History

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

The first electrical engineering degree program was established at Delaware College in 1891 and taught the design and operation of electric power plants. This focus continued until after World War II, when electronics came to the forefront and department faculty and students began experimentation with new radio and radar techniques. In the mid 1970s, the Department of Electrical Engineering shifted its focus to research and adapted the curriculum to address the rise in computer technology. Email, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), the Network Time Protocol (NTP) and other critical components of Internet technology were partly developed by researchers at Delaware. A degree in computer engineering was introduced and the department changed its name to include the new discipline in 1996. Information technology, which revolutionized the US economy, drove demand for education and research in a variety of areas, including semiconductors, computer networks, biomedical and biotechnology research, and nanotechnology. The department has grown into one of the largest research enterprises at UD and benefits from a world-class nano-fabrication facility including a Molecular Beam Epitaxy etcher used to develop millimeter wave imaging sensors that can see through smoke and sandstorms. The ultra high efficiency photovoltaic program in the department focuses on solutions for society’s energy needs of the future. UD electrical and computer engineering faculty and students today continue to invent disruptive technologies and to channel these into successful entrepreneurial activities.

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