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)
ECE:3410 Electronic Circuits
ECE:3400 Linear Systems II
ECE:3540 Communication Networks
ECE:3600 Control Systems
Depth Elective
(select one)
ECE:5320 High Performance Computer Architecture
ECE:5800 Fundamentals of Software Engineering
5000-Level ECE
(select two)
       All depth electives listed above and
ECE:5129 Information Systems for Resource Management
ECE:5330 Graph Algorithms and Combinatorial Optimization
ECE:5630 Sustainable Energy Conversion (Req'd for certificate)
ECE:5640 Computer Based Control*
ECE:5820Software Engineering Languages and Tools**
Technical Electives
(select three)
CS:2230 Computer Science II: Data Structures (Req'd)
       All breadth, depth and 100-level ECE electives listed above, and
MATH:3800 Elementary Numerical Analysis***
CEE:4107 Sustainable Systems (Req'd for certificate)
ECE:5420 Power Electronics
ECE:5430 Electric Power Systems
ECE:5620 Electric Drive Systems
IE:2500 Engineering Economy
IE:4550 Wind Power Management
Additional Electives
(select two)
       All breadth, depth and 5000-level ECE electives listed above and
EES:1080 Intro to Environmental Science (Req'd for certificate)
ENGR:4013 Intro to Sustainability (Req'd for certificate)

     * Requires completion of ECE:3600 Control Systems.
   ** Requires completion of 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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