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)
055:033 (ECE:3330) Software Design
055:036 (ECE:3360) Embedded Systems & Systems Software
055:054 (ECE:3540) Communication Networks
Depth Elective
(select one)
055:160 (ECE:5600) Control Theory
055:164 (ECE:5640) Computer Based Control
100-Level ECE
(select two)
       All depth electives listed above and
055:129 (ECE:5129) Information Systems for Resource Management
055:141 (ECE:5410) Advanced Circuit Techniques
055:142 (ECE:5420) Power Electronics
055:143 (ECE:5430) Electric Power Systems
055:146 (ECE:5460) Digital Signal Processing
055:150 (ECE:5500) Communication Theory
055:153 (ECE:5530) Wireless Sensor Networks
055:162 (ECE:5620) Electric Drive Systems
055:163 (ECE:5630) Sustainable Energy Conversion (Req'd for certificate)
055:170 (ECE:5700) Advanced Electromagnetic Theory
Technical Electives
(select three)
       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)
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)

     * 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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