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Arizona State University - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department


Bioengineering includes three graduate programs: an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering, a Ph.D. in biomedical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Biological Design.

The major research thrusts fall into 5 categories:

• Bioimaging: magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy; optical imaging; and image processing and enhancement;
• Biosensors and bioinstrumentation: research diagnostics tools to monitor human health and the environment; microactuators; and microsensors for drug delivery systems;
• Molecular and cellular tissue engineering: molecular and cell therapies; drug delivery;
• Neural and rehabilitation: modeling and simulation of neural systems and their functions; signal processing; specialized technology for individuals with physical impairments; monitoring and treatment of nervous disorders; and,
• Synthetic biology and systems bioengineering: including engineered gene networks, chaos in neural/cardiac systems

Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering includes two graduate programs: an M.S. and a Ph.D in chemical engineering.

Current areas of graduate research emphasize: atmospheric aerosols; biomolecular engineering; biosensors; chemical therapies for neurodegenerative diseases; colloidal science; electrochemistry; advanced materials; engineering education; fuel cells; inorganic membranes; process design and operations; protein synthesis; transport phenomena in living systems; and water purification.

Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering

Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering includes three graduate programs: an M.S., an M.S.E. and a Ph.D. This is a broad based program in civil and environmental engineering with expertise in integrated urban engineering and a focus on arid regions.

The research thrusts include:

• Environmental engineering, including topics civil engineering, chemical engineering, earth systems engineering and management, microbiology, particulates, water resources modeling and planning, water quality, sustainability, environmental biotechnology and geoenvironmental engineering.
• Infrastructure engineering, including geotechnical research on static and dynamic soil mechanics, modeling soil properties and behavior with a focus on unsaturated soils, and evaluation of waste containment systems and structural research on the performance of concrete and composite materials, experimental stress analysis, optimization techniques, and finite element analysis.
• Transportation, including includes highway and pavement design and materials, macro/micro characterization of viscous materials, transportation systems planning, travel demand forecasting, and transportation safety.
• Materials engineering, including characterization of pavement materials, geomaterials, concrete, steel, and structural composites, evaluation of the use of recycled materials such as crumb rubber and fly ash in civil engineering applications, and analysis of heat island effects.

Computer Engineering

Computer engineering includes two graduate programs: an M.S. and a Ph.D. The interdisciplinary computer engineering programs offer students a choice of concentration in computer systems engineering or electrical engineering.

The computer engineering degree research focuses on advancing and developing new paradigms for the design, system integration, testing, evaluation and deployment of state-of-the-art hardware and software systems that include computing, communications and networking (wired and wireless), control functions, sensing, signal processing and actuation.

Computer Science and Engineering

Programs offered include: an M.C.S., an M.S. and a Ph.D. in computer science.

Research areas include: graph algorithms; combinatorial optimization; design and analysis of algorithms; artificial intelligence; bioinformatics; distributed and incremental planning; computer aided geometric design; graphics; multi-resolution flow visualization; distributed databases; multimedia information systems; parallel and distributed systems and networking; fault tolerant applications; software development; reverse engineering; object oriented analysis and design; protocols; information assurance and security; microprocessors; embedded systems; perceptive and environmentally aware computing; software engineering; software life cycle; the Internet; and Cyberinfrastructure.

Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering includes three graduate programs: an M.S., an M.S.E. and a Ph.D.

The research thrusts include:

• Control systems: linear; nonlinear; chaotic systems; neural networks; real-time, adaptive; and robust control systems.
• Electromagnetics and microwave circuits: antennas; propagation; scattering; antennas and circuits for wireless communications; integrated optics; and fiber optics; and radar.
• Power engineering: power systems; power quality; system control; transmission and distribution; power electronics; high-voltage engineering; and computer applications.
• Ssignal processing and communications: digital communications; broadband networks; switching and traffic theory; wireless; and coding.
• Solid-state electronics: nanoelectronics; nanophotonics; nanoionics; optoelectronics; materials processing; microsystems; materials/device characterization; low-power electronics; semiconductor lasers; microelectromechanics; analog/digital circuits; and semiconductor theory.
• Bioelectronics, arts/media engineering: parallel development of media hardware; software; content and theory.
• Electronic circuits: analog/digital circuits; mixed-signal circuit design; VLSI circuits; and RF circuits.


The M.S. in engineering program consists of a core set of courses designed to develop applied analytical expertise across disciplinary boundaries, with direct applications of advanced design principles to system design, management and control. The expertise developed in the core curriculum is reinforced through focus areas that provide flexibility for the student, including alternative energy, mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineering. The degree will offer options for students culminating in a master’s thesis, or an applied project. Each of these options is designed to engage students with real-world applications of engineering and to develop problem-solving skills.

Engineering Programs

Our program prepares graduates to collaborate across disciplines in order to design and build solutions to real-world problems, design innovative products, improve the quality of life for humankind and provide technological leadership. Focus areas include: Automotive Systems Engineering, Electrical Systems Engineering, Environmental and Energy Systems, Humanitarian Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Systems, and Robotics. Due to the emphasis on design and project-based learning, the program supports an entrepreneurial spirit, and some students start companies of their own.
Our manufacturing engineering program uses hands-on projects provide students with a venue to design cost-effective and environmentally friendly products and processes with the required functionality and quality standards. The team-based learning environment teaches students to find innovative ways to integrate products and services in this ever-changing, fast-paced and complex field. Students will become key team members who will enable the design of new processes for making such varied products as airplanes, surgical instrument, toys and foodstuffs that meet customer needs, and doing so at the best price and in the most sustainable way while adhering to quality and functionality standards.

Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineering includes two graduate programs: an M.S. and a Ph.D.

Research thrusts include:

• Industrial statistics/quality and reliability research, including design of experiments; statistical process control; reliability engineering; data mining and analysis of massive data sets; regression modeling; analysis of time series; and generalized linear models.
• Health and human systems research, including understanding and designing better configurations for complex systems that are human-intensive with projects in optimal patient flows in hospital networks; emergency resource scheduling and management; and brain science informatics.
• Logistics and production system research, including developing software to address problems of logistics and supply chain management; global logistic system design; workforce allocation and development; semiconductor manufacturing scheduling; production planning; throughput estimation; and warehouse management.
• Operations research topics, including stochastic dynamic programming and control; robust optimization; and enhanced decision support in manufacturing and service systems with a focus on semiconductor manufacturing, health care delivery, and urban services.
• Information/management systems engineering and information assurance research, including dynamics of the innovation process; temporal dynamics of organizational discourse; configuration management; data warehousing and distributed systems for collaborative design.

Materials Science and Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering includes two graduate programs: an M.S. and a Ph.D.

Research is transdisciplinary in nature and focuses on four thematic areas:

• Functional materials: emphasizes structure-property-performance relations in semiconductors, superconductors, magnetic materials, nanomaterials and dielectrics.
• Materials for energy: the school is pursuing fuel cells and photovoltaics, and plans to expand into thermoelectric.
• Computational materials science: entails discovering of new materials for photovoltaics and understanding catalytic activity.
• Biological materials and soft solids: a relatively new effort, providing integrated materials education both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

The School of Materials oversees the LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science that provides superb facilities for materials research on campus. The school
excels in electron microscopy and will be acquiring an aberration corrected microscope.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering includes four graduate programs: an M.S. and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering.

Research thrusts include:
• Design, systems, and controls: multidisciplinary optimization; sensor design; CAD/CAM; CMM metrology; feature recognition; and modeling and control of biomimetic tactile sensors.
• Fluid mechanics science and engineering: drag mechanisms in turbulence; micro-detonics; instrumentation for micro flows; pollution dispersion; interfacial phenomena; geophysical turbulence; internal waves; modeling of atomization processes; simulation of large-scale atmospheric and oceanic circulation; and low Reynolds number flow and transport at micro and nano scales.
• Mechanics and dynamics of solids: structural health monitoring and material damage prognosis of metallic and composite aerospace structures; smart materials and adaptive structures; nanomechanics; atomic-scale FEA; stretchable and flexible structures for electronics; physics-based modeling of damage in metals; multifunctional materials; energy harvesting; and MEMS/NEMS sensors.
• Transport phenomena, thermodynamics, and energy: air pollution; simulation of atomization and combustion in diesel engines; global and regional climate prediction using coupled 3-D models; structure-property relations in advanced nuclear fuels; label-free protein separation and detection; sustainable energy systems; urban heat islands; and experiments in flow and heat transfer in model aircraft and power-generate gas turbines.

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Adaptive Intelligent Materials & Systems Center

The Adaptive Intelligent Materials & Systems (AIMS) Center focuses its efforts in the areas of intelligent materials and adaptive systems. This is being accomplished by integrating a variety of interdisciplinary areas spanning mechanical, material, electrical and computational engineering, and developing a solid foundation in the area of integrated intelligent system design. Research in this area will solve large-scale problems that have direct benefit to the economy and society as well as a significant impact on aerospace and mechanical systems and civil infrastructures.

Advanced Technology Innovation Center

ATIC addresses two major themes: Global, Renewable Energy and Training and Software, Visualization and Defense. In Global, Renewable Energy the Center aims to improve the sustainability of renewable energy infrastructure and investments in developing countries by increasing awareness, knowledge and capacity of local stakeholders, primarily in decentralized clean energy technologies. In the area of Software, Visualization and Defense, the center takes a multidisciplinary approach involving Computer Scientists, Cognitive Scientists and Engineering, Modeling and Simulation and focuses on niche areas involving big data, analytics, geometric modeling, Computer Graphics in various sectors such aerospace and defense, satellite/aerial imagery, gaming and general software development.

Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership

ATP3 serves as a learning environment for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and business leaders to help accelerate the research and development of algae-based technologies. The open test bed and evaluation facilities are a hub for research and commercialization of algae-based biofuels and other biomass co-products.

Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation

AzCATI serves as a national testbed for research, testing, and commercialization of algae-based products such as biofuels, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and other algae biomass co-products. AzCATI provides open test and evaluation facilities for the algae industry and research community. Projects include: US Department of Energy Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP³); US Department of Agriculture best management practices for algal crop protection; Salt River Project microalgae carbon capture at Navajo Generating Station; and Arizona Board of Regents algae and wastewater.

Arizona Institute for Nano-Electronics

AINE is a coordinated network of research centers focused on ASU research in nanoelectronics, including nanophotonics, molecular electronics, nanoionics and computational nanoscience. AINE’s goal is to strongly impact future technology areas related to ultra-low power/ultra-high speed electronics, and hybrid biomolecular electronics at the interface between the biological and electronics worlds.

Arizona Institute for Renewable Energy

The Arizona Institute for Renewable Energy conducts research on developing reliable, affordable, renewable energy sources and storage technologies, particularly suitable for commercialization in the Southwest United States. It has four focus areas: bioenergy, photovoltaics, fuel cell/energy storage and energy system testing.

ASU Nanofab

A 4,000-square-foot, class-100 cleanroom, state-of-the-art equipment and knowledgeable technical staff; Carbon nanotubes for nanofluidics Plasma lithography for cell networks formation; Autonomous brain implant; MEMS resonator for monitoring blood coagulation.

Building Reliable Advances and Innovation in Neurotechnology

The Building Reliable Advances and Innovation in Neurotechnology (BRAIN) Center is an Industry/University Collaborative Research Center at Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Houston (UH). This partnership will allow rigorous testing of efficacy, safety and long-term reliability of neurotechnology that would not be otherwise possible within the traditional ‘silos’ of academic, industry, regulatory and clinical communities. The Center will develop and foster close ties with Industrial Partners that have a commitment to advancing technologies associated with neural interfaces, neuromodulation, neural rehabilitation, and neural regulation of organ systems.

Center for Adaptive Neural Systems

The Center for Adaptive Neural Systems (ANS) seeks to design and develop technology to offset the effects of spinal cord injury, orthopedic injury, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral palsy. The multidisciplinary team is made up of engineers, clinicians and scientists with a wide range of expertise from electrical, mechanical and biomedical engineering, to neurosurgery and physical therapy, and neuroscience, physiology, exercise science and kinesiology. This multifaceted team works together to address problems of neurological disabilities at multiple levels from molecular/cellular physiology through neural circuitry, systems neurophysiology, to musculoskeletal physiology and behavior.

Center for Applied Nanoionics

Research focuses on Nanoionic materials and devices. Whereas nanoelectronics involves the movement of electrons within their nanostructured settings, nanoionics involves materials and devices that rely on ion transport and chemical change at the nanoscale.

Center for Assured and SCAlable Data Engineering

CASCADE's mission is to enable synergistic industry/academy partnerships that translate technological insights obtained from fundamental research on (a) trusted and privacy preserving data processing and analysis, (b) real-time data processing and analysis, (c) parallel and distributed data processing and analysis, and (d) high dimensional and multi-modal data processing and analysis, into new key technology elements whose different instantiations are deployed for direct impact to various industries, including energy, healthcare, security, and finance

Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG)

The new National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center will pioneer advances in geotechnical engineering that promise solutions to some of the world’s biggest environmental and infrastructure development challenges. Center researchers will focus on “nature-compatible” approaches to boosting the resiliency of civil infrastructure, improving the effectiveness of environmental protection and ecological restoration methods, and developing ways to make infrastructure construction and natural resource development operations more sustainable.

Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors

The Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors research can be divided up into several key themes: detection of harmful chemicals that are a threat to the environment and human health; looking inside the body for markers or presence of disease; and focusing on the on the detection of human-made threats. The center utilizes a multi-scale, multi-technology and system-level approach: exploring and integrating device and material functions from the nano- to micro- to macroscale; hybridizing different sensing platforms, including electrical, electrochemical, mechanical and optical signal transductions, to achieve results that a single sensor alone cannot deliver; using a system-level approach that optimizes devices from sample collection and sensing elements to signal processing and communication to deliver a complete solution to real-world problems.

Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation

Key research areas include understanding of cell proliferation and cell death and their impact on cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease; Development of technology to aid in the measurement of cellular events; and discovery of new organisms in harsh environments as well as understanding of how microorganisms respond to change in harsh environments " from changes in pH and temperature to events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing

The Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC) is an inter-disciplinary research center focused on cutting edge research in human-centered multimedia computing focusing on assistive, rehabilitative and healthcare applications. Research spans three main areas of multimedia computing: sensing and processing, recognition and learning, interaction and delivery. These research areas have led to fundamental contributions in signal processing, computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, human-computer interaction and haptics.

Center for Computational Nanoscience

Brings together multidisciplinary groups working on modeling and simulation of nanoscale systems. Projects focus on the development of novel numerical methods and algorithms, as well as applications to the study of phenomena with nanoscale resolution.

Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management

The Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management is the first institution anywhere dedicated to the new field of “earth systems engineering and management”, which seeks to provide the basis for understanding, designing, and managing the complex integrated built/human/natural systems that increasingly characterize our planet in this new and unique era. The center’s main research themes include information and communication technology (electronic waste; sustainability network theory; resiliency of complex urban systems) and industrial ecology, life cycle assessment and material flow analysis.

Center for Embedded Systems

The Center’s purpose is to advance the field of embedded computing system technologies in algorithms, applications, and architectures to new levels through cooperative research agreements between industry, academia, and government. Research areas include power, energy and thermal-aware design; robust IC and system design; software design for embedded systems; advanced embedded processor architectures; networked and distributed embedded systems; and testing, fault tolerance and dependability.

Center for Environmental Fluid Dynamics

EFD is a multi-disciplinary research program dedicated to understanding fluid motions in the environment through atmospheric research, industrial and basic fluid dynamics, and physical oceanography. The Center brings together faculty, staff and students to enhance interdisciplinary and individual research efforts, undergraduate and graduate education and service to industry and the state.

Center for Environmental Security

The Center for Environmental Security is working to protect human health and critical ecosystems by detecting, minimizing and ultimately eliminating harmful chemical and biological agents through early detection and engineering interventions. Major efforts currently being addressed include environmental monitoring, innovative environmental diagnostics and management strategies, environmental epidemiology, public health preparedness, and other areas that are central to public health dimensions of biosecurity.

Center for Negative Carbon Emissions

The Center for Negative Carbon Emissions (CNCE) focuses on developing the next generation of carbon management technologies. The center’s interdisciplinary research approach includes: Demonstration and development of prototype technologies to close the carbon cycle and create net negative emissions; Advancement of basic sciences supporting this new technology base; Systems analysis and engineering studies of rapid transition to new energy infrastructures; Models of the underlying mechanisms within air capture technology; Study of the interactions of these new technologies with policy development and of the societal implications of these changes; Analysis to determine the optimal positioning of these technologies to best serve societal needs. The center’s work also focuses on carbon recycling, carbon disposal and the economic and policy implications of air capture.

Center for Photonics Innovation

Integrates a broad spectrum of research areas, ranging from the fundamental study of photon-matter interactions to practical devices, such as solar cells, lasers and optical sensors for medical and biological applications.

Center for Solid State Electronics Research

CSSER provides resources and infrastructure support for research and education in the form of 30 laboratories and support areas covering more than 30,000 square feet. The microelectronics research is focused in five main cross-disciplinary efforts: bio and molecular electronics, low power electronics, materials and process fundamentals, molecular beam epitaxy and optoelectronics and nanostructures and quantum structures. Other research activities supported by CSSER include MEMS and nanofluidics, wide band gap semiconductors, high-k dielectrics and nanomagnetics.

Connection One

Developing integrated solutions for wireless systems ranging from sensor nodes to fifth- and sixth- generation wireless systems, including next-generation antennas, low-power computer chips, advanced transistor models and cutting-edge multiple-function circuitry to enhance technologies ranging from cellular to environmental and defense applications.

Decision Theater

The Decision Theater Network actively engages researchers and leaders to visualize solutions to complex problems. The Network provides the latest expertise in collaborative, computing and display technologies for data visualization, modeling, and simulation. The Network addresses cross-disciplinary local, national and international issues by drawing on Arizona State University’s diverse academic and research capabilities.

Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University

A government-industry-academia partnership to advance full-color flexible display technology and foster development of a manufacturing ecosystem to support the rapidly growing market for flexible electronic devices.

Global Security Initiative

The Global Security Initiative (GSI) is a university-wide interdisciplinary hub for global security research that focuses on openness, inclusiveness and connections to the global defense, development and diplomacy communities. The initiative addresses emerging global challenges characterized by complex interdependencies and conflicting objectives, where there may not be obvious solutions. Research efforts will also provide insights on new learning approaches to create and sustain the national security workforce needed to maintain a competitive edge in the global knowledge economy. Key research areas include climate security, cyber security, data and analytics security and human security.

Information Assurance Center

The research in the IA Center spans across foundational, network, system and application aspects of developing trustworthy information systems (TIS), including: specifying, reasoning , modeling, analyzing, verifying and testing TIS; identity management and cyber crime prevention; adaptive, situation-aware, secure service-based systems; security and privacy of mobile, service and cloud computing; secure software development; trustworthy social computing; dynamic and deterministic Quality of Service management; data mining for security, privacy in data management; facial recognition, video surveillance, multimedia data processing; and survivable network design.

LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science

ASU's LeRoy Eyring Center provides academic & industry researchers with open access to advanced capabilities for materials characterization; surface, optical & structural analysis; and high-resolution electron microscopy. LE-CSSS is organized around three investigational areas: high-resolution electron microscopy; materials science; and Ion Beam Analysis of Materials.


A university-wide initiative that pulls light-inspired research at ASU under one strategic framework.
A multidisciplinary effort to leverage ASU’s unique strengths, particularly in renewable energy fields, including artificial photosynthesis, biofuels and next- generation photovoltaics.

Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT)

A joint effort by Rice University, Arizona State University, University of Texas at El Paso and Yale University, the Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) is the first national center to develop next-generation water treatment systems enabled by nanotechnology. NEWT’s technologies will safely exploit the unique properties of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) to treat water using less chemicals, less electricity and smaller reactors than current technologies, enable re-use or regeneration of ENMs to decrease treatment costs, and use interchangeable treatment modules to accommodate different feed-water quality and treatment objectives.

National Center of Excellence on SMART Innovations

The research seeks to quantify complex climate-energy system interactions resulting from all phases of a product or technology’s life cycle and to develop cost effective solutions to reduce any negative impacts. Research teams are working on products ranging from nanoparticles for solar-thermal appliances, surface treatments that control temperatures of built environment structures, and alternatives to conventional building and paving materials. Additionally researchers use an array of models, observations and experimentation to quantify risks to human health, security, economy and environment from current approaches to regulatory frameworks.

Partnership for Research in Spatial Modeling

PRISM is the focal point at Arizona State University for interdisciplinary research in modeling and visualization to permit intelligent analysis and create spatial and dynamic knowledge.

Power Systems Engineering Research Center

Research in the center addresses diverse challenges facing the electric power industry and educating the next generation of power engineers. The center participates in The Future Grid Initiative, a U.S. Department of Energy project on how to support high penetrations of variable sustainable energy, such as wind, solar and hydro resources.


The Power One IC mission is to conduct research, education, and workforce development in Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMIC) and Systems. The center addresses integration and miniaturization of high-efficiency, high-performance power management circuits, including switched-capacitor, and inductive switched-mode power converters, as well as linear regulators.

Quantum Energy & Sustainable Solar Technologies

Photovoltaic science and technology, transforming electricity generation to sustainably meet the growing demand for energy. QESST is committed to research that spans the three leading commercial PV technologies: silicon, thin films, and tandem devices. This research is organized into three complementary thrusts"Terawatt Silicon Photovoltaics, Tandem Integration with Silicon Technologies, and Fundamentals for High Efficiency Photovoltaics"and two demonstrative testbeds"Student-Led Pilot Line and Integration, Modules and Power Management. In addition, two themes"Sustainability and Education Research"permeate all areas of QESST research.

Sensors, Signal and Information Processing Center

The mission of the Sensors, Signal and Information Processing Center is to develop signal and information processing foundations for next-generation integrated multidisciplinary sensing applications in biomedicine, defense, homeland security, sustainability, environmental technologies, interactive media, wireless communications and vehicular systems. Research activities span the areas of security and defense applications, multimedia systems, communication and signal processing, biomedical applications, wireless systems and hardware and software systems.

Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology

The Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology manages microbial communities that provide services to society. Research seeks to gain deep understanding of the microorganisms and how they work together in microbial communities. The researchers apply the most advanced tools of molecular microbial ecology, chemistry, microscopy, and mathematical modeling so they think like the microorganisms. Armed with this deep understanding, the researchers then apply advanced engineering methods to create systems that work for the microorganisms so that they work for us.

Water and Environmental Technology Center

The National Science Foundation Water & Environmental Technology Center at Arizona State University was established to promote scientific research that will ensure the quality of water by pooling the resources of the university and industry. The Center’s research program addresses: molecular tracking of microorganisms in the environment; taste and odor; biofilm formation and pathogen intrusion in distribution systems; disinfection by product formation and control; modeling and removal of contaminants in the environment; characterization of natural organic matters (NOM/DOM); ground water recharge (surface application and aquifer storage and recovery); environmental public health/air quality.