Feb 25, 2021  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
  
2020-2021 General Catalog

Electrical and Computer Engineering


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Department Head: Jacob Gunther
Location: Engineering Laboratory 149A
Phone: (435) 797-8340
FAX: (435) 797-3054
E-mail: diane.buist@usu.edu
WWW: http://ece.usu.edu

Undergraduate Advising:
Engineering Advising Center, Engineering 314A, (435) 797-2705, sarah.wallace@usu.edu

Graduate Program Coordinator:
Tricia Brandenburg, Engineering Laboratory 149A, (435) 797-2840, tricia.brandenburg@usu.edu

Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Electrical Engineering; BS and MS in Computer Engineering; Master of Engineering (ME)

Graduate specializations: ME—Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering

Undergraduate Programs

Accreditation

The ECE Department offers a balanced curriculum of classwork, laboratory work, and design experiences to prepare students for careers as practicing engineers. Both the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and the Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

Details about the program educational objectives and student outcomes for these programs of study can be found at Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for students desiring to major in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering are the same as those governing admission to the College of Engineering , except that students must also be “calculus ready”. That is, they must (1) achieve a score of 27 or higher on the Math ACT test; or (2) complete MATH 1050  and MATH 1060  or MATH 1210  with a grade of B or better; or (3) achieve an AP score of at least 3 on the AB Calculus or BC Calculus test.

Electrical Engineering

The Electrical Engineering program helps to prepare students for careers as practicing engineers by offering a balanced curriculum of classwork, laboratory work and design experiences. Coursework covers basic science (with an emphasis on physics), mathematics, computer programming, English, humanities and social sciences. Building upon this foundation, core engineering courses help provide students with a solid foundation in circuit and signal analysis, design and analysis of electronic circuits and the design of digital circuits and microprocessor and FPGA-based systems. Throughout these engineering courses, an emphasis is placed on computer-based tools and experience is provided using modern laboratory equipment.

The major includes courses in senior design, in which students use the skills they are acquiring in the design, analysis, and implementation of a significant project. The design process also includes a significant writing component, in which students exercise technical writing and project documentation skills. Students frequently work in teams on these projects, both within the department, as well as with teams of students from other engineering departments. Senior projects may be done with industry sponsorship, or in conjunction with an internship at a company.

Many students obtain experience and earn summer income by taking internships at engineering companies. Several companies actively recruit USU students. These internships provide excellent experience for students, as well as potential employer contacts.

The electrical engineering degree option builds upon the core engineering concepts by including electromagnetics, with elective options for control systems, signal processing, electronics, communications, power systems and spacecraft systems design. These topics are important in most conventional engineering areas, including communications, transportation, and defense industries. 

Students also have the flexibility to choose from among a wide variety of additional technical electives, covering such engineering areas as antenna design, computer architecture, optics, microprocessor interfacing, real-time processing, and networking as well as options in computer science, physics, mathematics, and other fundamental sciences.

In cooperation with other departments, all students are encouraged to complete one or more minors in mathematics, computer science, physics, or other appropriate fields of interest to the student.

Electrical Engineering (EE) Minor

The Electrical Engineering minor provides non-majors the opportunity to develop skills related to electrical engineering that will prove useful in their careers. It is primarily intended for students majoring in other engineering disciplines or in physics, but may be valuable to students more broadly.

Computer Engineering

The Computer Engineering program helps to prepare students for careers as practicing engineers by offering a balanced curriculum of classwork, laboratory work, and design experiences. Coursework includes basic science (with an emphasis on physics), mathematics, computer programming, English, humanities and social sciences. Building upon this foundation, core engineering courses help provide students with a solid foundation in circuit and signal analysis, design and analysis of electronic circuits and the design of digital circuits, microprocessor and FPGA-based systems, computer systems, and networking. Throughout these engineering courses, an emphasis is placed on computer-based tools and experience is provided using modern laboratory equipment.

The major includes courses in senior design, in which students use the skills they are acquiring in the design, analysis, and implementation of a significant project. The design process also includes a significant writing component, in which students exercise technical writing and project documentation skills. Students frequently work in teams on these projects, both within the department, as well as with teams of students from other engineering departments. Senior projects may be done with industry sponsorship, or in conjunction with an internship at a company.

Many students obtain experience and earn summer income by taking internships at engineering companies. Several companies actively recruit USU students. These internships provide excellent experience for students, as well as potential employer contacts.

The computer engineering degree builds upon the core engineering concepts by providing greater depth in programming, digital system design, and computer architectures. These topics help prepare students for positions in computer-related work. 

Students also have the flexibility to choose from among a wide variety of technical electives, covering such engineering areas as communications, electromagnetics, antenna design, computer architecture, VLSI design, controls, optics, microprocessor interfacing, real-time processing, electronics, power systems and controls, as well as options in computer science, physics, mathematics, and other fundamental sciences.

In cooperation with other departments, all students are encouraged to complete one or more minors in mathematics, computer science, physics, or other appropriate fields of interest to the student.

Career Opportunities

Electrical and computer engineers design, analyze, program, and supervise the production and manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as computers, computer peripherals, digital multimedia equipment, robotics and autonomous vehicles, cell phones, radar, test equipment, electric vehicles and many other products used in modern society. They contribute in important ways to transportation industries (automotive and aeronautical), the computer industry, and national defense. Engineers are also employed in technical sales and support positions for business and scientific equipment. Many engineers work for private industry or form their own companies. Others work for large corporations, such as Micron, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Adobe, Agilent, and Hewlett-Packard.

Engineering also forms a strong foundation for graduate studies in other areas, such as bioengineering, law, business, or (with additional courses in biology and chemistry) medicine. The job placement rate for students graduating from USU’s electrical engineering program is nearly 100 percent. 

Program Requirements

Prior to entry into the upper-division classes, the student must meet the standards for entry into the Professional Engineering Program. Additional information concerning these items is given in the College of Engineering  information. It is the responsibility of students to be aware of these rules and procedures; however, advisor assistance is available.

Additional Information

For more information about Bachelor of Science requirements and the sequence in which courses should be taken, see Electrical Engineering - BS  or Computer Engineering - BS  in the online catalog. 

Student Research Opportunities

Undergraduate students are extensively involved with research activities in the department. Electrical engineering majors and computer engineering majors have presented papers at research conferences and have won prizes. They have also designed satellites for deployment from the space shuttle and from rockets. Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty members are dedicated to helping students and providing a challenging and interesting learning atmosphere. For additional information, see the Research section under Graduate Programs.

Financial Support

Scholarships, assistantships, grants-in-aid, and work-study programs are available through the University. In addition, the department employs undergraduate and graduate students to assist in engineering research and development.

Concurrent BS/Master’s Program

The concurrent BS/Master’s program allows engineering students to begin taking graduate-level classes during their senior year. This permits them to complete requirements for both the BS degree and the Master’s degree concurrently in five years. Students in this program have a greater selection of graduate courses, since many graduate courses are taught during alternate years. In addition, the student’s senior design project could be a start for a graduate design project or thesis. Both the BS and the Master’s degree can generally be earned with 150 total credits. The department requires that students have a minimum GPA of 3.3, both overall and during the last 60 semester credits, in order to qualify for acceptance into the concurrent BS/Master’s program. (For more information, see the College of Engineering .)

Graduate Programs

Accreditation

Details about the program educational objectives and student outcomes for graduate programs of study can be found at Graduate Assessment.

Admission Requirements

See general admission requirements on the graduate school website. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering from an ABET accredited program and having a 3.0 GPA or better can generally be admitted without restriction. Additional coursework in electrical and computer engineering fundamentals may be required in individual cases. Students must take the general GRE exam; however, the subject GRE is not required. All graduate students are expected to have a working knowledge of a high-level computer language (preferably C or C++).

Applications may be considered throughout the year. Generally, students desiring acceptance for the following fall semester should have their applications submitted by January 1 and students desiring acceptance for the following spring semester should have their applications submitted by July 1. Financial aid may be awarded at any time when a student is accepted, based on student qualifications.

No applications will be considered until all required information arrives in the office of the School of Graduate Studies.

Degree Requirements

Specific requirements for the ME, MS, and PhD degrees are outlined in the programs section; these are in addition to the general requirements of the School of Graduate Studies.

Research

The research program of the department, which includes both undergraduates and graduates, is internationally recognized in the fields of space instrumentation and measurements, signal and image processing, communications, electromagnetics, computer architecture, power systems and controls.

The department conducts extensive research through the following centers and labs:

  1. Anderson Center for Wireless Teaching and Research
  2. Anechoic Chamber
  3. Center for Advanced Imaging LADAR (CAIL)
  4. Center for Space Engineering (CSE)
  5. Computer Networking Lab
  6. Electric Vehicle Roadway (EVR)
  7. Information Dynamics Laboratory (IDL)
  8. Radio Frequency Micro/Nano Electromechanical Systems Laboratory
  9. Rocky Mountain NASA Space Grant
  10. Sustainable Electrified Transportation Center (SELECT)
  11. Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL)
  12. USU Bridge Lab
  13. USU Power Electronics Lab (UPEL)

Research activities include robotics, autonomous air/ground vehicles, control systems, digital system design, computer systems, computer networks, power systems, electric vehicles, antennas, space systems, image processing, digital signal processing, wireless communications, embedded systems, and LADAR/LiDAR systems.

Financial Assistance

All applicants who are accepted academically are automatically considered for financial aid. Many successful graduate students in the department do receive some level of financial aid during their degree program.

FACULTY - College of Engineering 
 

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