Bioengineering is a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field that combines tools and methodologies from engineering with the health sciences. Bioengineers strive to understand biological systems, from molecules to whole organisms, from a quantitative and analytical perspective. In doing so, bioengineers enhance our ability to measure, image, repair or replace physiological substances or processes, and can uniquely address challenges at the interface of biology and medicine.
Training in this field prepares students for either graduate school, professional programs, or for positions in industry. Exciting career opportunities exist for bioengineers at the B.S. level in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device industry as well as in hospitals, federal labs, and environmental agencies. In order to prepare students for careers in bioengineering, the department faculty does research in emerging areas of bioengineering (such as neural engineering, cell and tissue engineering, and bioinformatics), and maintains strong interactions with faculty in the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, the Department of Biological Sciences, and other engineering disciplines.
The Bioengineering curriculum includes rigorous training in physiology and engineering fundamentals while building the trademark interdisciplinary repertoire of bioengineering with courses such as artificial organs and bio-optics. Each student must complete a program of required courses in one or more specialized areas (medical imaging, biosensors, rehabilitation engineering) best suited to the student's interest.
Bioengineering at the University of lllinois at Chicago distinguishes itself by offering a curriculum that reflects the contemporary convergence of intensive computation and molecular biology. From this pedagogical premise, the student will encounter educational opportunities that are quantitatively rigorous and yet recognize the significant contributions made by the empirical biological sciences.
In the chemical engineering curriculum, students learn to apply chemistry, physics, and mathematics to the industrial-scale production of chemicals, including petroleum products, polymers, pharmaceuticals, electronic devices, and foods. This program also explores chemical engineering applications in environmental protection, waste treatment, the creation of alternative energy sources, and other frontiers such as microelectronic materials and nanotechnology.
The B.S. in Chemical Engineering program offers expertise in a wide variety of areas, including thermodynamics, separation processes, transport phenomena, reactor design, combustion, and process control. Students may use elective courses to specialize in these and other areas. The program's goal is to prepare students for careers in industry or government, and for further study at the graduate level. As the only chemical engineering department at a public university in the Chicago metropolitan area, this program provides unique opportunities for students to interact with world- class industries through research projects and internship programs.
Civil engineering is a broadly based discipline that encompasses many specialties in the areas of construction materials, environmental risk assessment and control, geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, hydraulics and hydrology, structural engineering, and transportation. By careful selection of elective courses, a student may choose to specialize in one or two technical areas. The civil engineering curriculum provides students with a strong background in engineering and applied sciences for professional careers in industry or government and for further graduate studies in civil engineering or related fields.
The Materials Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago is an interdisciplinary program designed to educate students who will be comfortable moving between disciplines and facilitating interactions among scientists and engineers with different backgrounds. The program is research based, emphasizing hands on involvement of students in materials research programs and requires theses of all M.S. and Ph.D. candidates. The program is centered in the College of Engineering. A small core of fundamental courses on the chemical, physical, and mechanical properties of materials is offered in the Civil and Materials Engineering Department, but the strength of the program is the variety of specialized materials related courses offered throughout the University.
Computer Engineering is concerned with the application of electrical engineering and computer science principles to the design of computer systems and digital networks. Through creative utilization of tools and knowledge, a computer engineer designs digital systems that are being employed in virtually all fields of human endeavor. This requires a background in physical sciences, information sciences, electrical engineering and computer science.
Computer engineering requires skills in both the design and development of computer hardware and computer software. Depending on need, the computer engineer may work with electrical engineers, computer scientists, information systems experts, bio- medical researchers, and people in almost any other field. The diversity of products that involve the design talents of a computer engineer is unlimited. These range from large to small computers to special purpose computing hardware and software embedded within devices and systems. The applications, for example, are in business to organize, process, and communicate data, communications over mobile and satellite networks, digital sound and picture processing for entertainment, household appliances, automotive systems, manufacturing process control, biomedical instrumentation, machine control, and innumerable other fields. The emphasis in computer engineering is on the design of hardware as well as software tools and systems for the acquisition, processing, storage, and transmission of data and signals by digital means.
All students are required to obtain a strong mathematical foundation, including discrete mathematics and probability and statistics. Each student acquires a common background in the fundamentals of electrical engineering and computer science. This includes course work in computer languages, data structures and algorithms, software design and development, circuit analysis, signal processing, computer architecture, digital networks, microprocessor based design, digital electronic circuits design, and computer operating systems design. Furthermore, in consultation with an adviser, each student can follow an individualized program by taking courses selected from a departmentally approved list of technical elective courses for computer engineering. In almost all course work, students do design projects while learning to apply basic computer tools. As a senior, each student gains further design experience working on a two-semester design project involving practical application of engineering principles.
Computer science is a relatively young but extremely rich and diverse discipline. At one end of the spectrum, computer science may be viewed as the formal study of what can be computed and what resources are required for computation. At the other end of the spectrum, computer science may be seen as the application of human resources, software and, of course, computers to solve computational problems relating to society's and individuals' needs.
A well-trained computer scientist requires a knowledge of both ends of this spectrum-and several points in between. The Computer Science program in the Department of Computer Science is intended to provide that broad background. Along with a strong theoretical component, the Computer Science program places special emphasis on the development of applied skills in design, implementation, and validation of computer systems. In our experience, industry and graduate programs alike value-above all-people who can solve real problems, and who come prepared to use the tools of their trade.
All students acquire a common background in the fundamental areas of computer science: computer systems, organization and architecture, algorithms and data structures, principles of software design, elements of the theory of computation, and operating systems. In addition, students obtain specialized backgrounds through the selection of five technical elective courses in computer science. Required and elective courses in the sciences and mathematics, along with additional courses in writing, humanities, social sciences, and the arts give students the opportunity to expand their horizons and to prepare for multi disciplinary careers.
There are very few areas in modem society untouched by computer science. Computer science is present in everything from health care, telecommunications, and entertainment, to transportation, education, and defense. The result of this diversity is that a computer scientist must be capable of working with people outside his or her field. In support of this, the Computer Science program provides its students with a well-rounded education requiring significant course work outside the Department of Computer Science, placing a strong emphasis on writing and communication skills.
Given the breadth and diversity of the computer science discipline, the Department of Computer Science also offers a computer systems option within the B.S. program in computer science. Computer systems represents a sub-specialty that provides more emphasis on understanding and designing computer hardware. The student continues to learn the fundamental areas of computer science: programming, data structures, discrete math, algorithms, formal languages, architecture, and operating systems. Unlike traditional computer science, however, the student also studies low- level circuit analysis and high-level system design, and has the option to take additional hardware-oriented courses. The result is a unique blend of computer science and computer engineering.
The Electrical Engineering curriculum is concerned with analysis and design of modem electronic systems, devices, and signals for a broad range of applications such as wireless or network communication, electrical power and control and multimedia information technology. The curriculum provides a wide background in the fundamental theory of electrical engineering and in the mathematical and scientific tools necessary for an electrical engineer to meet the current and future challenges of a professional career.
The field of electrical engineering is currently evolving at a rapid pace since it has a major role in the accelerated growth of the technological world. This requires the modern electrical engineer not only to have a sound basis in the fundamental principles but also to have the capacity to learn and assimilate novel advances as soon as they materialize. These qualities are anticipated in the curriculum, which includes not only a sound theoretical background but also offers a variety of courses that develop the student's ability to gain knowledge autonomously and to combine it with contemporary design techniques. Courses are in diverse areas such as signal processing, power electronics, communications, optical and electromagnetic technologies, control systems, integrated circuits, multimedia networks, and image analysis.
The curriculum includes both required and elective courses. The required courses are in engineering, mathematics and physics, and they provide a wide backdrop in science and engineering. The elective courses are more specialized and offer a broad range of electrical engineering applications. Each student is assigned a faculty adviser who assists in the selection of the courses.
In addition to classroom experience, the electrical engineering curriculum is planned also to provide laboratory experience in electrical and electronic circuits, electromagnetics, communication and signal processing, controls, computers and digital systems. The curriculum also incorporates design projects in the student's experience starting from the freshman year and culminating in a capstone design project in the senior year. The project requires the students to undertake a significant group design that enriches their knowledge in practical aspects of engineering principles and methodologies. Most of these projects solve realistic problems and the results are presented in an exposition. The curriculum also requires the students to acquire oral and writing skills in expressing their professional ideas and ethical norms. Opportunities are available to participate in the activities of the student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and Eta Kappa Nu, the honor society of electrical engineering.
Industrial engineering is concerned with the design, improvement, and installation of integrated systems of people, material, and equipment. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skills in the mathematical, physical, and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering design to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems. By collecting, analyzing, and arranging such knowledge, industrial engineers enable management to utilize resources effectively and efficiently.
In order to design and operate complex systems, the industrial engineer must acquire comprehensive knowledge in the following areas.
Manufacturing engineering is involved with planning and selecting manufacturing methods, with designing and developing manufacturing equipment, and with increasing the efficiency and productivity of current manufacturing technologies as well as creating new ones. Manufacturing engineers use materials science, metal cutting and forming theories, stochastic-dynamic models, principles of numerical and adaptive control, engineering statistics, and other physical sciences to solve manufacturing problems.
A new area in manufacturing is virtual manufacturing which combines virtual reality techniques, factory design, equipment design, training and contamination control in industrial applications. Production engineering deals with the analysis, design, installation, and maintenance of operational and management systems involved in the production and distribution of goods and services. Such topics as quality control, production scheduling, production planning, inventory control, and maintenance policy are included in this area.
Systems engineering involves the theory and practice of modeling a general system design. The systems engineer develops mathematical, statistical, and computer models of complex systems to predict how a design or policy change will affect the real world.
Human factors, maintenance, and safety engineering deals with the problems caused by the interaction of complex man-and- machine systems. The engineers in this area apply knowledge about sensory, perceptual, and mental characteristics in the engineering design of equipment and facilities to ensure worker comfort and safety.
Because the training of industrial engineers is so broad, they are in demand not only in all types of industry but also in service organizations such as hospitals, banks, insurance companies, and research laboratories. The program also emphasizes computer applications, professional ethics, communication skills, ability to work in a multi- disciplinary team and awareness of broad education, life-long learning, and contemporary issues.
Mechanical engineering is essential to a wide range of activities that include the design, development, manufacture, management, and control of engineering systems, subsystems, and their components. Typically mechanical engineers are employed by the manufacturing, power, aerospace, automotive, materials, and processing industries. As a result of the recent rapid expansion of technology, mechanical engineers also have become increasingly involved in computer-aided design and visualization; robotics; bioengineering; environmental engineering; solar, wind, and ocean energy sources; and space exploration. The breadth of the field provides the graduate with many possibilities for a satisfying career.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers an ABET- accredited program of study leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. The program has been developed to provide students with a broad base on which to build a successful mechanical engineering career. Some of the courses involve mechanical design and as such deal with the fundamentals of kinematics, mechanisms, stress analysis, dynamics and vibration theory, fluid mechanics, material properties, CAD/CAM and robotics. Other courses deal with thermodynamics, heat transfer, and combustion and their applications to all types of power equipment including internal combustion engines, nuclear reactors, heating and refrigeration systems, electronic heating and cooling, and solar energy collectors. The program also emphasizes computer applications, professional ethics, communication skills, ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team and awareness of broad education, life-long learning and contemporary issues.