December 2014

Letter from the Editor
Pritpal Singh,
Villanova University

Dear ECEDHA Members, Industry Partners, and Colleagues,

Welcome to the December 2014 issue of
The ECE Source. I hope that you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and are now working through the end of semester crunch!


I am pleased to serve as the editor for this issue of the ECE Source which is focused on the topic of International ECE activities.  There are three feature articles focused on teaching circuits and electronics in Ethiopian universities, a joint course between Villanova University and Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria (UNI) in Managua, Nicaragua, and a description of using information and communications technologies for development and disaster relief. 

Current Views
Barry Sullivan
Barry Sullivan, ECEDHA

Serving the World


Enhancing the image of electrical and computer engineering careers bears directly on improving diversity within the profession, a topic that frequently appears as I scan the news for relevant articles.  I chose several news stories on ECE image and diversity for this month's "ECE in the News" section, as I believe answers to the challenges they raise can be found in the articles on international ECE activities featured in this issue of the ECE Source.


>> Read more

Featured Articles
A Design Seminar Course on Developing Technologies for Rural Nicaraguans

By Pritpal Singh, Maria Virginia Moncada, Edmond Dougherty, and James Klingler
A collaboration between the Universidad Nacional de Ingieneria (UNI) in Managua, Nicaragua and Villanova University was established three years ago. The initial collaborative efforts were focused on a telehealth humanitarian development project. More recently, faculty members at UNI and Villanova have obtained funding to develop joint courses to teach both sets of engineering students the design of technologies to benefit and improve the lives of rural Nicaraguans.

Improving ECE Education in developing Sub-Saharan African Countries Using the Mobile Studio Technology and Pedagogy

By Yacob Astatke

In today's global and highly competitive world, human capital has been so important that finding, developing, and retaining highly qualified workers that can function in high demand and high growth sectors such as Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is very critical. The higher education sector of Africa has been decimated by the lack of funding and shortage of qualified instructors [1]. The shortage is magnified in STEM areas that require advanced training for the instructors and expensive equipment to conduct the hands-on laboratories. The lack of dependable laboratory equipment, especially in engineering education, has led higher education institutions in developing nations to focus more on the theoretical aspect of STEM education, leaving students without exposure to modern design and testing tools. 



By Catholic Relief Services

At CRS we employ information and communications technology for development (ICT4D) across the gamut of our programming - from our signature activities in emergency response, agriculture and health to our complementary efforts in education, microfinance, peacebuilding, and water and sanitation.  We also work closely with technology partners to influence the evolution of ICT4D to ensure it meets the needs of developing communities.


Sponsored Article
2015 Texas Instruments 
Innovation Challenge Opens

By Mouser Electronics

Mouser Electronics Inc., the global authorized distributor with the newest semiconductors and electronic components, has teamed with Texas Instruments to create an opportunity for engineering students to get some invaluable real-life experience in electronic design and problem solving, and perhaps win some serious money in the process.


ECE in the News
Sparkly Girls Choose Sparkle Science: Column
By Veronica Arreola (October 7, 2014, USA Today)

The Carnegie Science Center recently found itself on the wrong end of a viral photo.  Tishka Miller snapped a photo of the Center's Scout science workshop offerings.  It showed that the boys were being offered chemistry, engineering and astronomy.  The girls? Science with a Sparkle about health and beauty products.  The uneven offerings lit the internet on fire, something that is not difficult to do these days.

>> Read more 

Rice's Office of STEM Enagement Promotes K-12 Outreach
By (October 14, 2014)

HOUSTON - Rice University has created the Office of STEM Engagement to support and promote its wide-ranging efforts to improve K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Houston-area school districts.

>> Read more

ComEd Brings Local Girl Power with Icebox Derby
By Kathleen Wolf Davis (October 15, 2014,

Anne Pramaggiore, the first female president and CEO of Chicago utility ComEd, has spent some time focusing on a very important project at her company, one that could change the face of her utility - name, an icebox derby.

>> Read more

Professor Wants to Change Engineering Education
By Martin Rowe (October 28, 2014,

You probably recall the pain and suffering you experienced getting through university.  Do you remember studying with books and perhaps a few labs for three years, then having to do a senior design project?  Did you see many students drop out?  If you did, then you've experienced a culture that professors Mark Somerville and David E. Goldberg say must change so that bright young people will choose a career in engineering and thrive at school rather than just trying to get through.

>> Read more

U.S. CTO Megan Smith: Tech has a diversity problem, and it's up to us to fix it
By Brian Fung (October 29, 2014, Washington Post)

Megan Smith, the former Googler who's now the Obama administration's chief technology officer, has only been on the job for a month.  But she's already wading into some of the thorniest tech policy issues facing the country - including the debate over diversity in Silicon Valley.
>> 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

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: 

Freescale ECE Spotlight - Easy, Inexpensive, Engaging

Presenter: Andy Mastronardi, Global Director University Programs, Freescale
ECE Perspectives
ECE Perspectives offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.
Featured ECE Perspectives:



Greg Peters
Vice President and General Manager,
Component Test Division
Keysight Technologies


Upcoming ECE Webinars
Beyond Office Hours: Four approaches to enrich student engagement

December 4, 2014   2:00pm ET


Do you struggle to manage the flood of emails and the barrage of exam questions in your STEM class?  Are you curious about new technologies to drive engagement in and out of the classroom?  Learn how four innovative STEM professors are using technology to drive better student and professor outcomes with no money and very little time investment.


Copper Backplane Power Loss in an Age of Increasing Data Rate Demand

December 11, 2014   2:00pm ET


With the recent explosion of online streaming services and continuing demand on bandwidth data rates there is a need for more accurate modeling of losses due to the propagating medium, periodic structures and rough surfaces. 
Bandwidth requirements have made copper power loss an important subject within industry and academia.  Copper signaling operates between ~500 MHz in 2007 up to 12.5 GHz in 2014.  This webinar will show how predicting the copper power loss is helping define infrastructure requirements for streaming services and the IoT.



Produced by: 

In This Issue
Calendar of Events
December 4, 2014
Sponsored by Piazza
December 11, 2014
Sponsored by ANSYS
January 1, 2015
March 13, 2015
ABET Workshop
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
March 13, 2015
Cybersecurity 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 Quanser
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by COMSOL
ECEDHA is pleased to welcome our newest Corporate Member!

Greg Peters of Keysight Technologies Announced as Corporate Advisory Council Chair

We are pleased to announce Greg Peters, Vice President and General Manager of Keysight Technologies, as the inaugural Chair of the ECEDHA Corporate Advisory Council.

ECEDHA Annual Survey - Now Open!

The ECEDHA Annual Survey is now open for data collection.
Please watch your email for important information on how to participate.

Please note: your 2014 ECEDHA membership must be renewed in order to be eligible for participation.
Last Call - 2014 Membership Renewal

If you have not yet renewed your 2014 ECEDHA membership, now is your final opportunity.

ECEDHA membership runs on a calendar year beginning January 1 - December 31.

For questions, please contact Megan Bekolay at

Now Accepting Nominations for the
2014 ECEDHA Awards!
As a reminder, ECEDHA is now accepting nominations for its 2014 Awards. Nominations are due January 1, 2015 and will be presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo in March. View more details.
Outstanding Leadership and Service Award
Innovative Program Award

Diversity Award

Industry Award


Save the Date!


2015 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo


March 13-17, 2015

The Westin Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head, South Carolina


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