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Hello Electrical Engineering undergraduates,

This year your EE Department will be organized to better help you participate in undergraduate research (UGR) experiences. I will be the coordinator for the new program, and as such, have assembled the information here. I encourage all of you to consider the possibility of participating in one or more semesters of UGR. The benefits of doing this include:

• Helping you gain perspective on what research and graduate school are like
• Exposure to new technical experiences
• Gaining teamworking skills
• Improving your resume
• Acquiring an interesting experience to talk about at job interviews
• Getting to know your professors on a higher level
• Professors getting to know you better for future job references

Please look over the projects below. If you don’t see what you like, don’t be discouraged. Come and see me about that or any other questions. If you like a project you can visit with me to learn more, or go directly to the professor.

Good luck in the coming semester. Don’t hesitate to seek out the information you need to make the best decisions for yourselves.


Professor Gary H. Bernstein
275 Fitzpatrick


Undergraduate Research Guidelines (EE 48499)

1. Student must be in good academic standing to register for Undergraduate Research (EE 48499).

2. Undergrad research has a per-semester minimum of 1 credit hour.
A maximum of 6 hours may be applied toward graduation,
satisfying EE Elective requirements.

3. For every credit – 3 hours of research must apply, i.e. 3 credits = 9 hours weekly research.

4. Undergraduate research may be carried out in return for academic credit (EE 48499) or for financial compensation as a part-time job. Students carrying out research as a part-time job should still sign up for 0 credits of EE 48499.

5. Student must submit a written report summarizing the research and give an oral presentation concerning the project to at least 2 faculty members, one of whom must be the EE 48499 advisor.

6. Undergraduate Research may substitute for Senior Design under the following conditions: The student must a) find a professor of Electrical Engineering willing to advise a project for two full semesters; b) register for at least 3 credits of UR in each of the two semesters; c) keep a formal research notebook and have it approved by the advisor and a second faculty member at the end of each semester. The project must be approved by the Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Committee to determine its rigor and suitability as research and design experienced. Finally, the student must satisfy all of the rules of UR as stipulated above. No student making this substitution may apply UG research credit to any other graduation requirement.

7. Grades are based on what was accomplished and the effort put forth by the student.

Antsaklis Group

contact information
205H Cushing, 1-5792

Networked Embedded Control Systems

Advances in sensor, actuator and microprocessor technology (MEMS and nanotechnology) have enabled distributed implementation of sensor and control actions over sensor/actuator networks. Such networks may consist of a large number of embedded processors typically of limited processing power, which should perform well under severe resource constraints (e.g. limited battery life) and under unreliable and limited communication conditions (e.g. wireless ad-hoc networks) over wide geographic areas and for long periods of time. These units must coordinate their actions in order to accomplish desired goals, such as controlling the orientation of a group of micro communication satellites or the output of a power plant. In order to build successful networked control systems we need to address novel questions and issues that lie in the intersection of control, computing and communication networks and transcend the traditional problem formulations in those areas.

This research project will focus on building a wireless feedback loop for a ball and beam system and study the implications of networking on the stability and performance of the control system.

Bauer Group

contact information
269 Fitzpatrick, 1-8015

(1) Active light based obstacle avoidance in autonomous vehicles:

This project focuses on simple light based methods to detect and avoid obstacles using (modulated) light sources. A four wheel vehicle and a two track rover are available to test the developed circuits. Most of the required work consists of analog and digital circuit design and vehicle performance testing on a testbed. This is a follow up project to a previous project that was started in Spring 2004.

(2) Beacon based navigation aids for autonomous vehicles:

This project attempts to develop new beacon based guidance methods for autonomous vehicles for GPS denied areas. Global guidance to the general destination area is done by GPS (and is investigated in a separate project in AERO/MECH Engineering - Dr. Batill), but local guidance is done using navigation beacons. This principle has already been proved to work on a testbed and is now ready to be modified for outdoor environments. IR / radio beacons and matched receivers will need to be integrated into the system. Practically all work is hardware related, and a significant amount of time will need to be spent on outdoor testing.

(3) Formation forming in simple agent clusters:

New ultra low complexity circuits and sensors will be investigated for achieving formation forming of mobile agents. There are 3 to 4 four wheel vehicle available for this work and the goal is to demonstrate that certain simple vehicle formations can be achieved with very low complexity systems. This project requires the modification of already existing circuits to change and fine tune the behavior of a single node and as a consequence, the behavior of the entire cluster.

(3) Formation forming in simple agent clusters:

This project attempts to solve problems similar to the traveling salesman problem but with more than one agent. The idea is to serve m targets with n mobile agents (m>n) in a way that is in some form as close to optimal as possible. The focus of this approach is to use potential field methods. The project entails a mix of hardware and simulation work.

Bernstein Group

contact information
225 Cushing, 1-6269

Bipolar junction transistor (BJT) technology has largely been supplanted by CMOS for digital applications, although several analog applications still exist. Prof. Bernstein is developing a new technology for fabricating nanoscale bipolar transistors, a regime which is not normally associated with BJTs. This challenging project will allow interested students to work in the laboratory performing a variety of nanofabrication steps and associated measurements.

Fay Group

contact information
261 Fitzpatrick, 1-5693

Undergraduate research projects are typically available for interested students in any of the research projects in Prof. Fay's group. See http://www.nd.edu/~hscdlab for topic areas and project synopses. Interested students are encouraged to contact Prof. Fay directly (pfay@nd.edu).

Haenggi Group

contact information
274 Fitzpatrick, 1-6103

Our research group currently seeks 1-2 outstanding undergraduate students to join our group and contribute to our expanding research efforts in the Emerging Wireless Architectures (EWA) laboratory. As a member of our team, you will:

  • learn about current technology and research issues in wireless networking, in particular ad hoc networks, cognitive networks, software radio networks, and sensor networks
  • develop skills and experience through a wide range of valuable research activities: from building and experimenting with radio and sensor hardware modules, to implementing sophisticated communications and signal processing software in Matlab, LabView, or C on software radio devices
  • interact regularly with graduate students and faculty, through individual and group meetings
  • All that is required is a solid background in signals and systems (EE30344, perhaps EE30354), eagerness to learn and to work independently and as a team.

    Hall Group

    contact information
    260 Fitzpatrick, 1-8631

    Optoelectronics Laboratory

    Projects related to ongoing photonics research and teaching activities are available. Current projects include: (1) III-V compound semiconductor oxidation experiments [coupled with thin film thickness measurements via prism coupling, variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (VASE), etching/surface profilometry, and/or scanning electron microscopy] to determine oxidation rates and thermal activation energies for different III-V alloys; (2) Variable Angle Spectroscopic Ellipsometry (VASE) measurement modeling and automation using commercial VASE Manager program to develop automatic measurement routines for standard thin films (silicon oxide, silicon nitride, polysilicon, photoresist) used in IC Fabrication Lab; (3) Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) optical waveguide device design, fabrication and characterization, particularly for realization of an arrayed-waveguide-grating (AWG) device, a type of photonic integrated circuit used in wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) based fiber optic communications; (4) Implementation of Gigabit Ethernet optical fiber link using pre-commercial optical transceiver modules donated by Molex.

    During 2002-2003, Mr. Dane Wheeler (EE Class of 2003) worked with Prof. Hall on a silicon-on-insulator optical logic gate project for which he received First Place in the national Intel Student Research Contest.

    Huang Group

    contact information
    259 Fitzpatrick, 1-5480

    Projects of current interests include integration of information technologies into energy technologies, leading to the development of smart power grids. We are seeking students that are interested in surveying issues relevant to smart grid development and working on innovative research related to distributed generation of renewable sources, reliability and security of power grid, transmission and distribution issues (T&D), demand management and response.

    For more information on Dr. Huang's research group, you may visit http://www.nd.edu/~aspect

    Laneman Group

    contact information
    267 Fitzpatrick, 1-8034

    Our group regularly seeks 2-4 outstanding undergraduate students to participate in our research and outreach efforts. As a member of our team, you will:

    All that is required is a solid background in circuits and systems (e.g., classes such as EE20224, EE30344, and EE30354), eagerness to learn, willingness to work independently and as a team, and strong written and oral communication skills. Experience with radio and DSP hardware design, communications theory, networking, or software engineering is a plus.

    Jena Group

    contact information
    271 Fitzpatrick, 1-8835

    1) Characterization of electronic properties of GaN based semiconductors Hall and capacitance-voltage (C-V) measurements are the "workhorses" of characterization in the semiconductor industry and research laboratories. In a recent survey, Hall measurement was ranked as the most frequently performed experiment used in all industry, microelectronic or otherwise! In this project, the undergraduate student will be introduced to the theory and practice of Hall measurements and C-V analysis and will participate in the characterization of various GaN-based structures that concern my current research.

    2) Basic transport software for 1D Poisson solver I want to come out with a software package that will calculate the transport properties of semiconductors based on a set of inputs. A student with good programming skills would find it a good exercise in semiconductor physics. In short, the software would be an application that would take the semiconductor material (Silicon, GaAs, GaN, etc.), the doping and defect density and calculate the mobility and carrier concentrations as a function of temperature. The application would be very useful, on the lines of Prof. Snider's 1D Poisson solver.

    Merz Group

    contact information
    203B Cushing, 1-3111

    Nano-Optics Laboratory

    The Nano-Optics Laboratory specializes in very high spatial-resolution optical spectroscopy utilizing near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) techniques. To do this, we have developed expertise in making optical fiber probes with apertures as small as 50 nanometers. A student project for this research would focus on fiber tip production; that is, making a number of fiber probes for use with our room-temperature NSOM system. This project would involve learning to pull and etch the fibers, evaluating their quality by transmission loss measurements, and gluing them into the system with a tuning-fork distance monitor.

    Pratt Group

    contact infromation
    Prof. Tom Pratt

    Research opportunities are available for undergraduate credit in the following areas:

    Undergraduates who elect to participate in this research will be required to attend a weekly meeting with Dr. Pratt, and must engage in an average of 3 hours of research each week per credit hour. A 15-page research report, an activity log (with hours recorded), and an oral presentation (and demonstration, if appropriate) are required at the conclusion of the research effort.

    Seabaugh Group

    contact information
    230A Cushing, 1-4473

    Undergraduate research projects are available in nanoelectronics, tunnel transistors, memory, energy conversion, or in new areas. Undergraduate researchers typically work closely and in parallel with graduate students to gain appreciation of graduate research.

    Stevenson Group

    contact information
    262 Fitzpatrick, 1-8308

    Course Structure

    The course is run as individual projects (sometimes 2 people team up to work together). After 2-3 weeks of meeting as a group, students select independent projects to work on for the rest of the semester. Meetings with Dr. Stevenson are then held individually once a week for approximately 1/2 hour. Meeting topics generally center around what was accomplished during the past week and current problems or goals.
    At the end of the semester the student must
    • prepare a written report (10-20 pages)
    • give a fifteen minute presentation about the project to two faculty member

    Grades are based on what was accomplished and the effort put forth by the student.

    Research Topics
    Dr. Stevenson's graduate research centers around image and video processing. Any project which can contribute to this effort is acceptable. Some successful example projects which were done in the past include:

    • Image Filtering
    • Video Filtering
    • Parallel Image Processing
    • Image Stabilization

    Dr. Stevenson has plenty of projects which build on these examples and some which take a completely different direction. If the examples interest you stop by to talk to him about specific projects on which you may be able to contribute to as an undergraduate researcher.

    Xing Group

    contact information
    Prof. Grace Xing
    262 Fitzpatrick Hall

    Projects available to undergraduate students:

    1) Design and setup a wafer bonding system. Wafer bonding is a process that joins semiconductor wafers without the addition of an adhesive agent. It is an important technique in applications including microelectronics, power electronics, microelectromechanical systems, optoelectronics and multifunction chips. Its prominent commercial usage is production of silicon-on-insulator wafers (http://www.soitec.com/). In my group, the current interests are to combine various compound semiconductors and Si through wafer bonding. One of the goal applications is AlGaAs/GaAs/GaN HBTs. As the initial stage of the project, it is an experimental experience applying principles of material science, mechanical and electrical engineering.

    2) Develop an ohmic contact process for AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMT) and study contact resistance distributions. HEMT is one of the most important device structures in microwave applications. AlGaN/GaN HEMT is the leading star in high-power high temperature electronics, as demonstrated in the past few years. It also serves as one of the platforms for emerging bio and chemical sensing technologies. The ability of making high quality ohmic contacts is one of the key steps. This project will involve heavily semiconductor processing experiments and electrical testing using nanofabrication facilities.

    In both of the projects above, undergraduate students are encouraged to work with graduate students.