Erdem Topsakal, Ph.D.
Professor and chair

electrical-and-computer.egr.vcu.edu

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering prepares students for highly competitive, national placement in electrical and computer engineering employment and graduate education by providing a thorough grounding in electrical science and design, together with a sound foundation in mathematics, basic sciences and life skills.

The department offers baccalaureate degrees in computer engineering and electrical engineering, in addition to minors in both areas, as well as the option to choose course work appropriate for a pre-medicine or pre-dentistry curriculum. An electrical and computer engineering track is available in the Master of Science in Engineering as well as the Ph.D. in Engineering. The track is designed to prepare students for practice, research and/or teaching of electrical and computer engineering at the advanced level by providing intensive preparation for professional practice in the microelectronics, nanoelectronics, computer engineering and controls and communications aspects of electrical and computer engineering. At the advanced level, this track prepares individuals to perform original, leading edge research in the broad areas of microelectronics, nanoelectronics, controls and communications and computer engineering.

The curricula of the department provide a strong foundation in the fundamentals of the profession, including engineering problem solving, breadth in the major facets of the profession and the opportunity to specialize in today’s critical areas of computer engineering, communication systems and microelectronics. Graduates will be well prepared for constant technological change and growth through lifelong learning.

 

EGRE   521. Advanced Semiconductor Devices. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: EGRE   303, PHYS   420 and 440, or equivalents or permission of instructor. Studies the fundamentals of semiconductor heterojunctions, metal-semiconductor contacts, metal-oxide-semiconductor structures, defects, interface states, scaled MOS transistors and heterojunction bipolar transistors.

EGRE   525. Fundamentals of Photonics Engineering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: EGRE   303, 309 and 310 or equivalents. An introduction to the interaction of electromagnetic lightwaves with solid-state materials. Based on the quantum mechanics of photon emission and absorption, the generation and detection of coherent light by semiconductor lasers and photodetectors are investigated. Optical waveguides also are studies for use in sensors employing interferometric and evanescent-field principles. Examples of integrated photonic sensors are presented for mechanical, chemical and biological systems.

EGRE   526. Computer Networks and Communications. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CMSC   312. Theoretical and applied analysis of basic data communication systems; design of networks in the framework of the OSI reference model; Local and Wide Area Networks; performance analysis of networks; error control and security. Students will work in teams to design and implement a small computer network. Crosslisted as: CMSC   506.

EGRE   531. Multicore and Multithreaded Programming. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRE   364 or CMSC   311 or permission of instructor. Introducing multicore architectures, multithreaded programming models, OpenMP, Pthreads, thread synchronization, performance evaluation and optimization, load balancing and software tools for multicore/multithread programming.

EGRE   533. VLSI Design. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: EGRE   224 and EGRE   364. Analysis of NMOS and PMOS transistor design and their use in implementing digital logic. Implementation and layout of simple and complex digital logic cells using CMOS and other techniques. Fabrication design rules and design technology. VLSI chip layout and implementation. Students will design a complete VLSI chip using commercial design tools. The resulting designs will be submitted for fabrication using the MOSIS process.

EGRE   535. Digital Signal Processing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: EGRE   337 or consent of instructor. The course focuses on digital signal processing theory and algorithms, including sampling theorems, transform analysis and filter design techniques. Discrete-time signals and systems, and filter design techniques are treated. Several applications of DSP in telecommunications, image and video processing, and speech and audio processing are studied.

EGRE   540. Electromagnetics and Passive RF Components. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRE   309 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Basics of electromagnetics and passive RF components such as filters, isolators, tuners, phase shifters, resonators and tees are discussed, along with a succinct description of media such as ferrites and tunable ferrites.

EGRE   553. Industrial Control Systems. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: senior or graduate student standing in the School of Engineering, EGRE   246 and EGRE   254, or permission of the instructor. This course provides an introduction to the systems, techniques and languages used in the control of manufacturing and process industries. Major topics include programmable logic controller operation and programming, supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and human machine interfaces. Other topics include an introduction to feedback control systems, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion, sensors and transducers, and actuators and motors.

EGRE   555. Dynamics and Multivariable Control I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MATH   301 and 310 or the equivalent. Systems of differential equations with controls, linear control systems, controllability, observability, introduction to feedback control and stabilization. Crosslisted as: MATH   555.

EGRE   572. Electric Machines. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: EGRE   206 and EGRE   309. Presents the principles of electric machines, including transformers, AC machinery fundamentals, modeling and simulation of AC machines, synchronous machines, induction machines, DC motors and generators, and special-purpose motors.

EGRE   591. Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-4 credits. Prerequisite: senior or graduate standing in the School of Engineering or permission of the instructor. Lectures, tutorial studies, library assignments in selected areas of advanced study or specialized laboratory procedures not available in other courses or as part of research training.

EGRE   620. Electron Theory of Solids. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: PHYS   420 and 440 or permission of instructor. The study of electronic structures, band structure calculations, optical absorption and emission, lasing in semiconductors, electron-photon interactions, heterostructures and nanostructures. Quantum theory of electron-photon interaction, absorption and emission, semiconductor lasers, linear response transport, Landauer Buttiker formulas, mesoscopic devices and phenomena, resonant tunneling, single electronics, non-equilibrium Green's function formalism, second quantization, coupled mode theory, electrons in a magnetic field, and integer quantum Hall effect.

EGRE   621. Spintronics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRE   620 or equivalent, or with permission of instructor. Basic concept of spin, spin interactions, spin transport, spin-based classical devices, single spintronics and spin-based quantum computing.

EGRE   622. MEMS Design and Fabrication. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: EGRE   303 and EGRE   334 or permission of instructor. The course provides the background required to conduct research in microelectromechanical systems. The course provides an overview as well as detailed coverage of material properties, specialized fabrication techniques and the fundamental principles of the major classes of MEMS devices. This will include mechanical sensors and actuators, surface acoustic wave devices, optical sensors, modulators and switches, bioMEMS, chemical and biochemical sensors, and microfluidic devices.

EGRE   623. Nanostructures and Nanodevices. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: EGRE   303, PHYS   420 and 440, equivalents or permission of instructor. Devoted to the fundamentals and technology of semiconductor nanostructures and relevant devices. Engineering and physics of new solid state devices, confined structures in one, two and three dimensions and their effect on more traditional solid state devices are covered.

EGRE   625. Clean Room Lab Practicum. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 3 laboratory hours. 1 credit. Prerequisite: EGRE   334 or permission of instructor. The course develops the detailed knowledge and skills required to design and fabricate advanced microscale and nanoscale devices for doctoral thesis work in a micro- and nano-fabrication facility cleanrooms. The course focuses on fabricating a nanostructured device and involves photolithography, wet and dry etching, oxidations, diffusions and thin film depositions. Students will complete the processing of the device and perform characterization experiments. Design skills will also be developed, including design and layout using software tools and fabrication of custom photomasks. Students will document all aspects of the laboratory work.

EGRE   630. Neural Networks. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Introduces students to the fundamental theory, design and applications of neural networks. Topics covered will include network architectures, the learning process, types of learning, single layer perceptrons, multilayer perceptrons and neural network applications.

EGRE   631. Real-time and Embedded Systems. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRE   426 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Presents advanced material in the area of the design, implementation and testing of embedded computer systems intended to operate as part of a larger system. Topics to be discussed include design challenges of embedded computing, real-time scheduling theory, worst-case execution time analysis, embedded architectures, embedded software design and performance optimizations. Hands-on labs and a research project on advanced topics in this field will be included in this course.

EGRE   633. Advanced VLSI Systems Design. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRE   533. Design techniques, implementation technologies and device design for high speed, large scale and low power integrated circuits. Topics presented include: submicron technologies, devices and architectures for low power VLSI, high speed clocking issues, BiCMOS devices and circuits, I/O circuit design, design for testing, analog VLSI, VLSI design methodologies, and physical design and VLSI algorithms. The course will include a design project for a complex VLSI device which will be performed using commercial design tools.

EGRE   634. Advanced Digital Theory. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRE   254 or equivalent. Addresses topics and techniques in advanced switching theory that are relevant to the design of modern digital systems. Topics covered include: mathematical foundations, logic functions and their representations, optimization, verification, synthesis, synchronous and asynchronous finite state machines, modular designs, and fault detection.

EGRE   635. Advanced Computer Architecture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRE   426 or with permission of instructor. This course will focus on the design and analysis of high performance computer architectures. Topics investigated include: pipeline design, superscalar computers, multiprocessors, memory systems, peripherals, interfacing techniques, networks, performance and software issues. Crosslisted as: CMSC   605.

EGRE   640. Semiconductor Optoelectronics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRE   309 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Discussions of optical processes in semiconductors and semiconductor heterostructures in terms of radiative and nonradiative processes, as well as absorption. Also covers in depth the theory and practice of light-emitting diodes, including those intended for solid-state lighting, lasers and detectors.

EGRE   655. Dynamics and Multivariable Control II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MATH   555 and MATH   507 recommended, or permission of instructor. Control problems for nonlinear systems of ordinary differential equations, methods of feedback control to achieve control objectives. Crosslisted as: MATH   655.

EGRE   656. Estimation and Optimal Filtering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MATH   310, EGRE   337 and EGRE   555/MATH   555. This course will expose students to the fundamental issues in parameter estimation and recursive state estimation for dynamic systems. Topics covered will include maximum likelihood estimation, maximum a posteriori estimation, least squares estimation, minimum mean square error estimation, Cramer-Rao lower bound, discrete-time Kalman filter for linear dynamic systems, extended Kalman filter for nonlinear problems and system models for the Kalman filter.

EGRE   671. Power System Operations and Controls. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: EGRE   471 or equivalent. This course covers the fundamental concepts of economic operation and controls of power systems, including real and reactive power balance, optimized generation dispatch, steady state and dynamic analysis, real-time monitoring and controls, and contingency analysis. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to develop equivalent circuits and compute programs for power flow analysis, define and analyze automatic generation control scheme on a power system, develop generation dispatching schemes, define and analyze state estimation of a power system using analysis programs, and perform contingency studies of the grid.

EGRE   691. Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Prerequisites: at least one graduate-level engineering course and permission of instructor. An advanced study of selected topic(s) in electrical and computer engineering. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

EGRE   692. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture and 1-3 laboratory hours. 1-3 credits. Prerequisites: graduate standing and permission of instructor. The student must identify an electrical and computer engineering faculty member willing to supervise the course and submit a proposal for approval to the electrical and computer engineering graduate committee. Investigation of specialized electrical and computer engineering problems through literature search, mathematical analysis, computer simulations and/or experimentation. Written and oral reports, final report and examination are required.

EGRE   697. Directed Research in Electrical and Computer Engineering. 1-15 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-15 credits. Prerequisite: graduate standing or permission of instructor. Research directed toward completion of the requirements for the electrical and computer engineering track in the M.S. or Ph.D. in Engineering performed under the direction of an electrical and computer engineering faculty member and advisory committee. Graded as S/U/F.