Computer engineering is one of the rapidly growing fields of engineering. It combines basic electrical engineering with computer science. Computer engineers are engaged in many activities related to the design, development, and use of computer systems. They find employment in private industry, or government agencies and contractors, and as support personnel for a wide variety of industries. Over the next several years, the industry expects a shortage of engineers skilled in these areas.
With strong training founded in traditional electrical engineering subjects, computer engineers are equipped with the rigorous analytical skills and practical design approaches that allow them to apply principles from circuit design, semiconductor physics, and computer organization to computer hardware design. Additionally, a well-rounded series of courses in computer science topics permits the computer engineer to work in software design and application development. This multifaceted background also prepares the computer engineer to make advances related to computer connectivity and data networking.
Computer engineers are responsible for designing a wide spectrum of products. They design the fastest supercomputers, as well as the more familiar desktop PCs and work stations. They also are indispensable team members for engineering groups designing computers into non-computing equipment such as automobiles. As computers' presence expands throughout everyday life and they become integrated into an increasing variety of products, the computer engineer is at the forefront of the industry trend to merge computing with communications and consumer electronics - two other growing subfields of electrical engineering. As in other engineering disciplines, computer engineering emphasizes the design of practical, economical systems and finding innovative solutions. to complex, often multifaceted, problems.
The most important preparation you can make in high school is to acquire a solid background in mathematics, sciences, and communications. Everyone needs to understand the basics to participate effectively in this technically-oriented world. To keep as many options open as possible, a student today needs four years of math and four years of science in high school. These are the kinds of demanding courses that develop the mind to its maximum potential. Minimally, your plan should include plane geometry, algebra I and II, trigonometry, and one year each of physics and chemistry.
The Office of Student Financial Aid administers several federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs including scholarships, grants, and loans. In addition, special financial assistance programs have been developed by private resources particularly to benefit engineering students. Others specifically benefit female and minority engineering students to encourage those from under-represented groups to pursue this field. Early application is advised.
For more information, you may contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at (618)650-3880, or the School of Engineering Dean's Office at (618)650-2541.
The electrical and computer engineering faculty hold either Ph.D. or D.Sc. degrees. Several are registered in various states as professional engineers, and almost all serve as consultants to regional agencies and industries. They are quite active in research activities and serve in leadership roles in professional organizations.
Laboratory instruction is a fundamental part of education of an electrical engineer. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering uses several laboratories exclusively for undergraduate instruction in instrumentation, control systems, digital signal processing, computer systems, and image processing. In addition, other specialized facilities are used jointly for research and instruction. Extensive computer facilities including PCs, work stations and access to national computer networks are available to undergraduate students.