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Featured Projects


Each year the Electrical Engineering Department faculty works with students on compelling project activity both at the undergraduate and graduate level.    Sometimes these projects are based on faculty generated ideas. Other times we work with industry sponsors to jointly develop educational experiences for students and also valuable work for the industry sponsors. If you are interested in working with Cal Poly students and faculty on sponsored projects please email our project sponsorship team Dennis Derickson (, Dale Dolan ( David Braun (, and Rich Murray ( In addition to year-long senior and masters-level projects we also encourage you to support our Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP). Information useful for project sponsorship is at the following link;  EE project sponsorship information

Outstanding Senior Project Posters from Spring 2019:   Here are 7 posters from the Cal Poly Electrical Engineering Project Expo.


1. CP e-Wheel Project:  Design a bicycle wheel with the motor, battery, and controls integrated on a single wheel.   CP eWheel

2. Formula SAE Electric Car Drive Electronics:  The 316 volt battery on the formula SAE car must also have outputs at a lower voltage to drive all of the rest of the electronic systems.   Drive Electronics FSAE

3. MARVIN:  This project involved re-creating one of the MARS rovers in a smaller scale. There is extensive 3D printing and control electronics and software to make this all work.   Mars Rover Project

4. Electric Microgrid Project:  Students and Faculty are assembling a new lab capability around a room-scale microgrid. Energy Generation, Distribution, Storage and Control are going into this large project. It will take several years to implement all of the features leading to many MS and BS thesis topics.    Room 20-101 Microgrid Project

5. Internet of Things Smart Motion Sensor: Monitor the status of your window around the house through a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) link.    IOT Smart Motion Sensor

6. Developing an Inexpensive Scanning Tunneling Microscope:  Here is a very ambitious and compelling project for making a do-it-yourself Scanning Tunneling Microscope. These instruments can be use to measure surface features down to the atomic level. Very impressive work!    Inexpensive Scanning Tunneling Microscope. 

7. Resonant wireless charging at 13.56 MHz:  The project goals are to improve range and efficiency for wireless charging. Key innovations are a non-linear resonator.   Resonant Charging


The projects below show a small set of example faculty sponsored projects that were worked on in the last few years.  Please contact individual faculty members for their current list of project opportunities.  

Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning Projects:

Professor Helen Yu has many projects available in the area of computational intelligence and machine learning

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Rapid Battery Exchange Project

Professor Art MacCarley and team has set records for exchanging the battery on an electric vehicle.

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Evaluation of Commercial Video-based Intersection Signal Actuation Systems

Development of testing standards and procedures for video-based intersection signal actuation systems employed at controlled intersections.

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LIDAR Utilizing SGDBR Lasers

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system architectures and applications that are enabled by single-chip wavelength tunable Sampled Grating Distributed Bragg Reflector (SGDBR) laser are being developed in this project.

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Automated Consensus-based Data Verification in the Caltrans Detector Testbed

A practical need to assess the accuracy and attributes of each of the many types of roadway sensors and detectors motivated the California Department of Transportation to construct a traffic detector testbed on I-405 in Southern California.

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New Topologies Promise Improved Performance for Powering Future Microprocessors

There are several new VRM (Voltage Regulator Module) topologies currently being developed in the Power Electronics Lab at Cal Poly. Through the Graduate and Research Office, Cal Poly has applied for US patents on two new topologies. Other new topologies are currently being characterized and developed.

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XINS Project

Designing remote controlled airplanes is an engineer's playground - designing an autopilot for a remote control airplane is an electrical engineer's playground.    

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ElectroMagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Testing by Enerpro, Inc

EMC (ElectroMagnetic Compatibility) Radiated Susceptibility Testing by Enerpro, Inc., Goleta, CA in Cal Poly's EMC Chamber

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Antenna Projects

RF/antenna project slides, January 2009.

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Algae Biofuel

This project focuses on developing methods to electrically lyse (break) algae cells and to detect intracellular content (lipids) for biofuel component extraction. Algae cell electrical parameters (effective capacitance and admittance) vary as a function of lysing state and excitation frequency. The end goal of this research is to couple electrical characteristics with cell shape, optical density, and spectroscopic analysis to optimize energy efficiency in cell lysis and intracellular content extraction.

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RF/Antenna Projects

Current EE department RF/antenna projects include the development of HFSS (High Frequency Structure Simulator) computer models for metamaterial structures and the construction of physical prototypes verified through measurements taken in the Cal Poly Anechoic Chamber.

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