The School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS) at DU is home to a wide variety of research expertise. The following four pillars of research highlight the existing and growing academic strengths of the faculty and the schools mission to address the great challenges facing society in the 21 stCentury.
DU Unmanned Systems Research Institute (DU²SRI)
The DU Unmanned Systems Research Institute (DU²SRI), formerly known as the DU Unmanned Systems Lab, was established in November of 2012 to promote knowledge, education, research and development in unmanned systems. The Institute contributes to advancing higher education benefiting students, scientists, researchers, engineers, practitioners and end-users, also advancing the state-of-the-art in unmanned systems. It is the vision of the Institute to collaborate with Spaceport Colorado and to play a key role in the State's efforts to push forward the frontiers of unmanned systems, which will result, among other things, in building the next generation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to be gradually integrated into the National Airspace.
DU²SRI Research Video - Click Here!
In further detail, the Institute objectives are to: Educate students, scientists, researchers, engineers, practitioners and end-users, who are interested in learning and advancing their knowledge about UAS, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs), and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs); Conduct, coordinate, and promote research in building the next generation of unmanned systems in general and UAS in particular that will be used for a wide spectrum of civil/public domain applications; Function as the focal point within the State of Colorado for basic and applied research and development activities in unmanned systems; Serve as a demo site for unmanned vehicles; Provide the foundations for technology transfer to the private sector; Contribute to paving the way towards gradual integration of UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS), also assisting third parties to obtain Certificates of Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); Participate in State-wide UAS research and development initiatives offering its know-how and expertise; Assist in economic development and creation of new jobs by graduating the next generation of highly skilled scientists and engineers, ready to compete in a very demanding global market; Bridge the gap between military and civilian application domains.
Enhancing Physical and Mental Abilities through Medical Engineering
The field of biomedical devices is expanding its role into therapeutics through local medication and treatments. Engineers, computer scientists and medical researchers are strengthening their collaborations to develop smarter joints, smarter implants, smarter artificial organs, and smarter organ repair, while tracking and understanding the complex connections within the human brain that could result in new therapies for Down Syndrome, Autism, Parkinson's Disease, and Alzheimer's Disease. Through medical engineering, SECS faculty and students are developing transformative technologies that will result in life style management for the elderly and disabled, and new medical and diagnostic technologies for the treatment of neuro-psychiatric conditions.
A team of senior DU engineering and computer science students were selected as one of six finalists to compete in a national design project sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineering. The students, in collaboration with Craig Hospital and faculty across three academic departments, have developed a low-cost device to control a computer or iPad using eye motions, allowing paraplegic patients with traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries the ability to communicate electronically. The students' design will reduce the purchase price for the device from over $5,000 to a little over $100 per unit, thereby making the technology available to virtually everyone who needs it. The competition will took place this summer at the ASME Summer Bioengineering Conference in Puerto Rico.
Eye Tracker Video:
Center for Orthopaedic Biomechanics
The Center for Orthopaedic Biomechanics at the University of Denver applies engineering principles to investigate clinically relevant issues. Using a combination of experimental and computational tools, the Center performs research in joint mechanics, human motion, musculoskeletal modeling, modeling fluid-solid interactions, wearable sensor systems, and implant device testing.
Housed in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at DU, the Center for Orthopaedic Biomechanics is a dynamic research environment committed to advancing orthopaedic biomechanics, improving patient outcomes and educating students. With current grants from NSF, NIH, implant manufacturers and research foundations, the Center is performing state-of-the-art research and has a strong record of publication and external support. The faculty is committed to student experiences at all levels: undergraduate, MS, PhD and post-doctoral fellows. Please see the individual laboratories and research projects pages for more detail on current activities.
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Visit the DU Center for Orthopaedic Biomechanics
Sustainable Integrated Power and Energy
Optimizing efficiency, ensuring maximum reliability, and adhering to resource constraints and limited budgets are all critical pieces of any successful energy management system. Demand for smarter engineering and design of water management and energy management systems (i.e. Smart Grid) are ever-increasing. The Renewable Energy and Power Electronics Laboratory at the University of Denver conducts extensive research in areas of renewable energy and distributed generation, smart grid, power delivery, power electronics application, power system protection, power system restructuring, and hybrid electric propulsion systems. Visit Dr. Gao and his research team in the Renewable Energy and Power Electronics Lab for more information.
The Safety, Security and Rescue Research Center (SSR-RC)
Our Mission: To en able in tegr ative, multi-disciplinary research in information and intelligent systems to improve all aspects of homeland security by creating partnerships between academia, industry, and the public sector.
Industry Directed Consortium: Industry members, not faculty, drive the center's research agenda using the NSF industry/university cooperative research center formula refined over 30 years and 50 centers. For an annual fee, with a substantially reduced overhead rate, members review and choose research projects twice a year.
37:1 Return on R&D Investment: Members jointly choose projects of 12-month duration that are pre-competitive or high-risk. Member companies pool research dollars and share royalty-free licenses.
Unique Access and Facilities: Members have opportunities to participate in high fidelity field exercises to test their equipment in cooperation with University of Denver, University of Minnesota, and University of Pennsylvania faculty and students. Student resume books are distributed and student internships with members are encouraged.
Local, State, & Federal Involvement: Leading representatives from the public sector serve as advisors and agencies participate in a number of ways. Federal agencies can transfer money via MIPRs and Inter-agency Agreements, allowing the SSR-RC to be the center of choice for studies and projects requiring a true multi-disciplinary systems perspective.
Grounded Basic Research: Universities provide a pool of expertise for harvesting in all disciplines of information and intelligent systems: bioinformatics, business systems, computer science, engineering, robotics, psychology, public health, marine sciences. Faculty have significant funding in artificial intelligence, biosensors, coordination of unmanned systems,data mining, energy and power, human-robot interaction, networks, robots, team processes, and video surveillance. Visit the website at SSR-RC.
At the University of Denver, we not only teach creation of games for the entertainment industry, but also focus on humane games. We have coined the term "humane games" to encompass three subfields:
• Games for education
• Games for medicine and health
• Socially conscious games
The faculty and graduate students engaged in this Computer Science research and scholarship believe that games have the potential to improve society as well as provide entertainment. Visit Dr. Leutenegger to learn more or his website on the DU Game Development Program.
Information Security and Privacy
The Department of Computer Science has an active research group in information security and privacy, dedicated to creating security software that is directly useful to a broad audience, going beyond the usual construction of academic proof-of-concept prototypes. They believe in full disclosure and educate students in all aspects of security, including attacking the security of systems.The Colorado Research Institute for Security and Privacy (CRISP) is an active research group in information security and privacy at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Denver. To learn more about this research visit Dr. Dewri's page.
Nanoscale Science and Engineering
The Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering is a unique partnership between the faculty of several departments of the University of Denver interested in nanoscale science and technology. It combines the disciplines of biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physics, conducting state-of-the-art research in the area of nanoscience and nanoengineering. Visit John Evans Professor Dr. Maciej Kumosa.
The faculty of Department of Computer Science at the University of Denver is internationally recognized in the field of software engineering research. They study and develop methods, tools, and techniques that aim to improve the practice of software engineering and thereby help engineers create sophisticated software products with the desired functionality, with enhanced quality and robustness, and within predictable schedules and budgets. Research is focused on tools, metrics, software testing, reliability, productivity assessment, program comprehension, maintenance, evaluation of distributed systems, multi-criteria system evaluation, testing of embedded and intelligent systems, and energy-aware software engineering. Dr. Matthew Rutherford does the software engineering for unmanned / autonomous systems (UAVs). Many of our faculty members work on various research projects together across all of our academic units. This multidisciplinary research and pedagogy is followed by undergraduates under the Common Curricula and followed at the graduate level through cutting-edge research.
Computer Vision & Robotics
The University of Denver has an active research group in Computer Vision, Pattern Recognition and Image Understanding. We are working on fundamental problems in this field and their applications to Robotics, Psychology and Developmental Learning, as well as Security and Surveillance systems. We have received about $800K funding from the National Science Foundation in the last three years (2009-2011) in support of our research. For further information, please visit Dr. Mahoor's Research Page.
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Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE)
The Electrical & Computer Engineering Department (ECE) under the leadership of Department Chair, Kimon P. Valavanis, ECE and the School of Engineering & Computer Science successfully completed the ABET accreditation in October of 2010 for the Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE) degree programs. ABET's positive observations and comments were on the strengths of the undergraduate common curriculum (enhanced) the Mechatronic Systems.
The creation of the Mechatronics Systems Engineering degree programs and concentration, collaborates very closely with the Computer Science Department and Computer Engineering programs and research. The degree program in (MSE) is multifaceted and very unique. The new PhD program in Mechatronic Systems Engineering (MSE) started on September 1, 2010.
The School of Engineering & Computer Science (SECS) at the University of Denver, is the only University in the U.S. that offers BS, M.Sc, and PhD degrees in Mechatronic Systems Engineering!
The Mechatronics Systems Engineering programs involve the integration of mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering to design complex systems to perform real-world tasks. The advent of inexpensive and relatively powerful microprocessors and microcontrollers has allowed almost any purely mechanical system (i.e. a car engine or a garage gate) to acquire some "intelligence" or to be controlled far more effectively than before. Mechatronic systems have become so pervasive and essential to everyday life that it is almost impossible to go through your day without using one. The ubiquitous presence of mechatronics creates a wide variety of employment and/or research opportunities for the student to master this multidisciplinary field, with the ability to integrate systems of components and people from differing engineering disciplines. The two main areas of specialization are Computer Systems and Mechanical Systems. These include courses in computer and mechanical engineering accompanied by a series of control courses and machine learning. Furthermore, the program offers research opportunities in the areas of robotics and unmanned systems, which allow for a deeper understanding of the mechatronics principles and give "hands-on" experience to the students. Examples of student projects range from model cars controlled by smartphones, automated landing platforms for small helicopters, to miniature radar systems and swarms of robots. Learn more about the graduate programs in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, here!