March 2014
Letter from the Editor
Lal Tummala, San Diego State University
Dear ECE Colleagues,

Accreditation of undergraduate engineering programs requires that each graduating student goes through a culminating design experience based on the skills and knowledge acquired in earlier courses. They are also required to demonstrate their ability to work in an interdisciplinary and/or intra-desciplinary environment, be able to develop strong individual and group communication and presentation skills in both written and verbal forms and also be aware of ethical issues in the workplace to name a few. >> Read more

Current Views
Barry Sullivan
Barry Sullivan, ECEDHA
Coming Attractions

Hollywood's Oscars and the hype surrounding them have me thinking in movie terms today. For example, the news articles included in this issue work as previews of some of the featured attractions at the upcoming ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo  in Napa, California.

Making electrical and computer engineering more attractive--both in college and subsequent careers--will be a major plot line at this year's conference. >> Read more
Featured Articles
Capstone Design for ECE students at San Diego State University

By Lal Tummala, San Diego State University

Each graduating student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at San Diego State University is required to demonstrate their competence in completing both individual level projects and projects that involve teams with varied backgrounds. They should be able to demonstrate individual and group communication and presentation skills in both written and verbal forms. The students should understand the importance of lifelong learning and should be aware of the ethical dilemmas faced by engineers in their work environment.  

>> Read more


ECE Capstone Projects at the University of Waterloo

By Daniel Davidson, William Bishop, and Manoj Sachdev

The University of Waterloo ECE Capstone Project is based around two courses (ECE498A and ECE498B) in the final year of study. Projects, which can be software-based, hardware-based, or a mixture of the two, are done by groups of four of five students. There are two guiding principles for the project.  >> Read more


ECE in the News
New Math Program at UTSA Boosts Retention of Engineering Students
By Mike W. Thomas (January 31, 2014, San Antonio Business Journal)

The University of Texas at San Antonio is crediting a new freshman math course with helping to improve the retention rate and grade point average for engineering students at the school. After a five-year pilot project, UTSA officials say they have seen measurable improvements in retention and grade point average among students...  >>  Read more

Engineering is for Boys. Pink is for Girls.
By Kasey Panetta (February 7, 2014, ECN)

We've talked about GoldieBlox a few times on the site before both about what a cool toy it is and then again when the company released a video of all the cool things you could do with the kit. I recently stumbled across a Tedx done by the CEO and Creator of GoldiBlox, Debbie Sterling. >> Read more 


Keeping Women in High-Tech Fields is Big Challenge, Report Finds
By Jena McGregor (February 12, 2014, The Washington Post)

The difficulty in getting more young women into science and high-tech fields has received a lot of attention recently, including from a new national mentorship program for budding female scientists as well as Super Bowl ads for engineering toys designed for girls. But keeping women in those fields -- and helping them reach the top -- may be an even bigger challenge.  > >  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 school's College of Engineering focus on the science - from raw bean to aromatic brew - of making the optimal cup of coffee. >> Read more  


Special Announcements
Last chance to register for the
2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
Join us later this month for the 2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo, the largest gathering of ECE department heads from throughout the United States and Canada.


The meeting will take place March 21-25, 2014, at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, California. This 30th anniversary meeting will be hosted by Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and Santa Clara University. 


ECEDHA members will enjoy a world-class educational program focusing on the most pressing issues facing academia and ECE today. Special anniversary activities and spouse programs will also be available.




>> View ECEDHA Annual Conference Homepage


>> View Conference Schedule


>> View ECExpo Participants


>> Secure your Hotel


We look forward to having you join us at the 2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo!
It's time for 2014 ECEDHA Membership Renewal

2014 ECEDHA membership renewal for ECEDHA department heads is now underway. ECEDHA membership runs on a calendar year beginning January 1 - December 31.


Renew your membership today to keep receiving ECEDHA membership benefits including:

  • Access to the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo  
  • Complimentary registration for ECEDHA's NEW! 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.  
  • Access to specialized workshops held throughout the calendar year  
  • Complimentary job posting service via the ECEDHA website  
  • And much more!  
For questions, please contact Michelle Klein at or 312-559-3724.  
Upcoming ECE Webinar
Equation-Based Modeling
April 17, 2014     11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET
Customize your multiphysics simulations using equation-based modeling in the COMSOL environment. Readily couple your custom equations with any other built-in physics interface for a powerful approach to meddling that eliminates the need for user-written subroutines. Applications of equation-based modeling will be demonstrated throughout the webinar.


Corporate Features
ECE Spotlight Sessions
Captured live at the 2013 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:

Coby Kleinjan, Director - Special Accounts, Mouser
ECEDHA Perspectives
ECEDHA Perspectives offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.
Featured ECEDHA Perspectives:

Brad Rujicka

Manager, Worldwide Analog Channel Marketing and SC Distribution Communications
Texas Instruments 
    Mark Pierpoint     
    VP & GM 
    Agilent Technologies


Produced by: 


In This Issue
Calendar of Events
March 21, 2014
Online Education and Distributed Learning Workshop
Presented at the 2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
March 21, 2014
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
March 21-25, 2014
The Meritage Resort & Spa
Napa, California
April 17, 2014
ECEDHA Welcomes its Newest Corporate Member
ECEDHA has established a Corporate Membership Program to strengthen the bonds between ECEDHA member institutions and leading industry organizations.

Please join us in welcoming our newest corporate member!

ECEDHA Member and Partner News

2014 Student EMC Hardware Design Competition


The IEEE EMC Society is pleased to announce the 2014 Student EMC Hardware Design Competition, administered by its Educational and Student Activities Committee (ESAC). The objective of the competition is to provide students interested in the field of EMC a hands-on opportunity to apply their knowledge. The call for entries can be found here.

Summer Workshop about Hands-On Activities for Continuous-Time Signals and Systems Education


This workshop will be offered on the Rose-Hulman Campus in Terre Haute, Indiana immediately following the ASEE annual conference from June 19-21. Rose-Hulman is located approximately one hour from Indianapolis, which is where the ASEE Conference is being held. There will be ample opportunity for interactive discussion and for each participant to perform and develop hands-on activities during the workshop. We are limiting the workshop to approximately 10 participants in order to work more closely with each participant. We are inviting more than just the people who teach signals and system because we have also experienced interest from those who teach biomedical instrumentation, electromagnetics, and controls. More detail is available on the workshop website.

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