The electrical and microelectronic engineering department offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees that combine the rigor of theory with the flexibility of engineering practice. From technology development to technology application, the innovations of electrical and microelectronic engineers are shaping our future.
Electrical engineering is focused on developing and innovating the technology surrounding electricity, electronics, circuits, and embedded design systems. They work on a wide variety of electronic components, devices, and systems found in computers, robotics, telecommunications, power systems, and more. Microelectronics is a field within the broader electrical engineering discipline. Its focus is on the design and development of microchips and the fabrication and manufacturing of the very small electrical designs, circuits, and integrated electronics found in medical devices, satellites, automobiles, appliance, and more. As its name implies, microelectronics relates to the study and manufacture of very small electronical designs and circuit components. Also referred to as nanotechnology or nano-processing, microelectronic engineering deals exclusively with electrical systems, circuits, and devices on the smaller, or nano-scale.
Electrical engineers synthesize science, mathematics, technology, and application-oriented designs into world-class consumer products, timely microprocessors, state-of-the-art computers, advanced electronic components, and much more. From cutting-edge technology revolutions to real life applications, the innovations of electrical engineers continue to lead the future and elevate the standards in the marketplace.
With a shortage of electrical engineering talent in the job market, demand for RIT graduates remains at an all-time high. RIT’s highly regarded electrical engineering program uniquely combines the rigor of theory with hands-on applications and laboratory experiments in order to provide in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. To this effect, students gain mastery of mathematics and scientific principles in their first two years of study while exploring world-class design practices using our modern labs that are equipped with state-of-the-art industry standard equipment and software applications. Core electrical engineering subjects are studied in the next two years in order to provide a firm foundation for a variety of advanced topics, concentrations, and specializations. In the fifth year, students typically specialize in an area of professional interest while undertaking a significant multidisciplinary senior design project that leverages their comprehensive knowledge of the art while providing a fertile ground for interactions with colleagues from other disciplines. Furthermore, the last three years of study include alternating semesters of cooperative educational experiences in an industry setting. These provide students with the ability to form instrumental partnerships with industry leaders while gaining an equivalent of one year of pertinent, hands-on experience.
Goals and Mission
The goal of the electrical and microsystems engineering department is to establish RIT’s electrical engineering program as one of the top programs of its kind in the nation. To achieve this goal, the curricula are designed to apply a foundation in mathematics and the sciences to the varied disciplines of electrical and microelectronic engineering. Students will develop the appropriate skill set to have an immediate impact in the workforce, pursue graduate studies, embrace life-long learning, and experience career growth. The programs also prepares students to become engineers who can adapt to technological change and practice the profession with a social conscience.
How would you like to work in a field that uses your science and engineering education to impact virtually every aspect of human life; entertainment, health, education, transportation, communication, and even clean (green) energy? Integrated microelectronic or nanoelectronic circuits and sensors drive our global economy, increase our productivity, and improve our quality of life. The quest for speed and increased functionality helps to drive innovation. These amazing “chips” are at the heart of just about every product we purchase and the demand for increased electronic content continues to grow. Microelectronic engineers are at the forefront of these efforts.
RIT’s microelectronic engineering program is the only accredited Bachelor of Science program of its type in the United States and is considered a world leader in the education of semiconductor process engineers. Students gain hands-on experience in the design, fabrication, and testing of integrated circuits in our outstanding student-operated IC fabrication facility. Students are well-prepared in a broad curriculum that includes math, physics, and the humanities, in addition to a solid understanding of electronics and circuits and cleanroom fabrication techniques. Students study subjects such as IC manufacturing, design of experiments, photolithography, nanotechnology, sensors, and photo-voltaics. RIT’s microelectronic engineering program is providing “mindpower for tomorrow’s technology” through highly qualified graduates entering the semiconductor industry or going on to graduate school at RIT or many other fine programs nationally and internationally.
The microelectronic engineering curriculum is designed to create engineers trained in device design, micro or nano-fabrication, lithography, and electrical characterization for the diverse semiconductor manufacturing industry.
The mission of the program is to produce graduates who will apply a foundation in mathematics and the sciences to the varied disciplines of microelectronic and electrical engineering. Students will develop the appropriate skill set to have an immediate impact in the workforce, pursue graduate studies, embrace life-long learning, and experience career growth. The program also prepares students to become engineers who can adapt to technological changes and practice the profession with a social conscience.
First Undergraduate Microelectronic Engineering Program in the World
A 1980 study at RIT that was sponsored by Texas Instruments revealed a critical national need for engineers suitably qualified to enter the growing semiconductor industry. At the time, Texas Instruments was hiring graduates from RIT’s imaging science program to work as photolithography engineers, but they realized that while these students had knowledge in optics and chemistry, they lacked sufficient depth in semiconductor devices, circuits, or processing techniques. To respond to this need, RIT launched a Bachelor of Science degree in microelectronic engineering in the fall of 1982. The program was created to specifically address the need for engineers trained in micro-fabrication, device design, and characterization. The program was the first of its kind at the undergraduate level in the world and was also the first to be fully accredited by ABET. RIT created the microelectronic engineering curriculum to combine the disciplines of imaging science and electrical engineering. It is important to note the strong core electrical engineering component to the program. This is the basis of the program’s location in the electrical and microelectronic engineering department.
The BS degree in electrical engineering and microelectronic engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. For Enrollment and Graduation Data, Program Educational Objectives, and Student Outcomes, please visit the college’s Accreditation page.
Faculty members in electrical and microelectronic engineering
Undergraduate, graduate, and accelerated dual degree options
The big wheel will turn, but the hamsters will be humans instead. Students in RIT’s Engineering House built a Human Hamster Wheel, and instead of running in circles, as the cliché goes, their 7-foot wheel will produce electricity. Open to children and adults, the wheel will be one of many interactive exhibits featured at this year’s Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival on April 27.
The electrical engineering and microelectronic engineering programs both have industrial advisory boards that provide guidance on curriculum development, program goals and objectives, research initiatives, and more.
The Electrical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board consists of industrial, government, and academic affiliates. They meet annually in the first week of May for review and assessment of the electrical engineering program. The board’s objectives are to:
Review the electrical engineering program’s goals and objectives.
Provide feedback related to the electrical engineering curricula and research directions.
Actively participate and provide comments, suggestions, and feedback on academic issues, especially with respect to the ABET accreditation criteria.
Assist in defining electrical engineering program objectives.
Review content of key courses in the curriculum for currency and relevance to professional practice.
Exam the applicability of faculty research and development activities.
Enhance the visibility of the electrical and microelectronic engineering department.
Assist the department in recruiting top students and faculty.
Serve as a corporate liaison to facilitate development of co-ops and internships for electrical engineering students.
Advise on capital development efforts.
The Microelectronic Engineering Industrial Advisory Board meets regularly to review, discuss, and advise the program faculty on issues related to our educational and research mission in the area of semiconductor manufacturing and microelectronic engineering. Many of the advisory board members are representatives of companies that have provided program support over the years and are affiliates of our program. Many are also alumni of our program. Some of the companies represented on the microelectronic engineering industrial advisory board include:
The faculty and students in microelectronic engineering focus their research in a broad variety of interdisciplinary fields that can be roughly divided into five different categories.
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS or Microsystems), which includes biological, chemical, and physical sensors with integrated CMOS electronics.
Advanced compound semiconductor devices, processes, and circuits.
The application of new materials and characterization techniques to advance electronic devices.
Advanced integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing including design, simulation, fabrication, characterization, statistical analysis, and testing.
Micro/nano educational outreach at all levels.
These research areas can be viewed as cutting across many more general research challenges in areas of health care, transportation, energy, and communication technologies. Our faculty routinely partner with faculty from other colleges internal and external to RIT to enable their work by leveraging our micro-fabrication expertise. Faculty work with high school students (summers), undergraduate students, master’s, and Ph.D. students.
Prof. Mukund does cutting edge research in analog and RF integrated circuit design. His current research is focused on the migration of fundamental analog circuit blocks from 28nM planar technology to 14nM FinFET technology, which is sponsored by RAMBUS, Inc. He and his team of students were one of the first to come up with working RF front end circuits that were self healing, including LNAs, mixers and VCOs in the multiple GHz frequency range. His work has been sponsored by NSF, SRC, LSI, K-Micro, Harris and others.
High-performance, low-power, lightweight, and low-energy implementations for cryptographic solutions providing various security mechanisms/properties are being researched and developed for different platforms, applicable to constrained, sensitive nodes in different applications ranging from industrial networks to implantable and wearable medical devices deeply embedded in the human body.
Research and development of custom, low power, high performance, digital systems for target applications such as image processing, color space conversion, audio processing, and general digital signal processing, with proof of concept emulated in reconfigurable hardware devices, such as FPGAs and/or CPLDs. Research and development of computer architectures for late and post silicon technologies.
Research in the Electromagnetics Microwave and Antenna Laboratory activities include theoretical modeling and measurement of microstrip antennas and integrated microwave circuits, composite right/left handed materials and applications, numerical optimization techniques, and bioelectromagnetics. Recent research projects include the following.
The project is the development of a noninvasive technique for measuring blood glucose levels. The feasibility of monitoring and estimating glucose level in real time using a microstrip antenna strapped on a patient’s arm has been demonstrated successfully. Work under progress is the optimization of the technique with a larger sample of patients
Left handed metamaterials and applications:
Negative permittivity or zero permittivity materials known as left handed materials have some unique properties that overcome wavelength size limitations imposed by right handed materials. The Nanoplasmonics and Metamaterials Research group at RIT has created different types of left handed materials which we have implemented for reducing antenna sizes by 70% and for enhancing gain. A variety of projects with LH metamaterials is being pursued.
Wireless Medical Telemetry:
This is a collaborative antenna research with the Communications research group. Creeping wave antennas have been designed and constructed for wireless body area networks. Data packets providing received signal strength indicators are used to demonstrate that creeping wave antennas provide reliable on-body communications while significantly reducing inter-network interference.
Wireless Network-on-Chip (WNoC):
This is a collaborative project with the Digital Systems Group. the principal aim is to explore methods for achieving thermal efficiency in multicore chips with wireless interconnects for operating at 60GHz. Wireless interconnects have been successfully designed and modeled in a novel 3-D WNoC of different configurations with embedded micro fluidic layers to address the interior heating. It is also shown that there is no transmission at the clock frequencies.
The Dynamic Energy Systems Laboratory at the Rochester Institute of Technology is motivated by the current need to provide cleaner, renewable, and more efficient electric power to mitigate the harm that fossil fuels have on the environment. We are investigating the integration and management of renewable sources and energy storage to the utility grid and microgrid networks through the use of power electronics and control. Moreover, optimization and robust control techniques are being investigated to optimally operate these electric networks and increase their stability margins.
With rapid developments in satellite and sensor technologies, there has been a dramatic increase in the availability of multi-modal imagery albeit through remote sensing, multimedia or biomedical type applications. For example, the WorldView-2 sensor can capture images at less than 0.5 m resolution with a collection capacity of 300,000 sq mi/day. Similar challenges are also present in multimedia and biomedical areas. To this end, full motion video (FMV) content is being acquired on an ongoing basis via airborne sensors and UAVs for extracting intelligence to perform day-to-day reconnaissance, combat support, forensic analysis, security, and search/rescue duties. Hence, several FMV Terabytes are being uploaded daily and manually analyzed, contributing to a multi-billion dollar budget. Consequently, techniques for assisted analysis are urgently needed to support analysts in generating effective results in an efficient and timely manner.
The mission of the Image, Video and Computer Vision laboratory (IVCVL) is to conduct research and explore algorithms to establish a firm foundation for mining, exploitation, interpretation, enhancement, classification, storage and compression of multimodal imagery by performing meaningful segmentations//analysis that efficiently combine spectral, gradient, motion and textural information in order to facilitate effective classification of objects/regions that are similar but spatially separated and/or undergoing varying degrees of occlusion. Achieving these objectives will allow analysts/image experts to organize, sort, query information which will facilitate better decision making/understanding in the various image analysis tasks.
The mission of the Multi Agent Bio-robotics Laboratory is to study robotics and biologically inspired learning models for multi-agent and complex system of systems. There are three main track of funded research in MABL: Embedded Fault Analysis and Prognosis, Bayesian Network Learning for Knowledge Discovery, and System of Systems Engineering. In addition, the characterization and modeling of materials for MEMS devices including soft and active materials is also another partially funded research activity. There are other ongoing research activities in Machine Learning and Robotics fields. More specifically, MABL students have designed humanoid and hexapod series of robot with full inverse kinematics and control. Finally, the navigation and localization of mobile robots for the disabled is another important research endeavor where some funding has been secured for designing and testing of a Smart Walker for elderly.
Dr. Monteiro’s research interests lie in the theory and application of machine learning, focused on problems in robotics and remote sensing. The primary goal of his research is to develop practical probabilistic methods to enable agents to sense, learn and act in complex, dynamic environments. His research seeks to address the major challenge of how to build efficient, accurate 3D representations of the surrounding environment to enable robust, long-term operation of autonomous systems. He has made many contributions in the field of hyperspectral image and signal processing. Applications of interest include environment monitoring, disaster response, defense, and biomedical imaging.
Research activities in the Communications Laboratory are in the areas of Wireless Communications, Signal Processing and their use in biomedical, vehicular and industrial applications. Specific topics of investigation include reliable low-power communications in the presence of channel fading conditions, securing communications with low overhead on system resources and unobtrusive monitoring of physiological state. Much of the research is performed in the context of Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) used to monitor the health of patients. For more information please visit Dr. Tsouri's site.
Synthesize science, mathematics, technology, and application-oriented designs into world-class consumer products, timely microprocessors, state-of-the-art computers, advanced electronic components, and much more.
Electrical engineering encompasses disciplines such as electronics, communication, control, digital systems, and signal/image processing. A minor in electrical engineering provides a foundation to explore specialized material in electrical engineering. The minor provides students from other engineering or non-engineering disciplines an introduction to the wide-ranging content of the electrical engineering major.
The microelectronic engineering minor provides basic integrated circuit fabrication skills to students from science and other engineering related disciplines whose career path may involve the semiconductor industry. RIT has one of the finest cleanrooms in the world specializing in undergraduate microelectronic education. This minor enables students to utilize these state-of-the-art facilities while they develop the skills they need for success in the industry.
Numerous clubs and organizations provide opportunities for electrical and microelectronic engineering students to engage in dynamic projects that apply the skills they learn in the classroom to real-world applications of engineering theory and practice.
Society of Automotive Engineers and FSAE Competition Team: The purpose of the RIT Society of Automotive Engineers is to give students the opportunity to meet with senior engineers in industry and provide students a chance to apply their classroom knowledge in various projects.
Society of Women Engineers: The Society of Women Engineers at RIT is a student-run organization that organizes functions each semester, such as guest speakers, high school outreach, community activities, tours, social events, and events with other student organizations. The RIT chapter is strongly committed to the encouragement of women in pursuing a career in engineering or related fields.
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers: The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers is an association of professionals and students in engineering, science, technology, business, and other related disciplines at RIT. SHPE’s basic thrust is to identify and promote professional growth opportunities for Hispanics.
National Society of Black Engineers: The student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers is dedicated to the retention, recruitment, and successful graduation of its members.
Aero Design Club: The student chapter is dedicated to promoting careers and opportunities in the aerospace industry.
Formula One SAE Racing Team: Our award-winning SAE team builds a car from the ground up every year. Purchasing only the engine block, tires, and bulk materials, it is entirely designed and constructed by our students to compete in national and international competitions.
The Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering Department offers a variety of resources for our students that vary from academic support to handbooks and more. Visit our Student Resources page for more information.