The University of Texas at Austin

This is the home page of the Electrical Engineering Research Laboratory (EERL) at The University of Texas at Austin

We are a research center within the Bureau of Engineering Research, in the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

You can also search the EERL pages.

Thank you for your interest. Please read on to find out more about EERL. If you have any questions or comments, please send mail to Dr. Neikirk at

Organized Research Summary Report


  1. Mission Statement:
  2. Results:
    1. Modeling of Integrated Circuit and Multi Chip Module Interconnects
    2. Satellite Communications
    3. Electromagnetic Scattering
    4. Wireless Communications

Mission Statement:

The overall mission of the Electrical Engineering Research Laboratory (EERL) is to engage in both dedicated and interdisciplinary research studies in areas related to electromagnetic wave engineering. Examples occur in electronics, telecommunications, radar signatures, remote sensing optical communications, and other high frequency applications. The Electrical Engineering Research Laboratory is one of the oldest research centers in the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, founded as an outgrowth of the pioneering research led by Archie Straiton into the atmospheric propagation of millimeter wavelength radiation. Since its inception EERL has continued to lead research in applied electromagnetics at UT Austin. Much of modern communications technology, from signaling between transistors inside a single integrated circuit over distances of only microns, to that between satellites and the earth over distance greater than 10,000 km, is based on the understanding of electromagnetic interactions. The fundamental mission of the EERL is to expand our understanding of such interactions, and to seek new applications of the knowledge so generated.



Dean P. Neikirk, EERL Director (also see the home page of his research group, the Microelectromagnetic Device Group)

Hao Ling (see also Dr. Ling's research group home page)

Lawrence T. Pileggi, who has now moved to CMU; you can now visit him at his CMU home page

Francis X. Bostick, Jr.

Guanghan Xu




Dr. Wolf Vogel, EERL Associate Director



Modeling of Integrated Circuit and Multi Chip Module Interconnects

(work performed primarily under the directions of Professors Larry Pileggi and Dean Neikirk)


As integrated circuit speeds continue to increase, signal propagation along the physical interconnection between the semiconductor devices is becoming the dominant performance limiter. During the last year we advanced several techniques for the extraction and analysis of high speed, lossy interconnects. A patent was also issued for our interconnect evaluation tool, RICE. In addition, we began work on theories and metrics for automating the design of the interconnect circuit structures. Electronic modeling of transmission lines and physical interconnects for high-speed VLSI has also been advanced through the pioneering development of techniques for parameter extraction, model order reduction, and simulation. New results include powerful procedures to obtain interconnect electrical parameters and techniques to reduce the complexity of circuit problems without sacrificing accuracy. Consequently, design automation methods methods could be developed to optimally design and properly terminate a wide variety of interconnect structures for high speed integrated circuits and networks.


Satellite Communications

(work performed primarily under the direction of Dr. Wolfhard J. Vogel)


One are of emphasis for the EERL is the characterization of the Earth-satellite radio propagation channel to enable optimal utilization of limited radio spectrum resources. This knowledge helps relevant industry, government agencies, and international regulatory bodies. Many of our results in the areas of land-mobile satellite communications (LMSS), satellite sound broadcasting (DSB), and low-Earth orbit (LEO) personal satellite communications are now included in International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Recommendations, which have treaty status. We are also helping develop space diversity multiple access (SDMA) technology for terrestrial and satellite personal telecommunications in the Advanced Telecommunications Research Program (ATRP), a research consortium formed to combine researchers knowledgeable in wave propagation, hardware design, and signal processing.


Given satellite communications system parameters such as constellation, operating frequency, and signal structure, the deciding factor in whether a successful connection with a satellite can be made and maintained is the environment in which the Mobile Earth Station (MES) is located. The MES assumes one of three primary propagation states: it receives a clear line-of-sight signal (C), is shadowed by trees (S), or blocked by mountains and structures (B). In addition, it may be affected by multipath echoes. The EERL is developing a new optical method of evaluating where the earth-satellite path is clear, shadowed, or blocked, based on fish-eye lens images. The goal of this research is to employ image-recognition techniques for assigning the three propagation states to azimuth and elevation angles. The results can be used to estimate probability of fade states as a function of elevation angle or diversity gain of a satellite system employing satellite diversity, for a specific environment. With the new image-based technique, the environment can be quantified objectively, opening new avenues for modeling and service prediction.

Propagation Effects for Vehicular and Personal Mobile Satellite Systems: Overview of Experimental and Modeling Results, by Julius Goldhirsh, Applied Physics Laboratory, The Johns Hopkins University, and Wolfhard J. Vogel, EERL, UT-Austin.

Electromagnetic Scattering

(work performed primarily under the direction of Professor Hao Ling)


Research in electromagnetic scattering has been focused on the development of numerical techniques for simulating the electromagnetic phenomenology in complex targets and realistic environments. We are currently involved in funded research programs from the Air Force Wright Laboratory and Lockheed Fort Worth Company to predict the radar cross section from complex targets for applications in radar target identification and low-observable vehicle design. We have also recently begun collaboration with the propagation research group at Pickle Research Campus to simulate propagation channel characteristics in complex urban and indoor environments for wireless communication applications. Another major thrust of our electromagnetic research in the past year is directed toward the investigation of new post-processing algorithms to extract features from radar signatures for visualization, phenomenology understanding and target identification. Under sponsorship from the Air Force Non- Cooperative Target Identification Program, we are developing fast algorithms to speed up the simulation of Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imagery using ray shooting. We are also actively investigating alternative feature spaces such as time-frequency imagery and wavelets as an improved means of extracting physics-based features from electromagnetic signature.


Wireless Communications

(work performed primarily under the direction of Professor Guanghan Xu)


During the last academic year, research in this area was focused on two topics: (1) smart antenna systems for wireless communications; (2) applications of advanced signal processing to semiconductor manufacturing. A major accomplishment of the first project was the establishment of an industrial consortium on telecommunications with support from Motorola, Inc., Southwestern Bell Technology Resources, the National Science Foundation, and URI. More companies such as BNR, MCI, and Ericsson are likely to join. In addition, a full-duplex smart antenna testbed that is the most advanced and flexible testbed among all the universities nationwide was completed; based on this work two invention disclosures have been submitted to the Intellectual Property Rights Committee.

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If you have any questions or comments, please send mail to Dr. Neikirk at