Raluca Ilie

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Raluca Ilie
Assistant Professor
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
5054 ECE Building
306 North Wright Street
Urbana Illinois 61801

Primary Research Area

  • Remote Sensing



  • Ph.D, Space and Planetary Physics, University of Michigan, 2010

Research Statement

Space Weather impacts numerous facets of everyday life and can have detrimental effects on engineering infrastructure, such as the power grid, satellites, navigation systems, avionics, air travel, telecommunications and more. Therefore space weather prediction is critical to forewarning of solar events that could generate severe space weather at Earth.

My research addresses this need for predictive capabilities by developing and improving high-performance, first-principles computational models to describe and predict the hazardous conditions in the near Earth space leading to geomagnetic storms. I employ a combination of global, multi-physics, large-scale numerical models together with measurements from space borne instruments and ground based stations to study the dynamics of plasmas and electromagnetic fields in the geospace environment. These include three-dimensional global magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) magnetospheric modeling, kinetic drift physics simulations as well as data analysis and interpretation from the TWINS, Cluster, NOAA-POES, THEMIS, Van Allen Probes spacecrafts.

Combining numerical modeling with space mission data quantitatively addresses the flow of energetic particles through the magnetosphere as influenced by global fields, kinetic effects, and loss processes. This provides critical insight into the complex physics describing the Sun's effects on near Earth space in global unified way.

Research Interests

  • Kinetic theory and modeling
  • Multi-physics, large-scale simulations of plasma transport and dynamics in the Earth's magnetosphere
  • Developing theoretical and predictive models of the space environment

Research Areas

Research Honors

  • International Space Science Institute (Bern, Switzerland) - Team Leader (2016-2017)
  • International Space Science Institute (Bern, Switzerland) - Early Career Scientist (2012, 2015)
  • NSF Geospace Environment Modeling Postdoctoral Fellowship (2011-2013)

Courses Taught

  • ECE 329 - Fields and Waves I
  • ECE 598 - Solar System Electrodynamics