Our Labs and Groups
The Department of Electrical Engineering is actively involved in research in the areas
of communications and electromagnetics; decision and control; electronic materials
and devices; and power and energy systems. Explore our research groups, labs, centers
and facilities below.
Design Tools Lab - Dr. Roger Dougal
Our research focuses on creating collaborative multi-disciplinary design and simulation
tools for complex systems. The early-stage concept design tool for naval systems,
S3D, is based on our Virtual Test Bed software infrastructure. Our computing facilities
include a wide variety of desktop systems suitable for code authoring, compilation,
and software execution. Our group leases commercial cloud computing facilities when
needed, and we have access to several computer clusters each 100’s of cores in size
for computationally intensive research.
Energy Routing Lab - Dr. Herb Ginn
Our research is concerned with the design, development, evaluation, and control of
energy routing methods and electronic devices to improve power system quality and
reliability. The lab is equipped with multiple Power Electronics Building Blocks (PEBBs)
which are configured as multipurpose bi-directional power converters. These converters
are used to build larger systems, including configurations that recycle the power
within the laboratory, permitting operation at higher powers than would otherwise
be possible with the installed capacity.
Integrated Grids Lab
Our research looks at future power systems as integrations of energy and information
infrastructures. Our lab provides a holistic real time simulation infrastructure that
supports multi-physics simulation and communication network simulation, allowing testing
of innovative solutions for grid control under quite realistic conditions. While our
activity focuses mainly on distribution grids, the developed infrastructure can also
support study of transmission grids and micro-grids, home energy systems or naval
Microwave Engineering Lab - Dr. Mohammod Ali
Our research is focused on conformal antennas, broadband metamaterials, conformal
broadband pixelated reconfigurable antennas, conformal reconfigurable antennas, low
cost phased arrays for portables/wearables, wireless power transfer and wireless sensing.
Microwave and Power Microelectronics - Dr. Grigory Simin
Our research is related to design of semiconductor devices and integrated circuits
for microwave and power applications. Our main focus is on physics, design, characterization
and applications of transistors, diodes, varactors and other devices utilizing wide
bandgap materials, such as III-Nitride materials.
Nanobiomagnetics and Bioelectronics Lab - Dr. Seongtae Bae
Our laboratory is currently focused on the following research areas: the development
of magnetic nanoparticles/nanofluids and advanced electronics/magnetics bioinstrumentation
technology for biomedical applications; and development of nanostructure spintronics
materials and devices for advance electronics
Photovoltaics and Nuclear Radiation Accounting Devices (PANRAD) - Dr. Krishna Mandal
Our group conducts research in two major areas: wide-bangap semiconductor based solid-state
nuclear radiation detectors (alpha, beta, x-rays, gamma rays andneutrons) and front-end
read-outelectronics for applications in Homeland Security, nuclear safeguard, space
astronomy and medical imaging; the second area of focus is large-area, high efficiency,
light-weight third generation photovoltaic solar cells using earth-abundant, non-toxic
materials for economically sustainable energy solutions. The laboratories are primarily
focused on crystal (bulk and thin films) growth, device fabrication, performance characterization
and defect analysis.
Power Electronics Lab - Dr. Enrico Santi
Our research addresses the design, control, and performance of switching power converters
and their constituent components. We use the power electronics lab for fabrication
and testing of switching power converters and for testing multi-converter control
techniques. We also perform power semiconductor device characterization and physics-based
modeling to better understand power converter performance and to facilitate improved
converter design, with particular emphasis on wide bandgap devices using silicon carbide
and gallium nitride semiconductor materials.
Resilient Systems Lab - Dr. Xiaofeng Wang and Dr. Bin Zhang
Our research focuses on the design and control of safety critical systems. We integrate
the requirements on performance, intelligence, and reliability in the system by using
advanced control methods, adaptation and learning techniques, and fault diagnosis
and tolerance strategies. We have facilities to verify our designs on unmanned vehicles,
robotics, power electronics, and li-ion batteries.
Signal Integrity Lab - Dr. Paul Huray and Dr. Yinchao Chen
Our research is related to the design and simulation of advanced high speed circuits,
particularly those of use in the computer industry. We use high speed oscilloscopes,
vector network analyzers, and time delay reflectometers to validate simulations on
printed circuit boards. We also teach graduate students how to use the technology
Smart Microwave and RF Technology Lab - Dr. Guoan Wang
Our research is conducted at the convergence of novel materials, nano and microwave
technology. We study nano patterned ferromagnetic thin films and ferroelectric thin
films to explore their novel properties in RF and microwave frequencies.
Wireless Science and Engineering Lab - Dr. David Matolak
Our research addresses wireless communication and signaling systems for an extensive
range of applications, from satellite to aircraft to terrestrial to micro-networks
within integrated circuits. Our focus is the physical and data link layers, with novel
contributions to wireless channel modeling, waveform design and performance evaluation,
and multiple access designs.
Carolina Microfabrication Center (CMC)
At CMC, we provide a one-stop shop with the facilities and expertise to execute your
nanoscale concept structures and prototypes. Capabilities span the entire range of
nanoscale device development, from lithography, all the way through structural, optical
and electrical characterization. Facilities include mask aligners for photolithography,
RIE etching, RF sputtering, e-beam evaporation, PECVD thin film deposition, rapid
thermal processing (RTP), slow annealing furnaces, spinners, probe stations for electrical
characterization, as well as a whole suite of material characterization. These capabilities
may be useful to fabricate prototype devices in a variety of applications, such as
microfluidics, RF high mobility electron transistors (HEMT’s), nano-biological sensors/systems,
optical sensors etc.
ESRDC - Electric Ship Research and Development Consortium - Dr. Roger Dougal - Site
Our research is developing new multidisciplinary tools and methods for designing revolutionary
naval and marine systems that manage impulsive power and energy demands by applying
dc power technologies at tens of kilovolts and tens-to-hundreds of megawatts. Our
Smart Ship System Design software builds on the solid foundation of our Virtual Test
Bed simulator for multidisciplinary dynamic systems.
In power systems, our research addresses methods and technologies for measuring and
controlling power system stability, for reducing the size, weight, and cost of electronically-mediated
power systems, for designing survivable power architectures, and for developing design
criteria for integrated electrical, mechanical, and thermal ship systems. Finally,
our research is developing novel methods and technologies for control of autonomous
electric power systems, for real time system-wide management of energy and stability,
for intelligent controllers that can function with incomplete and uncertain information,
for real-time estimation of system state, and for control of ~100MJ/second transients.
GRAPES - Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Grid-Connected Power
Electronic Systems - Dr. Roger Dougal - Site Director
Our research looks for new ways to integrate power electronics into the electric grid
so as to support realization of a Smarter Grid. Our research team includes faculty,
staff, and students at both the University of South Carolina and at the University
of Arkansas, and our research projects are supported by paid memberships of interested
industrial organizations. Our Center’s industrial members help us to identify the
most challenging, timely, and crucial technical advances that are needed to move the
FEEDER – Foundations of Engineering Education for Distributed Energy Resources – Dr.
Roger Dougal – Site Director
FEEDER is a Department of Energy-funded initiative to produce more electric power
engineers who are qualified to lead the coming revolution in electric grids. This
revolution will be driven by increasingly cheaper and widely-distributed renewable
energy resources such as photovoltaic solar cells and battery energy storage systems.
Together with smart or controllable loads, these form a group called “distributed
energy resources." Smoothly integrating these resources into our existing electric
grid presents many challenges. But together with our partner schools, we are developing
new courses and programs that will produce the engineers ready to take on these challenges.