors, industrial ergonomics and design to develop collaborative projects that improve health care outcomes through training of the medical practitioners of tomorrow.

We partner with the Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center of the OSF Saint Francis Medical Center at Peoria, Illinois in an innovative relationship, known as Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (ARCHES).

We aim to develop new technologies and cyber-physical systems, enhance medical training and practice, and in collaboration with key partners, drive the training of health professionals.

The outstanding promise of simulation to impact patient care can be augmented through a multidisciplinary approach.
• Our focus is on applying technologies which have been reduced to practice, but not necessarily tested for clinical or simulation use.
• Our applied research agenda is the study of these technologies for and in simulation.
• Our studies will demonstrate improved clinical outcomes, reductions of cost, and improved quality through simulation.

Illinois Center for Cryptography and Information Protection

The Illinois Center for Cryptography and Information Protection (ICCIP) is a multidisciplinary center, bringing together researchers and students in computer science, engineering, and mathematics to collaborate on projects involving information protection. The center focuses on research in public-key cryptography and digital watermarking. Specific projects have been funded through a university Critical Research Initiative grant; NSF, CRCD, ITR, and VIGRE grants; a UIUC-CNRS collaborative agreement; Microsoft Research Labs; and Motorola Labs.

Illinois Center for Transportation

he Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT) conducts groundbreaking research that directly affects transportation policies and specifications and results in improving the daily lives of the traveling public and transportation of goods. ICT has strong ongoing support from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). ICT’s most recent agreement with IDOT, effective July 1, 2011, spans through 2016. Other research project sponsors include state and federal agencies as well as major industries.

The center, founded in 2005, began with twelve projects. At that time, all the investigators were from the transportation group within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Over the years, ICT has grown tremendously, with approximately 175 research projects sponsored by IDOT/FHWA, 117 of which have been completed. ICT’s research collaboration involves other UIUC departments, UI campuses, other universities across the nation, governmental agencies, and consultants. In all, fourteen universities and more than 100 researchers have contributed to ICT, and 200 graduate students have been supported to date.

ICT's varied research includes developing better designs for sustainable and environmentally friendly pavements and highway systems, improving work zone safety, implementing technologies to improve bridge construction and safety, and achieving energy savings for Illinois’ transportation facilities. ICT’s research serves the state of Illinois, the nation, and the world. ICT is headquartered at the state-of-the-art Advanced Transportation and Engineering Laboratory (ATREL).

Image Laboratory: Multimedia Signal Processing, Analysis, and Visualization

The Image Formation and Processing group is concerned with research issues related to the acquisition, manipulation, and synthesis of images. The many research topics fall into three broad categories: computerized imaging; image-video transmission, storage, and manipulation; and image and scene modeling and analysis.

Information Trust Institute

The Information Trust Institute (ITI) provides national leadership combining research and education with industrial outreach in trustworthy and secure information systems. ITI brings together over 100 faculty and senior researchers, many graduate student researchers, and industry partners to conduct foundational and applied research to enable the creation of critical applications and cyber infrastructures. In doing so, ITI is creating computer systems, software, and networks that society can depend on to be trustworthy, that is, secure, dependable (reliable and available), correct, safe, private, and survivable. Instead of concentrating on narrow and focused technical solutions, ITI aims to create a new paradigm for designing trustworthy systems from the ground up and validating systems that are intended to be trustworthy. ITI is an academic/industry partnership targeting application areas such as electric power, telecommunications, medicine, and defense among others. ITI aims to change the way research and education are conducted in the information trust area by closely coupling industry and faculty researchers to create economic opportunity by achieving rapid technology transfer into new products and services and skilled workforce development.

Institute for Genomic Biology

The Institute for Genomic Biology is dedicated to transformative research in Agriculture, Human Health, the Environment, and Energy Use and Production.Its mission is to advance life sciences research and stimulate bioeconomic development in the State of Illinois in a number of ways, including pioneering research in bioenergy, critical climate change studies, and promising work in regenerative medicine, drug development, and understanding cancer at the cellular level.

Research at the IGB falls under one of three broad Programmatic Areas: Systems Biology, Cellular and Metabolic Engineering, and Genome Technology. More than 150 faculty members from 30 departments across the University of Illinois are conducting research into the pressing problems that confront our society. And while we do groundbreaking research, we also understand the importance of engaging with our community and educating the next generation of scientists " more than 600 students and postdoctoral researchers also work in the IGB.

Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment

With the world population projected to increase to 8 billion by 2023 " and to as much as 16 billion by 2100 " the Institute is purposed to find solutions for the ever-growing demand for food, water, and energy while ensuring a safe, productive, and sustainable environment for all global citizens.

Our three-pronged approach " research, campus sustainability, and education and outreach " was created to do just that. The overarching goal: to become a global model of sustainability by creating effective, positive change.

Manufacturing Research Center

The Center focuses its attention on leveraging the investments of industrial memberships and its own resources to improve manufacturing competitiveness in the world economy. Particular areas of focus include materials processing, agile/flexible machining, and machine tool systems; concurrent engineering as it applies to better understanding and utilizing machining process capability upstream during product engineering; and machining production systems and analysis. The Center conducts collaborative research projects with its member companies, educates students in the problems and issues of manufacturing, and provides a broader access for its members to the laboratories and programs of the University of Illinois. A member company pays an annual fee and can designate one-half of the funds contributed be applied to research of specific interest to that company. The results of the research from company-designated projects are available on an exclusive basis to the company. The remaining funds from each member company are employed collectively to support Center-designated projects. The results of these projects are shared by all member companies.

Micro and Nanotechnology Lab

The Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory is one of the nation's largest and most sophisticated university-based facilities for conducting photonics, microelectronics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology research. It’s the place where campus researchers and visiting scientists come to design, build, and test innovative nanoscale technologies with feature sizes that span the range of atoms to entire systems.

Our 14 cleanrooms, 43 general purpose labs, and a 3,000 square foot biosafety level-2 bionanotechnology complex contain all the tools researchers need to conduct their work, which includes improving and inventing novel devices and developing applications that are in high demand by industry and consumers in the state, the nation, and around the world.

This is the kind of research that makes satellite communications, computers, telephones, display panels, and other devices more powerful, more efficient, and more reliable. It is the basis for new kinds of biosensors for advanced drug discovery, new vaccine delivery strategies, and faster, more cost-effective DNA sequencing techniques. Multidisciplinary research is currently carried out in four key areas: micro and nanoelectronics, nanophotonics and optoelectronics, nanomedicine and bionanotechnology, MEMS/NEMS and integrated systems.

MNTL is also now home to one of the country’s oldest and most innovative undergraduate instructional labs"ECE 444 Fab Lab"where 250 students each year learn to fabricate integrated circuits. Specifically, the students carry out processes like diffusion of impurities into silicon, growth of dielectric materials, photolithography and thin film deposition, which are also some of the steps used for making LEDs, semiconductor lasers, micromechanical transducers, and biosensors.

Mid-America Earthquake Center

The MAE Center started as one of three national earthquake engineering research centers established by the National Science Foundation. The mission of the MAE Center is to develop through research, and to disseminate through education and outreach, new integrated approaches necessary to minimize the consequences of future natural and human-made hazards. Integrated interdisciplinary research synthesizing damage across regions, estimating vulnerability across regional and national networks, and identifying different hazards forms the core research activities of the MAE Center that are needed to develop a Multi-hazard Approach to Engineering and to support stakeholder and societal interests in risk assessment and mitigation. Toward this end, the center has developed, articulated, and successfully applied a new framework for disaster mitigation referred to as Consequence-based Risk Management, or CRM. The CRM framework guides the continued development of MAEviz, the MAE Center impact assessment software that has been used very extensively for US and international studies. Most organizations involved in studying seismic zones and preparing for future calamities are using models and analysis tools developed by the MAE Center.

National Center for Supercomputing Applications

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has been delivering groundbreaking innovation and pushing education and research collaborations into unexplored territories for 30 years. NCSA is a hub for researchers, industry, and students to address complex research problems in science and society, powered by the development and application of advanced and comprehensive digital environments.

In addition to many notable projects, NCSA is home to Blue Water, the world’s fastest supercomputer on an academic campus, as well as a rich set of other data and computing resources. Recent discoveries that were not possible without these resources include the historic detection of gravitational waves, the computational design of the first set of antibody prototypes to detect the Ebola virus, and simulations that could potentially lead to new HIV therapies.

NCSA Industry, a private sector program, has been advancing 1/3 of the Fortune 50 by forging innovative collaborations and finding effective and scalable solutions.

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Power Systems Engineering Research Center

The Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC) is a multiuniversity NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) comprised of 13 universities, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. PSERC receives industrial funding from about 40 industrial members. The funds are used to perform research into the technical issues of electric power system restructuring. Each industrial member is represented on the Industrial Advisory Board, which meets twice per year to review activities and make decisions about project funding.

Prairie Research Institute

The Prairie Research Institute is a multi-disciplinary unit of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that provides a unique balance of research, expertise, and data on the natural and cultural resources of Illinois to benefit the State’s economy, environment, and people. Institute scientists and engineers integrate scientific knowledge, field expertise, and collaborative partnerships to provide objective, business- and policy-relevant research and information, and practical advice to public and private sectors.

As specified in Statute, the Institute is the research arm of the state of Illinois, and provides anticipatory research, long-term data collection, and a capacity for rapid deployment and response to sudden or unexpected circumstances. It comprises the Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. For more information, visit:

Technology Entrepreneur Center

The Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) was created in 1999 to enhance the existing engineering curriculum, produce publishable research, and engage the college's vast pool of faculty, students, and alumni supportive of entrepreneurship. TEC's 11 courses and co-curricular activities expose students to the complex concepts inherent in the simultaneous processes of technology innovation and market adoption. The TEC also offers on-site and online certificate programs for education and professional development, as well as hosts outreach activities for students and alumni, such as the Illini-TEC forums, in several major cities. The TEC also hosts the annual Cozad business plan competition, as well as the Lemelson-Illinois Student Prize for Innovation. Although part of the College of Engineering, the center is interdisciplinary, having affiliated faculty members from several departments and colleges. TEC faculty members have produced an impressive body of collaborative research and publications in both theoretical and applied disciplines.

The Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems

Research in the Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems (Nano-CEMMS) addresses a central problem in the development of nanotechnology: how to assemble structures at sizes smaller than can be seen (or transduced) and manipulated (or transcribed). Making three-dimensional, nanoscale devices and systems from millions to trillions of different types of molecules is incredibly difficult. The Center's goal is to develop a reliable, robust and cost-effective nanomanufacturing system to make nanostructures from multiple materials. This technology will allow advancements and discoveries in nanoscience to move from the laboratory to production.

The Nano-CEMMS Center is a partnership of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Stanford University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technological State University, University of California - Irvine, University of Notre Dame, and Northwestern University. Each partner offers unique facilities, eminent scholars and financial resources to support the Center's research.

One of the Center's core missions is to develop a diverse U.S. workforce of educators, scientists, engineers, and practitioners to advance nanomanufacturing technology in the U.S. and beyond. Nano-CEMMS provides a wide range of human resource development activities targeted toward increasing both the diversity of students involved with the Center and educational opportunities at the K-12 and undergraduate levels, as well as providing graduate students with teaching experience in an emerging field. In addition, both undergraduate and graduate students have opportunities to participate in the Center's work through research assistantships and independent study projects.

Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid

The TCIPG (Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid) Center was created in 2005 to address the challenge of how to protect the nation's power grid. It began with a five-year, $7.5 million National Science Foundation Cyber Trust center-scale award, and in 2009 won a new five-year award of $18.8 million from the U.S. Department of Energy with support from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. TCIPG research is led by the University of Illinois ITI team and also involves researchers at Cornell University, Dartmouth College, the University of California at Davis, and Washington State University. The center’s work will significantly improve the way the power grid cyber infrastructure is built, making it more secure, reliable, and safe. TCIPG is working to provide the fundamental science and technology needed to create an intelligent, adaptive power grid that can survive malicious adversaries, provide continuous delivery of power, and support dynamically varying trust requirements. We will do so by creating the necessary cyber building blocks and architecture, and by creating validation technology to quantify the amount of trust provided by the proposed