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, 2008

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 design problems. To generate two design proposals. 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.










Design overview, project selection, requirements specification, constraints, standards, creativity; Reading: Chap. 1,2,3,4.1 (ppt slides* 1-17); 



Concept generation, reliability, design considerations and methodologies

Reading: Chap. 4,5,8(skim) (ppt slides* 18-33);



Teamwork, project management, example design projects

Reading: Chap. 9,10 (ppt slides* 34-45)



Oral presentations, example design projects;

Reading : Chap. 12(ppt slides* 46-50)



Project 1 status meetings with Engineering Manager. Work on project 1 proposal



Present project 1 proposals (written and oral) by students, project meetings



PCB Seminar



Project 2 status meetings with Engineering Manager. Work on project 2 proposal



Present project 2 proposal (written and oral)l

*404 PowerPoint Slides

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 Engineers will have Design Engineers who work for them.

Project teams: These are groups of 3 or 4 people. The Project Engineers position will be rotated so that everyone will be involved with leadership for one presentation and written proposal. The Project Engineers have responsibility for the project during their turn, they will make assignments to the Design Engineers for the presentation and written proposal.

Design Projects: These will be selected by the students; a list of potential projects will be provided from the ECE faculty, but you are also free to select your own projects. 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

IEEE Robotics Contest, ECE Faculty Mentor - Dr. Engel, starts in Fall:

Reports and Presentations: There will be two 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 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 Engineers, 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.

Design Project proposals: A ten to fifteen page, typed, double-spaced proposal for project 1 will be presented and submitted week 5 (Summer), or week 9 (Spring/Fall), and for project 2 during week 8 (Summer) or week 15 (Fall/Spring). For the proposal follow the 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). Soft copy of the documents will be emailed and the following naming convention will be used: “ProjectXGroupYProposal”, for example Project1Group2Proposal.

Grading: All groups will have designated leaders for each of the two presentations and reports. The two presentations and reports are group efforts, but will be coordinated by the current leaders. A group grade will be given. Note that you will submit individual notebooks.


written proposal_1


proposal presentation_1


written proposal_2


proposal presentation_2






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

Class Attendance Policy: Based on University Class Attendance Policy 1I9: It is the responsibility of students to ascertain the policies of instructors with regard to absence from class, and to make arrangements satisfactory to instructors with regard to missed course work. Failure to attend the first session of a course may result in the student’s place in class being assigned to another student.

Class Policies:  If you have a documented disability that requires academic accommodations, please go to Disability Support Services for coordination of your academic accommodations. DSS is located in the Student Success Center, Room 1270; you may contact them to make an appointment by calling (618) 650-3726 or sending an email to  Please visit the DSS website located online at:  for more information.

Students are expected to be familiar with and follow the Student Academic Code. It is included in the SIUE Policies and Procedures under Section 3C2.2.


NOTE: In ECE 404 you are required to keep an engineer's notebook throughout the semester.

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

Mr. Dan Hauer: Circuits, computer systems, senior design laboratory

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

Dr. Jon Klingensmith: Medical imaging systems, digital signal processing, biomedical imaging applications

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

Mr. Steve Muren: computer/digital system design, solar power applications, printed circuit board design, laboratory equipment

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

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. Yadong Wang: radar signal/image processing, radar engineering, polarimetric weather radar, remote sensing, communication systems, digital signal processing

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


              Semiconductor manufacturers:

                  Analog Devices, Maxim, Texas Instruments


              Poster template (doc)