ECE Focus Area: Sustainability (Computer)

42 megawatt, Cerro Gordo county Iowa, wind farm.  Iowa, PowerFilm Inc. (formerly ITFT), flexible solar cells.  Fueling a hybrid electric vehicle.


Sustainable electrical engineering is focused on developing renewable electricity sources such as wind and solar power; systems for integrating renewable power into the grid; hybrid and electric vehicles; and energy efficient lights, motors, appliances, and heating and cooling systems.

Depending on the courses selected, sustainability area coursework can provide additional understanding of topics in energy generation, control systems, energy resource management and environmental issues, while satisfying the requirements for a Certificate in Sustainability.

Electrical engineers completing coursework in the computer track sustainability focus area find employment in the renewable energy industry, in the electric and hybrid electric vehicle industry, in power utilities, in consulting, and more generally, anywhere energy efficiency is a concern.

Students interested in the Sustainability elective focus area are encouraged to consider the track and EFA course selection suggestions listed below when completing their plan of study form.

EFA Requirements Suggested Options
Track Computer Track: accelerated curriculum, standard curriculum
Breadth Elective
(select one)
055:041 (ECE:3410) Electronic Circuits
055:043 (ECE:3400) Linear Systems II
055:054 (ECE:3540) Communication Networks
055:060 (ECE:3600) Control Systems
Depth Elective
(select one)
055:132 (ECE:5320) High Performance Computer Architecture
055:180 (ECE:5800) Fundamentals of Software Engineering
100-Level ECE
(select two)
       All depth electives listed above and
055:129 (ECE:5129) Information Systems for Resource Management
055:133 (ECE:5330) Graph Algorithms and Combinatorial Optimization
055:163 (ECE:5630) Sustainable Energy Conversion (Req'd for certificate)
055:164 (ECE:5640) Computer Based Control*
055:182 (ECE:5820) Software Engineering Languages and Tools**
Technical Electives
(select three)
22C:021 (CS:2230) Computer Science II: Data Structures (Req'd)
       All breadth, depth and 100-level ECE electives listed above, and
22M:072 (MATH:3800) Elementary Numerical Analysis***
053:107 (CEE:4107) Sustainable Systems (Req'd for certificate)
055:142 (ECE:5420) Power Electronics
055:143 (ECE:5430) Electric Power Systems
055:162 (ECE:5620) Electric Drive Systems
056:054 (IE:2500) Engineering Economy
056:155 (IE:4550) Wind Power Management
Additional Electives
(select two)
       All breadth, depth and 100-level ECE electives listed above and
012:008 (GEOS:1080) Intro to Environmental Science (Req'd for certificate)
057:013 (ENGR:4013) Intro to Sustainability (Req'd for certificate)

     * Requires completion of 055:060 (ECE:3600) Control Systems.
   ** Requires completion of 055:180 (ECE:5800) Fundamentals of Software Engineering.
 *** A Mathematics minor can be earned by completing one qualifying Math course.

Advising Notes

  1. To earn a Certificate in Sustainability students must complete 24 s.h. of prescribed course work.
  2. To avoid having to take any courses beyond those required to complete a B.S.E. degree students must ensure that at least 8 of their 5 GEC and 7 EFA elections satisfy certificate requirements. For details consult the ECE sustainability web page.
  3. Computer track students automatically satisfy the Computer Science minor requirements.

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