ECE Focus Area: Sustainability (Electrical)

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, power electronics, control systems, and environmental issues, while satisfying the requirements for a Certificate in Sustainability.

Electrical engineers completing coursework in the 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 Electrical Track: standard curriculum
Breadth Elective
(select one)
ECE:3330 Software Design
ECE:3360 Embedded Systems & Systems Software
ECE:3540 Communication Networks
Depth Elective
(select one)
ECE:5600 Control Theory
ECE:5640 Computer Based Control
5000-Level ECE
(select two)
       All depth electives listed above and
ECE:5129 Information Systems for Resource Management
ECE:5410 Advanced Circuit Techniques
ECE:5420 Power Electronics
ECE:5430 Electric Power Systems
ECE:5460 Digital Signal Processing
ECE:5500 Communication Theory
ECE:5530 Wireless Sensor Networks
ECE:5620 Electric Drive Systems
ECE:5630 Sustainable Energy Conversion (Req'd for certificate)
ECE:5700 Advanced Electromagnetic Theory
Technical Electives
(select three)
       All breadth, depth and 5000-level ECE electives listed above and
MATH:3800 Elementary Numerical Analysis*
CEE:4107 Sustainable Systems (Req'd for certificate)
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)

     * 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.

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