Gunar Schirner

Associate Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering



  • 617.373.5707

Research Focus

Embedded computer systems; novel architectures for embedded vision; cyber-physical systems; system-level design and methodologies; hardware/software co-design


Gunar Schirner holds a Ph.D. degree (2008) and a M.S. degree (2005) in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, Irvine. He graduated in computer engineering from the Berufsakademie Berlin, Germany, in 1998. Prior to joining the Northeastern faculty in fall 2009, he was an assistant project scientist at the Center for Embedded Computer Systems (CECS) at the University of California, Irvine. Gunar Schirner also has 5 years of industry experience at Alcatel (now Alcatel-Lucent) where he designed distributed embedded real-time software for telecommunication products. His research interests include embedded system modeling, system-level design, and the synthesis of embedded software.

Research Overview

Embedded computer systems; novel architectures for embedded vision; cyber-physical systems; system-level design and methodologies; hardware/software co-design

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

  • H. Tabkhi, G. Schirner “A Joint SW/HW Approach for Reducing Register File Vulnerability”, ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization (ACM TACO), 2015
  • N. Teimouri, H. Tabkhi, G. Schirner “Revisiting Accelerator-rich CMPs: Challenges and Solutions”, Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Design Automation Conference (DAC), San Francisco, CA, 84, 2015
  • H. Tabkhi G. Schirner “Application-guided Power Gating Reducing Register File Static Power”, IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (TVLSI), 22(12), 2014, 2513-2526
  • J. Zhang, G. Schirner “Automatic Specification Granularity Tuning for Design Space Exploration”, Design Automation and Test in Europe (DATE),
    Dresden, Germany, 2014, 1-6
  • G. Schirner, M. Götz, A. Rettberg, M. Zanella, F. J. Rammig. Embedded Systems: Design, Analysis and Verification, vol/lev. 403, Springer, 2013
  • R. Birken, J. Zhang, G. Schirner. System Level Design of a Roaming Multi-Modal Multi-Sensor System, in Sensor Technologies for Civil Infrastructures: Performance Assessment and Health Monitoring, Ming L. Wang; Jerome P. Lynch, and Hoon Sohn (Editors), April 2014
  • G. Schirner, D. Erdogmus, K. Chowdhury, T. Padir. The Future of Human-in-the-Loop Cyber-Physical Systems, IEEE Computer, vol/lev. 46, pp. 36-45, 2013
  • H. Tabkhi, R. Bushey and G. Schirner. Function-Level Processor (FLP): A High Performance, Minimal Bandwidth, Low Power Architecture for Market-Oriented MPSoCs, IEEE Embedded Systems Letters, 05/2014
  • H. Tabkhi, R. Bushey, G. Schirner. Algorithm and Architecture Co-Design of Mixture of Gaussian (MoG) Background Subtraction for Embedded Vision, Proceedings of the Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers (AsilomarSSC), Nov. 2013
  • R. Bushey, H. Tabkhi, G. Schirner. Flexible Function-Level Acceleration of Embedded Vision Applications using the Pipelined Vision Processor, Proceedings of the Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers Nov. 2013
  • J. Zhang, G. Schirner. Joint Algorithm Developing and System-Level Design: Case Study on Video Encoding, Proceedings of the International Embedded Systems Symposium (IESS), June 2013
  • Y. Ukidave, A. Ziabari, P. Mistry, G. Schirner, D. Kaeli. Quantifying the Energy Efficiency of FFT on Heterogeneous Platforms, IEEE International Symposium on Performance Analysis of Systems and Software (ISPASS), Apr. 2013
  • H. Tabkhi, R. Bushey, G. Schirner. Function-Level Processor (FLP): Raising Efficiency by Operating at Function Granularity for Market-Oriented MPSoCs, IEEE International Conference on Application-specific Systems, Architectures and Processors (ASAP), Zurich, Switzerland, 2014


Sep 10, 2020

Faculty and Staff Awards 2020

Congratulations to all the winners of the faculty and staff awards, and to everyone for their hard work and dedication during the 2019-2020 academic school year.


Jun 10, 2019

ECE PhDs Win Best Student Paper Award at PETRA 2019

ECE PhD students Mo Han, PhD’22, Yagmur Gunay, PhD’21, and Ilkay Yildiz, PhD’22, received the best student paper award at PETRA 2019, which took place in Rhodes, Greece, for their paper “From Hand-perspective Visual Information to Grasp Type Probabilities: Deep Learning via Ranking Labels”.

Oct 06, 2015

Eckelman & Schirner to Represent NU at NAE

ECE Assistant Professor Matthew Eckelman and Associate Professor Gunar Schirner have been selected to represent Northeastern University at National Academy of Engineering's seventh Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) symposium. The attendees were nominated by NAE members or deans and chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

Sep 28, 2015

CEE PhD student David Vines-Cavanaugh wins Young Researcher Award

CEE PhD student David Vines-Cavanaugh won first place for the Young Researcher Award at the International Symposium on Non-Destructive Testing in Civil Engineering (NDT-CE 2015).

Sep 16, 2015

Neural Controlled Prosthetics

ECE Associate Professors Denis Erdogmus, Gunar Schirner, & Taskin Padir awarded $603K NSF grant to develop a Hand Augmentation using Nested Decision (HAND) for those with lost limb function.

Aug 12, 2015

Monitoring Marine Mammal with POAWRS

ECE Associate Professors Purnima Makris and Gunar Schirner were awarded a $300K NSF grant for the "Development of an interim passive ocean acoustic waveguide remote sensing system for instantaneous continental-shelf scale marine mammal monitoring, localization and species classification".

Sep 13, 2013

Optimized Computing Space

Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Gunar Schirner and Professor David Kaeli were awarded a $450K National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop "Power Efficient Emerging Heterogeneous Platforms."  The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and […]

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