The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association                                                                                August  2019

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

At a time when pay lines for research grants at the major funding agencies continue to be slim, and continuing to slim even further, there is a compelling need to improve grantsmanship skills among our faculty. Interestingly, this comment applies to faculty members at all levels, and not just the newly-hired junior faculty. So, what can a department chair do to help advance faculty grantsmanship? Considering just how overloaded we are, are there efficient strategies that work well?
Grantsmanship is an acquired skill that takes many years to develop. The best grant writers outperform the rest by a wide margin. If you read their written proposals, you will find that they are simple, lucid, and to-the-point. They make a compelling and persuasive case for funding their project. Importantly, their proposals cover all the bases and leave no "holes" that can be targets of criticism from reviewers. Which begs the question, can we use a questionnaire to ensure that a proposal answers the most important questions in an efficient manner? Happily, there does seem to be such a questionnaire that is applicable to a wide variety of grant proposals.
In this issue of the Source, we discuss some effective yet efficient "question driven" mentoring and coaching strategies for improving faculty grantsmanship.

ECE in the News
The Inaugural ExCEllence in Senior Design Showcase
By:  L. Overzet (UTD), D. Aguirre (UTD), J. Bredow (UTA), J. Hansen (UTD), R. Jordan (UNM), S. Newsom  (UTD), T. Paillier (W├╝rth Elektronik), J. Post (ERAU), A. Shrivastava (UTD), N. Skinner (UTD), M. Tacca (UTD), R. Wetterskog (UTD)

While several senior design competitions exist within the engineering disciplines (the National Capstone Conference a nd the ASME Student Manufacturing Design Competition  are two examples) no such competition existed within the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) discipline. In addition, there seemed to be almost no connections between any of the senior design programs at any of the SW ECEDHA schools despite the potential advantages of such connections. And worst of all, ECE senior design was impacted by "required course syndrome." Instead of being a source of excitement and encouragement to students, faculty and industry (not to mention the local community); it was too often viewed as a "necessary evil", and a difficult one as well.
Meet Alexandria Segovia, the First Graduate of Florida International University's Internet of Things Program
By: Diana Hernandez-Alende & Shekhar Bhansali

Alexandria Segovia,
Experts agree that within the next couple of years, billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be connected worldwide, causing a change in the way humans live and work. IoT is made up of smart devices, from smart watches and smartphones to complex systems like autonomous vehicles, that are connected and communicate with each other.

Florida International University (FIU) is at the forefront of this technological shift. Through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, within FIU's College of Engineering & Computing, the bachelor's degree in IoT was launched in fall 2018. This makes FIU the first university in the nation to offer this kind of degree.

"We are excited to be the first in the nation to provide this program to our students," said Shekhar Bhansali, Alcatel-Lucent professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "The creation of this degree will result in IoT professionals ready to hit the ground running in the workforce."
>> Read more
UC San Diego ECE Student-Launched Startup: Educational Vision Technologies
By: Xochitl Rojas-Rocha, Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego

Educational Vision Technologies (EVT), co-founded by Monal Parmar, a UC San Diego electrical engineering master's student, has a goal of helping students study smarter. Using computer vision and machine learning algorithms, EVT autonomously generates interactive notes and video from course lectures without extra effort on the part of the lecturer.

For Parmar, making this vision a reality wouldn't have been possible without the support of resources and training within the ECE Department.
"My journey into entrepreneurship started by attending on-campus and regional startup events and taking an undergraduate electrical engineering course that taught me the framework for discovering and validating customer problems and market opportunities," said Parmar.

>> Read more 
John Booske Honored at ECEDHA 2019

The award is given to individuals or departments that have created, implemented, and sustained the implementation of a successful innovative program and possibly assisted in the implementation of that program at other institutions. A successful program is one that has stood the test of time and has produced measurable improvements in the quality of the electrical and computer education received by a significant number of students at one or more institutions.

As both ECE Department Chair at UW Madison and Director of WisCEL, John has shown great  leadership in developing, implementing, and promoting student-centered, active-learning facilities and methods  as embodied through the Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning (WisCEL).  In academic year 2013-2014, WisCEL enhanced learning for over 3500 students in 106 courses and/or discussion sections taught by 30 different instructors. The courses span more than 15 departments spanning Colleges/Schools of Letters and Science, Engineering, Business, and Agriculture and Life Sciences. ECE is one of the heaviest users of the WisCEL facility.

This award serves to recognize the high-profile leadership role John has taken over the past eight years to transform instruction and inspire innovative teaching in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and on the UW Madison campus and beyond.

Keysight Technologies Wins ECEDHA Industry Award

This award is given to company(s) or individual(s) in companies in recognition of seminal contributions to engineering education-especially in the ECE disciplines-that go well beyond typical industry-university relations. The selection is based primarily on a qualitative evaluation of the educational contributions as described on the nomination form to recognize and encourage effective engagement in engineering education by industry representatives.

Keysight Technologies has made significant contributions to  students, faculty and research programs within ECE departments nationwide. The contributions come in the form of free student access to powerful  CAD tools that are used widely in research laboratories and in industry, expanded access to instrumentation  through a variety of preferred access channels, and support of a certification program in  which students at more than 26 universities participate in order to improve their value in the job market. Keysight  is similarly supportive of ECE faculty, providing forums for sharing curriculum and training content as well as  research support. With its broad contributions to ECE, Keysight is most deserving of the ECEDHA Industry Award.

Special Announcements
ECEDHA 2019-2020 Election Results

The 2019-2020 Election has officially concluded. We are pleased to announce the results of our election for Secretary-Treasurer.  New this year, the Secretary-Treasurer position has been divided into two separate roles.

ECEDHA welcomes the following officers to the ECEDHA Board of Directors:

Susan Hagness
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Agnieszka Miguel
Seattle University

Congratulations to our new officers. We look forward to a continued strong leadership for the association.
Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 ECEDHA Awards!

ECEDHA is now accepting nominations for its 2019 Awards. Nominations are due by November 1, 2019 and will be presented at the 2020 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECE xpo in Orlando, Florida next March.

Outstanding Leadership and Service Award

Innovative Program Award

Diversity Award

Industry Award
Sponsored Article


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Conference Corner
Corporate Features
ECE Insights

ECE Insights offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.

Featured ECE Insights:
In This Issue
Calendar of Events
March 18-21, 2020
ECEDHA Annual Conference & ECE xpo
Renaissance SeaWorld - Orlando, FL
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by Keysight Technologies
On Demand Webinar
A Case Study on Connected Maintenance Reliability
Sponsored by Fluke Corporation
On Demand Webinar
In partnership with Tailfin Marketing

ECEDHA Member and Partner News
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 ECE students, faculty, and professionals. The magazine is electronic and open access with PDF versions of the current and prior issues.

Issue 2 of  THE BRIDGE 2019 is available now!

>> Read more

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.