Computer Engineering


Academic Program

The Computer Engineering program in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering offers graduate programs of study which lead to the MS degree (thesis and non-thesis options), the PhD degree and the Doctor of Engineering (DE) degree. Both the Rolla campus and the Engineering Education Center in St. Louis offer MS programs. Selection of specific options and programs of study is determined by students, subject to approval by advisor and department. Graduate programs in computer engineering will generally include specialization in one or more of the following areas:

  • Integrated circuits and logic design: Topics include hardware/software co-design, IC design, electromagnetic compatibility, VLSI design, and secure embedded systems design.
  • Networking, security and dependability: Topics include network analysis and synthesis, cyber-physical systems, wireless networks, sensor networks, dependability, and fault tolerance.
  • Computer architecture and embedded systems: Topics include high performance systems, parallel processors, GPU computing, and heterogeneous systems architecture.
  • Computational intelligence: Topics include clustering, adaptive resonance and reinforcement learning architectures, learning and adaptation, hardware and applications, neurofuzzy regression, traveling salesman problem heuristics, robotic swarms, bioinformatics, medical informatics, machine vision, and automation.

Research Opportunities

Research activity is an essential part of the graduate-level study. There are ample opportunites in the department of Electrical & Computer Engineering for the graduate students to be involved in faculty members' research as listed below. Graduate students are encouraged to contact faculty members for inquiring possible opprotunities to participate in their research.

Levent Acar, Associate Professor

Research area:  Controls

Research interests:  Intelligent control of functional systems, neural networks applied to control, hierarchical design and control of large-scale systems, optimal and suboptimal control for interconnected systems, distributed computational methods of optimal control strategies


Daryl Beetner, Professor and Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Research area:  Digital system design

Research interests:  Design of integrated circuits, electromagnetic compatibility, electromagnetic immunity, detection, identification, and neutralization of electronic devices


Egemen K. Çetinkaya, Assistant Professor

Research area:  Networks & systems

Research interests:  design and analysis of resilient and dependable networks, development and simulation of network architectures and protocols, graph-theoretic approaches for modelling complex networks, graph algorithms, wireless and mobile networks, network security and game-theoretic approaches in networks


Minsu Choi, Associate Professor

Research area:  Computer architecture, digital system design; embedded computer systems; reliable and secure computing

Research interests:  Robust nano circuits and systems, asynchronous circuit design, reliable and secure computing


Mariesa L. Crow, Fred Finley Distinguished Professorship in Electrical Engineering

Research area:  Power engineering

Research interests:  Computer-aided analysis of power systems dynamics and security analysis, voltage stability, computational algorithms for analyzing stressed, non-linear, non-continuous systems, power-electronic applications in bulk power systems (FACTS), and parameter estimation


Kristen M. Donnell, Assistant Professor

Research area:  Electromagnetics

Research interests:  Embedded sensors, modulated antennas/scatterers, microwave/millimeter wave engineering, microwave material characterization, terahertz methodologies, electronics design


James L. Drewniak, Curators Professor

Research area:  Electromagnetics

Research interests:  Investigation of coupling physics and numerical modeling for electromagnetic compatibility in printed and integrated circuits, power electronics and electric machinery; electromagnetic packaging effects and signal integrity; MEMS; numerical electromagnetic analysis; and RF and microwave measurements


Kelvin T. Erickson, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Research area:  Controls

Research interests:  Plant wide process control, model based predictive control, digital control system stability, system identification, fuzzy logic control, biochemical control, and control of manufacturing systems


Jun Fan, Associate Professor and Director for the Missouri S&T Center for Electromagnetic Compatibility

Research area:  Electromagnetics

Research interests:  Intra-system electromagnetic interference, radio-frequency interference, issues for mixed digital/RF systems, signal and power integrity for high-speed digital circuits


Mehdi Ferdowsi, Associate Professor

Research area:  Power electronics

Research interests:  Modeling, analysis, design, and control of power electronic converters, integrated power converters and their industrial applications, digital control of power electronic converters and motor drives, adjustable speed drives, brushless DC (BLDC) and switched reluctance motor (SRM) drives, automotive/aerospace power electronics and motor drives, electric and hybrid electric vehicles, uninterruptible power supplies and active filters, design and control of power factor correctors, and analysis and design of resonant converters and inverters


Chang-Soo Kim, Professor

Research area:  EM/Optics/Devices

Research interests:  Solid-state devices, micro/nanofabrication, sensor engineering, nanotechnology application, biological micro-devices and systems


Jonathan Kimball, Associate Professor

Research area:  Power electronics

Research interests:  Energy harvesting, switched-capacitor converters, microgrids, digital and nonlinear control methods for power converters


Kurt Kosbar, Associate Professor

Research area:  Communications & signal processing

Research interests:  Statistical communication theory, spread spectrum systems, computer-aided design of communication systems, stochastic process theory, digital signal processing


Randy Moss, Professor

Research Area:  Communications & signal processing

Research interests:  Machine vision systems including medical and industrial applications, pattern recognition and image-processing


David J. Pommerenke, Professor

Research area:  Electromagnetics

Research interests:  Electromagnetic compatibility, electronics, instrumentation and measurement techniques, electrostatic discharge, sensors and high-voltage systems


Jagannathan Sarangapani, Rutlege Emerson Distinguished Professor in Electrical Engineering

Research area:  Controls

Research interests:  Systems and Control, Neural Network Control, Event Triggered and Control/Cyber-Physical Systems, Resilience/Prognostics, and Autonomous Systems/Robotics


Sahra Sedigh Sarvestani, Associate Professor

Research area:  Design and modeling of dependable networked systems

Research interests:  Cyber-physical systems, critical infrastructure protection, simulation and analytical modeling of complex networked systems, system and information assurance and networked systems for remote structural health monitoring


Pourya Shamsi, Assistant Professor

Research area:  Power electronics

Research interests:  Smart-grids, stability assessment in micro-grids, energy management, switching power converters, VHF/UHF dc-dc converters, and motor drives


Yiyu Shi, Assistant Professor

Research area:  VLSI Design Automation, 3D ICs, renewable energy

Research interests:  VLSI design automation, 3D IC, renewable energy


R. Joe Stanley, Associate Professor

Research area:  Image and signal processing, computational intelligence, automation, computer engineering

Research interests:  Image and signal processing, computational intelligence, data fusion, automation, bioinformatics, computer-assisted medical diagnostic aides, non-destructive evaluation for structural health monitoring


Steve E. Watkins, Professor

Research and Teaching Interest:  Smart sensor systems, fiber optics, imaging, engineering education and pre-college education


Cheng-Hsiao Wu, Professor

Research area:  Device physics & optics

Research interests:  Quantum computing and cellular automata, quantum resistor network theory, mesoscopic devices and molecular electronics, optical/wave computing, simulation of amorphous silicon thin-film transistors and solar cells, dlts and optical dlts measurements in mos devices, algaas/gaas quantum well lasers and cds diodes, conduction in hetero-junctions, measurement of radiation and high temperature effects of mosfets, random walk theory and applications,surface and interface properties of materials, dielectric breakdown simulation, charge transport in composite and disordered materials, ic fabrication and processing for teaching purposes, dram and sram test structures and failure mode analysis


Donald C. Wunsch II, Mary K. Finley Missouri Distinguished Professor of Computer Engineering

Research area:  Clustering; Adaptive resonance and reinforcement learning architectures, hardware and applications; neurofuzzy regression; traveling salesman problem heuristics; robotic swarms and bioinformatics.

Research interests:  clustering, neural networks, reinforcement learning, approximate dynamic programming, adaptive dynamic programming, adaptive critic designs, adaptive resonance theory, fuzzy systems, evolutionary computation, particle swarm optimization, nonlinear regression, memristors, game of go (Baduk, Weichi), traveling salesman problem, prisoner's dilemma problem, robotics swarms, bioinformatics, self-healing critical infrastructure, smart grid and critical infrastructure and cybersecurity


Chengshan Xiao, Professor

Research area:  Digital Communications, signal processing, wireless communications

Research interests:  Multi-user and Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) communications under finite alphabet constraints, secure communications, information theory, idea-proof hardware implementation for wireless communications and underwater acoustic communications


Maciej Zawodniok, Associate Professor

Research area:  Networks and embedded systems

Research interests:  Wireless sensor networks, wireless ad-hoc networks, mote, energy-efficient protocols, network security, embedded systems, application of control theory and computational intelligence, prognostics, diagnostics


Yahong Rosa Zheng, Associate Professor

Research area:  Wireless communications and digital signal processing

Research interests:  Array signal processing, detection and estimation, real-time signal processing using MCU, DSP and FPGA, wireless communications and hardware implementation, underwater acoustic or Magneto-Inductive (MI) communications, and wireless sensor networks


Reza Zoughi, Schlumberger Distinguished Professor

Research area:  Electromagnetics

Research interests:  Electromagnetics, antenna design, microwave engineering, microwave and millimeter wave nondestructive testing, material characterization, near-field microwave measurements and modeling, modulated scattering techniques, microwave material characterization

Career Opportunities

The Computer Engineering Program is designed to prepare an engineer to work in both the abstract software world, where high level languages and more complexity will often provide a solution to a problem, and in the physical world where designs are often compromises between many opposing factors. The program further prepares engineers to compete in today's rapidly changing marketplace by providing the fundamental concepts and attributes that will enable them to recognize and understand future developments.

The distinction between a computer engineer and the more traditional computer science major or digital design electrical engineer may be in his/her desire to understand and participate in the entire process of using abstract algorithms and data structures to control changes in real physical devices.

There are many aspects to Computer Engineering. A Computer Engineer might be working on the design of a new automobile brake system where a knowledge of the electronic sensors and the dynamic nature of the brakes might be as important as the programming of the I/O handler interrupt subroutine in high level C or assembly language. Another project such as the design of a distributed control system for a factory floor might require the engineer to have background in computer networks and programming as well as an understanding of the manufacturing process.

Recent Missouri S&T computer engineering graduates have been employed in the private sector by several well known corporations including AdTran, Cerner, Caterpillar, Motorola, Intel, and Microsoft. Graduates have also worked in the public sector for the Naval Research Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory.

Because computer engineering is a relatively new degree (when compared to electrical engineering) salary data is not readily available. However, a recent salary survey* conducted by IEEE yielded the following median salaries as a function of degree for engineers working in the computer area. Approximately $120,000 per year for PhD, approximately $106,000 per year for Masters and approximately $98,000 per year for BS.

Note that the data for this survey came from a cross section of IEEE members and therefore includes both new hires and individuals with many years of experience. These median salaries should not be interpreted as median starting salaries. This data also includes members from many different geographic areas.

* IEEE-USA Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey - 2001 Edition, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., Piscataway, NJ., 2001.


Financial Assistance

There are two financial support mechanisms for graduate students: Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) through research participation and Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) by teaching courses. Research assistantships are associated with specific research projects and are dpendent upon the availability of research grants from indidvidual faculty members. Teaching assistanships will be normally considered after completion of first academic semester on campus. More information available here.