Mission & History

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Department Mission Statement

"The mission is to provide undergraduate and graduate education that is characterized by quality, access, and relevance; and to develop distinctive research programs in electroscience, systems and computer engineering, each with the promise of sustained excellence as measured in scholarship, external investment, reputation, and impact."

Electrical Engineering building (Now know as the Computer Center)

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering History at MSU

Electrical engineering became a formal part of Michigan Agricultural College (MAC) in 1909 when the Division of Engineering was established. The new division had four units, including physics and electrical engineering. In 1916, the electrical engineering department was established separate from physics. For a period of time, it was named Electrical Engineering and Systems Science. In 1947 the Electrical Engineering building was built, (now know as the Computer Center) and housed MSU’s first mainframe computer, the MISTIC. In 1998, the department changed its name to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Today, the department consists of approximately 42 full-time faculty members, over 700 undergraduate students in electrical and computer engineering, and over 160 graduate students.

Timeline:

ECE Lab

1893 – First course in electrical engineering, offered under the Department of Physics
1901 – Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering established
1907 – A new Engineering Building was built, featuring over 40 labs and lecture rooms.
1915 – Department of Electrical Engineering separated from the Physics Department
1917 – R.E. Olds gifted $100,000 to rebuild the new (Olds Hall of) Engineering building
1947 – Electrical Engineering Building established, (now known as the Computer Center)
1969 – Department renamed Department of Electrical Engineering and Systems Science
1962 – A new Engineering Building was constructed on Shaw Lane
1988 – Name changes to Department of Electrical Engineering
1989 – Engineering was renovated and ECE moved to the current location (2120)
1998 – Department becomes the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
2000 – NSF Engineering Research Center (a partnership with MSU, U of M, and MTU) for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems (WIMS) established
2002 – Fraunhofer Center for Coatings and Laser Applications established
2005 – Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Research Institute and Michigan State University Power Electronics Systems Center (ZELRI-MSU) established
2005 – High Performance Computer Center (HPCC) established
2006 – ECE Chairperson, Satish Udpa, becomes Dean for the College of Engineering
2006 – Elias Strangas and Fang Zheng Peng received funding from the 21st Century Jobs Fund Award from the State of Michigan
2007 – Timothy Grotjohn becomes ECE Chairperson
2014 – Leo Kempel, ECE Faculty, becomes Dean for the College of Engineering
2015 – John Papapolymerou becomes ECE Chairperson

Department Chairs:

Class photo from 1957

1901-1904 - Martin D. Atkins (physics and electrical engineering)
1904-1916 - Arthur Rodney Sawyer (physics and electrical engineering)
1916-1924 - Arthur R. Sawyer (electrical engineering)
1924-1947 - L.S. Foltz
1947-1957 - Ira B. Baccus
1957-1965 - Lawrence Von Tersch
1965-1968 - Harry G. Hedges, acting (Class photo - first row, 4th from left)
1968-1976 - Herman E. Koenig
1976-1987 - John B. Kreer
1987-1989 - Harriett Rigas
1989-2000 - Jes Asmussen, Jr.
2000-2001 - Diane Rover, acting
2001-2005 - Satish Udpa 
2005-2007 - Timothy Grotjohn, acting
2007-2014 - Timothy Grotjohn
2014-2015 - Timothy Hogan, acting
2015-Pres. - John Papapolymerou