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Work Environment for Graduate Research Assistants in Computational Engineering 

Computational Engineering (CmE) is a nontraditional engineering specialty motivated by an emerging revolutionary impact of computational modeling and simulation on engineering analysis and design. The CmE program emphasizes student research in which students’ thesis and dissertation topics are related to complex, difficult, real-world engineering problems from the research program at UTC's SimCenter: National Center for Computational Engineering. Research conducted by Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) thereby makes significant contributions to sponsored research at the National SimCenter. Another distinguishing attribute of UTC’s CmE graduate program is the emphasis placed on team research on multiple related problems, which provides opportunities for significant student interaction with multiple academic and research faculty. In effect, the student work environment is one of participating as junior members of teams made up of academic and research faculty, research staff, and other students. The CmE program thereby seeks to produce graduates who can both develop and apply advanced computational simulation and design software for real-world engineering analysis and design problems. Because of the program’s team-oriented work environment, graduates also become prepared to contribute their expertise while participating in multidisciplinary teams.

Graduate Research Assistantships – Eligibility

The CmE program has a limited number of Graduate Research Assistantships available to eligible M.S. and Ph.D. degree candidates. These assistantships are competitive and therefore interested candidates should submit their applications as soon as possible. To be eligible for consideration, students must (1) be provisionally admitted to the UTC Graduate School, (2) have at least a 3.2 (out of 4) GPA on their Master’s program (for Ph.D. students) or a 3.0 (out of 4) GPA on their Bachelor’s program (for M.S. students), and (3) have scored a minimum of 675 on the Analytical and 675 on Quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Note: This requirement is for international students only.

Stipends and Fee Waivers

Graduate Research Assistantships are 12-month appointments and carry with them an annual stipend of $21,000 for Ph.D. students and $18,000 for M.S. students. Note that a GRA award includes waivers for tuition and fees which (currently) are valued at up to approximately $21,300, thus bringing the total awards for M.S. and Ph.D. students to approximately $39,300 and $42,300, respectively.

Interested candidates should contact the Computational Engineering Department Head, Dr. T. W. Swafford (, ph: 423-425-5507.