The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association                                               November  2016

Letter from the Editor
Badri Roysam,
University of Houston

Dear ECEDHA Members, Industry Partners, and Colleagues,

Welcome to the November issue of the Source. This issue is devoted to a discussion of leadership skills that are essential to department chairs.

It is widely recognized that the job of a department chair is one of the toughest on campus, and also the most crucial in shaping the future of academia.  Despite this widespread recognition, the vast majority of universities lack training programs for department chairs, associate chairs, center directors, and other key leadership positions.

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Featured Articles
Jerry Hudgins,
University of
Nebraska - Lincoln
Effective Communication with Your Dean

An important facet of a Department Chair's (Head) job is the interaction with upper administration, particularly the Dean.  There are universal guidelines that are appropriate in these relationships.  One is that to the best of your ability, try to keep the Dean informed on important matters, good and bad, so that he/she is not surprised by news delivered in other settings.  One of the worst experiences you can have is for your boss to learn about something that you should have conveyed to them.  A cautionary note here is to be careful of pestering the Dean with too many details about day-to-day operations in the department.  Those issues are your job.
Don Gruenbacher,
Kansas State University
Managing Time

In a position that serves as the intermediary between faculty and upper administration, efficient use of your time is critical in order to remain effective as a department head. There are many tools available to you for managing your time wisely, and each of us must find the right balance of those that fit our own styles.

Prioritization is a fundamental element in managing your time effectively, as your position will ultimately consume all of the time that you make available.  For your high and medium priorities, you will want to ensure that you or someone to whom you delegate is working on those items.

ECEDHA Regional News
Southwest ECEDHA Meeting Update
By: Dinesh Rajan, Southern Methodist University

The Fall 2016 meeting of the Southwest ECE Department Heads took place on October 23rd and 24th at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas.  A total of 17 department chairs/associate chairs participated in this meeting which began with a dinner at the Seasons 52 grill near the SMU campus.  The meeting resumed on the 24th in the Texas Instruments Board Room in the Junkins Building on SMU's campus.  The meeting allowed for an exchange of ideas and best practices.  There was also time to brainstorm ideas for increasing local collaborations in a casual and relaxed environment.

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Sponsored Article

From the Cutting Edge to Our Inner Communities: Advanced Engineering as a Platform for Community Outreach
By Tom Lee Ph.D., Chief Business Development Officer, Quanser

The work of Dr. Michael Fryer truly embodies the phrase "advanced engineering". Throughout his career, he has worked on some of the most sophisticated, complex, and ambitious engineering systems in any modern field.  His specialization is in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) -- drones.  His work has taken him through industry leaders such as Lockheed Martin and AT&T.  But today, he is a teacher, in the truest sense of the word.

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Special Announcements
Last Call for 2016 Membership!

If you have not yet renewed your 2016 ECEDHA membership, now is your final opportunity.   The Annual Survey is now open and only current ECEDHA members are eligible to participate.

Renew your membership today to keep receiving ECEDHA membership benefits, including:
  • 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
  • Complimentary registration for ECEDHA's ECE Webinars
  • And much more!

For questions, please contact Megan Bekolay at or 312.559.3724
Now Accepting Nominations for the
2016 ECEDHA Awards!
ECEDHA is now accepting nominations for its 2016 Awards. Nominations are due by this Friday, November 11, 2016 and will be presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECE xpo in March.  View more details.
Outstanding Leadership and Service Award
Innovative Program Award

Diversity Award

Industry Award

Corporate Feature


Produced by: 

In This Issue
Calendar of Events
December 8, 2016
Sponsored by Keysight Technologies
March 17, 2017
ABET Workshop
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference
Hilton Sandestin - Miramar Beach, FL
March 17-21, 2017
ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECE xpo
Hilton Sandestin - Miramar Beach, FL
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by National Instruments
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by Quanser
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by COMSOL
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by National Instruments
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by COMSOL
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by ConRes/Tektronix
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by National Instruments

We're interested in hearing from you!

We welcome all feedback - drop us a line at:
ECEDHA Member and
Partner News
2016 Fluke Connect Student Contest

Fluke Corporation invites students enrolled in two and four year colleges, universities, trade/tech schools, and apprenticeship programs in the United states to demonstrate their skills and innovation in the 2016 Fluke Connect Student Contest.

Student teams use Fluke Connect wireless tools and software to collaborate and solve real-world operational problems.  The first place team and its advisor will receive an all-expenses paid trip to visit Fluke Park for three days and two nights plus $3,500 worth of Fluke tools for the school's department.

Application Deadline: November 18, 2016

>>   Learn more
THE BRIDGE Magazine of IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN)

The magazine of IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu is THE BRIDGE, which publishes a variety of features and content relevant to the ECE students, faculty and professionals.  The magazine is electronic and open access with PDF versions of the current and prior issues.

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NSF Workshop: Mechatronics Education Innovation

Workshop to be held November 14-15, 2016 at NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Mechatronics, as a discipline, is influencing some of the most progressive and important conversations on the global engineering campus. In this expanded workshop, Dr. Vikram Kapila (NYU) will facilitate a discussion that includes input from industry and international academic best practices. This workshop solicits participation from faculty representing institutions that are interested in building a progressive new program or those that have already deployed a progressive program and want to share their experience.  As a funded workshop, travel subsidies are available for qualified faculty.

>>   Learn more
2016 IEEE Virtual Conference on Applications of Commercial Sensors

To submit a presentation and paper, or register for the conference, please visit:

Submission Deadline: December 15, 2016


At the ECE Source, we strive to cover topics that are relevant and timely to ECE  department heads.  We welcome your comments, feedback, and suggestions of topics t o cover in our next issue.  Thank you.