ECE 404



Professor: Dr. Scott Umbaugh Office: Engineering Building, Room EB3037

Phone: 650-2524, 2948 email:

Textbooks: Primary text: Design for Electrical and Computer Engineers, Ford and Coulston, McGraw-Hill, 2005

Reference text: The Art of Electronics, Horowitz and Hill, Cambridge University Press, 2015 (3rd edition). Companion Student Manual is available in Bookstore.

Prerequisites: Senior standing, ECE282, ECE351, ECE 375 or ECE 381

NOTE: if these requirements are not met, your grade may be invalid

Goals and Objectives: To learn general design concepts and methodologies. To gain experience applying ECE knowledge learned in the general ECE courses to a senior design problem. To generate a complete paper design for the ECE senior project. To be prepared for engineering practice through a major design experience based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work and incorporating appropriate engineering standards and multiple realistic constraints.






Chap. 1,2,3,4.1

 (ppt slides* 1-17)

Chap. 4,5,8 (skim)

(ppt slides* 18-33)

design overview,  project selection, requirements specification, constraints, standards, creativity


Concept generation, reliability, design considerations and methodologies


Chap. 9,10

(ppt slides* 34-45)

Chap. 12

(ppt slides* 46-50)


Teamwork, project management, example design projects, work on senior design proposal


Oral presentations, example design projects, work on senior design proposal


Present senior design proposals (written and oral)

Work on senior design project


Project status meetings with Engineering Manager. Work on senior design project


Work on senior design project

PCB Seminars


Work on senior design project

Present Progress report (written and oral)


Project status meetings with Engineering Manager. Work on senior design project


Present Senior Project (written and oral)



Course Structure: The course will consist of lecture/discussion, followed by group design meetings. Most of the class time, will be spent on gaining design experience. The student is expected to do the reading before class.

Course Goals: To learn general design concepts and methodologies. This will be done through the experience of applying ECE knowledge learned in the general ECE courses to specific design problems. This will be done in a simulated work environment, using a standard management hierarchy.

Management Structure: The Professor in charge of the class has the title of Engineering Manager. The design project teams will have Project Engineer(s) who will report to the Engineering Manager. The Project Engineer(s) will have Design Engineers who work for them.

Project teams: These are groups of 3 or 4 people. The Project Engineer(s) position will be rotated so that everyone will be involved with leadership for one presentation/paper. The Project Engineer(s) has responsibility for the project during their turn, they will make assignments to the Design Engineers for the presentation/paper.

Senior Design Projects: These will be selected by the students; a list of potential projects will be provided from the ECE faculty. Electrical engineering students are required to work on design projects that include hardware design, and computer engineering students are required to work on projects that include both software and hardware. In ECE 404, your short term goal is to please your boss - this will help to earn you a good grade. Your long term goal is to please the customer, whoever may be buying your design. Keep this in mind during the project design. On your job it may mean the company staying in business, and you getting promoted. Part of the long term goal for this class is ECE405, where you will bring your final project design to completion. Another major aspect of your long term goals is the job you will get when you graduate. A good senior project will enhance your employability.

Project List from Faculty

Senior Design Projects to Aid Persons with Disabilities Website

IBM and IEEE are in search of creative team based student projects that can help students at any level learn about applying engineering, science and other disciplines to solve real world problems. It's a great opportunity to put your engineering skills to use…and earn cash prizes too! The competition is open to college/university students from all geographic locations. Student teams should have three to five members in any year of university study. At least one team member must be an IEEE member. To find out more about this exciting opportunity, visit: or email

Reports and Presentations: There will be three written reports and oral presentations. All Engineers will submit an evaluation of each Engineer in her/his group, including themselves, with each project report. These evaluations are confidential, only the Engineering Manager will see them.

ECE 404 Group Evaluation Format: These are informal, internal documents, so they may be hand written. Be fair and honest with your evaluations.

  • These are all confidential, the only person to see them is the Engineering Manager. The Engineering Manager will make final grade decisions.
  • Justify the grades you assign with specifics - for example, "we scheduled three meetings, engineer X always showed up prepared, or engineer Y was never on time and did not have their assignment completed".
  • These are to be handed in with each of the three reports.
  • Include your name, group number, 404 lecture section, and date. A short evaluation should be written about each engineer in your group, including yourself. For the Project Engineer(s), include an analysis of their leadership.
  • Two items for each engineer: 1) Your evaluation of their work in words. 2) A number of points based on the following:
  • 5 points are to be allotted for each engineer, e.g., 3 engineers give a total of 15 points. If you feel they all contributed equally, give 5 points to each person. If you feel the person did all the work, give that person 15 points and the others zeros. In other words, distribute all the points according to the amount of work each person contributed to the projects. Note that this is a zero sum process - the total must add up to 15. These evaluations will be used as part of the Professionalism grade, and, in some cases, may be used to adjust the project grade itself.

Senior Project proposal and progress report: A six to ten page, typed proposal will be presented and submitted the 5th week. The progress report is due the 10th week. For the proposal and progress reports follow format in the links below; be sure to put dates on all documents and include a schedule and a block diagram with the proposal (and see below). Oral presentations will be given during the 5th (proposal), 10th (progress report), and 14th and 15th weeks (final senior design).

Grading: All groups will have a designated leader for each of the three presentation/reports. The three presentation/reports are group efforts, but will be coordinated by the current leader. A group grade will be given. Note that you will submit individual notebooks. Also, note that the final report will be used for senior assessment. IMPORTANTLY DO NOT FORGET - the following term, in ECE 405, you will bring the design project to completion!


written proposal

10 points

proposal presentation

10 points

written progress report

10 points

progress report presentation

10 points


10 points


20 points

final design paper

20 points

final presentation

10 points

Term Grades: A: 90-100, B: 80-90, C: 70-80, D:60-70, E:0-60

ECE 404 Progress Report

Oral Presentation

  • You will give an oral presentation along with the written progress report., follow the same format as the other presentations. I encourage you to bring any parts you have received, breadboarded circuits, or anything you can show the class. These will be done the 10th week.
  • Be sure to include an introduction, the main presentation, and conclusions. Be sure to prepare and practice the presentation, and stay within the allotted time limits (10-15 minutes per group).
  • Also, be sure to handin the evaluations, and be clear about who is the leader for this presentation and report. Each engineer evaluates everyone, including themselves. Include both written description of each members work, as well as the numerical evaluation (remember 5 points each, zero-sum process, I.e., if one gets 7 another must get 3).

Written Progress Format


NOTE: In ECE 404 you are required to keep an engineer's notebook throughout the semester. It will be used for your senior project. BE SURE TO PUT YOUR NAME AND GROUP NUMBER ON THE FRONT COVER.

INTRODUCTION: The technical notebook is one of the most important tools for any engineering work. This includes: basic research, product development, or engineering design. It is primarily for the experimenter's own use, but another person with similar technical background should be able to understand and duplicate any experiment, data, and conclusion, or to prepare a technical report following only the notebook.

There are many reasons to keep an accurate and complete record of your work:

  • To establish the authenticity of the work.
  • To defend patents.
  • To act as a basis for technical reports and articles.
  • To avoid duplication of effort.

The nature of the work and the purpose of the experimenter will influence the content and format of the notebook. Many companies have a rigid internal requirements based on the company's specific needs. The notebook formats which follow should not be interpreted as "industry standards". They are intended for work in the Electrical Engineering Department, and provide experience in following some acceptable format.

CONTENT REQUIREMENTS: The notebook must be understandable to a person with a comparable technical background. It must be legible. It must stand alone; that is, "We got circuit from data book" is NOT an acceptable entry.

The notebook must answer the following questions:


  • This includes the approach to the problem or design project.
  • Any ideas generated should be included.
  • Circuit diagrams, references used, notes taken, etc. should be included.


  • List all those who participate in the project for a given entry, including yourself, at the beginning of each entry.
  • Initial all following pages.
  • Any corrections or alterations should also be initialed.


  • It must be obvious to any reader when the work was performed.
  • Date all entries; entries that extend beyond one page should be dated on each page.
  • A single design will have more than one date.
  • Do not leave blank spaces and NEVER "back-date" entries (NEVER make ANY false entries in your engineering notebook).

General: The typical engineers notebook available in bookstores will be blue, brown or black, is approximately 9" X 12", and has about 100 to 150 pages. The notebook will be bound, never looseleaf, and the pages should be numbered consecutively, preferably by the printer. For the our purposes you may use spiral notebooks, as long as each page is numbered and each entry is dated - if one entry covers more than one page make sure you date each page.

A neat, organized and complete notebook record is as important as the investigation itself. The notebook is the original record of what was done. It is not a report to be written after completing an investigation. Do not write on scratch paper expecting to transfer it later to the notebook. Use a blue or black non-eraseable pen. Errors are not erased, but simply marked through with a single line so that they still can be read - later you may discover that your "error" contains important information.

Leave the first few pages in the notebook blank for a Table of Contents. This is important and necessary so that each design entry can easily be found. Use only the right-hand, odd-numbered pages for the notebook record. Use the left-hand, even-numbered pages for sketches, rough calculations, and memos to yourself. You may also place wiring diagrams and graphs on the left, opposite corresponding procedures and calculations. Do not leave any blank spaces/pages in the notebook.

Format - Technical Diary

Organization of this format type is left to the engineer. This format is suited to experimental work, design work, or research. The general format and content requirements must be met. Wiring diagrams, experimental lists, procedures, data, and calculations are blended together logically and chronologically to form a step-by-step diary describing work. Observations and conclusions are entered as they are made, and summarized at the logical end of a section.

Professionalism Evaluation ECE 404


NAME________________________________ SECTION # ______ DATE_______________

1) List technical societies that you belong to, and describe activities in which you have participated. IEEE membership number: _____________________

2) List any honor/service societies/groups that you belong to, and any engineering related activities in which you participated.

3) What do you feel you contributed to this class through your participation?

4) Give your honest evaluation of your professionalism grade for ECE 404, based on the above responses, out of 10 points.

List 3 things you learned in ECE 404 (for my information only).

SIUE Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty

Areas of Specialization and Interest

Dr. Oktay Alkin (emeritus): digital signal processing (DSP), parallel DSP applications, wavelet filtering, parallel algorithm development

Dr. Jen-Shiun Chen (emeritus): communication systems and networks, radar, electromagnetics

Dr. George Engel: electronics, VLSI design, computer system design, automated design and fabrication tools

Dr. Robert LeAnder: bioengineering, electromagnetics, biomedical instrumentation, musical applications, heart rate variability, scientific naturopathy

Dr. Andy Lozowski: electronics, digital systems, analog filters, communication systems, chaos theory

Dr. Brad Noble: circuits, computer networks, DSP applications, consumer electronics, automobile applications

Dr. Ying Shang: Control systems, signals and systems, engineering probability and statistics, wireless sensor networks, hybrid systems and discrete event systems

Dr. Scott Smith (emeritus): computer architecture and design, multi-media applications, biomedical engineering, computer-based education systems, consumer electronics

Dr. Scott Umbaugh: computer vision and image processing, pattern recognition, system design, ECE design management, music applications

Dr. Xin Wang: power systems, electric vehicles, power grid simulation, ethanol production, PLC controllers

Dr. Timothy York: IC design, computer design, computer vision and image processing optics applications


Useful Links:

Places to order parts from: Jameco, DigiKey, Arrow Electronics, Mouser,, Radio Shack


              Electrical Engineering Virtual Library


              Excellent semiconductor manufacturers:

                  Analog Devices, Maxim, Texas Instruments, National, Linear Technologies


              Poster template (doc)