News Release

Electrical Engineering students at Get Launched SB!

San Diego, CA, March 27, 2017 -- 

Just a couple of years ago, electrical engineering students had a hard time figuring out which side of the soldering iron to hold. Some may say, necessity is the mother of invention and this couldn’t be more true in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC San Diego.

The Jacobs School of Engineering now hosts a maker-space home to ECE5, one of the five “hands-on” courses created for the 2016-17 curriculum. In ECE5,Making, Breaking and Hacking Stuff,” freshman are taught how to work in collaborative team projects. There are four main labs that cover communications, analog circuits, digital signal/image processing and embedded systems and control. From soldering skills to programming arduino microcontrollers, the incoming freshman are getting an up-close and hands-on understanding of how things work.

“We are redefining the electrical engineering experience with these hands-on classes.  You used to only learn about a controls system from a lecture slide, now you get to build and control a robot,” says Karcher Morris, head TA for ECE5. “The students  are really benefitting from being hands-on in the lab and get to see multiple projects from start to finish, something they wouldn’t have previously experienced.”  

On March 4, some of the electrical engineering students demonstrated their projects and shared the hands-on curriculum at “Get Launched SB!”  a networking event put on by Impact Hub, a tech incubator in Santa Barbara. The goal was for students to rub shoulders with corporate sponsors, Microchip, Arduino, and Arrow Electronics and to learn about rapid prototyping for hardware-based start-ups.

The electrical engineering students were very well received at "Get Launched SB!" and had a few start-ups inquiring about what kinds of devices they can create. One such example was Ron Gans from a start-up called Observables who hopes to launch in the next month and is looking for students with just that end-to-end project knowledge the students are required to learn.  

Raul Pegan, computer engineering student

“Being a part of a collaborative team and seeing fruition in the hard work is the most rewarding part of the curriculum,” says Raul Pegan, Computer Engineering student.

The sponsors were all very excited about the electrical engineering projects and the students felt a real sense of accomplishment.  

"Meeting so many innovative startups at Impact Hub made it clear that having hands-on skills to prototype your ideas is crucial to starting a successful company.  We are lucky that at UC San Diego we now have the opportunity to hone those skills,” says Buu Truong, electrical engineering student.

Besides ECE5, we also featured hands-on projects in ECE196 (Project-in-a-Box) and ECE188 (The Art of Product Engineering).  They had a great time sharing their experiences.

Kathy Giori, Vice President of Operations at Arduino said to Morris, “Thank you for sending your brilliant team of UC San Diego engineering students to Get Launched SB! Your presence made the event for Arduino far more successful and enjoyable. Your demonstrations and projects are outstanding - I’m definitely going to follow up with Professor Nguyen about how to take this further.”

Media Contacts

Shannon Prior
Electrical and Computer Engineering