Chair Message

September 26, 2014

Join me in welcoming the Class of 2018 tour our "Double E" family. These 150 freshmen students are already immersed in all facets of electrical engineering — from assembling an Arduino-based microprocessor project, taking an amateur radio license exam, competing in a freshman robotics competition and learning their way around our lab facilities, to pitching ideas to a panel of business leaders. All in all, a very fast-pitched, hands-on introduction to our time-tested Learn by Doing ways. 

Similarly invigorating were the opportunities to connect with many of you at our alumni events in San Diego (last January) and in Santa Clara (last March). Both these events honored retiring faculty member and former chair Jim Harris who shared a presentation on the history of higher education in California.  The alumni groups thoroughly enjoyed getting together, and, in fact, these reunions will be an annual tradition, with others planned elsewhere around the state. Watch for your 2015 invitation!  

A major highlight of the year was a visit from the class of 1964 last May. A dozen classmates reunited on campus for a two-day whirlwind of activities, tours and guest appearances. Reminiscences about their career paths included frequent references to the Cal Poly instructors and influences that led them to success in companies such as Boeing, Hewlett Packard and United Airlines. The attendees also recognized classmate Linda (Miller) Hatta who was the first female graduate from the department.

In addition, the 50th class reunion created a memorable networking opportunity for a new generation. The Class of '64 was joined by 132 members of the Class of ’14, who were about to embark on careers in companies such as Apple, PG&E and Tesla or engage in graduate school pursuits.  

Other recent news:

- The donation of a thousand 400-watt photovoltaic panels, which inspired a new course offering in solar photovoltaic system engineering.

-  Student teams, hand-selected by Professors Dale Dolan and Vladimir Prodanov, competed in the elite Max Tech and Beyond competition, sponsored by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Our students placed in the top five of university teams who participated in this exciting challenge to develop breakthrough innovations in the area of energy-efficient appliances. 

Another bold stroke of energy efficiency can be seen in the senior project of Konrad Antoniuk. A competitive swimmer, Konrad developed a swim stroke efficiency-monitoring device to assist recreational as well as competitive athletes improve their performance in the water.

Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, we hope to see you in 2015. We’d love to catch up with you at one of our EE alumni events around the state (watch your email for updates) — or join us at one or more of these occasions:

- The Beer and Wine Garden @ Engineering Plaza (April 18) during Open House

- Project Expo (May 1)

- The EE banquet (May 8)

- Our weekly EE Seminar (every Friday) It's free and open to you to attend — or, better yet, to be a guest speaker!

And, anytime, please send us your news and updates here.

Happy new year, and let’s do stay in touch!



Dennis Derickson, Chair
Department of Electrical Engineering
Cal Poly