The College of Engineering - Electrical & Computer Engineering
Junior & Senior Engineering Clinics
Junior / Senior Engineering Clinics: taken consecutively for four semesters in the second half of the curriculum, this is where students learn and perfect the true art and science of engineering design, problem solving, creative and analytical thinking. These four classes are unlike any oth-er. The problems students are asked to solved are not previously solved textbook or canned experiment problems, they are not even devised by the professors, the solutions to these prob-lems are unknown. These are “real” problems!
Where do these problems come from?
Problems for junior and senior clinic, come to us directly either by the industry or by the research funding agencies (that competitively fund cutting-edge research). In each semester, the engineering faculty organize a massive “clinic project fair,” where that semester’s projects are introduced to the students. This is where the faculty pitches the project to students and competing against each other to get the best students interested in their projects. The students and projects are matched to each other based on students areas of interest and levels of skills in project-specific areas, then the work begins. These projects have real milestones, real deliverables, and if not completed in time, re-al consequences! Students can participate in any project offered by any of the four dis-ciplines, creating truly multi-disciplinary teams. In fact, in ECE we ask students to spend at least one of the four semesters in a non-ECE project.
In any given semester, each department runs about 20-25 project, providing students 80-100 projects college-wide to choose from. Since many of the projects are industry funded, students who work on these projects are typically hired (gobbled up, really) by the sponsoring companies first as interns, and then as permanent employees. Many of our students find employment at these clinic-sponsoring companies, typically long be-fore they graduate.
In ECE, recent research & development projects came from the following companies and organizations:
- Cooper’s Ferry
- NJ State Police
- Alencon Systems, Inc.
- L3 Communications
Recent fundamental research projects have been sponsored or funded by the following organizations and agencies:
- National Science Foundation
- National Institutes of Health
- US Navy
- Air Force Research Laboratory
- US Department of Energy
- NJ Office of Clean Energy
- NJ Public Board of Utilities
- US Army CERDEC
- Department of Transportation
What are some of the projects?
Here is a subset of the projects the ECE department ran during Fall 2013. The broad spectrum of projects include virtual reality simulation in the CAVE, developing a smart micro grid, developing speech recognition algorithms, developing artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms for nonstationary environments, developing biomarker fusion for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, designing next generation photovoltaic system, educational game design using virtual reality, automated emotion recognition, objective quantification of reflex in pregnancy for eclampsia.
Student initialted projects – Venture Capital Fund
The College of Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering department also funds student initiated projects. This entreprenurial fund allows students who come up with their own ideas to develop such ideas, prepare a business and development plan and then implement those plans with funding support. Some student initiated projects include electromagnetic launcher project, quadrocopter design project, and perhaps most impressively, the digi-tails project (for developing custom designed animated turn / stop signal development for muscle cars) which then turned into a full-fledged company that is currently doing business under the commercial name of Spaghetti Engineering.
For the most recent Quadrocopter project, see the Rowan Quadrocopter video. This quadrocopter was built entirely from scratch by the clinic team.