ECE students are also conducting research in areas such as cybersecurity, power electronics, space weather, and embedded systems. Read more about undergraduate research.
Undergraduate Design Projects
ECE students are building robots, designing submarines, and competing in electric motorsports races. Read more about student design teams.
Four ECE undergraduates engaged in hands-on research in microelectronics last summer through the Virginia Microelectronics Consortium (VMEC) program.
Launched in 2009, the VMEC Summer Scholars Program connects college juniors and seniors to internships at each of VMEC’s member universities and microelectronics companies. The program provides students insight into the practical applications of their studies by allowing them to work side by side with experienced engineers in industry and academia.
“My mentor’s motivation for the internship was to give me an understanding of how science works in the real world,” said Igor Janjic (ECE ‘14). Janjic completed his internship at Old Dominion University’s Jefferson Laboratories, where he worked to develop a new material with a high coefficient of thermal conductivity by alternating layers of antimony telluride and bismuth telluride into a super lattice form. “I was very pleased by the amount of exposure I got to everything — designing experiments, using equipment, learning from people with a greater experience level,” said Janjic.
Kevin McDermott (ECE ’13) was also impressed with his hands-on experience. Working along the wafer processing line at BAE Systems, “I was in a clean room suit carrying wafers from tool to tool and inspecting them. I implemented chemical- or water-based cleans to reduce defects at specific points along the processing line. I was learning something new every day,” he said.
As a CPE student, Sean Moore (ECE ’12) applied to the program forn a deeper understanding of microelectronics. Moore was placed at the University of Virginia, where he worked to develop a tool to help students test their circuit designs. “My favorite part of the experience was working with a team of researchers,” he said. His computer engineering background made him an especially valuable team member.
Arash Majdi (ECE ’14) interned at Micron, where he worked as a production quality assurance (PQA) intern for the DRAM components group. His coursework in Fundamentals of Semiconductor Devices provided a good background for his work at Micron, he noted. “Before going to Micron, I had no idea how things were fabricated and what the processes behind the scenes are,” said Majdi.
“The VMEC Summer Scholars program is a great experience for undergraduates,” said Majdi. “It exposes you to the real world by teaching you what’s coming in 5-10 years — research done now for the future.”