Department of Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical engineering deals with the interface between technology,
biology, and medicine. It draws on the life sciences and medicine, as well as
all the physical, mathematical, and engineering fields. Students from a variety
of undergraduate disciplines, including biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering,
chemical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science, enter this
graduate program and work toward its goals of better health care and enhanced
understanding of biological systems.
The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers an undergraduate
major degree with courses in physiology, biomedical image analysis, cell and
molecular biology, biomedical instrumentation, biomechanics, medical imaging,
biomaterials, and bioelectricity. These students come from any undergraduate
engineering field or from the physical or life sciences. Appropriate background
preparation includes calculus, differential equations, circuit analysis, physics,
chemistry, computer programming, and biology.
The Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program encompasses a core
curriculum of engineering with an emphasis on instrumentation, mathematics,
and life sciences with an emphasis on physiology, cell and molecular biology
that reinforces and extends the diverse undergraduate bases of entering students.
Students seeking the Master of Engineering degree develop competence
in a field of direct application of engineering to health care. Instrumentation,
computer applications, biomechanics, cellular engineering, and image processing,
are the chief areas of such specialization. Each M.E. student develops a practical
project in his or her area of specialization. The project is a departmental
requirement for the M.E. degree, applying beyond the 30-credit minimum course
requirement. The M.E. degree requires from two to four academic semesters plus
Students planning careers in development and design, or teaching,
usually pursue the Master of Science degree that requires a thesis based on
an independent research project. Substantial emphasis is placed on the research
project that will be the basis of their masters thesis, which is expected
to be of publishable caliber. The final M.S. exam (oral) focuses on the masters
thesis as well as on areas covered by the students program of study. The
M.S. degree is designed to prepare students for careers in teaching, industry,
and government organizations, and for entry into the Doctoral Program in Biomedical
Engineering. Course work in the life sciences and engineering disciplines, completion
of a research project under the guidance of a faculty advisor, and documentation
of the research in a written thesis are required. Interaction with both the
academic and professional scientific and engineering community is also encouraged
through participation in seminars, scientific meetings, and publication of research
results in scientific journals. Areas of research specialization include molecular
bioengineering; magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy; image processing;
ultrasound imaging; instrumentation; genetic engineering; theoretical and experimental
study of cellular biomechanics, mechanotransduction, the cardiovascular, pulmonary,
and neurological systems, leukocyte adhesion, and vascular remodeling. Twenty-four
credits of graduate courses and a defense of the submitted thesis describing
the students research are required.
The Ph.D. program is geared to students planning careers in
research in either industry or academic institutions. Advanced courses are followed
by dissertation research in vascular engineering, medical imaging, neural engineering,
genetic engineering, cellular and molecular engineering, orthopedic engineering,
biomechanics, biomaterials, or targeted drug delivery. Doctoral students extend
the core program with courses in advanced physiology, cell and molecular biology,
mathematics, and engineering. The Ph.D. normally requires three years beyond
the masters, or five beyond the baccalaureate, to achieve the necessary
interdisciplinary competence. Exceptional students may choose a double-degree
program that, after a minimum of six years, leads to a simultaneous Ph.D. and
M.D. For this option, students must be formally admitted to both the School
of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Medicine (M.D./Ph.D. program,
MSTP). In addition, a specialized and accelerated program is available for medical
doctors who want to acquire a Ph.D. degree (M.D. to Ph.D. program).
M.S. and Ph.D. students may choose from a variety of laboratories
to conduct their research. Active research projects in the department include
engineering of blood vessel assembly and vascular pattern formation; in vivo
leukocyte mechanics and molecular mechanisms; biophysics of cell adhesion; T-cell
trafficking in chronic inflammation; atherosclerosis research, microvascular
indicator transport for assessing exchange characteristics of endothelium; electron
microprobe and patch clamp techniques for molecular and cellular transport;
neuromuscular transmission in disease states; blood density measurements for
blood volume distribution; fluorescence microscopic assessment of the effect
of mechanical stresses on living cells; cellular mechanotransduction; tissue
characterization by high-resolution ultrasound imaging and evaluation of ultrasonic
contract agents; multidimensional visualization; rapid imaging of tissue metabolism
and blood flow by magnetic resonance imaging techniques; magnetic resonance
imaging for noninvasive characterization of atherosclerosis and cancer; development
of hyperpolarized helium-3 and xenon-129 gas imaging for assessment of pulmonary
ventilation and perfusion by magnetic resonance imaging; tissue characterization
of neurological diseases by magnetic resonance spectroscopy; neurosurgical planning;
mechanics of soft tissue trauma; and gait analysis. Students benefit from the
facilities and collaborators in the Schools of Medicine, Engineering and Applied
Science, and Graduate Arts and Sciences. These activities and resources bring
the student into contact with the problems and methods typical of such diverse
fields to achieve the breadth and judgment that are the goals of the Ph.D. program.
A University-wide medical imaging program supports studies on picture archiving
and communication systems, rapid MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) acquisition,
image perception, MRI of atherosclerosis, image segmentation, MRI microscopy,
high resolution ultrasound imaging, and ultrasound contrast agents.
Through a recent Development and Special Award from the Whitaker
Foundation, the Department moved into 30,000 square feet of a brand new, state-of-the-art
Biomedical Engineering and Medical Sciences Building in February 2002. The building
is in the heart of the School of Medicine in close proximity to the hospital
and basic medical science departments. It includes modern teaching facilities,
laboratories for student projects, physiological and biochemical studies, animal
surgery, cell culture, molecular biology, instrument development, and shops
for instrument maintenance and fabrication. Equipment includes a variety of
sensors and recorders, a cluster of IBM RS/6000 computers, UNIX-based systems,
PCs, and MACs, some with A/D and D/A conversion facilities; video equipment;
lasers, equipment for static and dynamic characterization of transducers; patch-clamp
and intracellular recording facilities. The image-processing facility includes
a microscope with a digital CCD camera, high-frequency and clinical ultrasound
systems, and SGI and Sun Workstations. Electron microscopes, optical and mass
spectrometers, flow cytometry, plasmon resonance, confocal and restoration microscopy
systems, proteomics, gene array, ultrasonic, and magnetic resonance imaging
equipment are available, as are other specialized equipment and consultation
from collaborating departments.
Department of Chemical Engineering
The graduate programs in chemical engineering prepare men and
women for advanced careers in the chemical, energy, environmental, pharmaceutical,
and biotechnology industries as well as for careers in university teaching.
Graduate study, which may lead to the Master of Science, Master of Engineering,
and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, requires course work extending the fundamentals
of chemical reactions, mass transfer, mathematics, thermodynamics and transport
processes. Additional courses taken can include applied surface chemistry, biochemical
engineering, polymer chemistry and engineering and process control and dynamics.
The department also offers advanced graduate courses in selected areas. Study
is encouraged in related disciplines such as applied mathematics, chemistry,
materials science, mechanical engineering, systems engineering, environmental
sciences, and life sciences.
The departments research areas cover bioengineering/biotechnology;
computer and molecular simulation; electrochemical engineering; environmental
engineering; heterogeneous catalysis and reaction engineering; materials and
interfacial phenomena; separations technology; and thermodynamic properties
and phase equilibria. Collaborative research currently involves faculty in the
Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Environmental
Sciences, and Materials Science and Engineering, as well as in the School of
Medicine. Students entering the graduate program are invited to discuss research
projects with all faculty.
The chemical engineering research laboratories are located
in the Chemical Engineering Building and in a renovated wing of Thornton Hall.
Laboratories are grouped by specialty, but are open to all graduate students
in order to encourage cooperation and the exchange of ideas and experiences
among students. The University and the department provide extensive computing
facilities in support of education and research.
In addition to the standard full-time programs designed for
students entering with chemical engineering degrees, individualized programs
can be developed for persons with prior degrees in other disciplines, such as
chemistry, or in engineering fields other than chemical engineering.
The Master of Engineering degree can be obtained through part-time,
off-grounds study of graduate courses offered in the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering
Qualified doctoral students are admitted to doctoral study
after completing the basic courses, passing the preliminary examination, beginning
research and passing the research examinationusually within 12 months
of entrance. Doctoral candidates in chemical engineering serve as teaching assistants
for at least one semester. Doctoral dissertations are proposed in a proposal
examination and defended in a final examination.
Department of Civil Engineering
The Department of Civil Engineering offers graduate degree
programs in civil engineering. Civil engineering is one of the broadest engineering
professions, encompassing such diverse areas as aerospace; construction; environmental,
geotechnical, structural, and transportation engineering. Civil engineers are
the fabricators of modern society and the protectors of our environment. They
deal with people and their management, materials and their use, designs and
their application, and the problems of interweaving these factors to serve society.
Graduate study provides opportunities for the development of
professional engineering competence and scholarly achievement. Students are
prepared for careers leading to management positions in research, development,
and design that require creative abilities in solving engineering problems.
A variety of fellowships and assistantships provide financial
assistance to qualified graduate students in civil engineering. Research assistantships
are available through grants or contracts that support research projects conducted
by the faculty. A number of research assistantships are also available through
the Virginia Transportation Research Council, a research division of the Virginia
Department of Transportation, located on the University Grounds. A limited number
of teaching assistantships are available each year to provide tutorial assistance
to faculty in several lecture and laboratory courses. In addition, a number
of graduate engineering fellowships and tuition scholarships are sponsored by
the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Students are also encouraged
to apply for various national fellowship awards, including those offered through
NSF, NASA, AFOSR, ONR, and DOT, among others.
Degrees offered in civil engineering include the Master of
Engineering in Civil Engineering, the Master of Science in Civil Engineering,
and the Doctor of Philosophy. The department also participates in the Virginia
Cooperative Graduate Engineering Program and provides televised graduate-level
courses leading to the Master of Engineering degree. These courses are broadcast
live to a variety of locations within Virginia and to selected sites throughout
The requirements for the conferring of the degrees of Master
of Engineering in Civil Engineering, Master of Science in Civil Engineering,
are the same as those for the School of Engineering and Applied Science given
under Degree Requirements.
The requirements for the conferring of the Doctor of Philosophy
in Civil Engineering include the requirements stipulated for the School of Engineering
and Applied Science as indicated under Degree Requirements with
the following additional requirement: The program must include a minimum of
12 credits of formal course work beyond the minimum of 24 credits required for
the M.S. degree by the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Within the Department of Civil Engineering, the principal programs
of graduate study are environmental engineering, structural and solid mechanics,
transportation engineering, and applied mechanics.
Environmental Engineering emphasizes environmental hydraulics,
surface and ground water hydrology, water quality control, and water quality
modeling. Research areas include storm water management, urban hydrology, fate
and transport modeling of contaminants in estuaries and coastal waters, sediment-water
interactions of contaminants, remediation of contaminated ground water, and
sorption of organic pollutants to soil.
Structural and Solid Mechanics utilizes the fundamental
principles of structural and solid mechanics, properties and uses of engineering
materials toward the multiscale analysis and design of materials, structural
components and systems. Research activities include analytical and computational
mechanics, linear and nonlinear mechanics of advanced materials, including heterogeneous
and functionally graded materials, thermomechanical response of nanostructured
polymers, dynamic response of structures, field testing of structures, random
vibration, and structural reliability.
Transportation Engineering and Planning Transportation
interests in the department are concerned with the management and planning of
urban, rural, and intercity facilities, and the need to improve the mobility
and safety of existing systems and develop new projects. Research areas include
decision support systems for intelligent vehicle highway systems, highway safety,
geographic information systems, applications of artificial intelligence, public
transportation operations, and transportation demand management.
Applied Mechanics: The faculty of the Civil Engineering
Department, The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the
Department of Material Sciences jointly participate in the program in Applied
Mechanics within the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Areas of expertise
include mechanics of advanced materials; nonlinear elasticity; fracture mechanics;
structural mechanics; continuum mechanics; high temperature test methods; fluid
mechanics; nonlinear dynamical systems and chaos; optimization; finite element
analysis; anisotropic elasticity; vibrations; galactic dynamics; planetary systems;
fatigue, micromechanics; and nanomechanics.
Computer Engineering Program
Computer engineering is an exciting field that spans topics
across electrical engineering and computer science. Students learn, practice,
and perform research related to the design and analysis of computer systems,
including both hardware and software aspects and their integration. Careers
in computer engineering are wide and varied, ranging from embedded computer
systems found in consumer products or medical devices, to control systems for
automobiles, aircraft and trains, to more wide-ranging applications in telecommunications,
financial transactions and information systems.
Computer Engineering graduate degree programs, Master of Engineering,
Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy, are jointly administered by the
Department of Computer Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer
Engineering. For details on facilities and resources available for these degree
programs, please consult the sections corresponding to these departments in
this graduate record. Students can choose advisors from either one of the departments.
Also, students may receive financial assistance in the form of a teaching or
research assistantship from either one of these departments.
Computer engineers design, produce, operate, program, and maintain
computer and digital systems. They generally apply the theories and principles
of science and mathematics to the design of hardware, software, networks, and
processes to solve technical problems. Hence research in Computer Engineering
covers a broad spectrum of topics, such as computer architecture, embedded systems,
integrated circuit design, Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) systems, Field
Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), design automation, hardware/software codesign,
software development and systems, software engineering, digital and computer
systems design, computer networks, computer and network security, testing, fault-tolerant
computing, dependable computing, real-time systems, algorithms, operating systems,
middleware, compilers, database management, parallel computing and distributed
systems, and computer graphics and vision.
Detailed requirements for these degrees are posted on the
web site www.cpe.virginia.edu.
Department of Computer Science
Computer science is that body of knowledge and research associated
with the development and utilization of digital computers. It includes material
associated with pure and applied mathematics as well as the more technological
areas typical of engineering subjects. However, the existence and proliferation
of computer systems has led to the development of programming languages, operating
systems, and other areas of study that have no counterpart in more classical
disciplines. For this reason, the departments instructional and research
programs are kept flexible in order to accommodate new areas of importance as
Programs of study and research through the doctoral level are
offered by the department. A suitable background for admission to the graduate
program is a bachelors degree in computer science or a minor in computer
science with a major in physics, engineering, or mathematics. Applicants for
this program should have a strong interest in empirical research.
Research in computer science includes algorithms, parallel
processing, computer vision, operating systems, system security, performance
evaluation, programming languages and environments, software engineering, distributed
computing, real-time systems, critical systems and survivability, computer networks
and electronic commerce, computer graphics and human-computer interfaces, and
databases. A major emphasis is in the development of parallel and distributed
The departments computer core infrastructure is run primarily
on Sun Solaris systems, while the desktop computing is dominated by Linux and
Windows XP. The infrastructure is linked within the department and to the Universitys
backbone on Gigabit Ethernet, with 100MB switched Ethernet to the desktop. The
department fileservers provide over 3 Terabytes of RAID 5 storage available
transparently across all systems. The central infrastructure provides support
for distributed, parallel and compute intensive jobs on both Sun E280 (UltraSparc-III/8GB
RAM) and on dual-cpu AMD (XP2400/2GB RAM) Linux compute servers. On the desktop
the department provides the full suite of Microsoft software, including Visual
Studio and the .NET compilers and Microsoft Office; most desktop systems are
configured to dual-boot RedHat Linux as well. The department also provides a
number of high-quality software engineering tools, including commercial development,
debugging and version control tools for both the Windows and the Solaris environments.
The department has a number of highly visible research projects
that are building innovative, cutting-edge systems. Virginia Embedded Systems
Toolkit (VEST) is an integrated environment for constructing and analyzing component-based
embedded and real-time systems. Other major projects with national exposure
include LEGION, a world-wide virtual computer linking major super-computer centers
across the country; Chromium, a system for scalable interactive graphics on
clusters of workstations; POP, or package-oriented programming for large-scale
software reuse and integration; BEEHIVE, a global, virtual, real-time database;
ZEPHYR, a major component of the National Compiler Infrastructure; and SURVIVE
which addresses the vulnerabilities of the information systems embedded in our
The department offers the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science,
Master of Computer Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Regardless of
the degree track all graduate students are expected to engage in serious research.
To this end, the department keeps its graduate classes small and fosters a one-to-one
relationship with the faculty.
All graduate students are expected to demonstrate breadth of
knowledge equivalent to that found in the departments core courses: Computer
Organization (CS 654), Building Complex Software (CS 650), and Theory of Computation
(CS 660). In addition, they must demonstrate competence in at least one of the
following: Programming Languages (CS 655), Operating Systems (CS 656), Analysis
of Algorithms (CS 661), Computer Networks (CS 757), or Compilers (CS 771).
Graduate students are also expected to master one area of computer
science in depth. To this end, each new student should choose a research advisor
within the first semester, take several advanced seminars, and should submit
at least one academic publication during their tenure here. Participation in
professional conferences is expected.
Although specific course requirements are minimal for the Ph.D.
degree, students in the program are expected to develop the mathematical skills
necessary for serious scientific research and to participate in the ongoing
intellectual life of the department by regular attendance at colloquia and seminars.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers
the Master of Engineering, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees
in electrical engineering. Programs of study and research opportunities are
available in the areas of automatic controls, digital systems, design automation,
solid state devices, microsystems, microfabrication, nanotechnology, communications,
network analysis and synthesis, microwave systems, computer engineering, signal
processing, and reliable system design and analysis. The selection of a degree
program depends upon the interest and background of each individual. The Electrical
Engineering Graduate Handbook, describing requirements of the graduate program,
is available from the department or online at www.ece.virginia.edu.
aid is available to qualified graduate students in the form of graduate research
or teaching assistantships and fellowships.
The department, in conjunction with the Computer Science Department,
offers the Master of Engineering, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy
degrees in computer engineering. See the specific section in this catalog that
describes these programs.
The department also offers a part-time program in which an
employed engineer is able to work toward a masters degree in electrical engineering
with a minimum of absence from work. A minimum of two-thirds (and possibly all)
of the masters degree requirements can be completed through courses offered
by the University of Virginia Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP).
These courses are also available to those who wish to increase their knowledge
of electrical engineering but do not wish to enroll in a formal degree program.
Research within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
is conducted primarily in the areas of applied electrophysics (solid state,
microsystems, nanotechnology, and microwave systems); communications; controls;
signal processing; and computer engineering.
Research in computer engineering within the department is being
conducted primarily by a collection of faculty and professional staff conducting
research on the design and implementation of complex electronic systems. The
research activities within computer engineering are highly interdisciplinary
and includes expertise in the areas of analog and digital integrated circuit
design, fault tolerance, safety-critical systems, reliability engineering, embedded
systems (design, applications, and security) test technology, distributed processing,
computer architecture, simulation, design automation, and networks. The disciplines
currently represented within the computer engineering research efforts include
electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, and systems
Research in computer engineering typically includes the development
of computer-based systems. Dedicated equipment available for the hardware and
software development efforts includes Sun and PC-based workstations, and special
purpose hardware for designing and testing full-custom integrated circuits as
well as programmable logic devices and field programmable gate arrays. State-of-the-art
bench equipment is also available for printed circuit board development and
evaluation, including high-speed logic analysis, signal analysis, and microprocessor
development. Numerous software systems are available for design description,
simulation, test pattern generation, reliability analysis, and system analysis.
Examples of such software include the Cadence and Mentor Graphics EDA software.
Faculty includes: Professors Aylor, Blalock, Dugan, Giras, Johnson, Lach, Stan,
Veeraraghavan, and Williams.
A multidisciplinary center called the Center for Safety-Critical
Systems is the home for numerous research projects. The overall goal of the
center is to create new knowledge that can be used by industry to create safer
systems, by regulators to write regulations, for evaluators to compare the safety
aspects of complex systems, and by labor to educate the workforce. Although
the center grew out of the needs of the railway industry, the general area of
systems where safety is a matter of life and death will be addressed. The Center
currently receives generous support from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
Federal Railroad Administration, New York City Transit System, Mag Lev, Inc.,
and Lockheed-Martin. In addition, the results of the work conducted for the
Federal Railroad Administration was a part of the FRA report to Congress on
safety. Finally, representation on the centers advisory board consists
of most of the significant players in the safety field, including the National
Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal
Transit Authority, the American Association of Railroads, the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, and the Intermodal Passenger Transportation Institute.
Communications and signal processing continues to provide exciting
research opportunities. New developments in communications and signal processing
science and engineering, as well as advances in device technologies continue
to take place especially in the areas of wireless and optical communications
and medical imaging. The faculty brings expertise spanning the full range of
communication and signal processing theory and engineering to the next generation
of communications challenges. Areas of expertise include digital modulation
and error control coding; wireless communication, including smart antenna technology;
statistical signal processing; optical communications, including fiber and wireless
infrared systems; multi-user spread spectrum system analysis; detection and
estimation; resource-efficient multiuser communication; and medical imaging.
Faculty includes Professors Acton, Brandt-Pearce, Guess, Silverstein, Wilson,
Research in control systems includes several areas in systems
and control theory and their applications. The theoretical work spans the areas
of adaptive control, nonlinear control, and robust control. Specific topics
of interest include control design for systems with nonlinearities, such as
backlash, deadzone, failures, hysteresis and saturation, stabilization of nonlinear
systems, feedback linearization, sliding mode control, and multivariable adaptive
control. Some of the applications of this theoretical work are artificial heart
pumps, flight control systems, robotics, high speed rotors suspended on magnetic
bearings, unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV). Faculty includes Professors
Lin and Tao.
The focus of research in the area of applied electrophysics
is in novel solid-state electronic materials, devices, and circuits for microelectronic,
optoelectronic, and millimeter-wave applications. Much of the research in this
area includes the development of novel devices and systems and is conducted
in the Semiconductor Device Laboratories. These laboratories share major fabrication,
test, and computing resources, including a 3,500 square foot clean room facility
for microelectronic fabrication equipped with molecular beam epitaxy systems
for epitaxial growth, lithography with nanometer capability, reactive ion etching,
evaporation and sputter deposition of metals, insulators, and superconducting
films. Equipment available for material and device evaluation includes a field
emission scanning electron microscope with one nanometer resolution, a photoluminescence
system, a semiconductor parameter analyzer, a surface profiler, and a variety
of optical microscopes, curve tracers, and other equipment. Microwave equipment
includes network analyzers, sweep oscillators, and a variety of waveguide components,
sources, and detectors for millimeter- and submillimeter-wave applications.
Faculty includes: Professors Barker, Bean, Crowe, Gelmont, Globus, Harriott,
Hesler, Lichtenberger, Reed, and Weikle, as well as Professor Hull from Materials
The department and the University provide a wide range of computing
facilities that support both research and education. The Unix Lab provides Sun
Solaris workstations, X terminals, and access to Unix computer-servers, including
a high performance parallel processing cluster of IBM/RS6000s. In addition,
our facilities provide access to the Web, email, printers, and Engineering software
packages, such as Mentor Graphics, Cadence, LabVIEW, Matlab, PSPICE, as well
as advanced circuit and device simulation packages. Various software development
tools and programming languages are also available.
Engineering Physics Program
The graduate program in engineering physics was the first
Ph.D. granting program in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. It
is a research-oriented
program in which students apply the principles of physics to the solution of
technical problems. The student prepares for research in a chosen field by
appropriate courses in mathematics, engineering, physics, and other sciences.
Other than the requirement of a minimum of 2 courses in graduate physics courses,
2 courses in graduate engineering courses, and 1 course in graduate mathematics,
the masters student has a wide range of courses from which to select.
The Masters of Science degree requires a total of 8 courses and a Masters
Thesis and the Masters of Engineering (ME) Degree requires 10 courses
with one course in engineering design. The ME degree is also offered remotely
as part of the distance learning program (www.cgep.virginia.edu).
The Ph.D. student must satisfy these same course requirements,
with an additional 2 courses in physics, 2 in engineering and 1 in mathematics.
If the student by-passes the Masters degree, then the total course requirement
for the Ph.D. is 4 courses in physics, 4 in engineering and 2 in mathematics.
Thus, the Engineering Physics Program is extremely flexible, offering students
the opportunity to formulate a program of study that closely supports their
Faculty research advisors for engineering physics students
reside in a variety of departments within the University, depending on the students
research area. Engineering physics research has been directed by faculty members
from the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering,
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry
and the School of Medicine.
Current research areas include nano-technology; photonics;
materials properties; planetary science; atomic collisions; surface science;
electronic devices; medical physics; computational fluid mechanics; space plasma
physics; and nonlinear dynamical systems and chaos. Students oriented towards
experimental research may work in a number of facilities, such as the Laboratory
for Nano-technology Institute; Laser Interactions Institute; Atomic and Surface
Physics Laboratory, the Semiconductor Device Laboratory, the Medical Imaging
Laboratory, the Aerospace Research Laboratory, and the Jefferson National Laboratory.
Financial assistance to qualified engineering physics graduate
students is available in several forms. Numerous graduate research assistantships
are available in sponsored research programs. Furthermore, a number of graduate
engineering fellowships and teaching assistantships are sponsored by the School
of Engineering and Applied Science. Students should also apply for National
Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy, and U.S. National Aeronautics
and Space Administration (NASA) fellowships.
Visit the online site at www.virginia.edu/ep for more information.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
The Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at
UVa offers graduate education and research programs in the structure, properties,
processing, and performance of materials. The study of materials may be pursued
according to their technical importance, as in ceramic or metallurgical engineering,
or by considering the general principles that govern their properties. At the
University of Virginia, the latter course has been adopted, leading to an understanding
of materials through the study of both macroscopic and microscopic viewpoints.
The department provides a broad-based graduate education in
materials, one component of which emphasizes the commonality among the various
classes of engineering solids. Thus thermodynamics, kinetics, structural analysis
and crystallography, defect theory, and principles of the solid state are strong
features of the program. In addition, other courses relative to the application
of materials and the relationships among materials properties, structure, and
the manner in which materials have been processed are also offered. Extensive
research programs complement formal course work. Active recent programs on metallurgy,
environmental effects on material behavior, electronic materials, fatigue and
fracture, tribology, composite materials, and materials processing reflect the
diversity of the facultys research interests. In addition, the department
houses the Center for Light Metals, which oversees a variety of research on
A1, Mg, and Ti alloys and composites containing these metals. The Center for
Electrochemical Sciences and Engineering conducts interdisciplinary research
involving five departments. The Surface Science Laboratory conducts fundamental
studies of the surfaces of materials and provides surface analysis services.
The Electron Microscope and Image Processing Facility contains a number of electron
and ion microscopes used for materials analysis by researchers throughout the
Department and School. The newly established NSF-sponsored MRSEC for Nanoscopic
Materials Design spearheads department efforts in the emerging field of nanotechnology.
The department offers the degrees of Master of Materials Science
and Engineering (MMSE), Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
The MS and PhD degrees involve extensive-advised research, leading to a thesis
or dissertation, respectively. The MMSE degree does not include a thesis and
is most often achieved by graduate students enrolled in the SEAS distance-learning
program. The program of study for each of these degrees has been developed consistent
with the principles of academic excellence as a foundation for cutting-edge
research and cross-disciplinary learning. Several courses are considered fundamental
and constitute a required core for all graduate degrees in MSE. There is, however,
great flexibility that enables the graduate student to adapt his or her choice
of classes to particular fields of interest and specialization. The graduate
program is structured to emphasize acquisition of knowledge and development
of critical thinking skills.
MS Degree The MS degree in MSE intends for the successful
student to demonstrate both academic achievement and the ability to do independent
research in engineering-science, with close faculty guidance. This degree program
requires 25-course credits beyond the BS level. All entering-MS graduate students
are enrolled in a 4-course, 12-credit core that includes:
- Thermodynamics of Materials
- Materials Structures and Defects
- One Prescribed Elective selected from:
Deformation and Fracture of Materials During Processing and Service
Chemical and Electrochemical Properties of Solid Materials
Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials
- Kinetics of Solid-state Reactions
The MS program of study includes 1 credit of MSE seminar, as
well as 4 electives beyond the MSE core. These electives are at the 5xx, 6xx
and 7xx levels, approved by the graduate students advisor and the MSE
Curriculum Committee, and selected from all SEAS-course offerings or other UVa
Science/Mathematics courses. Up to 6 credits of 5xx MSE courses, and up to 9
credits of 5xx SEAS or UVa courses are permitted. No more than 6 elective credits
may be earned in faculty-supervised independent study or advanced-topics courses.
One of these 4 electives should be math intensive, consistent with a list established
by the MSE faculty. The MS degree requires at least 6 credits of research, under
the supervision of a faculty advisor, and culminating in a written thesis that
is presented and defended in a public forum.
MMSE Degree The MMSE degree in MSE emphasizes classroom
and perhaps laboratory learning, and requires that the student achieve satisfactorily
30 course credits beyond the BS level. The MMSE program follows the MS degree
requirements except that the 1-credit seminar course is not required for students
enrolled in the distance learning program. This program of study includes 2
additional electives at the 5xx, 6xx and 7xx level, selected from all SEAS-course
offerings or other UVa Science/Mathematics courses and subject to approval.
Up to 6 credits of electives may be earned in faculty-supervised independent
study or advanced topics courses.
PhD Degree The PhD degree program in MSE aims to produce tangible-intellectual
achievements from independent research at a frontier in the engineering-science
of materials. This degree requires that the student achieve satisfactorily 47
course credits, beyond the BS level and beginning with a required 7-course,
21 credit core that includes:
- Thermodynamics of Materials
- Materials Structures and Defects
- Materials Characterization
- Kinetics of Solid-state Reactions
- Deformation and Fracture of Materials During Processing and Service
- Chemical and Electrochemical Properties of Solid Materials
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials
The PhD program includes 2 credits of MSE seminar and eight
3-credit electives beyond the core. These electives are at the 5xx, 6xx and
7xx levels, approved by the graduate students advisor and PhD-Advisory
Committee as well as the MSE Curriculum Committee, and selected from all SEAS-course
offerings or other UVa Science/Mathematics courses. One of these 8 elective
courses must be math intensive, consistent with a list established by the MSE
faculty. At least 15 credits of electives must be at the 7xx or 8xx level. No
more than 6 elective credits may be earned in faculty-supervised independent
study or advanced-topics courses. Independent study credits will not count as
the 15 credits of electives at the 7xx or 8xx level. A maximum of 24 credits
may be applied from an MS program in another department, school or university,
as approved by the MSE Curriculum Committee, and to achieve any part of the
core requirement. The PhD candidates advisory committee will tailor the
program of courses to reflect the importance of both depth and breadth in MSE.
Breadth may be cross disciplinary.
The PhD candidate must pass written and oral examinations that
include both general and comprehensive elements. These examinations are taken
concurrently and within 8-12 months after achieving the MS degree. The PhD candidate
must write and defend publicly a proposed research plan that is the foundation
for his/her dissertation. This proposal must be completed 12 months or more
before the defense of the PhD dissertation. The PhD degree requires at least
24 credits of research, under the supervision of a faculty advisor, culminating
in a written dissertation that is presented and defended in a public forum.
The exceptional graduate student may petition the MSE faculty to bypass the
MS degree and to follow this PhD program of study. This petition may only be
submitted after the core courses for the PhD degree are completed.
The Department of Materials Science and Engineering also participates
in the Virginia Cooperative Graduate Engineering Program by presenting televised
graduate-level courses that lead to the Master of Materials Science and Engineering
degree. These courses are broadcast via satellite to locations both in- and
out- of-state in the late afternoon and early evening hours. In addition, the
department participates in the Virginia Consortium of Engineering and Science
universities program which can lead to the Ph.D. degree.
Department laboratories are well equipped with extensive instrumentation
for the investigation of all aspects of materials structure and properties.
A modern electron microscope facility includes a 200 kV field-emission gun (FEG)
high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) equipped with a Gatan
imaging filter (GIF) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDXS); a 400
kV dedicated HRTEM with a point-to-point resolution of 0.17 nm; a 200 kV scanning
transmission electron microscope (STEM) with EDXS and heating, cooling, and
straining specimen holders; two scanning electron microscopes with EDXS, electron-beam
lithography, cathodoluminescence and electron backscattered pattern (EBSP) attachments;
and a focused ion beam (FIB) microscope equipped with a secondary ion mass spectrometer
(SIMS). All microscopes are connected to computers for digital imaging and analysis.
X-ray diffraction units provide facilities for a wide variety of single crystal
and powder techniques. The polymer science laboratory offers facilities for
infrared spectroscopy, viscosity, differential thermal analysis, automatic osmometry,
and for the measurement of thermal, electrical, and optical properties of polymers
and other macromolecules. Chemical vapor deposition facilities include equipment
for the preparation of electronic materials from metal-organic compounds. The
ion beam laboratory has a 110 kV heavy ion accelerator and a 300 kV ion implanter
with multiple ultrahigh vacuum experimental chambers. Additional research is
conducted in the area of advanced laser processing for nano-scale materials.
The facilities include high-power pulsed ultra violet excimer and solid state
lasers, time resolved mass spectroscopy and imaging, and in-situ diagnostics.
Material research areas range from deposition of thin films (electronic, metallic,
polymer) and surface modification to biological thin film processing and particulate
Other laboratories are equipped for research in physical metallurgy,
fatigue and fracture, electrochemistry, surface studies, thin film properties,
and materials processing. Their facilities include mass spectrometers; ultra-high
vacuum deposition units; electron beam and vacuum furnaces; heat treating equipment;
a rolling mill; numerous mechanical testing machines; a hot isostatic press;
an X-ray texture gonimeter; optical metallographs; interference, polarizing,
and hot stage microscopes; and sophisticated image analysis and processing facilities.
A fully equipped machine shop and instrument shop are adjacent to the research
Computational facilities within the department include a variety
of workstations (SUN, DEC, SGI, and IBM) and personal computers. High performance
computing is available through the Universitys affiliations with National
Computing Centers, and on the Universitys 14-node IBM SP2 system housed
in the Department of Information Technology and Communication (ITC).
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The department offers graduate programs in mechanical and aerospace
engineering. In addition to approximately 80 part-time students, about 65 full-time
graduate students are currently enrolled in the department, with approximately
50 percent pursuing the Ph.D.
Financial assistance to qualified mechanical and aerospace
engineering graduate students is available in several forms. Graduate research
assistantships are available for work on sponsored research. In addition, a
number of graduate engineering fellowships and teaching assistantships are sponsored
by the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Research and teaching assistantships
often are supplemented by department or school fellowship awards.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering This combined graduate
program offers the degrees of Master of Science, Master of Engineering, and
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Graduate students in this program may specialize in either
(1) continuum and fluid mechanics, (2) thermomechanics, or (3) dynamical systems
and control. The particular focus areas range in scales from macro to micro
and nano, and in scope from highly theoretical to quite applied, and utilize
state-of-the-art analytical, computational, and experimental tools. A large
selection of courses is offered covering the above areas. These courses deal
with fundamental principles, analytical methods, computational techniques, design
methodologies, and practical applications.
Research in the continuum mechanics area includes studies in
fluid mechanics and nano mechanics. Current research in fluid mechanics addresses
low speed unsteady aerodynamic flows, atmospheric re-entry flows, supersonic
mixing, flows in liquid centrifuges, flow in centrifugal pumps, turbomachinery
flows, bio-fluid mechanics, hydrodynamic stability, microgravity fluid mechanics,
multi free-surface flows, non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, flow/structure interactions,
flows transporting fibers, compressional behavior of fiber assemblies, and free
and forced convection. Current research in nano mechanics involves nano-scale
mechanical properties measurements and applications of atomic force microscopy
in metrology and mechanical evaluation of MEMS and thin films. Work on transportation
safety includes studies of collision/injury mechanics, complex nonlinear simulation,
and restraint optimization. This work is primarily applied to injury mitigation/prevention
in automobiles and light aircraft as well as specific work directed at the transportation
needs of the disabled.
Research in dynamical systems and control covers a wide range
of problems of practical interest including control of machining chatter, vibration
control, mechatronics, fluid control, neurodynamic control mechanisms for autonomous
mobile robots and biological information processing, intelligent control, and
the use of periodicity to enhance the achievable performance of controlled systems.
Further, there is substantial work in development and application of modern
synthesis techniques to the control of industrial machinery, especially rotating
machines with magnetic bearings. Finally, the department hosts a strong activity
in rotordynamics research which includes interest in hydrodynamic bearings and
seals, turbomachinery, artificial heart pumps, model identification techniques,
and experimental stability margin assessment.
Research in the thermomechanics includes topics from micro-scale
and non-Fourier heat transfer, combustion (including supersonic), reduced-order
chemical kinetics, thermoacoustics, aerogels, remote chemical-agents sensing,
remote biological-agents sensing.
The departments mechanical and aerospace research facilities
include a rotating machinery and control industrial laboratory; a turbomachinery
flows laboratory; several subsonic wind tunnel laboratories; a supersonic combustion
laboratory; a supersonic wind tunnel laboratory; a structural dynamics laboratory,
including an auto crash worthiness laboratory; a nano-scale mechanics and materials
characterization laboratory; an atomic-force-microscopy laboratory; a bio thermo
fluids laboratory; a micro-scale heat-transfer laboratory; a control systems
laboratory; and an aerogel laboratory. Several of these laboratories are unique
among all universities in the world. For more detailed, up-to-date information
about the departments research programs, and degree requirements, visit
the Web site at www.mae.virginia.edu.
Department of Systems and Information Engineering
Systems engineers design and implement process, product, and
operational improvements in large-scale, complex collections of humans and machines.
These collections are systems organized around a central purpose, such as communication,
transportation, manufacturing, and environmental protection. The improvements
to these systems can target any phase of the life-cycle, from requirements analysis
through forecasting, design, development, testing, operation, maintenance, to
retirement or replacement.
The central insight in systems engineering is that the analytical
techniques for process and product improvement extend across applications. For
example, the techniques used to improve communications routing also apply to
transportation routing and material handling in manufacturing. The formal disciplines
that underlie these techniques constitute the basis for education and training
in systems engineering.
The Department of Systems and Information Engineering provides
instruction and conducts research in two domains: methodologies for systems
analysis, design, and integration; and analytical techniques for making decisions
and turning data into information.
Degree Programs The department offers three graduate
degrees: Master of Engineering, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy.
The plan of study is always tailored to the individual needs and interests of
the student; however, each student must gain the knowledge of the fundamental
methodologies and techniques of systems engineering.
The M.E. student first learns the fundamentals of systems analysis,
design, and integration, and next studies either additional techniques or an
The M.S. student first learns the fundamentals of systems,
decision, and information sciences, and next applies this knowledge to a more
focused research project leading to a masters thesis.
Both the M.E. and M.S. students have opportunities for specializing
in one of several areas: intelligent decision systems, communication systems,
control systems, manufacturing systems, transportation systems, environmental
systems, urban systems, health care systems, energy systems, economic systems,
financial systems, management systems, risk assessment and management, and information
The Ph.D. student first acquires the advanced knowledge in
one area of systems, decision, and information sciences, and next contributes
to knowledge through research leading to a doctoral dissertation.
Current basic research in the department explores theoretical
and methodological issues in the following areas: systems performance evaluation,
capacity assurance, and resource allocation; multivariate systems monitoring,
discrete event simulation; probabilistic modeling, empirical model building,
data fusion, and data mining; risk assessment and management; financial engineering;
learning algorithms and dynamic games; optimization, dynamic programming, and
Markov decision processes; Bayesian forecasting and decision theories; cognitive
systems engineering, human-computer interaction and decision support.
Research Projects Both M.S. and Ph.D. students typically
associate with an ongoing research project in the department. These projects
involve both theoretical and applied elements and allow students to work closely
with faculty on challenging, contemporary problems. Examples of current research
projects include complex networks optimization, intelligent transportation system,
air traffic prediction system, probabilistic forecasting of weather, flood warning
system, semiconductor operational modeling, spatial knowledge discovery, regional
crime data analysis, clinical and biological data integration, critical safety
data analysis, mitigation of risk to cyber and physical infrastructure, credit
scoring and credit portfolio management, valuation of intellectual property.
Televised M.E. Program A part-time degree program is
available through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program. Regular courses
are televised, which offers employed engineers the opportunity to earn credits
toward the M.E. degree while requiring a minimum of absence from work. The program
is designed so that over a three-year period all of the M.E. degree requirements
may be completed through courses taken in the late afternoon or early evening.
These courses are also available to those who wish to increase their knowledge
of systems engineering but do not wish to enroll in a degree program.
For more detailed information about the department, degree
programs, and research areas, visit the website at www.sys.virginia.edu.