May 18, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Electrical Engineering

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Professor Dinesh Rajan, Chair

Professors: Jerome K. Butler, Marc P. Christensen, Scott C. Douglas, Gary A. Evans, W. Milton Gosney, Ping Gui, Duncan L. MacFarlane, Panos E. Papamichalis, Behrouz Peikari, Dinesh Rajan, Mitchell A. Thornton
Associate Professors: Joseph D. Camp, Carlos E. Davila, James G. Dunham, Choon S. Lee, Jianhui Wang
Assistant Professors: Mohammad Khodayar, Dario J. Villarreal Suarez
Senior Lecturer: M. Scott Kingsley
Adjunct Faculty: Sudipto Chakraborty, Joseph R. Cleveland, John Fattaruso, Hossam H. H’mimy, Clark D. Kinnaird, Kamakshi Sridhar

General Information

The discipline of electrical engineering is at the core of today’s technology-driven society. Personal computers, computer-communications networks, integrated circuits, optical technologies, digital signal processors and wireless communications systems have revolutionized the way people live and work, and extraordinary advances in these fields are announced every day. Because today’s society truly is a technological one, a degree in electrical engineering offers exceptional opportunities for financial security, personal satisfaction and an expansion of the frontiers of technology. The Department of Electrical Engineering at SMU offers a full complement of courses at the bachelor’s degree level in communications, networks, digital signal processing, optoelectronics, electromagnetics, microelectronics, and systems and control.

The mission of the department is as follows:

Through quality instruction and scholarly research, to engage each student in a challenging electrical engineering education that prepares graduates for the full range of career opportunities in the high-technology marketplace and enables them to reach their fullest potential as a professional and as a member of society.

Departmental goals include the following:

  • Becoming one of the nation’s leading electrical engineering departments by building peaks of excellence in the fields of communications/signal processing and micro/optoelectronics and by being a leader in innovative educational programs.
  • Offering undergraduate curricula that equips graduates for careers that require ingenuity, integrity, logical thinking, and the ability to work and communicate in teams, and for the pursuit of graduate degrees in engineering or other fields such as business, dicine and law.
  • Offering world-class Ph.D. programs that prepare graduates for academic careers, for research careers in the high-technology industry or for technical entrepreneurship.
  • Promoting lifelong learning animated by a passion for the never-ending advance of technology.

The educational objectives of the Electrical Engineering Department undergraduate program are to enable graduates to do the following:

  • Be successful in understanding, formulating, analyzing and solving a variety of electrical engineering problems.
  • Be successful in designing a variety of engineering systems, products or experiments.
  • Be successful in careers and/or graduate study in engineering or other areas such as business, medicine and law.
  • Have the ability to assume leadership and entrepreneurial positions.
  • Successfully function and effectively communicate both individually and in multidisciplinary teams.
  • Understand the importance of lifelong learning, ethics and professional accountability.

The Electrical Engineering Department undergraduate student outcomes as related to the above educational objectives are as follows:

All graduates of the electrical engineering program are expected to have the following:

  • The ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering.
  • The ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  • The ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
  • The ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.
  • The ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems.
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  • The ability to communicate effectively.
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context.
  • The recognition of the need for and the ability to engage in lifelong learning.
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues.
  • The ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

The Electrical Engineering Department is engaged in an ongoing assessment process that evaluates the success in meeting the educational objectives and outcomes and enhances the development of the program.

The undergraduate program in electrical engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

The Electrical Engineering Department emphasizes the following major areas of research interest:

  • Biomedical Engineering. Overview of biomedical engineering, biomedical devices and instrumentation, biomedical signal capture, processing, and modeling.
  • Communications and Information Technology. Detection and estimation theory, digital communications, computer networks, spread spectrum, cellular communications, coding, encryption, compression, and wireless and optical communications.
  • Control Systems. Linear and nonlinear systems control, robotics, and computer and robot vision.
  • Digital Signal Processing. Digital filter design, system identification, spectral estimation, adaptive filters, neural networks and DSP implementations.
  • Image Processing and Computer Vision. Digital image processing, computer vision and pattern recognition.
  • Lasers, Optoelectronics, Electromagnetic Theory and Microwave Electronics. Classical optics, fiber optics, laser recording, integrated optics, dielectric waveguides, antennas, transmission lines, laser diodes and signal processors, and superconductive microwave and optoelectronic devices.
  • Solid State Circuits, Computer-Aided Circuit Design and VLSI Design. Electronic circuits, computer-aided design, very large-scale integration design and memory interfaces.
  • Electronic Materials and Solid State Devices. Fabrication and characterization of devices and materials, device physics, noise in solid state devices, infrared detectors, AlGaAs and GaAs devices and materials, superconductivity, superconductive devices and electronics, thin films, hybrid superconductor-semiconductor devices, ultrafast electronics, and applications of a scanning tunneling microscope.
  • Telecommunications. Overview of modern telecommunications components and systems, data communications, digital telephony, and digital switching.
  • Power Engineering. Power system operation and planning, renewable energy integration, smart grid, transportation electrification, and resilient energy networks.

Department Facilities

The department has access to the Lyle School of Engineering academic computing resources, consisting of shared-use computer servers and desktop client systems connected to a network backbone. All of the servers in the Lyle School of Engineering are running some variant of UNIX or Microsoft Windows. There is one primary file server that exports files using FNS or CIFS protocols. Each user, whether faculty, staff or student, has a “home” directory on the central file server. This directory is exported to other servers or desktop computers, regardless of operating systems, as needed. There are more than 40 servers whose purposes include the following: file service, UNIX mail, Exchange mail, firewall, UNIX authentication, NT authentication, printer management, lab image download, classroom-specific software, X windows service, news, domain name service, computational resources, and general use. This primary file server allows a user’s files to be used as a resource in both the UNIX and Microsoft PC environments. Almost all computing equipment within the Lyle School of Engineering is connected to the engineering network at 100 megabits and higher. The network backbone is running at a gigabit per second over fiber. Most servers and all engineering buildings are connected to this gigabit backbone network. The backbone within the Engineering School is connected to both the Internet 2 and the campus network that is then connected to the Internet at large. In addition to servers and shared computational resources, the Lyle School of Engineering maintains a number of individual computing laboratories associated with the departments. Specific department laboratory facilities for instruction and research include the following:

Antenna Laboratory. This laboratory consists of two facilities for fabrication and testing. Most of the antennas fabricated at the SMU antenna lab are microstrip antennas. Small and less complex antennas are made with milling machines, and a photolithic/chemical etching method is used to make more complex and large antennas. Fabricated antennas are characterized with a Hewlett-Packard 5810B network analyzer. Workstations are available for antenna design and theoretical computation. Radiation characteristics are measured at the Dallas-SMU Antenna Characterization Lab located in Richardson, Texas.

Biomedical Engineering Laboratory. This laboratory contains instrumentation for carrying out research in electrophysiology, psychophysics and medical ultrasound. Four Grass physiographs permit the measurement of electroencephalograms as well as visual and auditory evoked brain potentials. The lab also contains a state-of-the-art dual Purkinje eye tracker and image stabilizer made by Fourward Technologies Inc., a Vision Research Graphics 21-inch Digital Multisync Monitor for displaying visual stimuli, and a Cambridge Research Systems visual stimulus generator capable of generating a variety of stimuli for use in psychophysical and electro-physiological experiments. Ultrasound data can also measure with a Physical Acoustics apparatus consisting of a water tank, radio frequency pulser/receiver and radio frequency data acquisition system. Several PCs are also available for instrumentation control and data acquisition.

Multimedia Systems Laboratory. This facility includes an acoustic chamber with adjoining recording studio to allow high-quality sound recordings to be made. The chamber is sound isolating with double- or triple-wall Sheetrock on all four sides, as well as an isolating ceiling barrier above the drop ceiling. The walls of the chamber have been constructed to be nonparallel to avoid flutter echo and dominant frequency modes. Acoustic paneling on the walls of the chamber are removable and allow the acoustic reverberation time to be adjusted to simulate different room acoustics. The control room next to the acoustic chamber includes a large, 4-foot-by-8-foot acoustic window and an inert acoustic door facing the acoustic chamber. Up to 16 channels of audio can be carried in or out of the chamber to the control room. Experiments conducted in the Multimedia Systems Laboratory include blind source separation, deconvolution and dereverberation. Several of the undergraduate courses in electrical engineering use sound and music to motivate system-level design and signal processing applications. The Multimedia Systems Laboratory can be used in these activities to develop data sets for use in classroom experiments and laboratory projects for students to complete.

Wireless Systems Laboratory. This laboratory contains an array of infrastructure for experimentation across a number of wireless frequency bands, platforms and environments for research and instruction in lab-based courses on wireless communications and networking. The infrastructure includes 1) state-of-the-art test equipment for repeatability, control and observability of wireless channels, including complex channel emulators, fixed and mobile spectrum analyzers, wide-band oscilloscopes, and signal generators; 2) a wide range of reprogrammable wireless testbeds that operate from 400 MHz to 6 GHz for IEEE 802.11, cellular, and Bluetooth network and protocol development; and 3) diverse mobile phones and tablets that enable participatory sensing, context-aware applications and large-scale deployment in the field. The in-lab infrastructure is also enhanced by multiple outdoor antennas deployed on campus buildings and buses for understanding real wireless channels.

Semiconductor Processing Cleanroom. The 2,800 square-foot cleanroom, consisting of a 2,400 square-foot, class 10,000 room and a class 1,000 lithography area of 400 square feet, is located in the Jerry R. Junkins Engineering Building. A partial list of equipment in this laboratory includes acid and solvent hoods, photoresist spinners, two contact mask aligners, a thermal evaporator, a plasma asher, a plasma etcher, a turbo-pumped methane hydrogen reactive ion etcher, a four-target sputtering system, a plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition reactor, a diffusion-pumped four pocket e-beam evaporator, an ellipsometer, and profilometers. Other equipment includes a boron-trichloride reactive ion etcher, a chemical-assisted ion-beam etcher and a four-tube diffusion furnace. The cleanroom is capable of processing silicon, compound semiconductors and piezo materials for microelectronic, photonic and nanotechnology devices.

Submicron Grating Laboratory. This laboratory is dedicated to holographic grating fabrication and has the capability of sub 10th-micron lines and spaces. Equipment includes a floating air table, an argon ion laser (ultraviolet lines) and an Atomic Force Microscope. This laboratory is used to make photonic devices with periodic features, such as distributed feedback, distributed Bragg reflector, grating-outcoupled and photonic crystal semiconductor lasers.

Photonic Devices Laboratory. This laboratory is dedicated to characterizing the optical and electrical properties of photonic devices. Equipment includes an optical spectrum analyzer, an optical multimeter, visible and infrared cameras, an automated laser characterization system for edge-emitting lasers, a manual probe test system for surface-emitting lasers, a manual probe test system for edge-emitting laser die and bars, and a near- and far-field measurement system.

Photonics Simulation Laboratory. This laboratory has specific computer programs that have been developed and continue to be developed for modeling and designing semiconductor lasers and optical waveguides, couplers and switches. These programs include WAVEGUIDE (calculates near-field, far-field, and effective indices of dielectric waveguides and semiconductor lasers with up to 500 layers, and each layer can contain gain or loss), GAIN (calculates the gain as a function of energy, carrier density and current density for strained and unstrained quantum wells for a variety of material systems), GRATING (uses the Floquet Bloch approach and the boundary element method to calculate reflection, transmission and outcoupling of dielectric waveguides and laser structures with any number of layers), and FIBER (calculates the fields, effective index, group velocity and dispersion for fibers with a circularly symmetric index of refraction profiles). Additional software is under development to model the modulation characteristics of photonic devices.

Photonic Architectures Laboratory. This laboratory is a fully equipped opto-mechanical and electrical prototyping facility, supporting the activities of faculty and graduate students in experimental and analytical tasks. The lab is ideally suited for the packaging, integration and testing of devices, modules and prototypes of optical systems. It has three large vibration isolated tables, a variety of visible and infrared lasers, single element 1-D and 2-D detector arrays, and a large complement of optical and optomechanical components and mounting devices. In addition, the laboratory has extensive data acquisition and analysis equipment, including an IEEE 1394 FireWire-capable image capture and processing workstation, specifically designed to evaluate the electrical and optical characteristics of smart pixel devices and FSOI fiber-optic modules. Support electronics hardware includes various test instrumentation, such as arbitrary waveform generators and a variety of CAD tools for optical and electronic design, including optical ray trace and finite difference time domain software.

Curriculum in Electrical Engineering

The undergraduate curriculum in electrical engineering provides the student with basic principles through required courses, and specialization through a guided choice of elective courses.

Areas of Specialization

Due to the extensive latitude in course selection and to the wide variety of courses available within the Department of Electrical Engineering and within the University as a whole, it is possible for the electrical engineering student to concentrate his or her studies in a specific professional area such as biomedical, computer engineering, engineering leadership, or smart wireless and embedded systems.

Each student may select one specialization or may personalize his or her degree by a particular choice of advanced major electives. Students should choose a specialization as soon as possible; however, for many students, this process continues from term to term as the individual becomes better acquainted with the discipline of electrical engineering and with the choices available.




      Electrical Engineering

      The third digit in a course number designator represents the subject area of the course. The following designators are used:

      XX1X Electronic Materials
      XX2X Electronic Devices
      XX3X Quantum Electronics and Electromagnetic Theory
      XX4X Biomedical Science
      XX5X Network Theory and Circuits
      XX6X Systems
      XX7X Information Science and Communication Theory
      XX8X Computers and Digital Systems
      XX9X Individual Instruction, Research, Seminar and Special Project

      Telecommunications and Network Engineering

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