Focus Areas for Electrical Engineering Program

Digital Signal Processing with Applications

Signal processing is an integral part of entertainment, communications, space exploration, geophysics, archeology, finance, medicine, etc. Signal processing hardware together with algorithms are core to many systems, ranging from highly-specialized military equipment to low-cost, high-volume consumer electronics. It is digital signal processing (DSP) techniques that provide amazing performance of multimedia systems such as 3D and high-definition television, high-fidelity audio, on-line gaming, etc. With the convergence of communications, computers and signal processing in consumer, industrial and government applications, the role of signal processing will continue to grow in the years to come.

This stream teaches students the fundamental theory as well as the practical issues of DSP so that they can understand and solve real-world engineering problems. This is accomplished with a modest student workload by efficiently linking different courses in the stream. By completing this stream the students will be well qualified to work in the areas of consumer electronics (e.g. Apple and RIM), industrial electronics (e.g. Startco, International Road Dynamics), digital communications (e.g. SED Systems, Vecima Networks, RIM, Cisco, Google) and utilities (e.g. SaskPower, SaskTel). Graduates could work in industry in a production or R & D facility, or continue on with graduate studies to research and develop new DSP techniques or solve very challenging DSP problems. Alternatively, as some of our graduates have done, students may start a company to provide efficient and cost-effective designs or sub-systems or products.

Power and Energy

The Power and Energy stream teaches the different technologies of electric power generation, delivery and utilization using various energy conversion technologies. The courses involve studies of various types of electric power generators, motors, transformers, power electronic technology, power system analysis, and control and protection. The students will get hands-on experience with power circuits, transformers, electric machines, power control technologies through the laboratory classes. The graduates from this stream are expected to apply their knowledge in designing, planning, operation, maintenance, control and protection of the electric power system to provide safe and reliable power.

The IEEE and the Canadian Electricity Association have foreseen a workforce crisis in the power and energy sector. The students graduating from this stream will be qualified to work in power utilities (e.g. SaskPower, Saskatoon Light & Power, ATCO, EPCOR, ENMAX, TransAlta, Manitoba Hydro), heavy power consuming industries, such as mining (e.g. Potash, Oil & Gas, Cameco, Etc.), manufacturing, power switch-gear industries (e.g. GE, ABB, Siemens), and power consulting and construction companies (e.g. Stantec, Tetratech, WorleyParsons, March Consulting, SNC-lavalin, etc.).

Sensors, Circuits and Devices

Our modern world is full of sensors and the circuits that utilize them to measure physical properties. A modern car contains more than 100 sensors; a third of those sensors are miniaturized systems. The circuits control the engine, air bags, brakes, and all aspects of the operation of the car.  Other areas of applications for sensors and related circuits and devices are in mining and oil & gas industries, environmental control and protection, industrial controls, radio frequency control and monitoring, RFID technology, or medical monitoring and imaging, to name just a few. Many applications are increasingly multidisciplinary and involve knowledge and expertise in various fields of engineering and sciences.

The Sensors, Circuits and Devices focus area involves six classes on electro-magnetic fields, electronic instrumentation, electronic devices, microwave circuits, micro- and nanotechnology, and optoelectronics and photonics. Exciting laboratory exercises provide hands-on experience. The focus area embraces core competencies of Electrical Engineering, but is also multidisciplinary.  Sensors are ubiquitous, and graduates of this focus area can find employment opportunities all across the Engineering spectrum: Electrical engineers with a specialization in Sensors, Circuits and Devices are needed and therefore work in a vast variety of venues, ranging from small companies and start-ups to multi-national corporations, consulting firms, and academia. They can work as design engineers in mid- size, expanding engineering companies in Saskatoon, as post doctoral fellows in European national research laboratories, or as sensors experts for the automotive industry. Some graduates have recently started their own company to develop devices for the oil and mining industry.