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Restructuring Digital Design Courses in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Programs, Preparing the Engineer of 2020

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Curriculum and New Course Development in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Mihaela Radu State University of New York - Farmingdale

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Dr. Mihaela Radu received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, in 2000 and the M. Eng. degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Before joining the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Farmingdale State College in 2012, Dr. Radu was a faculty member of the Applied Electronics Department at The Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, In and R@D engineer for The Institute of Scientific Research for Automation and Telecommunications, Bucharest, Romania.
Over the past ten years she taught several undergraduate and graduate courses on Electronic Components and Circuits, Digital Design, Design of Fault Tolerant Systems and Testing of Digital Systems. Her current research interest includes Reliability and Fault Tolerance of Electronic Systems, Programmable Logic Devices and new educational methods teaching digital design and analog electronics, emphasizing “hands-on” experiences and project-based-learning. She has over sixty publications in peer reviewed conference and journals and she was member, PI or CO-PI of several multidisciplinary research grants, sponsored by the European Union, NSF and industry. She is member of IEEE society and Chair of Women In Engineering (WIE) Affinity Group for the IEEE Long Island section. She is the Public Seminar Coordinator for Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center at Farmingdale State College

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Mircea Alexandru Dabacan Technical University of Cluj-Napoca

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Mircea Alexandru Dabacan received the M. Eng. degree in electronics and telecommunications
engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, in 1984, and a Ph.D. in
electrical engineering from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, in 1998. From 1991 he is
with the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and
Information Technology. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Applied Electronics,
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, teaching in the areas of digital and data
acquisition systems. His current research interests include data acquisition systems, FPGA
design, and new educational methods to teach digital systems design. Since 2006 he is also the General Manager of Digilent RO, the Romanian branch of Digilent Inc. He used to be a
Visiting Professor at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA in 1999-2000.

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As the complexity of microelectronic systems is steadily increasing, universities must update their curriculum to cope with the increased demands of the industry. New technologies and tools are frequently introduced into the engineering workplace, and educational programs must find a way to integrate many of these into their offerings. In the areas of digital system design, the industrial use of programmable logic devices (FPGA, CPLD) , associated EDA tools and HDL languages is increasing rapidly and consequently the demand for highly qualified engineers with this type of expertise is increasing at a fast rate.

Trying to address the current and future needs of the industry in the areas of digital system design, instructors and members of the Industry Advisory Board of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department at _____________________, are in the process of restructuring the digital design sequence of courses, placing a strong emphasis in the study of modern tools, technologies and current industrial practices while considering the characteristics of the student population at this school and their educational needs. The results of the current restructuring process, challenges presented by the process, “lessons learned”, are presented. Plans for the future, such as including individual student projects in the course, more access to “hands-on experiences” for students using hardware platforms secured by grants and industry donations are presented also.

Radu, M., & Dabacan, M. A. (2016, June), Restructuring Digital Design Courses in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Programs, Preparing the Engineer of 2020 Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27339

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