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Research

Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Research

The Electrical and Computer Engineering department nourishes a vibrant research environment motivated by our dedicated faculty and graduate students. Our research programs are funded by many government agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of Homeland Security, and numerous local and national industries.

Research activities at the ECE Department can be classified by research areas and by research centers and institutes. The department offers eight research areas of focus and is either the lead or partner of nine research centers and institutes.

Faculty also conduct research in their labs. View faculty profiles to learn about their research, including work being conducted in their laboratories. Also, view our Scholarship Reports and college-wide Research Initiatives.


Quick Facts

$32M

external research awards (2019)

58

tenured/tenure-track faculty

21

affiliated faculty

10

research centers and institutes (leading or affiliated with)


Research Strengths

Our research strengths encompass the full gamut of cutting-edge ECE technologies: embedded systems and internet-of-things, robotics and cyber-human systems, networking (mobile/wireless as well as the Internet of the future), big data analytics and machine learning. Northeastern’s historic strengths in ECE include communications and digital signal processing, power and control systems, power electronics, RF/microwave magnetic materials, device technologies, and computer engineering.

Biomedical Research and Collaborations

Northeastern ECE faculty are engaged in a range of biomedical projects in collaboration with fellow world-class researchers in the Boston-area medical community. These projects span all disciplinary areas and include MEMS/NEMS sensors for biological detection; applications of wireless technology in biomedical implants; biomedical imaging hardware and signal processing; brain-computer interface technologies; disease detection and tracking; and many more.

Recent News

Improving the Cybersecurity of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

ECE Assistant Professor Xiaolin Xu, in collaboration with Houbing Song at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Jiawei Yuan at UMass Dartmouth, was awarded a $500K NSF grant for “Bolstering UAV Cybersecurity Education through Curriculum Development with Hands-on Laboratory Framework”.

COE Faculty Awarded Seed Funding in Collaboration with University of Maine

BioE Assistant Professors Jiahe Li and Mingyang Lu, ECE Professor & Chair Srinivas Tadigadapa, ECE Assistant Professors Sarah Ostadabbas and Xue “Shelley” Lin, and ECE Associate Research Scientist Ataur Katebi were among the faculty chosen for five competitive collaborative research projects with the University of Maine in the areas of artificial intelligence, earth and climate sciences, health and life sciences, manufacturing, and marine sciences.

Transferring Energy Wirelessly to Power Devices

ECE Professor Kaushik Chowdhury and Research Assistant Professor Yousof Naderi were awarded a patent for “Distributed wireless charging system and method.”

Using Robots for Testing Medical Protective Equipment

During the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, ECE Associate Professor Taskin Padir and his research team, including electrical engineering co-op students, created a method to use robotic technology to assist manufacturers in the testing of surgical masks and gowns, which otherwise would have been shipped to testing facilities that could take months for results.