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New Technical Elective Tracks

Biomedical Electives

The focus on health related issues is increasing the demand for better medical devices and equipment. For example, computer-assisted surgery methods and new bioimaging equipment are rapidly being developed. In addition, with the demand for more sophisticated medical equipment and procedures, there are increased concerns for cost efficiency and effectiveness. To address these issues, engineers are increasingly becoming an integral part of a health care professional team which also includes physicians, nurses, and technicians. As part of this health care team, engineers are often called upon to design instruments and devices, to compile knowledge from many sources, to develop new procedures, or to carry out research in order to solve new problems. Due to these trends in health care, electrical and computer engineers are increasingly selecting job opportunities at hospitals, medical research corporation, equipment manufacturing firms, and government regulatory agencies.

To better prepare students for these career opportunities, the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has developed a biomedical technical elective track in collaboration with the Department of Bioengineering. The biomedical technical elective track consists of three classes in the areas of organ replacement, bioinstrumentation, and bioimaging as described below. Undergraduate students can use these courses as technical electives.

BIOE 3700 Bioinstrumentation and Bioimaging 3(2,3) - Introduction of fundamental topics in bioinstrumentation and bioimaging focused on the acquisition and monitoring of vital signals. Basic principles for the selection and appropriate use of instruments for solving bioengineering and medical problems such as microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasounds, among others, are addressed. Preq: EC E3200; or MTHSC 2080 and EC E3070; or consent of instructor.

BIOE 4710 Biomedical Imaging in Biophotonics 3(3,0) - Biophotonics is an interdisciplinary subject of applying photonics to study biological samples from individual cells to the entire body. Introduces fundamental and frontier topics in optical imaging aspects of biophotonics for senior-level undergraduates and graduate students to gain the ability to solve bioimaging-related biomedical problems. Preq: MTHSC 2080. 

Renewable Energy Electives

To break the nation’s heavy dependence on carbon-based fuel, efforts are underway to significantly increase the use of renewable energy sources (e.g., solar and wind). The potential widespread use of renewable resources represents a major paradigm shift for the electric power industry (i.e., centralized power generation substantially augmented by distributed generation). It is widely recognized by both the electric utilities and governmental policy makers that this paradigm shift requires that the current power grid be revised considerably to be smarter (e.g., integrated communications, advanced components/sensors, novel control methods, etc.). Given the situation described above, the demand for engineers with knowledge in energy-related areas is on the rise. For example, power companies are searching for new employees who can help them integrate renewable forms of energy into the grid; furthermore, power companies are searching for ways to enhance the energy-related skill set of their existing employees. To address the above issues, the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has developed a new renewable energy technical elective track at the undergraduate level. These courses will be eventually available online. The renewable energy technical elective track consists of three classes in the areas of solar power, wind power, and grid penetration as described below.

ECE 4570 Fundamentals of Wind Power 3(3,0) - Introduction to wind turbine systems including wind energy potential and application to power generation. Topics include wind energy principles, wind site assessment, wind turbine components, power generation machinery, control systems, connection to the electric grid, and maintenance. Preq: ECE 3070 or ECE 3200 or consent of instructor. 

ECE 4610 Fundamentals of Solar Energy 3(3,0) - Introduction to solar energy conversion systems. Topics include environmental benefits of solar energy, solar thermal systems, concentration solar power, photovoltaic (PV) cell design and manufacturing, sizing of PV system, hybrid photovoltaic/thermal systems, energy storage, and urban/rural applications. Preq: ECE 3200 or consent of instructor. 

ECE 4200 Renewable Energy Penetration on the Power Grid 3(3,0) - Introduction to the basic definitions of electrical power, interfacing primary sources, generator/load characteristics, and renewable energy resources. Topics include solar energy grid interfacing, wind energy grid interfacing, battery charging/management, harmonic distortion, voltage sags, and national standards. Preq: ECE 3070 or ECE 3200. 

Electric Vehicle Electives

Electrical vehicle technologies are currently facing several challenges among which are: limited driving range, high cost and overall limited efficiency. However, innovative solutions are being found at the subsystem level related to energy storage/battery technology, power conversion, the electric power train, energy management, and connection to the power grid. As vehicle electrification expands, the automotive industry’s need for electric vehicle savvy engineers is growing, and hence, creating increased demand for electric vehicle related engineering education.  To address these issues, the ECE Department has created a new undergraduate-level elective track focused on key engineering skills for the development of electrified vehicles. These technical elective courses are designed to infuse important advanced electric vehicle knowledge and capabilities into the undergraduate ECE experience. The electric vehicle elective set of courses will include a vehicle electronics course, an electric vehicle and energy storage course, and a power electronics course. These electric vehicle related courses are at the undergraduate level and will be eventually available online. Clemson undergraduate students can use these courses as technical electives. Undergraduates at other institutions may be able take these courses as part of their program provided the courses satisfy the degree requirements at their home institution. These courses also allow industrial personnel to broaden their knowledge in electric vehicle related areas.

The electric vehicle technical track consists of three classes in the areas of vehicle electronics, electric vehicle systems, energy storage, and power electronics as described below. To register for the vehicle electronics related courses, one must possess a basic knowledge of DC and AC circuit theory (i.e., Kirchhoff's Laws, complex frequency, and Laplace transforms) and modern electronics. If the applicant does not possess a basic knowledge of DC/AC circuit theory and modern electronics, the applicant should complete the appropriate coursework (e.g., ECE 2020 – Electric Circuits I, ECE 2620 – Electric Circuits II, and ECE 3200 – Electronics I). The prerequisites for the power electronics course are much more comprehensive as described below. A grade of C or better is required for all of the electric vehicle elective courses.

ECE 4700 – Vehicle Electronics, 3(3,0) - Introduction to vehicle electronic systems and networks with an emphasis on vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, electric drives or hybrid electric drives. Topics include a review of electronic systems in automotive and aerospace applications; vehicle components, sensors and actuators; communication busses; electric power generation and distribution in vehicle systems; vehicle diagnostics; reliability; and trends in vehicle system design. Prerequisite: ECE 3200 or consent of instructor. 

ECE 4710 Electric Vehicles and Energy Storage, 3(3,0) - Introduction to hybrid electric propulsion systems and energy storage systems with an emphasis on application to different vehicles architectures including plug-in hybrids and fuel cell hybrids. Topics include a review of fundamentals of electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles architectures covering reasons for hybridization, energy analysis of architecture and components, overview of energy storage systems (batteries and supercapacitors), modeling of components, vehicle simulation, and supervisory control. Prerequisite: ECE 3200 or consent of instructor. 

ECE 4190 Electric Machines and Drives 3(3,0) - Performance, characteristics, and modeling of AC and DC machines during steady-state and transient conditions. Introduction to power electronics devices and their use in adjustable speed motor drives. Preq: ECE 3210, 3600, 3800 Coreq: MthSC 4340 or consent of instructor.