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Electrical and Computer Engineering Careers

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Electrical and Computer Engineering Careers. Neil E. Cotter University of Utah. Overview. EE and CE briefly described Salaries and companies who hire Case studies of EE/CE jobs Lessons learned. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Electrical and Computer Engineering Careers

  • Electrical and Computer EngineeringCareersNeil E. CotterUniversity of Utah

  • OverviewEE and CE briefly describedSalaries and companies who hireCase studies of EE/CE jobsLessons learned

  • Electrical Engineers are inventors and innovators who apply knowledge of signals, circuits, physics, and systems to develop technologies to improve people's livesWhat is Electrical Engineering?

  • Computer Engineers design and program computer systems, small and large, to improve people's livesWhat is Computer Engineering?

  • EEHow do CS and CE and EE Differ?CECS

  • Example: EEs 2011 (CEs similar)Are there EE and CE Jobs?46 of 53 graduates had job offers / grad school acceptance by graduation dayMany had multiple offersAverage reported starting salary: $59,000

  • What are Salaries by Industry?

  • Who Hires U of U Graduates?ATKBachtel MarineHarman Signal Proc.Hill AFBKnolls Atomic PowerL-3 CommunicationsMicronMoog AircraftNavseaNorthrop GrummanRaytheonReliable ControlsRio TintoRocky Mtn. PowerSorenson CommunicationsVarian Medical Syst.

  • Case Study: Speech RecognitionWrite software to decode speech waveformUse frequency analysis to detect vowel soundsUse probabilistic models to guess which phonemes were most likely

  • Case Study: Pulse DeconvolutionShoot X-rays at object, detect photon emissions (pulses)Pulse size and quantity indicate makeup of sampleUndo the overlap to determine original pulses, (math problem)

  • Case Study: Modeling Heat FlowInduction furnace in steel mill heats by creating eddie currents in barModel of cooling derived by (slow) numerical simulationNonlinear differential equation used to model temperature in real-time

  • Case Study: Security SystemA Hall effect sensor can detect if a door is openA central computer can monitor a farm of storage lockersFast turnaround in prototyping creates a business opportunity

  • Case Study: Auditory ProsthesisAuditory prosthesis stimulates auditory nerve electrically To create proper sound, flow of current must be controlledThreshold tests with patients determine how current spreads out from electrodes

  • Case Study: Fuzzy ControlAn algorithm is needed to control the positioning of a large motorFuzzy logic translates operator knowledge into control signalsAn adaptive algorithm tracks performance and tweaks the control algorithm

  • Lessons LearnedYour immediate boss is the most important person in the companyIn school, individual performance rules; in industry, teams ruleFigure out how you can help, instead of looking smartDo what you love

    Note: these case studies of careers could apply to EE or CE. CEs are more likely to get involved in software-only projects, but EEs and CEs overlap substantially in what they can do.This talk is largely about my own experiences in industry as an EE/CE.Images left to right:lasers (used for fiber optics, internet); electrode array with amplifier chip on back and coil for transmitter (used to transmit signals from brain; paraplegic control of limbs by thoughts);medical imaging (used in medicine, better coil designs for MRI gives better images); micromachined iris for cell phone camera (expands or contracts to squeeze lens, developed by students at U);heat generated in head by cell phone transmissions (used to determine safety of phones); frayed aircraft wires (high frequency signals sent down wires reflected by irregularities in wire, helps locate faults)

    Images left to right:design of a chip is done on a computerthe chip is created on a silicon wafer, in this case the chip is for a cell phonehundred of chips are made on one waferthe chip goes into a product such as the iPhone.As the talk progresses, no distinction will be made between EE and CE jobs. The EE jobs require programming, and the CE can do all the jobs described.

    Images left to right:CS students study digital electronics, as do EEsCE students can shift more towards CS or more towards EE in their elective courses, or they can stay in the middleEE students work with computers, as do CEs, and EEs write programs to do engineering design and simulation

    CE and EE dont differ much in salary, (nor does CS). The key to success and a high salary is doing what you love.Power industry is low. Lots of older employees who didnt have to know as much technology as nowadays. That will change...These are the big companies. Many small startup companies hire our students, too.Speech waveform is result of glottal flaps closing and creating puffs of air that pass through vocal tract.Vocal tract is like musical instrument creating chords. For example, vowel sounds in English are encoded by combination of notes at certain ratios of frequencies.Probabilistic models estimate how likely it is that a sound corresponds to a given small part of speech (phoneme). Phonemes are short sounds like a vowel.

    A spectroscopy machine can run faster if we can handle the pileup of photon emissions from scintillation crystals that detect photons generated when X-rays hit a sample.Untangling the pileup is a tricky math problem. For example, the top graph is a smoothed version of the bottom graph. To sharpen the image, we want to determine whatpulses could have created the image.To control an induction furnace heating steel, one has to model the heat in that steel bar. Detailed simulations of heat flow take a long time. Using the results, however, it is possible to createa real-time prediction system by using a nonlinear differential equation that produces solutions closing matching the simulations.Mark Gotlieb, an MBA student at Stanford wanted to start a company doing security systems for storage lockers based on the idea of using Hall effect sensors to determine when doors were open.The advantage of the Hall effect sensor is that it doesnt require that any electrical contact be made, unlike a mechanical switch.Mark recruited me to quickly prototype a computer system to read the sensors, which I did. I created a completely custom board. Today, an FPGA board, like the one shown would be used.Mark was successful enough with the company to sell it for a profit. Unfortunately, he made most of the money off the idea. I got salary. He was a self-promoter, having gotten himself into theGuiness Book of World Records by playing an underwater violin...Electrodes for cochlear implants are typically implanted directly in the cochleas of the deaf. When the electrodes are stimulated, currents spread out in the fluids in the cochlea.By performing tests with human subjects, the spread of current may be ascertained, to some extent. Then, multiple electrodes may be stimulation in certain patterns that help to focus the current within the cochlea. In essence, the multiple electrodes can reduce the spread of current.The problem I worked on was the control of screws on a reversing mill. The screws determined the gap between the rollers for the steel. The screw motors were old and would coast after being turned off.The problem was to predict how far they would coast. A fuzzy logic system is a way of translating information from a mill operator, for example, into a mathematical function. Fuzzy logic means that something canbe a partial member of a set. The fuzzy logic system provided an initial control scheme. An adaptive algorithm would observe results and adjust values in the fuzzy logic system to improve performance. It worked!

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