ESE Research Areas
The creation and dissemination of scholarly research in both basic and applied arenas has placed the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the forefront of research and application in the areas of motion-capture, SWARM and Nanotechnologies, cyber-physical systems integration, Metananocircuits, robotics, urban transit, mobile solar power, prosthetic device enhancements and more. Engineers from the department have and are working to relentlessly push the boundaries of current engineering disciplines for the application of existing problems and those of tomorrow.
Physical devices involves applying the principles and methods of electromagnetics and solid state physics and electronics to the design, fabrication, characterization, and modeling of devices from macroscale to nanoscale dimensions. Faculty harness novel physical phenomena to realize unique behaviors that are exploited in devices and circuits. Research directions within physical devices span a broad range of topics from metamaterials, plasmonic optics, nanoscale photonics, fractal electrodynamics, and electromagnetics to macro- and nano-scale electronics, optoelectronics, polymer-carbons composites, and super-capacitors. These research directions are impacting computation, communication, energy, and sensing technologies.
The emergence of networks as pervasive elements of everyday life ranks among the most significant technological accomplishments of the last half century. Our society has been able to engineer networks that have transformed our world and touched upon the whole range of social and natural sciences. Yet, while we obviously master the technology to deploy such networks, our scientific understanding of fundamental phenomena that arise in networked systems remains limited. The signals group at Penn leads a pool of talented graduate and undergraduate students into the development of a deeper understanding of networked phenomena. Our work includes the inception of better protocols for the Internet, the construction of more secure environments for the exchange of information, and the development of formal design methodologies for wireless networks. Our group is also interested in interdisciplinary problems including the economics that govern the adoption of new technologies, the propagation and control of epidemics, and axiomatic constructions of trust propagation in social networks.
This area of research concerns the analysis and synthesis of hardware platforms and software algorithms to sense, plan, and actuate systems in the real world. Experiments on such systems are performed on physical robots as well as in large scale simulations. One key question addressed by the research in this area is how to properly employ feedback from sensors in these systems to ensure stability and robustness in the responses. Adaptation and learning are also crucial to ensure optimal performance in these systems. Students and faculty in this area address these and related issues in their research work.