The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association
November 2020
Special Announcement
ECE Educators & ECE Lab Pros - You're Invited!
December 1-2, 2020 | 10am - 2pm CT

ECEDHA is pleased to introduce the ECEDHA Educators Summit and the ECEDHA Lab Pros Network Summit, a *NEW* virtual series beginning this December!

Each ECEDHA Summit offers a two-day virtual program, featuring a series of training sessions in ECE Curriculum, Autonomous Systems, Makers, Machine Learning, Diversity and Inclusion, and more, with an immediate deep dive into experiences before and after COVID-19.

Led by Zhihua Qu, University of Central Florida, and Sid Deliwala, University of Pennsylvania, the initial Summit will gather peers to provide rich content, lessons learned, and strategic guidance from fellow educators. Register today to join us - all faculty welcome!
Featured Articles
Student Leaders: Supporting Students and Our Campus Community
By: Katelyn Brinker, PhD Student, Iowa State University

This semester has had its challenges for all of us. Between online classes with fewer resources for getting help, a lack of hands on learning opportunities, no days off, world events, and missing friends and social activities, many students are feeling a combination of burnt out and overwhelmed.
Student leaders from IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) Chapters and other ECE department student orgs have been rising to the challenge of trying to address these struggles, in order to help their friends and campus community while also dealing with the same challenges ourselves. Here at the Nu Chapter of IEEE-HKN at Iowa State University, we’ve turned our Help Room where students would be able to drop in and get help with classes from HKN members into a virtual operation. We have open hours every weekday on webex, an online forum, and an appointment system. We’ve also been hosting some online hands on skill building workshops, a semester long problem solving competition, virtual social events, and online talks with professors and alumni. Other chapters have been also hosting online exam prep sessions and bringing in new speakers and companies that would normally be tough to get for in person meetings.

United Academics of the University of New Mexico (UAUNM): How Unions are Empowering Faculty
By: Executive Council of United Academics of the University of New Mexico

Many universities across the country have faculty unions or are in the process of unionizing their faculty. This movement has been growing during the last decade as tenure positions are phased out in favor of lecturers and adjuncts.These faculty unions are built through the tireless efforts of thousands of faculty members working together often against the wishes of their institution’s administration. As non-unionized faculty see the benefits that their colleagues at unionized institutions have won, there has been a rapid increase in unionization efforts by faculty and graduate students across our country. Unionized universities have won workplace stability, better benefits and salary upgrades, as well as regular cost of living increases. This is, for example, the case of our closest unionized university, Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM. There have been a significant number of success stories at R1 or R2 universities across the country, from California State University to Michigan State University and University of Michigan, to cite only a few. Thus, faculty unions are critical to the success of higher education institutions throughout the United States.

Finding Your Path with ECE Next
By: Andrew Carr & Diana Marculescu, ECE Department, The University of Texas at Austin

It is well-known that engineering, and in particular Electrical and Computer Engineering, is not currently representative of the U.S. population as a whole. Texas ECE has created the ECE Next program to address this issues aimed at recruiting and retaining women, Black, and Hispanic (WBH) students in ECE programs. This eighteen-month series of workshops and mentoring activities for juniors and seniors will provide the support and self-efficacy tools that WBH students may find useful to move forward from undergraduate studies to graduate school, while getting involved in summer undergraduate research in the process. The program will help ensure that more WBH students are represented in the next generation of graduate researchers on their path to becoming leaders and role models in ECE.

Sponsored Article: CMC Microsystems | Pandemic Sparks Game-Changing Approach to Hardware Training
Long before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered research labs around the world, University of Notre Dame’s Matthew Morrison was thinking about a different kind of threat: the looming limits of Moore’s Law, which pose critical problems for the development of more powerful, ever-smarter computer hardware.

His solution, developed in collaboration with CAD software developer Cadence and CMC Microsystems, may mark a turning point in how the world educates and trains coming generations of innovators.

“We need people qualified to drive those innovations, and that means finding ways to improve access to hardware education,” says Morrison, Assistant Teaching Professor in UND’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering whose research includes low-power hardware security, VLSI design, and smart health technologies. “It’s where the need for growth is greatest.”

So last year, with that need in mind, he began developing a high-level synthesis course for undergraduates. “The idea of the class was to use higher level programming to do lower-level computer chip design, reducing the time it takes to synthesize a chip.” 

A Conversation with Our Board Members
We sat down with Zhihua and Toffee to tap into their mindset on career paths, the future of ECE, and life in general. Here is what they shared...
Zhihua Qu
Professor & Chair,
University of Central Florida
Past President, ECEDHA Board of Directors
Q. Was there a defining moment in your life that made you choose ECE as a profession?

A. When I was a kid, I was fascinated by automation and space exploration. When I went to college, I chose ECE because I wanted to study control theory. Over the years, I have had the fortunate of doing research in several fields of controls, including robotics, autonomous vehicles, and electric power systems (now smart grid and renewable energy).

Q. Why is ECEDHA important to you?
A. To me, ECEDHA provides invaluable services in several aspects. ECEDHA’s new chairs workshop provides insightful training and preparations for new ECE chairs. For experienced chairs, ECEDHA provides the community where we share our experiences and forge our common visions in addressing the challenges ECE departments are facing. ECEDHA’s ABET workshop and themed sessions/workshops on education/research are some of the specific examples. Rich resources ECEDHA continues to generate are what keep our community vibrant and rewarding.

Toffee Coleman
Education Sales & Marketing Manager, Fluke Corporation
Corporate Advisory Council Member, ECEDHA
Q. Who/what inspires you?

A. The resiliency and determination of generations before me. The recent global and national events have made me much more introspective and question how people continued to fight for their beliefs- risking their lives for equality. And survived in a world that did not have treatments or cures for illnesses and diseases. Or even the technology that has been created in the last 30 years (i.e. smartphones, computers, and internet).

Q. What do you want the academic community to know or understand about your company?

A. Our company founder, John Fluke, was a great inventor and cared deeply about our employees and customers. While he networked and collaborated with Dell, Edison, and engineers from HP, he was very humble. And cared deeply about our employee and customers. There are many stories of John interacting with employees of all levels and wanting to hear about the steps we were taking to “give customers more than they expected.” We strive to follow his motto and offer a variety of tools and resources to meet your needs. We value a decision to purchase a Fluke instrument and want to be a partner in creating labs that develop the next generation of engineers.

ECEDHA Member and Partner News
THE BRIDGE Magazine of IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN)
The Future of Renewable Energy: Generation, Transmission, Consumption

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.

The October 2020 issue of THE BRIDGE is available now!

Recruitment Initiative: Bridge to the Faculty Program
Presented by the University of Illinois at Chicago

Bridge to the Faculty (B2F) is a recruitment program designed to attract underrepresented postdoctoral scholars with the goal of a direct transition to a tenure-track junior faculty position after two years. This recruitment initiative aims to attract and retain promising scholars to UIC as well as diversify our faculty, with particular emphasis on departments with low or no presence of faculty who are underrepresented in their field. B2F uses a cohort model, where postdoctoral scholars participate together in meetings and tailored workshops to prepare them to teach, establish a research program and support their ability to pursue grants, and create productive mentor relationships.

Addressing Systems Challenges through Engineering Teams
An Announcement from the National Science Foundation
Dear colleagues:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems (ECCS) has announced a new solicitation (NSF 21-521) under the Addressing Systems Challenges through Engineering Teams (ASCENT) program

The ASCENT program is a strategic investment of ECCS that emphasizes new collaboration modalities among the various ECCS supported sub-disciplines. ASCENT encourages robust collaborations between the devices, circuits, algorithmic, and network research communities to develop innovative projects. ASCENT seeks proposals that are bold and ground-breaking, that transcend the perspectives and approaches typical of disciplinary research efforts.
This new solicitation (NSF 21-512) replaces the inaugural FY20 ASCENT solicitation (NSF 20-515), and challenges ECCS-supported communities and beyond for enabling transformative research that fuels progress in engineering applications with high societal impacts.

Association Announcements
Finalize Your 2020-2021 ECEDHA Academic Membership

Renew your membership today to continue receiving ECEDHA member benefits, including:

  • The opportunity to participate in the ECEDHA Annual Survey, a valuable tool in benchmarking data.
  • The opportunity to attend the 2020 ECEDHA Summit Series, a virtual program
  • Complimentary job posting service via the ECEDHA website
  • And much more!

Looking for your membership packet? Please contact Claire Seifert at
Now Accepting Nominations for the 2020 ECEDHA Awards

ECEDHA is now accepting nominations for its 2020 Awards. Nominations are due by Friday, November 20, 2020.

Outstanding Leadership and Service Award

Innovative Program Award

Diversity Award

Industry Award

CHECE Canadian Leadership and Service Award

ECE Technology Integration Award
Corporate Features
ECE Insights

ECE Insights offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.
Gordon Harling
President and CEO
CMC Microsystems
Sponsored Video: CMC Microsystems | Cadence Cloud Passport Program
CMC announces cloud access to Cadence software for academic clients in the United States.

A Little Engineering Humor

I caught my son chewing electrical cords.

So I had to ground him. He's doing better currently, and now conducting himself properly.