The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association
September 2022
Featured Articles
The CHIPS and Science Act Becomes Law
By: Mikhail Kats, University of Wisconsin-Madison 

On August 9, President Biden signed into law a bipartisan bill titled the “CHIPS and Science Act”, which will have major consequences for the semiconductor industry in the United States, including education and workforce development, as well as funding levels and inner workings of agencies that support scientific research, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE). This law is the culmination of almost two years of negotiations, and you may have heard of previous versions of it, including the Endless Frontier Act and USICA in the Senate, and the COMPETES Act in the House. You can read a section-by-section summary of the bill here [link], a helpful three-page breakdown from the AAAS here [link] and, if you are so inclined, the full 1000-page text of the bill [link].

When looking at the various items in the bill, it is important to understand the difference between authorization and appropriation of funds. Authorization for spending sets the maximum amount that can be spent on a particular item, whereas appropriation provides actual funds that will be spent from the Treasury. In some cases, the CHIPS and Science Act actually appropriates funding, in particular funds to encourage US-based semiconductor manufacturing. On the other hand, most of the science provisions, especially those related to the NSF and DOE, are authorizations rather than appropriations. Therefore, it may be prudent to keep an eye on future appropriations processes, and communicate with congressional members and staff as they put together appropriations bills. Note that the America COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010 both authorized large increases in basic-research spending, but the appropriated numbers ended up being significantly lower [link].

CHIPS and Science Act: Implications and Opportunities for ECE
By:  Dennis Sylvester, University of Michigan 

The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act of 2022, signed into law August 9, 2022, promises to bring relief to industries besieged by a chip shortage that has halted production of vehicles, consumer electronics, and much more. In anticipation of this historic initiative to revitalize the U.S. semiconductor industry, companies and educational institutions have already begun moving ahead with plans to maximize its impact.
Among those who have been planning far in advance of the signing of the CHIPS Act is Dennis Sylvester, Edward S. Davidson Collegiate Professor and Associate Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan.
Sylvester is an internationally-recognized leader in the area of ultra-low power microprocessor design. He and his collaborators created the world’s smallest computer, called the Michigan Micro Mote (M3), much of which is currently being manufactured overseas. Ready to take advantage of the new opportunities presented by the signing of the CHIPS Act, Sylvester offers his perspective on this transformative event.

Message from an International Member
By: Tolga M. Duman, Bilkent University

The Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) Department of Bilkent University (in Ankara, Turkey) has recently become an international member of ECEDHA, and as the chair of the department, I have participated in the 2022 ECEDHA Annual Conference in the beautiful city of New Orleans back in March. I would like to share a few thoughts on why we wanted to become a member and what we would like to achieve through our membership in the coming years.

Founded in 1984, Bilkent University is a non-profit private institution of higher education. The medium of instruction in the university is English for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Faculty come from more than 40 different countries around the world. While most students at the undergraduate level are Turkish nationals who are admitted through the nationwide university entrance examination, there are many international students as well. In particular, at the graduate level, the percentage of international students is very high. In addition, we participate in exchange and Erasmus programs with different universities worldwide and host many international students in our department through these programs. Faculty of Engineering is one of the largest colleges in the university, and specifically, the EEE Department is one of the largest departments at the university with around 30 full-time faculty, nearly 800 undergraduate and 200 graduate students.

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ECE Faculty Spotlights
Deidra R. Hodges
Department Chairperson/ Associate Professor
Florida International University
Making History: A Year of Firsts

About Florida International University (FIU) and FIU ECE:
The FIU Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department enrolled 1,240 students in Fall 2021: 1,021 undergraduates and 219 graduate students (composed of 109 MS and 110 PhD students), making the ECE Department the largest in the College of Engineering and Computing at FIU. During the 2021-22 academic year, the program had 30 tenure-track faculty members, 13 non-tenure-track faculty members, and 11 adjunct faculty members. Through 10 colleges and schools, FIU offers more than 190 bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs and conducts basic and applied research. FIU is ranked R1 (Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity), the highest level awarded in The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education®. With a student body of nearly 54,000 students (Fall 2021 enrollment), nearly 1,800 full-time instructional faculty, and more than 18,000 degrees awarded during the 2020 – 2021 academic year, FIU is the largest university in South Florida.

Association Announcements
Hulya Kirkici
University of South Alabama 
2022-2023 ECEDHA Election Results

We are pleased to share the results of the 2022-2023 ECEDHA Election for Secretary.

ECEDHA welcomes Hulya Kirkici to the ECEDHA Board of Directors.

Hulya Kirkici is Professor and the Department Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of South Alabama. She received B.S. and M.S. in physics from Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey; and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Polytechnic University (currently NYU), NY. Previously, Dr. Kirkici was Professor of electrical and computer engineering at Auburn University (1992-2016), visiting scholar / consultant and Summer Faculty Fellow at the Air Force Research Laboratory – Wright Patterson Air Force Base, (2014-2015), and visiting scientist/engineer at NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL (1999-2000). Dr. Kirkici’s research interests span from electrical insulation and high-frequency dielectric breakdown to repetitive pulsed power. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal and conference articles and given plenary and invited talks nationally and internationally (USA, Turkey, Japan, S.Korea, China, and Australia).

Congratulations, Hulya Kirkici! We look forward to a continued strong leadership for the association.
Now Renewing: 2022-2023 ECEDHA Academic Membership

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

  • Access to the 2022 ECEDHA Summit Series, a virtual program
  • The opportunity to attend the 2023 ECEDHA Annual Conference & 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 Sinais Alvarado at
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

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.
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