January 2015
Letter from the Editor
Pritpal Singh,
Villanova University

Dear ECEDHA Members, Industry Partners, and Colleagues,

Welcome to the January 2015 issue of the ECE Source.  I hope that you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and are ready for the start of the spring term.

The January issue of the ECE Source includes two feature articles focused on teaching innovations.

The first article is by Prof. Dennis Silage of Temple University and describes a new course on mechanical engineering for electrical engineering students.  We are very familiar with survey electrical engineering courses tailored to the needs of mechanical engineering students, but in this article, Dr. Silage describes a mechanical engineering course customized to the needs of electrical engineering students.


Current Views
Barry Sullivan
Barry Sullivan, ECEDHA

Innovative Engineering Education: A 2014 Retrospective


I scan a variety of news sources on a daily basis, on constant alert for articles of interest to readers of the ECE Source.  As an avid reader, it's one of the duties I enjoy most.  In reviewing the articles I have earmarked over the past year, I found several related to innovations in engineering education, the theme of this month's issue.

>> Read more

Featured Articles
ME for EEs - Where are the ME Courses in the EE Curriculum?

By Dennis Silage, Temple University
An unfortunate premise is that undergraduate EE programs seem to be unable to accommodate within their curricula substantive ME courses.  Alternatively, a single course obliquely called ME for EEs, a counter to the EE for MEs course usually required in the ME program, may be necessary in the EE program.

Computer-assisted Grading for Engineering Educators

By Bryan A. Jones

As engineering educators, there's never enough time to truly care for all the demands of teaching a course: grading, labs, confused students, course preparation.  Technology can make us more efficient, helping us as educators to teach well by teaching efficiently. As researchers in the discipline of electrical and computer engineering, we are uniquely qualified to create tools to enhance our students' understanding while also enabling us to be more efficient. This article presents a tool developed by the author to improve the grading process.


ECE in the News
Tiny School Olin Aims for Big Impact
By Callum Borchers (January 20, 2014, Boston Globe)

In early December, a group of five college students and recent graduates received $1 million from investors backing their technology startup, Technical Machine, which makes microcontrollers for software developers.  It was an impressive yet familiar story in a state that regularly churns out promising tech entrepreneurs from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

>> Read more 

UC Davis Lures Students to Engineering with Unusual Draw: Coffee
By Edward Ortiz (February 12, 2014, The Sacramento Bee)

UC Davis is luring more students into engineering classes with a substance that has nearly universal appeal to undergraduates: coffee. Two new laboratory classes offered through the schools' College of Engineering focus on the science - from raw bean to aromatic brew - of making the optimal cup of coffee.

>> Read more

New Teaching Approach Touted for Engineering Education
(June 10, 2014, ECNMag.com)

Purdue University researchers who developed a new approach to more effectively teach large numbers of engineering students are recommending that the approach be considered for adoption by universities globally.

>> Read more

Why High School Students Should 'Dissect' Power Tools - Not Frogs
By Harold L. Sirkin (May 19, 2014, Businessweek)

How do we develop the next generation of tinkerers who will produce the innovative new products and processes that will enable the U.S. to maintain its standard of living and economic leadership?  We can start by requiring that students "dissect" power tools in high school.

>> Read more

New Book Calls for Joy, Trust, and Courage in Engineering Education
By University of Illinois (September 29, 2014, ECNMag.com)

In their new book, A Whole New Engineer: The Coming Revolution in Engineering, David E. Goldberg, emeritus professor of Engineering at Illinois, and Mark Somerville, professor of engineering and associate dean at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, contend that engineering education requires a thorough overhaul.
>> Read more


Special Announcements
Registration Now Open for the 2015 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo!

The ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo is the largest gathering of ECE department heads from throughout the United States and Canada.

This year's program is hosted by The Citadel, Georgia Institute of Technology, and North Carolina State University. Join us as ECEDHA returns to Hilton Head Island on March 13-17, 2015 at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa.

The 2015 program committee has assembled a world-class educational program focusing on the most pressing issues facing academia and ECE today.  This year's program features:
  • A fantastic lineup of speakers from both academia and industry
  • Specialized pre-conference workshops, including a new Cybersecurity Workshop
  • A new, interactive Sunday session on diversity by the Cornell Interactive Theatre Ensemble
  • Breakout sessions focusing on ECE branding, research funding, undergraduate programs, blended education, and emerging technologies
  • Ample networking time to connect with old friends and new acquaintances 
  • The ECExpo, with more than 40 industry leaders on hand to show the latest technologies in the field

It's time to renew your 2015 ECEDHA Membership!

2015 ECEDHA membership renewal for ECEDHA department heads is now underway.  Membership runs on a calendar year beginning January 1st through December 31st.

Renew your membership today to keep receiving ECEDHA membership benefits, including:
  • Access to the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
  • Complimentary registration for ECEDHA's ECE Webinars
  • The opportunity to participate in the ECEDHA Annual Survey, a valuable tool in benchmarking your organization in lab and office space, faculty and department head salaries, research budgets, student retention, graduation rates, and much more.
  • Complimentary job posting service via the ECEDHA website
  • And much more!

For questions, please contact Megan Bekolay at mbekolay@ecedha.org or 312.559.3725


Corporate Features
ECE Spotlight

Captured live at the 2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference, ECE Spotlight Sessions offer the opportunity to view short corporate presentations and to learn more about what these companies can offer you.

Featured ECE Spotlight Session: 

Presenter: Todd Atkins, Technical Evangelist, MathWorks

ECE Perspectives
ECE Perspectives offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.
Featured ECE Perspectives:



Bob Brown
Director, Academic Business Development


Produced by: 

In This Issue
Calendar of Events
January 15, 2015
ECEDHA Annual Survey Closes
(all responses due)
March 13, 2015
Cybersecurity Workshop
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
March 13, 2015
ABET Workshop
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
March 13-17, 2015
2015 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
The Westin Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head, South Carolina
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by ANSYS
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by Piazza
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by Quanser
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by COMSOL
ECEDHA Annual Survey

The ECEDHA Annual Survey is currently open for data collection.  The survey will remain open through January 15, 2015.
To access the survey, please visit:

For questions, please contact Megan Bekolay at mbekolay@ecedha.org

Save the Date!


2015 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo


March 13-17, 2015

The Westin Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head, South Carolina


ECEDHA Member and Partner News
ASEE and IEEE Awards for ECE Educators

Two professional societies are involved with awards for the outstanding ECE educators we have in our colleges and universities today. 

As Department Heads/Chairs, you are in a unique position to recommend faculty members in your departments or programs for these awards, and we ask you to consider preparing and submitting such nominations.

NSF-NAE Sponsored Workshop

Reforming Electric Energy Systems Curriculum with Emphasis on Sustainability

April 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Building

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