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Welcome Message

Dennis Derickson

Welcome to the Electrical Engineering (EE) Department of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

The EE Department offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) and Master of Science (MS) Degree in Electrical Engineering and a BS degree in computer engineering. Electrical Engineering Department jointly sponsors the Computer Engineering Program with Computer Science.  A large fraction of our 4th year engineering students continue for their Masters degree utilizing our 4+1 Honors MS program. The Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments offer graduate students a wide range of technical electives and laboratory space for research projects. Both Electrical and Computer Engineering programs are rated near the top in the nation among all public primarily undergraduate universities, by U.S. News and World Report. Cal Poly EE is distinguished for its laboratory-intensive curriculum, faculty-student interaction, and innovative hands-on educational methods. The department offers 35,000 square feet of well-equipped undergraduate laboratory space, unparalleled among other universities. Cal Poly EE makes contributions to contemporary applied research, collaborates with industrial partners, sponsors award-winning student projects, and provides extensive outreach efforts with elementary and secondary schools.

The EE Department is one of seven departments within the College of Engineering. Cal Poly is one of the 25 campuses of the California State University System, collectively the largest university in the world.

The Electrical and Computer Engineering disciplines have the largest engineering employment base in the United States according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You will find a large number of employers attending our fall and spring job fairs to interview our department's graduates. A large fraction of our pre-graduation engineering students are employed with summer engineering internships. The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) serves as the technical society for the electrical and computer engineering disciplines. The IEEE is the largest technical professional society in the world for the advancement of technology. There are 38 different technical branches for the IEEE covering an amazingly wide range of topics. The IEEE student branch is the lead student organization for the department's student activities. A wide range of subject-specific student clubs support the varied interests of the IEEE and our electrical and computer engineering students. The EE club website includes contact information for each of these student organizations.

Electrical Engineering 2019 Strategic Plan

The Electrical Engineering Department updated its strategic plan in 2019 and the following document outlines our current thinking:   EE strategic plan 2019

“Preparing our students for the Data-Intensive World”

• Curriculum that brings together skill sets in digital hardware, analog hardware and software from early classes and gives immersive experiences later in the curriculum (beyond traditional senior project experiences).

• Incorporate more project based activities earlier into the curriculum while maintaining rigorous Laboratory experiences. The project-based activities should include digital, analog and software elements.

• Incorporate elements of Machine Learning into existing courses and add technical electives. Continued transformation from Analog to Digital: Markets/Applications continue the transformation from analog to digital: audio, video, signal processing, imaging control systems, communications, autonomous systems. EE needs to track these changes. Improved Software Skills: Easily accessible software curriculum in any quarter that works into the EE student’s schedule.

“Once in a lifetime opportunity for re-making our Energy Systems Infrastructure”

Enhance Power and Energy Curriculum and Labs with;

a. Building-scale electric microgrid laboratory with REC Solar to be completed by 2021.  This will include an 1800 square foot outdoor area and a 5-room interconnected microgrid.

b. Room-Scale microgrid project including renewable energy sources, energy storage, power system protection, digital network simulation hardware/software, and a secure communication infrastructure.  First phase of the laboratory to be completed in 2020.

c. Industrial controls laboratory for Electric Power Systems and associated course upgrades in 2021. 

“Give students more opportunity to customize their coursework and career interests at the B.S. Level”

-Free up at least four more technical elective units. -Add options to free up electives (e.g.choose 2 out of 3) -Provide better guidance on how to customize an EE Specialization from our broad area of topics.

“Upgrade graduate course offerings and research to reflect current needs/trends for our graduate students and industry

“Promote an Inclusive Environment”




The Electrical Engineering department completed a strategic planning process in Spring of 2015. Here is a summary of the Electrical Engineering Strategic Initiatives.

Vision: As the leader in practical, hands on electrical engineering education, we develop industry-ready talent that advances our connected world from fundamentals to Advanced Technology.

Enhanced Opportunities for Learning Through:

a. State of the Art Integrative learning Environments: Nurturing students during their educational experiences

b. Sustainability: Focusing on sustainability throughout the curriculum.

c. Global Engineering Communities: Building International Collaborations.

d. Entrepreneurial Experience: Providing opportunities for innovation and product development.

Strategic Investment in our Areas of Excellence and Desired Growth

a. Power and Energy Systems: Designing next generation intelligent power systems from milli-Watts to MEGA-Watts.

b. Mobile Communications and Mobile Computing: Implementing data-intensive wireless networks

c. Systems on a Chip (SoC): Training future engineers in cutting edge SoC design techniques

d. Embedded Computing: Enabling seamless interfaces between humans and machines to meet the future of ubiquitous computing.


On this website, you'll find information about all aspects of our educational programs, as well as the many other contributions of our faculty and students. Students will find current announcements that should be checked periodically. Current events of general interest and the accomplishments of our faculty and alumni are chronicled. Prospective students will find academic and career information and contact links to start the application process. For those that may consider helping us financially with our mission, you'll find contact information and we offer our sincere thanks.

General Wisdom: The Electrical Engineering Discipline at Cal Poly offers the most complete set of career options in the Electronic System and Computation area.  During your time at Cal Poly you will learn all about Digital and Analog Hardware, Software and Systems Engineering. This is the only major that allows students to have the complete set of skills and knowledge to design cyber-physical systems of almost any type. Once you get through your BS program in Electrical Engineering, you will then understand how much more there is to learn in this field. I would recommend pursuing your MS degree afterwards at Cal Poly, other institutions or work on the MS degree in the evenings while working at a company.  

Please stop by for a visit soon. I would be happy to give you a tour through our facilities. Please do not to hesitate to write or call.  Please look at our latest EE department newsletter posted Nov 2019;


Dennis Derickson
Chair, Electrical Engineering Department
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

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