Aerospace and Mechanical

The faculty of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering strives to offer graduate courses that will broaden the knowledge base of the students. The department has 132 graduate students, 22 tenured and tenure-track faculty and 515k USD research funding per tenured and tenure-track faculty. Professor Harsha Chelliah from the faculty was awarded Associate Fellow of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 2004 and Professor Cindy Chang was awarded General Motors Boss Kettering Awards in 2004, 2005, and 2008.

It aims to provide flexibility within the program students interested to pursue interdisciplinary studies.

The department’s research facilities include :

  • Rotating machinery and controls laboratory
  • Several subsonic wind tunnel laboratories
  • Supersonic combustion laboratory

with an aim to foster problem-solving abilities among students so they can resolve issues beyond their factual knowledge. UVA has the largest university-based injury Biomechanics laboratory in the world, and it emphasizes the impact of Biomechanics for injury prevention.  The department’s vision is to create a vibrant environment that looks to deliver innovation and capture the emerging research areas that address new technological and societal challenges. Three Virginia University satellites including one from UVA were launched into the orbit from the International Space Station in 2019.

Available programs:

  • BS, ME, MS and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering
  • BS, ME, MS and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Biomechanics/injury biomechanics
  • Rotating Machinery
  • Combustion
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Morphing structures/biomimetics
  • Engineering Education
  • Microscale Heat Transfer
  • Mechatronics

List of Labs:

  • The Institute for Nanoscale and Quantum Scientific and Technological Advanced Research
  • Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems
  • Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing
  • Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems
  • Rotating Machinery and Controls Industrial Program
  • Center for Applied Biomechanics


The course has been structured by the School of Engineering and Applied Science to train the next generation of biomedical engineers for healthcare research and development.  The department prides over its excellent faculty consisting of a combination of academic and clinical researchers. It aims to produce competent graduates through effective teaching-learning, state-of-the-art research, and innovation.

Professor Richard W. Kent was awarded Fellow, Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, and Professor Timothy A. Allen received the Faculty Banner Carrier for SEAS Class of 2017 at Final Exercises. In association with experts from the industry, UVA researchers have been putting efforts in building reproducible biomanufacturing processes and aim to make a difference with these experiments to actual healthcare.

Available Programs:  

  • BS, ME, MS and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering

Area of Expertise:

  • Applications for Infectious Diseases
  • Applications for Cancer Fibrosis
  • Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials
  • Applications for Musculoskeletal Diseases
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Applications for Brain Disorders
  • Applications for Cardiovascular Disease
  • Drug and Gene Delivery
  • Systems Biology & Biomedical Data Sciences
  • Biomechanics and Mechanobiology

List of Labs:

  • Center for Advanced Biomanufacturing
  • Center for Engineering in Medicine


Drawing on expertise in areas like catalysis, electrochemical systems, transport properties of biological systems and polymers for membranes and biomaterials, the faculty at the Department of Chemical Engineering bridges the gaps between molecular-level interactions and real-world applications. With the help of advanced molecular engineering strategies, the department is fostering innovation in fields as varied and as important to society as solar energy and battery technologies, natural gas to chemical conversions, water purification, pollutant remediation, tissue engineering and pharmaceutical processing and drug delivery.

It also aims to build community spirit by solving societal problems for a sustainable ecosystem. It encourages its students to be responsible members of the society as adaptable engineers, entrepreneurs or leaders. It has a faculty strength of 22. Professor Bryan Berger won the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Professor Liheng Cai won the Harvard University Postdoctoral Award for Professional Development, 2013.

On average, there are 4 students at the graduate level per tenure track faculty. A high student-teacher ratio is maintained in order to foster excellence in education. The students are encouraged to engage in multidisciplinary research centers across various fields. A research paper by the students of the ChE department was recently published in the Journal of Power Sources focusing on tracking the lithiation and delithiation processes in lithium-ion battery electrodes.

Available Programs:

  • BS, ME, MS and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering.

Specialization Area:

  • Catalysis
  • Electrochemical Systems
  • Transport Properties of Biological Systems
  • Polymers for Membranes and Biomaterials.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Biotechnology and Biomolecular Engineering


This field of engineering garners huge employability, and hence about 75% of the graduates from UVA’s Civil Engineering program are employed in industries, consulting firms, and government agencies. The department has an excellent award-winning faculty who have received recognitions which include Memberships in the National Academy of Engineering, NASA innovation awards, etc. Prof. Reid Bailey received the Hartfield-Jefferson Teaching Award in 2011.

The department encourages students to write a thesis and acquire research experiences. It aims to create resilient systems to meet the requirements of the community in a collaborative effort between the students and the faculty. The department provides courses which are interdisciplinary in nature, and in order to ensure this, it actively collaborates across disciplines including public policy, business, public health, etc.

Available Programs:

  •  BS, ME, MS and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering.

Specialization Area:

  • Environmental engineering
  • Transportation
  • Structural engineering
  • Health/medicine
  • Financial systems
  • Human factors
  • Cybersecurity.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Informatics for Intelligent Built Environments
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Resources
  • Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure
  • Smart Cities
  • Smart and Connected Infrastructure Systems
  • Structures and Mechanics

List of Labs:

  • Center for Transportation Studies
  • Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability University Transportation Center
  • Environmental Resilience Institute

Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science has around 200 graduate students. There has been a 97% rise over the past five years in the number of graduate students enrolled in this branch. The students of this department are currently engaged in cross-cutting research in labs throughout the School of Engineering.

The department aims to foster amongst the students an inclination towards solving problems faced by society in the fields of healthcare, neuroscience, and sustainability. UVA Cyber Defense team defeated nine teams in 2019 to win its second National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. Professor Mark Sherriff from the department won the IEEE Computer Society Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2016.

Available Programs: 

  • BS in Computer Science
  • BA in Computer Science
  • BS in Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Computer Science (MCS)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computer Science.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Computer science education
  • Cybersecurity and Cryptography
  • Software engineering
  • Grid/cloud/high-performance computing
  • Computer graphics and vision Cyber-physical systems, ad-hoc wireless sensor networks, wireless health
  • Algorithms
  • Programming languages and compilers
  • Computer architecture
  • Machine learning, text mining, information retrieval, and Bioinformatics

Electrical/ Electronics

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has a faculty strength of 43. In addition to this, it has 14 IEEE fellows. The department aspires to be the leader of innovation in fields such as cyber-physical systems and multifunctional materials integration. The department has extensive partnerships with researchers around the world which facilitate a wider range of interaction thus giving an edge to the students. The department focuses on smart energy management and the creation of life-saving healthcare devices. Faculty accomplishments include Professor Homa Alemzadeh winning the William C. Carter Dissertation Award in Dependability, 2017.

Available Programs: 

  • BS, ME, MS and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering

Specialization Area:

  • Terahertz and photonic devices
  • Signal and image processing
  • Advanced controls.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Control Systems
  • Cyber-Physical Systems and Data Science
  • Embedded Systems
  • Nanoelectronics
  • Optoelectronic Devices
  • Wireless and Optical Communication Systems
  • Low Power Design
  • VLSI Design
  • Millimeter-Wave and Terahertz Electronics
  • Signal and Image Processing
  • Computer Networks

List of Labs:

  • Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies
  • Multi-Functional Integrated System Technology Center


The Department of Engineering Systems and Environment was formed in the year 2018 to solve some of the urgent engineering problems pervading in society. The main objective of the department is to strategically integrate civil and environmental engineering and Systems and Information programs and placing this integrated combination at the center of human and socio-technical engineering studies.  It seeks to train students to become the leaders of tomorrow in a collaborative environment which brings together the best of a classroom, laboratory and field learning.

The programs offered by the department are :

  • Ph.D.
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Science degrees in civil engineering
  • Systems engineering

Students pursuing these degrees often specialize in areas such as :

  • Environmental engineering
  • Transportation
  • Structural engineering
  • Health/medicine
  • Financial systems
  • Human factors
  • Cybersecurity

Areas of Expertise:

  • Informatics for Intelligent Built Environments
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Resources
  • Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure
  • Smart Cities
  • Smart and Connected Infrastructure Systems
  • Structures and Mechanics 

Material Science

UVA’s Department of Material Science and Engineering has consistently been in the top 30 MSE departments nationally. The department consists of 24 nationally renowned professors including 8 endowed chair-holders and recipients of 35 fellow-of-technical-society awards. Professor Liheng Cai received the Harvard University Postdoctoral Award for Professional Development in 2013.

It supports around 85 graduate students involved in research and related activities every year. The department has excellent laboratories in two buildings, Wilsdorf Hall and the Materials Science building. The department strives to work across disciplines to foster innovation amongst students and encourage them to find solutions for the problems faced by the society and develop cutting-edge products. 

Available Programs: 

  • Master Of Materials Science And Engineering (MMSE)
  • Master Of Science (MS)
  • Doctor Of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • MSE Minor
  • MSE Concentration With an ES/BS. 

Specialization Areas:

  • Corrosion
  • Electronic materials
  • Surfaces and interface science
  • Electronic materials
  • Computational materials science.

Areas of Expertise: 

  • Nanoelectronics and 2-D Materials
  • Magnetic Materials
  • Computational MSE
  • Corrosion and Electrochemical Sciences and Engineering
  • Metallurgy
  • Intelligent Processing of Materials
  • Materials Characterization
  • Surface and Interface Science and Engineering
  • High-Temperature Materials Science and Oxides

List of Labs:

  • Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering
  • Rolls-Royce University Technology Center
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