Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

The planet is changing – and in some ways, not for the better. As we battle climate change, the world needs electrical and computer engineers to give us safe, alternative sources of power that can keep our environment clean, like solar, wind, and geothermal.

ECE is power – electrical and computer engineers were behind energy grids and the machines that run them all around the world. Now, these engineers will design a smart grid infrastructure that makes it possible to use alternative power sources in homes and industry. To keep power usage low and our carbon footprint lower, we'll also need efficient electronics that put less demand on our power plants and solar farms. That includes low-power screens and lights. And they'll continue to improve earth friendly electric vehicles.

colored solar cells
Colored, see-through solar cells invented in ECE could enable 'stained' glass windows, decorative panels and even shade that makes electricity. 

ECE at Work

Ice Sensing

Engineering a Better Future for Ethiopia
ECE faculty traveled to Ethiopia to help kickstart the nation's higher education in Controls Systems and Power.

Meet Prof. Ian Hiskens
Prof. Hiskens works to get energy from intermittent clean energy sources, such as wind and solar, to the grid.

Meet Prof. Heath Hofmann
Prof. Hofmann specializes in energy harvesting, energy storage systems, and electric drives for HEVs.
Cheap Solar Power with Nano-Structured Solar Concentrators
Nanotechnology could reduce the cost of the most expensive part of a solar power plant by 75 percent. ECE researchers plan to concentrate sunlight with a flat, nanostructured surface.

Using Energy Storage in an Environmentally Friendly Way
An ECE grad student studies how introducing distributed energy storage into the power grid may have unexpected impacts on the environment.
Ice Sensing

Inspired by art, lightweight solar cells track the sun
By borrowing from the ancient Japanese art of paper cutting, ECE researchers that can track the sun across the sky without heavy motors.

ECE Tech in the World