May 2015
Letter from the Editor
Badri Roysam,
University of Houston
Dear ECEDHA Members, Industry Partners, and Colleagues,

Welcome to the May 2015 issue of the Source.  The summer is finally here.  Most of our students are headed to their homes, and then onto their summer internships. The students who have made it through the ECE curriculum, especially the capstone design experience, are ordering their caps and gowns.  A few remain on campus to take summer courses, and work on undergraduate research projects.  Time to start working on the new fall arrivals!

This issue of the Source may inspire you to look into the idea of transforming your undergraduate laboratories into a Maker Space.  The idea of designing and fabricating prototypes has always been, and will remain, a core engineering activity.  So what's the buzz all about?

Current Views
Barry Sullivan
Barry Sullivan,
A Foundation for the Future


Wayne Bennett, former senior vice provost and graduate school dean at Clemson, made an eloquent case for supporting the newly created ECEDHA Foundation at the 2015 Annual Conference.  Wayne spoke from the perspective of one of the founding board members of the Association, reflecting on more than twenty-five years of ECEDHA history from a very personal point of view.

>> Read more

Featured Articles
The Omron Lab at Northern Illinois University

By Ji-Chul Ryu, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Students in the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at Northern Illinois University do not limit their engineering knowledge to a single field.  Since the Omron Robotics and Mechatronics Lab has been created through financial and equipment donations from Omron in 2013, this lab has provided endless opportunities for students in our engineering departments allowing them to explore the areas of design, building, control, and vision in the robotics and mechatronics field.  In the lab, students find four lab stations, two advanced robotics research stations, three large breakout research platforms, and a latest projection media system with various electronic equipment and components being provided.

ECE MakerSpaces: The new "social network" for designing and prototyping

By Badri Roysam, University of Houston

Once dismissed as the pastime du jour for teenagers, social networks, ranging from LinkedIn to Facebook have had a surprising and a lasting impact on humanity.  In hindsight, this is not surprising, since humans are innately social beings, and our social context has an overarching influence on our overall learning experience.  As engineers, we are trained to work in teams that are often cross-disciplinary.  It could be argued that engineering teams are an administrative creation. On the other hand, social networks have an entirely different origin - they are organic self assembled entities with entirely different engagement dynamics.  As noted by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi in his 2014 book Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life, social networks are surprisingly powerful because of the underlying mathematics of graph theory and communication.  This is ECE territory, and we can harness this stuff.

Corporate Features

The Magic of Engineering
By Tom Lee, Quanser

ECEDHA is a unique international meeting where engineering academics convene to discuss and advance the art of engineering education. These days, such discussions seem to be livelier than ever.  We are engaged in debate on fundamental structural changes to the way we prepare the next generation of engineering leaders.  We are trying to flip classrooms; go on-line in a massive and open way; and all of our things are now being connected to the Internet.  But must it be this complicated?  I asked this question at this year's annual meeting in Hilton Head.
ECE in the News
End of California's Digital Campus is a Blow for MOOCs
By The Hechinger Report (April 14, 2015,

"Reinvent." That was the giddy catchword of a plan by the University of California to create an all-digital "campus" that would revolutionize higher education by providing courses online for students shut out of the system's brick-and-mortar classrooms at a time of high demand but falling budgets.
Fighting the Next Generation of Cyberattacks
By University of Utah (April 16, 2015,

The next generation of cyberattacks will be more sophisticated, more difficult to detect and more capable of wreaking untold damage on the nation's computer systems.  So the U.S. Department of Defense has given a $3 million grant to a team of computer scientists from the University of Utah and University of California, Irvine to develop software that can hunt down a new kind of vulnerability that is nearly impossible to find with today's technology.

>> Read more

Explore Resources for Women Undergrads in Science, Engineering
By Delece Smith-Barrow (April 20, 2015,

The lack of women in science and engineering has long been a sore spot within the U.S. education system, and it's not getting any better.  From 2004 to 2014, the share of bachelor's degrees earned by women decreased in engineering; computer sciences; Earth, atmospheric and ocean sciences; physical sciences, mathematics, biological and agricultural sciences; and social sciences and psychology, according to a recent report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
Arizona State University to Offer Freshman Year Online, For Credit
By Nick Anderson (April 22, 2015, Washington Post)

To start college, the typical student must meet admission requirements (if any), enroll and pay tuition.  But what if anyone anywhere could try out a prominent university's classes for a small fee and wait until the end to decide whether to pay tuition for credit toward a diploma?

>> Read more

How to Attract Female Engineers
By Linda Nilsson (April 27, 2015, New York Times)

The figures are well known: At Apple 20 percent of tech jobs are held by women and at Google, only 17 percent.  A report by the Congressional Joint Economic Committee estimates that nationwide about 14 percent of engineers in the work force are women.  As a woman with a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, I look at those numbers with despair.
>> Read more


Summer Camps with a Mission: To Create Cybersecurity Experts
By Wilson Ring (May 4, 2015,

At Vermont's Norwich University, 20 high school students will build computers they'll be able to take home.  At Dakota State University in South Dakota, about 200 students will learn about programming.  In Southern California, 250 middle school Girl Scouts will be given tiny computers, the chance to fly drones and earn special patches.  And none of the children or their parents will have to pay a cent.
>> Read more


The ECEDHA Foundation

The ECEDHA Foundation was announced at the 2015 ECEDHA Annual Conference this past March in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Executive Director, John Janowiak commented, "We're pleased that the ECEDHA leadership has established the Foundation to ensure the success of the organization for future generations."

The Foundation has been established to guide, support, and fund significant educational programming activities to advance electrical and computer engineering education.  In addition, the creation of an ECEDHA Endowment Fund will ensure the long-term viability of the Association and its academic services, as well as provide a stable source of program funding beyond the current activities of the Association.  

The goals of the ECEDHA Foundation are to:

  • Create the seeds for technology innovation in industry by enabling ECE faculty and their students to work at the cutting edge of their disciplines
  • Enhance the engagement between the ECE academic community and industry
  • Foster innovation in ECE curriculum development at member institutions to prepare the next generation for a global profession
  • Increase ECE visibility and improve its image among prospective students, their parents, and the population in general
  • Strengthen the ECE student pipeline to increase enrollments with well-qualified and motivated students
  • Increase and strengthen diversity among the ECE faculty and student populations

Please consider giving a contribution to the ECEDHA Foundation.  Your support is essential to reaching these goals.


Those who contribute by May 31, 2015 will be included as a member of the Founders' Circle and will receive special recognition as one of the Foundation's founding contributors.  



Special Announcements
Have you renewed your 2015 ECEDHA Membership?
Membership renewal is now underway!

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 or 312.559.3724



Produced by: 

In This Issue
Calendar of Events
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by COMSOL
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by Quanser
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by ANSYS
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by Piazza
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by Quanser
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by COMSOL
Save the Date!


2016 ECEDHA Annual Conference
and ECExpo


March 18-22, 2016

Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines

La Jolla, California
ECEDHA Member and
Partner News
IEEE International Conference on Complex Systems Engineering 2015

November 9-11, 2015 in  Storrs, CT, USA
Hosted by the University of Connecticut

2015 African Engineering Deans Council Annual Conference

September 17-18, 2015 in  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Hosted by the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology