The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association

October 2023

Letter from the Guest Editors

Student Lab Safety - an Important ABET Criterion

Badri Roysam

University of Houston

Mark Budnik

Carnegie Mellon University

Dear Colleagues

ABET Criterion 7 concerns Facilities, and it states that "Classrooms, offices, laboratories, and associated equipment must be adequate to support attainment of the student outcomes and to provide an atmosphere conducive to learning. Modern tools, equipment, computing resources, and laboratories appropriate to the program must be available, accessible, and systematically maintained and upgraded to enable students to attain the student outcomes and to support program needs. Students must be provided appropriate guidance regarding the use of the tools, equipment, computing resources, and laboratories available to the program. The library services and the computing and information infrastructure must be adequate to support the scholarly and professional activities of students and faculty." Although it is not explicitly stated, Student Laboratory Safety is a crucial aspect that ABET evaluators are examining. This issue of the ECEDHA Source tries to shed some light on this important aspect of preparing your department for an ABET sit visit, with help from our colleague Sid Deliwala at UPenn.

On September 12, 2023, ECEDHA hosted a virtual summit focused on ways to include embedded microcontrollers in engineering education curricula and within maker spaces. Makers, professors, lab managers, and industry partners were invited to share what works best at their institutions. We are pleased to report a summary of this summit. Finally, we are delighted to spotlight Sheyla Moreno an IEC 2to4 scholar at El Paso Community College. The IEC 2to4 program is made possible by the generous support of the U.S. Department of Defense Research and Development Division and the DoD STEM Community College Consortium Award. IEC 2to4 is an initiative aimed at supporting students from underrepresented groups to complete their ECE degree programs on time. Initiatives like this are sure to strengthen the future ECE student pipeline.

One of the long-term strengths of ECEDHA is our robust engagement with the corporate community. In this issue of the ECEDHA Source, we are delighted to feature a podcast on Environmental Sensors from Raymond Yin, Director of Technical Content at Mouser. May we all breathe better in the future!

Do you have an initiative in your department that would be worth sharing? We would love to feature your efforts in the next ECEDHA Source newsletter. Increasingly, our articles are in the form of the ECE Conversations video podcast. It is friendly, authentic, personal, and natural.

> Read Full Article

Featured Article


YC Wang,


Hector Lugo, University of Texas at El Paso

Michael Yang, University of California San Diego

Carl Whitesell,

South Mountain

Kevin Walseth,


Dave Paloian,


Ross Satchell,


Exploring a Makers Approach to Embedded Microcontrollers in Engineering: An Industry Perspective

On September 12, 2023, ECEDHA hosted a virtual summit focused on ways to include embedded microcontrollers in engineering education curriculum and within makerspaces. Makers, professors, lab managers, and industry partners were invited to share what works best at their institutions.

Makerspaces are collaborative workspaces and are oftentimes located on college campuses. These spaces are equipped with various tools and technologies, ranging from traditional hand tools to advanced digital fabrication tools like 3D printers, laser cutters, and electronics kits. As these spaces grow in popularity, it is good to discuss best practices and how we ensure ECE students have access to makerspaces and tools.

University of Texas at El Paso

Hector Lugo, senior instructional technologist, shared his personal experience as a student at the University of Texas at El Paso, and his role managing the lab and providing hands-on learning experiences for current students. He showcased projects created like the remote controls using MSP430 microcontrollers. Hector shared that the makerspace has proven to be useful for teaching binary concepts. The 3D-printed binary blocks are used to help students understand binary numbers and their conversion into numeric values. At UTEP, students collaborate and create various projects, including those related to computer science, electrical engineering, and cyber security.

> Read More

> View the On Demand Session

Sponsored Article

Listen to Mouser's Podcast on Technologies and Applications for Environmental Sensors in the Latest Episode of Empowering Innovation

Mouser Electronics Inc. has unveiled the next installment of its award-winning Empowering Innovation Together series, spotlighting the need for environmental sensors. Mouser examines the technology and applications behind environmental sensors and how they are used in creating indoor air quality monitoring solutions through a technical content stream of articles, blogs, videos, and the latest podcast episode of The Tech Between Us.

Environmental Sensors have become more popular among employers and institutions looking to improve air quality inside the workplace, bolstered at least in part by the pandemic and the demand for clean indoor air, and the sensors to track potential hazards.

By monitoring pollutants, particulates, and hazardous gasses in real time, employers can more easily address potential threats to employee health and productivity. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to a variety of short-term ailments, such as headaches, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. With no federal standards regarding indoor air quality, employers are taking responsibility for monitoring their environments and providing clean air to employees. Mouser explores how environmental sensors offer an efficient way of doing so, allowing accurate readings that can be easily monirotred over time to provide the data companies need.

>> Read More

Lab Safety Resources

Sid Deliwala

University of Pennsylvania

Sid Deliwala has been the Director of Lab Programs in the Electrical and Systems Engineering Department at the University of Pennsylvania for over two decades. His experience includes managing lab programs, developing unique courses that encourage student engagement in their academic career, and teaching undergraduates.

He also manages state-of-the-art teaching classroom+lab facilities [C-Labs], Detkin, Ketterer and Simmons Labs. Sid enjoys working with students and continues to teach summer high school programs, M&T Summer Institute, (which he co-founded in 2006), ESE 1110 (ESE Freshmen Course), ESE 1900 (Silicon Garage), Coursera Robotics Specialization (capstone) and ESE Capstone (ESE 4500/4510 Senior Design) in Fall and Spring semester. He is also an active participant in ECEDHA conferences and co-leads the Technology Program at ECEDHA. Sid graduated with a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from Walchand Institute of Technology in 1991 and a master's degree from Drexel University in 1995.

These are important guidelines for working in Electrical and Systems Engineering Labs

>> VIew Safety Rules and Guidelines

The content is from Penn's EHRS, which maintains guidelines for electrical safety across the university

>> View Electrical Safety Guidelines

Important Electrical Safety Rules for Lab spaces at Penn

>> View Electrical Safety Fact Sheet

Read Lab Usage Guidelines

Featured Program

Mark Budnik

Carnegie Mellon University

Upcoming Retreat on Best Practices for ECE Programs

Carnegie Mellon University is hosting an informal retreat focused on examining present and future best practices for ECE programs developing undergraduate/graduate student skill sets and mindsets. The retreat will be held November 3-5, 2023, in Orlando, Florida.

Here is an outline of the planned retreat.

  • ECE Programs, Faculty, and Administration as Agents of Change
  • What's Cool and What's Not in ECE Programs Today
  • Best Practices in ECE Programs Today
  • What Will the Best Practices Be in ECE Programs in the Future?
  • Planning for Future Semi-Anual Retreats

Attendees are expected to be passionate about ECE programs, practice servant leadership, and collaborate with partners from across academia and industry. Please contact Dr. Mark Budnick ( for information.

IEC 2to4 Student Spotlight

Sheyla Moreno

IEC 2to4 Scholar

Meet Sheyla Moreno, IEC 2to4 Scholar

The IEC 2to4 program is an IEC initiative focused on supporting first-generation, underrepresented minority community college students in their transition to completing four-year ECE degrees. In Fall 2023, the first cohort of 2to4 students received scholarship funds. We invite you to share in their academic journey. Learn more about the IEC 2to4 program.

Name: Sheyla Moreno

Community College: El Paso Community College

College/University: University of Texas at El Paso

"Starting my life in the United States meant leaving everything behind and starting over. I learned conversational English while I was in basic training for the army, and then enrolled in El Paso Community College (EPCC). The community college was the best option for me. One of my biggest goals for the following semester is to become part of the UTEP community and join a club or organization, and I already joined a research project. I was worried about having the time to accomplish this goal, but with the opportunity I have been given to be an IEC 2to4 Scholar, I know I will not have the necessity to work while studying full time."

The IEC 2to4 program is made possible by the generous support of the U.S. Department of Defense Research and Development Division and the DoD STEM Community College Consortium Award.

Association Announcements

Now Renewing!

2023-2024 ECEDHA Academic Membership

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

  • Access to the 2023 ECEDHA Summit Series, a virtual program
  • The opportunity to attend the 2024 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
  • The opportunity to participate in the ECEDHA Annual Survey, a valuable tool in benchmarking data
  • Complimentary job posting service via the ECEDHA website
  • And much more!

Looking for your membership packet? Please contact the ECEDHA membership director at

ECEDHA Annual Survey

Now Open for Query!

The ECEDHA Annual Survey is now open for query, providing access to ECEDHA survey responses.

Members who participated by entering their data may now access the results.

You may login to your account at and then click the tab "Query" at the top to reach the "View Peer Data" page.

For questions, contact

Save the Date! 2024 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo

March 15-18, 2024

El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort

Tucson, Arizona

Mark your calendars for this premier annual gathering of ECE department chairs. The ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo brings together the largest concentration of ECE academia and industry throughout the United States and Canada.

Partner News

IEEE-HKN Can Help Your Department Achieve Its Goals

IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) offers several ways to support your students and outreach initiatives through its conferences, awards program, Chapter grant program, and graduate student initiatives. IEEE-HKN strives to be a partner to ECE departments by fostering students' technical training, professional development, and outreach capacities.

IEEE-HKN Student Leadership Conference

The HKN Student Leadership Conference (SLC) is our largest in-person conference with close to 250 students convening from around the world to learn about Chapter best practices, hear from academic and industry leaders on the latest technologies, build their personal and professional networks, and celebrate their successes at a special Awards Banquet. This year's conference is being hosted by the University of Houston and will take place 3-5 November. On Friday, November 3, hands-on workshops are being offered by Keysight Technologies, Texas Instruments, and EPICs in Engineering. On Saturday, November 4, students will have the choice of attending 20 learning sessions covering topics ranging from how to get and leverage Chapter funding, networking skills for introverts, the impact of the CHIPS act to hearing the personal journey of NASA astronaut Nichole Williams. Over 35 companies, graduate schools, and IEEE Societies will be on hand to meet with students to educate them on the opportunities that await them, including jobs and internships. We will celebrate the students' successes, including announcing the Outstanding Student Ward and Key Chapters on Saturday night at a special Awards Banquet. The conference will close out with the opportunity to network with other Chapters in their region to foster inter-Chapter. collaborations.

To make the conference accessible to ever-budget conscious students, HKN is able to provide Chapters with a hotel room for up to four students and their advisors plus offset the cost of conference meals bringint the out-of-pocket conference expenses down to $40 per person. This support is made possible through generous donations from the Samueli Foundation and our sponsors. However, students are still responsible for their travel costs and departments can subsidize their students' attendance by covering airfare and other travel expenses.

IEEE-HKN Awards Program

IEEE-HKN has a comprehensive Awards Program. Annually HKN presents an Outstanding Student Award, Outstanding Teaching Award, Outstanding Young Professional Award, Asad M. Madni Outstanding Technical Achievement Award in addition to the Outstanding Chapter Award and Key Chapter Recognition.

The HKN Awards Program is a great way to recognize your faculty, students, chapter, researchers or alumni. We encourage Department Heads to nominate and recommend individuals for HKN Awards.

>> Read More

IEEE-HKN Chapter Grant Program

2022 saw the launch of the IEEE-HKN Chapter Support Fund established to create new and enhanced existing resources, training, and programs to help every Chapter thrive. The two facets of this fund include the IEEE-HKN Student Chapter Support Grant program and a supplemental Chapter coaching initiative. Thirteen grant proposals have already been approved this year. With these grant funds, Chapters from around the globe are enhancing academic support services in their departments, fostering a sense of Chapter community by celebrating inductions, and hosting tech talks and other community events.

>> Read More

IEEE-HKN Graduate Student Support

IEEE-HKN has several ways that it is working to support our graduate students and undergraduates who are considering graduate school. A survey of HKN members indicates that 61.2% of HKN members plan on attending Graduate School within two years of graduation.

>> Read More

Have an article you would like to share?

Articles of interest to ECEDHA members for the ECEDHA Source are always welcome. Email your article for consideration to

>> View editorial guidelines

On-Demand Webinars
Previously recorded webinars are now available for your on-demand viewing!

Sponsored by Liquid Instruments

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Sponsored by Tektronix

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A Little Engineering Humor

The optimist says: "The glass is half full"

The pessimist says: "The glass is half empty"

The engineer says: "The glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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