ECE areas of concentration

The Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate program offers one of the broadest curricula within the college, with courses spanning a wide range of sub-disciplines.  To focus their efforts, graduate students may consider selecting courses based on an area of concentration.  Students, please note that you are not required to select a concentration area, nor will it be listed on your transcript or degree.  This is simply a guide for you to focus your coursework according to areas of specialty.  Select primary courses to build your fundamentals in an area, and related courses to expand your knowledge to other areas of career interests.  Most courses are not offered every term, so please see our course descriptions which lists recent offerings for each course.  The sample schedules are suggestions to help you create a plan of work, and you are not required to follow them.  If desired, you are welcome to choose courses from multiple concentration areas.  When selecting your courses, it is your responsibility to ensure that they meet degree requirements for the M.S. or Ph.D. program.

Micro and Nanoscale Sensors, Devices, and Systems

The last 20 years has seen a tremendous growth of miniature sensors and devices made using micro and nanofabrication techniques borne out of the semiconductor industry.  Smart, portable, and low power sensors and actuators have become ubiquitous in consumer electronics, biomedical devices, portable chemical diagnostics, and automotive technology, optical networking, and more.  This concentration area will develop a student's expertise and intuition in the unique techniques and principles used to design, fabricate, and test such devices.  Students will be exposed to the exciting applications of these devices, ranging from physical, chemical, environmental, and biomedical monitoring.

Faculty: Ivan Avrutsky, Gregory Auner, Yong Xu, Mark Cheng, Amar Basu, Chung-Tse Wu, Paiyen Chen

Primary Courses

  • ECE 5550 Solid State Electronics.
  • ECE 5575 Introduction to Micro and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems.
  • ECE 6570 Smart Sensor Technology I: Design.
  • ECE 7570 Smart Sensor Technology II: Characterization and Fabrication. (Prerequisite: ECE 6570).
  • ECE 7590 Biomedical Microsystems
  • ECE 7850: Fiber and Integrated Optics.  (Prerequisite: ECE 5870).
  • ECE 7995 Micro and Nano Fabrication

Related Courses

  • ECE 6180 Biomedical Instrumentation.
  • ECE 5620 Embedded Systems.
  • ECE 5280 (CSC 5280) Cyberphysical systems. New course to be offered in Winter 2017.
  • ECE 5870 Optical Communication Networks
  • ECE 5770 Digital Signal Processing.
  • ECE 6660 Introduction to VLSI Systems
  • PHY 6450 Introduction to Material and Device Characterization 

Sample Schedules

Semester Plan A: Thesis Option Plan C:  Course Work Only Option
Fall ECE 6570
ECE 5995 (Directed Study)
ECE 6570
ECE 5550
Winter ECE 7570
ECE 5575
ECE 7570
ECE 5575
Fall ECE 7995 (Micro and Nanofabrication)
ECE 8999
ECE 7995 (Micro and Nanofabrication)
ECE 5620
Winter ECE 7995 (BioMEMS and Bioinstrumentation) 
ECE 8999 (Thesis)
ECE 7995 (BioMEMS and Bioinstrumentation) 
ECE 6180 or ECE 5280

Robotics and Embedded Systems

Robotics and automation has been a growth area for industry from robots used for manufacturing, intelligent vehicles, space exploration, military, aerial surveillance, rehabilitation, and surgical applications.  The field involves system integration and requires many different areas of expertise including strong knowledge on programming kinematic and movement algorithms, electronics and circuits, and control systems for motor and stability necessary to develop robotic systems.   Students will be exposed to various robotic application areas and will develop basic knowledge in software, electronics and control useful in many areas. 

Faculty: Mohamad Hassoun, Syed Mahmud, Abhilash Pandya, Harpreet Singh, Le Yi Wang

Primary Courses

  • ECE 5020 Matrix Computation
  • ECE 7030 Mathematical Methods in Engineering I, F
  • ECE 5425 Introduction to Robotic Systems (Prerequisite: ECE 5020/BME 5020)
  • ECE 7400 Medical Robotics and Systems (Prerequisite: ECE 5020)
  • ECE 5620 Embedded Systems
  • ECE 5680 Computer Aided Logical Design and FPGAs
  • ECE 5280 (CSC 5280) Cyberphysical systems. New course to be offered in Winter 2017.
  • ECE 5410 Power Electronics and Control
  • ECE 5440 Computer Controlled Systems

Related Courses

  • ECE 6660 Introduction to VLSI Systems
  • ECE 7530 Advanced Digital VLSI Design Using VHDL. (Prerequisite: ECE 6660)
  • ECE 6570 Smart Sensor Technology I: Design
  • ECE 7570 Smart Sensor Technology II: Characterization and Fabrication. (Prerequisite: ECE 6570).
  • ECE 6180 (BME 5010) Biomedical Instrumentation.

Sample Schedules

Semester Plan A: Thesis Option Plan C:  Course Work Only Option
Fall ECE 5440
ECE 5620
ECE 5440
ECE 5620
Winter ECE 5020
ECE 5680 or ECE 5410
ECE 5020
ECE 5680
Fall ECE 5425
ECE 8999
ECE 5425
ECE 5410
Winter ECE 7400
ECE 8999
ECE 7400
ECE 5280

Control Systems

Automatic control systems are universally critical for design, operation, and management of traditional and emerging technologies, including vehicles, medical devices, renewable energy systems, smart grids, among many others.  This concentration area will develop a student's knowledge, skill, and expertise in modeling, analysis, design, and hardware and software implementations of control systems.  

Faculty: Feng Lin, Le Yi Wang, Hao Ying 

Primary Courses

  • ECE 5440 Computer-Controlled Systems. (Prerequisite: ECE 4470 or equivalent)
  • ECE 5470 Control Systems II. (Prerequisite: ECE 4470 or equivalent)
  • ECE 7420 Nonlinear Control Systems. (Prerequisite: ECE 5440 or ECE 5470)
  • ECE 7440 Dynamic Systems and Optimal Control. (Prerequisite: ECE 5440 or ECE 5470)
  • ECE 7450 System Identification and Adaptive Control. (Prerequisite: ECE 5440 or ECE 5470)
  • ECE 7430 Control of Discrete Event Systems. (Prerequisite: ECE 5440 or ECE 5470)

Related Courses

  • ECE 5020 Matrix Computation
  • ECE 5410 Power Electronics and Control
  • ECE 5425 Introduction to Robotic Systems
  • ECE 5330 (EVE5430, AET5330) Modeling and Control of Power Electronics and Electric Vehicle Powertrains
  • ECE 5430 Electric Energy Systems Engineering
  • ECE 5620 Embedded Systems
  • ECE 5280 (CSC 5280) Cyber-Physical Systems. A new course to be offered starting Winter 2017.
  • ECE 5650 Computer Networks and Programming
  • ECE 7730 Telematics (Prereq: ECE 5700)

Sample Schedules

Semester Plan A: Thesis Option Plan C:  Course Work Only Option
Fall ECE 5440
ECE 5330
ECE 5440
ECE 5330
Winter ECE 5470
ECE 5020 or ECE 5410
ECE 5470
ECE 5020 or ECE 5410
Fall ECE 7420
ECE 8999
ECE 7420
ECE 5425 or ECE 5430
Winter ECE 8999
Elective course
ECE 7430
Elective course

High Performance Computer Systems

Computing has evolved from sequential and independent program running to parallel or concurrent task executions in a large well-organized cluster of servers. The latter are represented by high-performance and cloud computing. In these computing domains, not only performance but also reliability, resilience, and power efficiency are goals of the system design and maintenance. Implications of the system designs on applications, including Internet-based and IoT applications, are also significant. This concentration area will develop a student's expertise and intuition in the unique techniques and principles used to design, evaluate, and use the systems and applications running on them. Students will be exposed to state-of-the-art techniques, theories, and software to learn representative systems running in today's large data centers and high-performance centers.

Faculty: Syed Mahmud, Nabil Sarhan, Harpreet Singh, Cheng-Zhong Xu

Primary Courses

  • ECE 5610 Introduction to Parallel and Distributed Systems
  • ECE 7610 Advanced Parallel and Distributed Systems
  • ECE 5650 Computer Networks and Programming
  • ECE 7660 Advanced Computer Architecture
  • ECE 6660 Introduction to VLSI Systems
  • ECE 7530 Advanced Digital VLSI Design Using VHDL (Prerequisite: ECE 6660)
  • ECE 5620 Embedded Systems
  • ECE 5680 Computer Aided Logical Design and FPGAs

Related Courses

  • ECE 5280 (CSC 5280) Cyberphysical systems. New course to be offered in Winter 2017.
  • ECE 5425 Introduction to Robotic Systems (Prerequisite: ECE 5020/BME 5020)
  • ECE 5870 Optical Communication Networks

Sample Schedules

Coming Soon

Signal Processing and Communications

Signal processing is the art and science of extracting information from data. It is essential to a variety of emerging technologies, from next-generation WiFi and cellular communications to state-of-the-art imaging systems to bleeding-edge machine learning and big data techniques. Students in this concentration will learn the tools of modern signal processing, will sharpen their mathematical and statistical intuition, and will apply their skills to practical problems that will prepare them for careers in digital communication, image processing, and machine learning.

Faculty: Ivan Avrutsky, Xiaoyan Han, Mohamad Hassoun, John Liu, Matthew Nokleby

Primary Courses

  • ECE 5700 Digital Communications, F
  • ECE 7700 Statistical Communication Theory (Prereq: ECE 5700), F
  • ECE 7995 Detection and Estimation (Prof. Matthew Nokelby), F
  • ECE 5460 Stochastic Processes in Engineering. Since this class is not currently offered, students may instead take Math 5710 Introduction to Stochastic Processes. (3 credits)
  • ECE 5770 Digital Signal Processing. F
  • ECE 5690 Introduction to Digital Image Processing.  W
  • ECE 7680 Advanced Digital Image Processing and Applications (Prereq: ECE 5690)

Related Courses

  • Communication and Networking
    • ECE 5650 Computer Networks and Programming
    • ECE 5870 Optical Communication Networks
    • ECE 7730 Telematics (Prereq: ECE 5700)
    • CSC 7290 Advanced Computer Networking (3 credits)
  • Mathematical Signal Analysis and Optimization
    • ECE 7030 Mathematical Methods in Engineering
    • Math 5870 Methods of Optimization (3 credits)
    • Math 5600 Introduction to Analysis I (3 credits)
    • Math 5610 Introduction to Analysis II (3 credits)
    • Math 7600 Real Analysis I (3 credits)
    • Math 7610 Real Analysis II (3 credits)
    • IE 7995 Stochastic Programming 
  • Machine Learning
    • CSC 5285 Introduction to Machine Learning and Applications (3 credits)
    • CSC 7825 Machine Learning (3 credits)

Sample Schedules

Semester Plan A: Thesis Option Plan C:  Course Work Only Option
Fall ECE 5700
ECE 7030
ECE 5700
ECE 7030
Winter ECE 5690
ECE 8999
ECE 5690
Elective
Fall ECE 7700
ECE 7995 (Detection and Estimation)
ECE 7700
ECE 7995 (Detection and Estimation)
Winter Elective
ECE 8999
Elective
Elective

Power and Energy Engineering

Sustainable energy development and environmentally sensitive energy use are the key challenges that any modern society/country must face and address. This concentration will prepare students for the future challenges in the power and energy area, specifically in power systems, power electronics, energy conversion, renewable/alternative energy systems, transportation electrification, smart grid/microgrids, energy storage, distributed generation, and energy and environmental analytics.

Faculty: Feng Lin, Gholam-Abbas Nazri, Caisheng Wang, Le Yi Wang

Primary Courses

  • ECE 5330: Modeling and Control of Power Electronics and Electric Vehicle Powertrains
  • ECE 5410: Power Electronics and Control
  • ECE 5430: Electric Energy Systems Engineering
  • ECE 5470: Control Systems II
  • ECE 5995: Alternative Energy Sources and Energy Sustainability. New course offered in Winter 2017.
  • ECE 5995: Energy Storage Systems for Electric Based Transportation. New course offered in Winter 2017.
  • ECE 7995: Smart Grid

Related Courses

  • EVE 7310 Electric-drive Vehicle Modeling and Simulation
  • EVE 5810: Power Management for Advanced Energy Storage Systems and its Applications.
  • AET 5110 (EVE 5130): Fundamental Fuel Cell Systems
  • AET 5120: Fundamentals of Alternative Energy Technology
  • ECE 5325: Smart Sensors and Fuel Cells
  • ECE 5550: Solid State Electronics
  • ECE 7030: Mathematical Methods in Engineering I
  • ECE 7420: Nonlinear Control Systems
  • ECE 7550: Advanced Solid State Electronics I
  • ECE 5770: Digital Signal Processing

Sample Schedule

Semester Plan A: Thesis Option Plan C:  Course Work Only Option
Fall ECE 5430
ECE 7995
ECE 5430
ECE 7995 (Smart Grid)
Winter ECE 5410
ECE 5470
ECE 5410
ECE 5995 (Alternative Energy Sources and Energy Sustainability)
Fall ECE 5330
ECE 8999
ECE 5550
ECE 5330
Winter EVE 5810
ECE 8999
ECE 5770
ECE 5995 (Energy Storage Systems for Electric Based Transportation)

Automotive Electronics

Modern vehicles are complex electronic systems that include in-vehicle networks, sensor nodes, drive-by-wire technology, infotainment, wireless connectivity, inter-vehicle communication, and most recently autonomous driving.  Contemporary automotive engineering embodies many emerging areas of electrical and computer engineering, including Internet of Things (IOT), microelectronics, embedded systems, sensors, control, robotics, and machine learning.  This concentration area will prepare students for a career in automotive electronics, for which there is a growing demand particularly in the Detroit area.

Faculty: Mohammad Ismail, John Liu, Syed Mahmud, Matthew Nokleby, Radovan Muicic (Changan), Syed Ali (GM), Randy Boone (Ford)

Primary Courses

  • ECE 5620: Embedded Systems
  • ECE 5995: Cooperative Connected Vehicles (Spring/Summer)
  • ECE 7995: Embedded Systems for Vehicles (Spring/Summer)
  • ECE 7730: Telematics
  • ECE 5995: Autonomous Self-Driving Vehicles (under development)

Related Courses

  • ECE 5440: Computer-Controlled Systems
  • ECE 5450: Control and Optimization for Integrated Electric-drive Vehicle Systems
  • ECE 5575: Introduction to Micro and Nanoelectromechanical Systems
  • ECE 6570: Smart Sensors I
  • ECE 7570: Smart Sensors II
  • ECE 7995: Detection and Estimation
  • ECE 5995: Digital ASIC design (under development)
  • ECE 5995: RF and Mixed Signal Circuit Design (under development)

Last Updated: August 2016