October 20-21 ECE’s Advisory Council met for their annual conference regarding the state of the department. ECE’s Advisory Council is comprised of alumni and industry personnel that provide input about the needs of employers to keep our curriculum up to date.
One of the key topics this year was in regards to Retention and Recruitment. Assistant Dean Craig Wanklyn of the College of Engineering Recruitment program spoke about the measures the college takes to recruit students. Recruitment goes to community colleges, high schools, and hosts many campus events to introduce Engineering to potential schools. ECE recently hired a new academic advisor (Garrett Peterson) who also meets with potential students to answer specific program questions. For retention purposes, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Programs Steve Dandaneau met with the group to discuss the new data analytics tools that advisors will be able to utilize in identifying at-risk students for targeted intervention. Other tools were shown to help programs understand which majors’ students switch to when they change their degree. All of these tools should help the department increase retention in the department.
Another key topic discussed was the process for accreditation with ABET, with the next review scheduled for the Fall 2017 semester. The Advisory Council reviewed the Educational Objectives for ABET accreditation and provided some recommendations for Dr. Gruenbacher to share with the department faculty. The educational objectives, as well as the student outcomes, for both undergraduate programs, are available at http://www.ece.k-state.edu/abet/.
ECE’s two newest faculty members presented overviews of their research and discussed potential collaborations with the council. Dr. Jungkwun Kim presented an overview of his research on device fabrication technology and nano/micro devices. His research plan is to create a state of the art laboratory, increase student research and pursue research into Advanced 3D Nano/Micro Fabrication, world’s smallest commercial microinductor, dissolvable sensors, and biointerfaces. Dr. Hongyu Wu gave an overview of his work in the area of Smart Grid. His research goals include building a next generation power grid that is sustainable, secure, and reliable electricity grid that drives a clean-energy economy.
The ECE Advisory council joined other Engineering Department’s Advisory Councils to learn about college goals. Some of these goals include increasing publications, increasing Ph. D enrollment, adding endowed positions, investing in infrastructure, increasing freshman and sophomore retention, and increasing annual giving. After the general meeting, ECE students and faculty joined the advisory council members for lunch.
Kim Fowler’s ECE 590 Senior Design class sent representatives to do a short presentation on a student- designed interactive LED wall project. They demonstrated how it works and talked about the design process. The wall is to be installed before the end of the Fall semester.
The Advisory Council’s future goals are to develop a matrix to demonstrate how the department strategic areas align with the college goals, including tactics the department can use to reach those goals.