September 2014
Letter from the Editor
Manoj Sachdev,
University of Waterloo
Dear ECEDHA Members, Industry Partners, and Colleagues,

The role of Engineers, particularly Chemical, Civil, Mechanical or Petroleum cannot be overstated in the oil and gas industry.  However, often Electrical and Computer engineers are not associated with the oil and gas industry.  At these natural, finite resources are becoming scarce, the industry is deploying high-tech means to extract them economically with least possible damage to the environment.  Several Electrical and Computer engineering sub-disciplines have gained prominence; and in particular, specialized hardware, software, communication, sensors, etc. are utilized by the oil and gas industry.

Current Views
Barry Sullivan
Barry Sullivan, ECEDHA
Welcome Back


The ECE Source returns from its summer hiatus, just as students arrive on campus for the fall term.  I initially had a summer vacation theme in mind for my back-to-school column.  I even found a whimsical article on idyllic travel destinations for engineers, but a more serious topic captured my attention.  As I browsed the list of news articles I had earmarked since the last issue of the ECE Source appeared, I noticed that a number of them addressed the challenges in growing the numbers of women in STEM fields.


>> Read more

Featured Articles
The Role of ECE in the Alberta Oil and Gas Industry

By Bruce F. Cockburn, Professor, and John Salmon, Professor and Chair, University of Alberta
The discovery in 1947 of a large oil field at Leduc, just south of Edmonton, marked the start of a profound transformation in the province of Alberta.  Until then Alberta's economy was dominated by agriculture along with a developing mining and forest products industry.  Electrical engineering practice concerned itself with providing the electrical power generation and distribution system as well as the communications infrastructure required by the primarily agrarian economy and the needs of the urban centers.  The two largest cities, Edmonton and Calgary, had populations of roughly 119,000 and 100,000 in 1947 [1].  Two-thirds of the province's population of about 800,000 lived in rural areas or in small towns.  By the end of 2013, Alberta's population grew past 4 million, with the Edmonton and Calgary regions accounting for over 1.2 and 1.4 million, respectively.  


ECE in Oil and Gas

By Dennis Peters, Chair, Memorial University

If you ask students what type of Engineering they think they should study if they want to work in the oil and gas industry, they're likely to say that Petroleum, Chemical, Mechanical or Process Engineering would be the best majors. While these students aren't wrong �� there is no doubt that these disciplines cover a clear majority of Engineering jobs in oil and gas �� they also are not entirely right, since pretty much every discipline is represented in this industry, including both Electrical and Computer Engineering. As with many modern industries, the oil and gas business requires Engineers of all disciplines, who usually work in multidisciplinary teams alongside both technical and non�technical colleagues to accomplish a wide variety of projects. 


Sponsored Article

The Right Tool for the Job: MCU, SBC or FPGA?

By Mouser Electronics

Choosing the right platform is similar to the picking the right hand tool from your toolbox.  Though there is typically enough crossover of functionality between different types of tools, some are better for certain tasks than others.  With increasingly more variety of affordable embedded hardware tools coming to market, many are starting to ask, "What's the right tool for the job?"


ECE in the News
White and Male, Google Releases Diversity Data
By Martha Mendoza (May 29, 2014,
In a groundbreaking disclosure, Google revealed Wednesday how very white and male its workforce is - just 2 percent of its Google employees are black, 3 percent are Hispanic, and 30 percent are women.  About a third of the company's workforce is Asian.
Some Universities Crack Code in Drawing Women to Computer Science
By Claire Cain Miller (July 17, 2014, The New York Times)

One of the reasons so few women work in tech is that few choose to study computer science or engineering.  Only 18 percent of computer science graduates in the United States are women, down from 37 percent in 1985.  At a few top college programs, though, that appears to be changing.

>> Read more


Why Women Leave Engineering Careers
By American Psychological Association (August 13, 2014,

Nearly 40% of women who earn engineering degrees quit the profession or never enter the field, and for those who leave, poor workplace climates and mistreatment by managers and co-workers are common reasons, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association's 122nd Annual Convention.
>> Read more 


U.S. Losing Cutting Edge in Tech and Science, Executives Warn
By Aldo Svaldi (August 28, 2014, The Denver Post)

If the U.S. economy fails to support current living standards in the years ahead, a shortage of graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics will be the most likely culprit.
>> Read more 


Research Geared to Keep Women from Fleeing IT Profession
By EurekAlert (August 28, 2014,

For years, employers and experts have been trying to reverse the exodus of women from information technology positions.

They're failing.

>> Read more 


11 Summer Vacation Spots for Engineers
(July 25, 2014, EDN Network )

This collection of places from tech history, museums, and modern marvels is a roadmap for an engineering adventure that will take you around the world.  Here are just a few spots covering 11 areas of six different countries where you can get more from your summer vacation.
>> Read more 


Special Announcements
Last Call for 2014 Membership Renewal!

If you have not yet renewed your 2014 ECEDHA membership, now is your final opportunity.  The Annual Survey will be opening soon and only current ECEDHA members will be eligible to participate.


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.  
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:

Presenter: Coby Kleinjan, Director of Special Accounts and Educational Sales, Mouser Electronics
ECE Perspectives
ECE Perspectives offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.
Featured ECE Perspectives:



Fernando Mujica
Director, Autonomous Vehicles R&D
Texas Instruments


Produced by: 

In This Issue
Calendar of Events
September 30, 2014
Sponsored by Quanser
March 13, 2015
ABET 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 COMSOL
Upcoming ECE Webinar

Robots, 3D Printers, and Other Fun Things That Are Keeping Us Up at Night
September 30, 2014 - 2:00pm ET

Robotics and rapid prototyping via 3D printers are now appearing in the basements of hobbyists and students and universities are scrambling to integrate this excitement with the analytical framework of traditional curricula.  This Webinar presents comprehensive case studies on ways to capture the excitement but retain the rigor and depth.


Save the Date!


2015 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo


March 13-17, 2015

The Westin Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head, South Carolina



Regional News
Mid-Atlantic ECEDHA Meeting
September 12-14, 2014
WVU Campus - Erickson Alumni Center 
For more information on attending, please contact: Brian Woerner or Pali Singh
View our profile on LinkedIn  Follow us on Twitter  Like us on Facebook