The Center for Advanced Communications (CAC), a Villanova/Ben Franklin/National Science Foundation Center was founded to help stimulate regional industrial competitiveness by encouraging collaborations with industry (both large and small companies), emphasizing team-based interdisciplinary engineering, involvement of undergraduate and graduate students, and preparing students to work successfully in industry.
The Center for Advanced Communications was founded in 1990 under the leadership of the late Joseph DiGiacomo. The University established the Center to fulfill its Mission Statement Goal of providing research experience for its students and faculty. During his twelve years as the Director, Mr. DiGiacomo was able to establish Villanova's technology leadership role in the Delaware Valley. By establishing partnerships with industry, state and federal governments, the Center has been involved in projects in the areas of sensor technology, robotics, and broadband communications. In addition, the Center has provided technical assistance and research to small firms through its association with the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Under this program, the Center provides short-term services using funded grants.
Center of Excellence
In 1991, the Center was designated a Center of Excellence for Advanced Communications by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This placed the Center in the unique position of being the only NSF research center at a non-Ph.D. granting institution.
The Center has provided an integrated environment for university, industry, and government to focus on computational, informational, and communication issues. There is a wide variety of application and development domains where information and communication technologies can make a difference.
In August 2002, Dr. Moeness Amin, Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, became the CAC Director. He is credited with transforming the center into “an excellent and rare example of how to sustain and grow a research operation in a smaller university.” Read more about the CAC’s growth under Dr. Amin in “Villanova Engineering Research Center Identified as a Model for Small Universities,” an article based on a report from the National Science Foundation.
The CAC draw, on the average, $3 million annually and has on going collaborates with several universities, research institutes, small, midsized, and large companies, and government labs.