82.7 Electrical Engineering
Electrical engineering is the application of knowledge of electrical systems and phenomena for the benefit of society. The Electrical Engineering program builds an understanding of theoretical concepts early in the program and then gives students the tools to develop more in-depth knowledge in their fields of interest. Introductory courses explore the fundamentals of electricity and magnetism, the laws governing analog electric circuits, and introduce digital circuitry. In the third and fourth years of study, students are able to investigate specific areas of electrical engineering, while maintaining a broad outlook. Practical experience is integral to the program. Laboratory experiments form a required element of many courses while in the final year of study students must complete a capstone design project.
82.7.1 Areas of Study
Students are required to choose electives as part of the program. These courses allow students to study the following technical areas in greater depth.
Students should contact the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for advice regarding the selection of appropriate elective courses in their areas of interest.
Biomedical Engineering is the application of the principles of engineering to the solution of problems in medicine and biology. Applications of electrical engineering include bioelectromagnetism, physiological monitoring and related instrumentation, medical imaging and information systems. See §§82.7.2 and 82.3 for more information.
Communications engineering involves the movement of information from one point to another in analog or digital form, including transmitting, routing, receiving and processing these signals.
Control Systems Engineering
Control Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary subject that cuts across many specialized engineering fields. Control system engineers are essential to the design of systems such as robotics, space vehicles, oil refineries, paper-making machines, power systems and automobiles.
Digital Systems Engineering
Digital systems engineers design hardware systems for a broad range of applications including process control, robotics, digital signal processing, computers, communications, instrumentation and data acquisition.
Electronic Materials and Nanotechnology
Electronic materials are central to many applications including electronic and photonic devices and biotechnology. Topics include growth of thin films and microfabrication of functional devices. Of increasing importance is nanotechnology, the science and engineering of materials and structures at the molecular level.
Electronics is an area of electrical engineering that may be applied to all fields of technology. It overlaps other areas of electrical engineering such as digital, control, communications and power systems.
Electromagnetics and Photonics
Electromagnetic phenomena form the basis of electrical engineering. Further study of electromagnetics can aid understanding of systems such as photonics, microwaves, plasma processing, power distribution, lasers and wireless transmission.
Power Engineering covers the generation, transmission, distribution and application of electrical power. It includes power systems, power electronics, motors generators and motor drives.
82.7.2 Biomedical Option in Electrical Engineering
This option is intended to provide a more intensive specialization in the biomedical engineering field than is possible by choosing only the relevant program electives. Core courses in the Electrical Engineering Program are replaced by fundamental courses in medicine and biology. This option is intended to better prepare students for graduate studies in biomedical engineering and for employment in the health-care industry. It also provides the necessary academic qualifications to allow successful students to make application into the MD Program. See §§82.7.1, 82.3 and 16.9.9 for more information.
82.7.3 Nanoengineering Option in Electrical Engineering
This option provides an introduction to the principles of electronics, electromagnetics and photonics as they apply at the nanoscale level. By selecting this option, students will learn about the processes involved in the fabrication of nanoscale structures and become familiar with the computer aided design (CAD) tools necessary for analyzing phenomena at these very high levels of miniaturization.
The Option retains most of the core elements of the traditional Electrical Engineering Program and contains a number of offerings in the form of program electives. Changes from the Traditional Electrical Engineering Program occur only after second year.