EE Areas of Specialization
Each student must select an option area within their major (EE or CmpE). See the option area descriptions below and refer to the Technical Electives for Areas of Specialization table for a listing of required and suggested elective courses. Each student must formally declare an option area before graduation and complete the specified courses required by the respective option area.
The Bioengineering Option applies Electrical Engineering domain expertise to challenges faced by the health care and life science communities. The option targets the development of (a) hardware and software for the acquisition, analysis, and presentation of biomedical data and (b) mathematical and computational tools for the simulation and analysis of biological systems. Some courses emphasize emerging consumer technologies whose mobile, wireless capabilities advance the use of telemedicine, intelligent wearable systems, and home care tools as supplements to traditional hospital-based health care. Others focus on applications of complex-system and control theory to model, analyze, and optimize biological systems at different time and space scales. Students in this option area value the positive impact that engineering can make on quality of life for all individuals, including vulnerable elderly, disabled, and rural populations.
Communication Systems & Signal Processing
This option prepares students with the knowledge and techniques underlying products such as cellular phones and wireless LANs. Wireless communication systems are emphasized, but the background extends to applications as diverse as audio signal processing, antenna design, and radars. Students choosing this option area should have a good foundation in linear systems and electronics. These students will be prepared for careers ranging from government labs engaged in national defense to companies that push the evolution of cellular phones into the next generation.
This option focuses on digital hardware design with emphases on microprocessors and field programmable gate arrays. It is similar to the Embedded Systems option within the Computer Engineering program, but it focuses less on software and more on high-performance circuit design techniques. See the Embedded Systems description for more information on careers applicable to this area.
Integrated Circuits and Devices
The Integrated Circuits option deals with custom IC design, semiconductor device fabrication, and optoelectronic devices such as detectors and optical fibers. Whereas all-digital systems may be implemented with FPGAs and microcontrollers, high-performance mixed-signal systems often require custom circuit design and knowledge of the underlying physical manufacture and operation of these devices, which include transistors, on-chip passives, and optical components. Students in the IC option gain the extra depth of understanding needed to push the boundaries of electronic circuit performance and find jobs in leading companies and national laboratories.
The electric power industry is in the midst of exciting change. What was once a largely passive system is being redesigned to incorporate sensors, smart devices, advanced computer controls at many levels, and efficient handling of large amounts of electrical energy. Courses focus on modeling of different components of the system, design and operation of large interconnected power systems, fault analysis and protection, power electronics technologies for control of power devices, and renewable energy technologies. Students are exposed to smart grid concepts and various computer tools needed for analysis and design of efficient power systems. Students engaged in this option expect to work on challenging problems related to the delivery of large amounts of electrical energy in a safe, reliable, economical, clean, and sustainable manner.