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Research Laboratories

The ECE department is home to a broad array of research activities. Students interested in participating in research should contact faculty who are working in their area of interest. Current opportunities for research assistantships are listed here.

Biologically Inspired Computing Lab (BICL)

Dan Hammerstrom, Director
EB 500 

The research goal of the Biologically Inspired Computing Laboratory is to develop a new inference-based information processing structure that performs probabilistic computing using radically new nano-scale devices.  This approach exploits the analog, time-dependent properties of such devices, and their massive parallelism. By doing so, such a computing structure will be more efficient and scalable than by using more traditional digital hardware to implement the same task. As a part of this work we are studying the Hierarchical Temporal Memory with Cortical Learning Algorithm (HTM CLA) developed by Numenta, Inc.  We are looking at hardware acceleration of the algorithm, in the short term FPGAs and GPUs and nano-scale devices in the long term.  We are also studying applications of HTM CLA in the energy space.

Biomedical Signal Processing Laboratory

James McNames, Director
FAB 89-02 

The mission of the BSP lab is to increase our collective knowledge of how useful information can be extracted from physiologic signals. We primarily focus on clinical projects in which the extracted information can help physicians make better critical decisions and improve patient outcome.

Evolvable Systems Laboratory

Garrison Greenwood, Director
FAB 70-06 

The purpose of this lab is to investigate how hardware can self-adapt, via autonomous reconfiguration, to compensate for failures or a changing operational environment. The methods used rely heavily on the use of evolutionary algorithms, which emulate natural selection as found in nature, to modify reconfigurable hardware. The emphasis of current work is to explore reconfiguration as a fault recovery method for autonomous hardware.

High Frequency Design and Measurement Lab

Branimir Pejcinovic, Director
FAB 60-23

Our lab is dedicated to two main research areas: a) high-frequency / high-speed measurements, and b) device and materials characterization, modeling and design. State-of-the-art equipment is available, including VNA-s, TDR-s, automated noise measurements, semiconductor parameter analyzer, pulsed-DC, probe stations for on-wafer measurements, and others. We cover frequencies up to 40 GHz and in collaboration with THz lab we have extended that to 700 GHz. Device characterization and modeling projects, e.g. examination of InSb and SiGe transistors, use these measurements in conjunction with TCAD software, IC-CAP and ADS from Keysight, Tektronix IConnect, Keysight others. HFDML is closely associated with ICDT and THz labs.

IC Design and Test Laboratory

Robert Daasch, Director / Branimir Pejcinovic, Co-Director
FAB 60-24 

The goal of the Integrated Circuits Design and Test Laboratory is to become the local, regional and national focal point for innovative research and education in the area of integrated circuit design and test. The PSU Spire of Excellence designation recognizes the laboratory's significance to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest high-frequency digital, mixed-signal, and RF design communities as well as the large concentration of industry leaders in semiconductor manufacturing and semiconductor testing.

Intelligent Robotics Laboratory

Marek Perkowski, Director
FAB 70-09 

In the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory we design and program mobile, stationary and humanoid robots on levels of mechanical, electrical and software design. Many of our robots have new types of controllers. Theoretical research is dedicated to applying machine learning and data analysis algorithms to solve practical problems in electrical and computer engineering, especially in Data Mining, robot vision, robot motion, robot theatre  and human-robot interface (such as emotion recognition). The laboratory is also involved in the research on quantum and reversible computing as well as nano-technologies such as quantum dots and memristors. In a related research we develop new quantum algorithms, for instance those used in robotics, thus defining a new research area of “Quantum Robotics”. Of laboratory interests are also highly parallel robotics algorithms on GPU platform and emulation of problem-solving architectures with FPGAs and VELOCE emulator from Mentor.

Northwest Electromagnetics and Acoustics Research Laboratory (NEAR-Lab)

Lisa Zurk, Director
Martin Siderius, Director

FAB 25-00, 25-01 

The mission of the NEAR-Lab is to develop knowledge of electromagnetic and acoustic wave scattering and propagation phenomenon in order to devise and evaluate advanced signal processing techniques.  Applications are in the areas of radar, sonar, and biomedical.

PGE Foundation Power Engineering Education Laboratory

Robert Bass, Director
FAB 25-03

Research within power engineering lab pertains to electrical power systems, particularly distributed & renewable assets and the overlaying smart grid technologies that link them together.  Current and past projects include analyzing AMI data to evaluate the efficacy of utility-sponsored mini-split heat pump installations; evaluation of power quality at PSU’s “Electric Avenue” EV charging stations; development of LCOE metrics for energy storage systems; optimization of heat pumps coupled with a thermal mass for residential demand response programs; development of a SQP optimization algorithm for multi-unit hydropower powerhouses; and, aggregation and analysis of synchrophasor data from distribution feeder circuits.   The lab is also investigating the design of antenna-coupled cryotrons - superconducting power switches controlled via GHz RF radiation.

Terahertz Laboratory

Lisa Zurk, Director
FAB 60-06 

The NEAR-Lab's new Terahertz (THz) facility is a state-of-the-art measurement lab, with four THz (and laser) equipment stations fully supported by instrumentation and computation workpaces.

Teuscher Lab: Emerging Computing Models and Technologies

Christof Teuscher, Director
FAB 60-11 

The mission of teuscher.:Lab is to study, rethink, model, and design the implementation of computations in living and non-living systems. An understanding of the phenomena provides a basis for better, smarter, and more robust computing paradigms, architectures, devices, algorithms, languages, and systems for applications such as embedded systems and biomolecular engineering. We are interested in bold, visionary, and transformational solutions to complex and critical problems needed for the medium- and long-term sustainability of the technological future of all computing disciplines. The lab owns a fussball table and a cutting-edge GPU-enhanced PowerEdge blade compute server with 70 regular cores (hyperthreaded), over 70GB of RAM, and 896 high-performance GPU cores, offering over 1 TFlop of raw computing power to simulate advanced computing architectures and models.
Director: Christof Teuscher

Verification Laboratory

Xiaoyu Song, Director
FAB 60-26 

The research objective of the verification lab is to explore modeling and validation techniques for reliable cyber-physical systems. Various modeling methods of characterizing complex systems are harnessed. We focus on both dynamic and static verification methods towards establishing the correctness of safety-critical system designs in industry.

Video Image Processing Laboratory (VIP)

Fu Li, Director
FAB 25-04 

With over $400,000 in equipment and cash donations from Tektronix, the VIP Lab provides invaluable research opportunities to students and faculty. The equipment includes a Motion Picture Expert Group (MPEG) portable analyzer, MPEG transport stream monitors, MPEG test systems, picture quality analysis systems, and a real-time spectrum analyzer.

Design Automation for VLSI & Emerging Technologies Laboratory

Malgorzata Chrzanowska-Jeske, Director
FAB 60-17 

One of the labs main projects focuses on exciting 3D VLSI technology that enables easier integration of memory, analog, digital, RF, optical, MEMS, BioMEMS, sensors, and possibly bio-systems into one small package. From analysis of tiny carbon nanotube constructs to exploring the challenges of process and environment in current CMOS and future nanotechnologies, the lab is taking the important steps toward more compact and complex devices.