Oct 23, 2019  
2014-2015 Catalog 
    
2014-2015 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Electrical Engineering


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Control Systems

Control Systems engineering seeks to analyze physical systems - mechanical, electrical, fluidic, chemical, financial and even biological - and design ways to control them. From prototyping a new spacecraft guidance system, to engineering more efficient fuel injection in cars, to designing multi-legged robots for combat, control systems engineers play a critical role in technological innovation. In the Control Systems program within the Electrical Engineering Department, you will acquire the engineering methods and analytic tools needed to design solutions for complex technical challenges in the world of control.

Application and Research

  • Designing microcontrollers for embedded electronic control systems, such as cruise control or climate control.
  • Advancing sensor, stabilizing, and tracking technology to improve manufacturing processes, guidance and navigation in aerospace, and automotive design.
  • Exploring robotic control in medicine, space exploration, consumer electronics, and defense.
  • Improving communications systems for rail, airline, shipping, and other industries.

Examples of Technology

  • Historic inventions in control systems engineering include the thermostat in 1620, the passenger elevator in 1857, the pacemaker in 1950, the Apollo Guidance Computer in 1964, and the first microprocessor in 1969.
  • Medical technologies that use control systems include pacemakers, prosthetic limbs, drug delivery, artificial respiration, and many types of surgery.
  • Control system engineering pervades the defense sector in ballistic and anti-ballistic missile systems, self-propelled submarines, drones, F-16s, radar detection, and other military technologies.

Benefits to Florida’s Economy

  • Florida has one of the nation’s largest aerospace and aviation industries, with over 2,000 companies in the state, 100+ public airports, and two spaceports.
  • According to a survey by a leading staffing firm, Manpower, engineering jobs are the second hardest to fill, due to a lack of skilled candidates.
  • Systems Engineers are among of the most versatile of all engineers. Where other engineers specialize in a certain discipline (electronics, mechanics, aerodynamics, software, etc.), systems engineers are concerned with all of these, and often serve as the primary interface between management, customers, suppliers, and specialty engineers in the systems development process.

Fast Facts

The earliest known example of control systems engineering occurred in 270 B.C., when a Greek man named Ktesibios invented the water clock.

Major Companies in the Industry

  • CAE USA
  • FARO Technologies
  • Ocean Optics
  • Sensormatic Electronics
  • SimplexGrinnell

Digital and Hybrid Systems

Digital & Hybrid Systems focuses on integrating digital mechanisms to achieve greater interoperability, compatibility, transferability, and scalability in devices. They are the basis of how all technology and information becomes accessible and usable. Digital & hybrid systems engineers combine components to provide newer, faster, and more reliable technology to military, avionics, security, marine and other industries. The Digital & Hybrid Systems program in the Electrical Engineering Department provides you with a strong foundation in the principles of digital & hybrid systems and circuits, as well as hands-on training in industry-standard tools for designing the digital systems that are essential to all technologies in use today.

Application and Research

  • Connecting mobile devices to share information and work together to accomplish complex tasks.
  • Fusing multiple video sensors for large surveillance systems.
  • Advancing vision processors for smart glasses, gaming systems, and automotive driver assistance systems.
  • Developing multi-core technology in central processing units (CPUs).

Examples of Technology

  • Supercomputers, personal computers, appliances, calculators, digital clocks, industrial controls, aviation and defense instruments, and automobiles all rely on digital systems, from large boards to nanoscale systems-on-a-chip.
  • Flip chip packaging is a method of connecting several semiconductor devices in less space for use in small electronics like cell phones.

Benefits to Florida’s Economy

  • As much as $40 billion could be spent by 2017 on the fabrication of multi-core processors, according to R&D Magazine.
  • The global cell phone industry is expected to reach an estimated $334.8 billion in 2017.
  • In a 2012 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 49 percent of employers polled said they hired electrical engineers from the Class of 2013.

Fast Facts

The Hubble Space Telescope uses four charge-coupled devices to detect light that is one billion times fainter than what the naked eye can see.

Major Companies in the Industry

  • Advanced Solar Photonics
  • Atkins Engineering
  • Galtronics Telementry
  • Infrax Systems

Electrodynamics

Electrodynamics is a branch of physics that studies moving electric charges and their interaction with magnetic and electric fields. Rooted in classic and quantum physics, electrodynamic engineering focuses on developing advanced technology used in space exploration, energy conservation, proton acceleration, and a myriad of other applications. The Electrodynamics program in the Electrical Engineering Department will give you a strong scientific foundation in the theory and problems of electrodynamics, as well as hands-on experience in designing new, exciting electrodynamic technologies.

Application and Research

  • Addressing problems and methods of theoretical physics and astrophysics associated with microscopic and macroscopic electrodynamics.
  • Applying electric and magnetic fields to reduce plasma densities over antennae, missiles, and spacecraft.
  • Developing new applications for and improvements in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology for medical diagnostics.

Examples of Technology

  • Electrodynamic tethers (EDTs) are long conducting wires, currently used on satellites, that can convert energy to either generate power for sustaining spacecraft or provide motoring capability with thrust to extend the mission range of spacecraft.
  • Electrodynamic suspension (EDS) is a form of magnetic levitation in which conductors are exposed to eddy currents that create a repulsive magnetic field, holding two objects apart. EDS is used in the Japanese SCMaglev train and in Cadillacs for a smooth ride.
  • Electrodynamic bearings (EDBs) feature contactless, frictionless rotating shafts in motors to achieve ultra high-speeds, minimal fuel requirements, and superior lifetimes. This largely conceptual technology has powerful implications for the automotive, aerospace, defense, energy, and medical industries.

Benefits to Florida’s Economy

  • With nearly 2,000 aviation and aerospace companies in Florida, electrodynamic analysis and applications of electrodynamic technology are in high demand.
  • In 2012, MetroPlan Orlando announced plans to build a maglev train in Orlando, costing $315 million.
  • In 2013, Orlando-based API Technologies received a $2 million contract for electromagnetic integrated solutions for defense communications.

Fast Facts

Spacecraft must be able to endure violent levels of vibration during launch, so electrodynamic shakers are used to simulate launch conditions during testing.

Major Companies in the Industry

  • Alternate Energy Technologies
  • CP Engineering
  • Intellon Corporation
  • Kinley-Horn & Associates
  • Matrix Utilities

Magnetics

Magnetics is the study of the magnetic structure within highly permeable, thin strips of alloy for the purposes of applied engineering. Magnetic materials play a critical role in a wide range of industries: automotive, security, medical, IT, and aerospace applications are just a few ways in which magnetics is driving innovation. The Magnetics program in the Electrical Engineering Department at both the graduate and undergraduate levels includes hands-on experimentation and the practical design of magnetic components to give you a cutting-edge advantage in this exciting field.

Application and Research

  • Developing magnetic semiconductors for spintronic devices.
  • Creating new types of sensors using magnetic surface effects.
  • Advancing solid-state magnetic memory technology.
  • Improving wireless magnetic devices.

Examples of Technology

  • Popular Mechanics reports that strong magnets with printed poles can be used for spinal implants, aircraft machinery, prosthetic-limb fittings, even fasteners that allow robots to scale walls without touching them.
  • Medical Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology in medical diagnostics continues to advance for increased accuracy, effectiveness and patient comfort.
  • One of the largest growing segments of the semiconductor market is swipeless mobile payment systems.
  • Electrical engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a way to use sound waves to enhance magnetic data storage, for more stable memory and more storage capacity in less space, using less power.

Benefits to Florida’s Economy

  • Electrical engineers in magnetics are in demand at a wide variety of companies throughout Florida, including telecommunications, medical, clean tech, energy distribution, aerospace, defense, and consumer electronics manufacturing.
  • According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the semiconductor industry added jobs three times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy in 2011. The Semiconductor Industry Association reports that the industry’s employment multiplier figure is higher than that of the construction industry, the communications industry, and the automobile industry.
  • Leading audit firm KPMG’s Semiconductor Business Confidence Index rose 11 points between 2012 and 2013.

Fast Facts

Spintronics devices are smaller than 100 nanometers, or 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.

Major Companies in the Industry

  • BAE Systems
  • Mitsubishi Power Systems America
  • Roper Industries
  • Siemens Energy

Semiconductors

Semiconductor devices are solid state devices that exploit the properties of semiconductor materials to improve electronic technology. Semiconductor device engineers can manipulate semiconductor materials to build transistors, capacitors, wires, light-emitting diodes and semiconductor lasers - all of which are integrated into computer chips. The Semiconductors program in the Electrical Engineering Department will give you a comprehensive foundation in device physics and electrical engineering, as well as hands-on experiments in fabricating and prototyping your own applications for these small but powerful components that we all depend on.

Application and Research

  • Developing magnetic semiconductors for spintronic devices.
  • Creating new types of sensors using magnetic surface effects.
  • Advancing solid-state magnetic memory technology.
  • Improving wireless magnetic devices.

Examples of Technology

  • The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors estimates that 14 nanometer transistor technology will be reached by 2014.
  • Northwestern University has filed a patent for polymeric and molecular semiconductors that can be used in photovoltaic devices, transistors, and light-emitting diodes.

Benefits to Florida’s Economy

  • The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $74.65 billion during the second quarter of 2013, the largest quarterly increase in three years.
  • Florida has the third highest average wages in semiconductor processing, and is ranked eighth in overall semiconductor employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • BLS also reports that total direct semiconductor employment in the U.S. is estimated at 369,700 jobs.

Fast Facts

Silicon, the primary ingredient in beach sand, is a natural semiconductor and the most abundant element on earth except for oxygen.

Major Companies in the Industry

  • Intel
  • Qualcomm
  • Harris Corporation
  • Texas Instruments
  • Toshiba

Program and Concentration Requirements

Degree Programs

    Bachelor of ScienceConcentration

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