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Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Welcome to the ECE homepage!

Our department offers two programs: Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering.  Both programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. We also teach core courses in electrical engineering and cyber engineering.


The Electrical Engineering Major

Electrical engineering is the discipline of manipulating power and information in the form of electricity. It is a discipline of great breadth that includes topics as diverse as wireless communications, renewable energy, electric transportation systems, instrumentation, signal processing and computational systems (i.e. computers). It provides a thorough technical background that applies to all branches of naval service as well as to civilian life.

Electrical engineering majors are required to take courses in electrical engineering fundamentals including circuit analysis, digital logic systems, semiconductor device electronics, power systems and rotating machinery, communications, electromagnetism, and the design of microprocessor-based systems. Electives are offered in a variety of topics including semiconductor physics, machines and generators, wireless communications, networking, digital signal processing, biometric signal processing, fiber optics, computer architecture, instrumentation, and microcomputer interfacing. Design is emphasized throughout the program.

The Computer Engineering Major

Computer engineering is a discipline that combines fundamentals from both electrical engineering and computer science. Computer engineers must understand the many different aspects of a computer, ranging from the physics of its low-level components to the computer software that controls its high-level operations.

Computer Engineering majors are required to take courses in electrical engineering fundamentals including AC and DC circuit analysis, digital logic systems, electronics and electromechanics, signals and systems, data structures, communications, computer architecture and the design of microprocessor-based systems. Computer engineering students will have the opportunity to take electives in embedded systems, computer operating systems, microcomputer interfacing, superscalar processor design, VLSI design, computer networking, digital signal processing, biometric signal processing and computer vision.

Opportunities in the ECE Department

A number of summer internships with organizations such as DoD Forensics, Naval Surface Warfare Centers, the Naval Postgraduate School, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, Pennsylvania State University, the National Security Agency and the Naval Research Laboratory provide the opportunity to work with scientists on improving the design, implementation and use of critical defense-related applications. We typically have a number of Trident and Bowman scholars, and many of our graduates go on to graduate study at first tier research institutions. We also have a number of students each year who successfully complete language minors, and we work with our majors to facilitate foreign and service academy exchanges. An electrical engineering degree or a computer engineering degree also opens doors in civilian life. Having this degree is widely regarded as evidence of problem-solving skills and tenacity, and Academy electrical engineering graduates and computer engineering graduates have achieved success in a wide variety of post-service careers including “non-technical” fields like business and law.

I invite you to learn more about our courses, laboratory facilities, and faculty

Samara Firebaugh, Ph D.
Professor and Chair




The 2019 ECE Virtual Project Showcase is online. Please visit and see what our midshipmen built this Spring.

Student News

The ECE Department has two Bowman Scholars for Academic Year 2018-2019.

Midshipman 2/C Miriam Ewall-Wice of the 24TH Company is a Computer Engineering major studying Optomechanical Actuator and Irradiation Sensor Using the Diamagnetism of Pyrolytic Graphite. Her advisers are Assistant Professor Hatem ElBidweihy, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and Professor Peter Joyce, Mechanical Engineering Department.

Midshipman 2/C Zachary Johnson of the 18TH Company is an Electrical Engineering major studying SSD Firmware Classification Via Side-Channel Power Signal Analysis. His adviser is Professor Ryan Rakvic, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

Faculty News

The IEEE digital reference library is available online

Associate Professor Rajratan Basu (Physics) and Assistant Professors Brian Donovan (Physics), Hatem ElBidweihy (ECE), and Ron Warzoha (MechE) have been awarded a $284,000 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) award for a project entitled: "A graphene characterization suite for understanding electrical, thermal, and optical responses from the atomic- to the micro-scale." The award will expand ECE's existing Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS) to include state-of-the-art magnetic, electrical, optical, and spectroscopy characterization capabilities. 

*One of our primary objectives is to make the PPMS accessible to other researchers at USNA and beyond. If you are interested, please contact Assistant Professor ElBidweihy. 

Assistant Professor Kevin Galloway (ECE) presented a paper titled "Beacon-referenced Mutual Pursuit in Three Dimensions" at American Control Conference (ACC) 2018 in Milwaukee, WI on June 27.

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