Electrical engineering research at USC falls within four major areas of focus: communications
and electromagnetics, decision and control, electronic materials and devices, and
power and energy systems.
CEC Electrical Engineering
Our faculty experts, their graduate/undergraduate students, high school interns, post-doctoral
associates, and other research staff members are at the forefront of new discoveries
and innovations that make our lives better. The EE Department boasts state-of-the-art
energy system simulation software, micro/nano fabrication, and RF and wireless systems
simulation and measurement facilities. Many of our faculty experts are in active collaboration
with national labs and industry counterparts. The department also has a history of
transitioning research knowledge into technology or product through commercialization.
Communications and Electromagnetics
Researchers in communications and electromagnetics are engaged in new discoveries
and innovations that are applicable to current and next generation wireless communications
e.g., terrestrial, space, underwater communication, medical applications of wireless,
navigation, sensing, and radar.
Conformal antennas, wireless power transfer and sensing, reconfigurable antennas,
Signal integrity for high speed circuits, large target scattering radar cross-section
(RCS) prediction, and wireless indoor and outdoor signal coverage study using various
numerical electromagnetic techniques.
Wireless channel characterization, Ad Hoc communication networks, modulation/detection
PHY/MAC, random process modeling, and electromagnetics modeling.
Signal processing methods, intelligent air-interfaces, waveforms, sequences, machine
learning, radio access technologies, broadband mobile networks, and wireless communication
MEMS based RF components and systems e.g., on-chip tunable RF components and systems,
reconfigurable components with the integration of ferroelectric and ferromagnetic
thin films, 3D integrated circuit and system integration, sensors and sensing systems,
and 3D printing and advanced manufacturing technology.
Decision and Control
Researchers in this area are developing innovative methods, algorithms, and tools
for broad range of systems including safety-critical systems, unmanned vehicles, and
robots. This research group also focuses on networked, cooperative, distributed controls
for large-scale systems, and controls that consider system health -- condition-based
maintenance, prognostics, and health management.
Networked real-time control systems, fault-tolerant control, cooperative control,
optimization, system verification, nonlinear system design.
Prognostics and health management that covers fault detection and isolation, failure
prognosis, and fault tolerance, robotics, unmanned systems, electromechanics, and
industrial electronics, intelligent systems and control, and dynamic systems, design,
modeling, simulation, and control.
Electronic Materials and Devices
Researchers in this area are at the forefront of novel materials, processing, devices,
sensors, and detectors development that enables critical applications such as solid
state lighting, nuclear radiation detection, wireless communication, power grid, and
Growth and study of ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor including high aluminum content
AlGaN, boron nitride, and gallium oxide, fabrication of novel high-power electronic
and photonic devices and computer simulation of these devices.
Magnetic nanofluid hyperthermia, bioelectromagnetism and bioelectricity, bioinstrumentation/medical
electronics, magnetic biosensors and bioMEMS, nano-scale spintronics structures and
devices, materials processing for spintronics, bioelectric/spintronic based hybrid
power generators for energy sustainability.
Novel low-cost, fast energy payback solutions to sustainable energy production, including
dye-sensitized solar cells for SiC and GaN powders, photolytic/photoelectrochemical
hydrogen production as well as nanoelectronic materials such as graphene and SiC for
electrical power management, sensing and emissions monitoring.
Ultraviolet and visible light high-power solid-state light-emitting diodes and lasers
using AlInGaN multiple quantum wells, high frequency microwave transistors using innovative
materials and processing techniques and the development of AlInGaN photodetectors.
Wide bandgap semiconductor based nuclear detector and front-end readout electronics,
machine learning reinforced radiation detection spectrometers for robust, high-performance
measurements and analysis, high-efficiency heterojunction thin-film solar cells (CIGS,
CdTe, CZTS, Sb2S3, DSSC etc.), THz sources, sensing, and imaging applications and
2D materials and nanomaterials.
Bandgap materials and devices and III-nitride power microwave devices and integrated
Power and Energy Systems
Researchers in this area are developing innovative technologies and simulation methodologies
targeting the challenges that our nation faces today and in future power and energy
DC Microgrids, optimization of power electronics, medium frequency medium voltage
transformer optimization, electric vehicle charging stations, solid state transformers,
reliability testing of wide bandgap (WBG) and ultra WBG semiconductors in power converters,
and artificial intelligence (AI)-integrated power electronics.
Power conversion and storage, power routing and control, modeling and simulation methods,
application of computer gaming, high-speed, distributed, multirate, hardware-interactive
simulation environments, and DC power systems.
Power electronics applications in energy systems, power phenomena and compensation
in non-sinusoidal systems and power quality.
Power electronics, distributed generations, microgrids, grid interface, resilient
energy systems, energy efficiency, energy-water nexus, energy storage systems, interface
and controls, data intensive energy systems, and smart and connected energy systems.
Modeling, control and simulation of advanced electrical power distribution systems,
and physics-based modeling of power semiconductor devices, hardware-in-the-loop simulation
of electrical systems, and the development of a simulation-based tool called the Virtual
Test Bed (VTB) for rapid prototyping of power systems and power electronic devices
that supports input from multiple simulation languages such as SPICE, ACSL, SABER,
Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.