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Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing

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Electrical Engineering

Our Research

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.

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.


Research Strengths

EE students working on project outside, it illustrates a field measurement scenario to characterize wireless communication signal propagation

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. 

  1. Conformal antennas, wireless power transfer and sensing, reconfigurable antennas, and metamaterials.
  2. 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.
  3. Wireless channel characterization, Ad Hoc communication networks, modulation/detection PHY/MAC, random process modeling, and electromagnetics modeling.
  4. Signal processing methods, intelligent air-interfaces, waveforms, sequences, machine learning, radio access technologies, broadband mobile networks, and wireless communication standards.
  5. 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. 
drone flies over trees

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.

  1. Networked real-time control systems, fault-tolerant control, cooperative control, optimization, system verification, nonlinear system design. 
  2. 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. 
Two people in white personal protective gear working in a lab, shows researchers working inside a microelectronics cleanroom facility.

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 computing infrastructure. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Bandgap materials and devices and III-nitride power microwave devices and integrated circuits. 
Student look at circut boards on a shelf, it illustrates a researcher working in a power and energy systems laboratory.

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 systems. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Power electronics applications in energy systems, power phenomena and compensation in non-sinusoidal systems and power quality.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, etc. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.