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ECE Chair Publishes Op-Ed on the Future of the Field in National Association Publication

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Elena Watts

Badri Roysam, professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering at the UH Cullen College of Engineering, was recently elected editor-in-chief of the ECE Source, a publication of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA). 

The association extends membership to official leaders of U.S. university departments that offer ABET-accredited electrical and computer engineering programs. Ninety percent of the 300 qualifying programs across the country are represented in the association’s membership.

“The National Academy of Engineering's list of the 20 greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century is a riveting description of the modern world, and ECE can justifiably take credit for nearly half of these achievements,” Roysam wrote in the November ECE Source online publication. “Our future role in addressing the 14 grand challenges of the 21st century is just as compelling.”

The greatest engineering achievements of the last century, according to the academy, include electrification, automobiles, aircraft, air conditioning and refrigeration, telephones, spacecraft, computers, the Internet and health technologies. Reverse-engineering the human brain, engineering tools of scientific discovery, securing cyberspace, enhancing virtual realities and advancing personalized learning are among the grand challenges identified by the academy that face engineers this century.

Also in his ECE Source letter addressing the association membership, Roysam stressed the importance of building the K-12 education pipeline and engaging national policy-makers.

“It is time for ECE department heads to come together and help define an intellectual vision for ECE for the next 50 years, create an advocacy model and build a distinctive brand that is inviting to future students, teachers, parents and faculty members alike,” Roysam wrote.

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