To be prepared for employment as a contributing engineer and/or for graduate-level education, students within the ECE Department receive instruction that is balanced between theory and practice. In fact, much of our curriculum integrates theory and practice within each course. It is common to study new devices and techniques, and then immediately work with these devices/techniques in a laboratory setting. In response to the breadth of ECE, all students work with their academic advisor to develop a broad-based program of study. As with most engineering curricula, ECE study includes a solid foundation of mathematics and science. Discipline-specific study in ECE usually begins early in a student's career - during the second half of the freshman year - with courses providing a broad overview of the entire field. During the sophomore and junior years, students learn the core analysis, design and laboratory skills necessary to a broad range of ECE sub-disciplines. When desired, specialization within ECE occurs during the junior and senior years. In addition, all students complete a major qualifying project (MQP). This project, typically completed in teams during the senior year, is an individualized design or research project that draws from much of the prior instruction. Utilizing the benefit of individualized instruction from one or more faculty members, students develop, implement and document the solution to a real engineering problem. Many of these projects are sponsored by industry, or are associated with ongoing faculty research. These projects form a unique bridge to the engineering profession.
Program Educational Objectives
The WPI ECE program educates future leaders of the electrical and computer engineering profession with a program characterized by curricular flexibility, student project work, and active involvement of students in their learning. Through a balanced, integrated curriculum, graduates of the BS program in ECE will achieve:
- An education which is strong both in the fundamentals and in state-of-the-art knowledge,
- Preparation for immediate professional practice as well as graduate study and lifelong learning,
- Broad preparation for their professional and personal lives, providing the basis for effective professional and civic leadership and informed citizenship,
- Strength in all forms of technical and nontechnical communication,
- The ability for effective teamwork;
- An understanding of the broad social and ethical implications of their work.
Endorsed by the ECE faculty on 23 August 2006.
The program must have documented student outcomes that prepare graduates to attain the program educational objectives. Student outcomes are outcomes (a) through (k) plus any additional outcomes that may be articulated by the program.
a. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
b. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
c. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
d. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
e. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
f. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
g. an ability to communicate effectively
h. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
i. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
j. a knowledge of contemporary issues
k. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.