Electrical & Computer Engineering and Automotive Engineering   

In this video Prof. Jim Freudenberg, the new director of the Master's Program in Automotive Engineering, talks about the intense need for engineers with electrical and computer engineering backgrounds in the auto industry.

The auto industry needs electrical and computer engineers in ever increasing numbers to deal with the amount of electronics in contemporary cars. These engineers deal with the electronic, controls, safety systems, infotainment systems, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

ECE-trained students will also help design hybrid and electric vehicles. Of particular importance to these electric vehicles is the power control system. An increasing number of plug-in electric vehicles also means an increasing load on the electric grid.

The Department offers a variety of courses that train our students for a successful career in the area of electric and hybrid cars, as well as related fields in power and energy.

Selected Specialty Courses

EECS418EECS 418: Power Electronics

This course covers the use of electronics in energy conversion, with power levels from the microwatt level to thousands of megawatts. The goal of this course is to provide the necessary knowledge base required to design working power electronic systems: AC-DC and DC-DC conversion; power semiconductor devices, inductors, and capacitors; gate- and base-drive circuits; “snubber” circuits; and thermal analysis.

EECS419EECS 419: Electric Machinery and Drives

In the struggle to address today's energy and environmental challenges, many potential solutions require electro-mechanical energy conversion. Examples include electric propulsion drives for electric and hybrid electric vehicles, generators for wind turbines, and high-speed motor/alternators for flywheel energy storage systems. This course covers fundamental electromechanical, power electronic, and control theory in the context of electric drive systems. The capabilities and limitations of different types of electric machines (e.g., permanent magnet, induction) in various drive applications will also be covered.

EECS461EECS 461: Embedded Control Systems

There is a strong need in industry for students who are capable of working in the highly multi-disciplinary area of embedded control software development. The performance metrics of an embedded control system lie in the analog physical world, yet the performance limiting component of the system is often the embedded microprocessor. This course teaches students from diverse backgrounds the fundamentals of the subject as they build a haptic interface, or force feedback system. We use technology relevant to the local automotive industry.

See also: Course Website; MathWorks article about the course; Mathworks Webinar

EECS463EECS 463: Power System Design and Operation

The course will establish the basic principles of power system operation and control, under normal conditions and when faults occur. It will develop the models and tools necessary for analysing system behavior, and provide opportunities for using those tools in design processes. Optimal generation dispatch will be developed, and electricity market implementation issues addressed. The impact of renewable generation on power system operation will be considered.

EECS498EECS 498: Grid Integration of Alternative Energy Sources

The course will present a variety of alternative energy sources, along with energy processing technologies that are required for power system connection. System integration issues will be addressed, with consideration given to impacts on current power system design philosophies and operating principles. Topics will be covered at a level suited to establishing a broad understanding of the various technologies, and of the associated system implications. NREL's HOMER package will be introduced, and used in the analysis and optimization of alternative energy systems.

Advanced Coursework

For students interested in more advanced coursework, there are many graduate-level (ie, 500 and above) courses available. Please check the online catalog and speak with an undergraduate advisor for more information.

Recently offered courses:

EECS 598: Infrastructure for Vehicle Electrification

EECS 598: Electromechanics

EECS 598: Power Systems, Dynamics and Control


Additional Info

The Tesla Roadster contains a control algorithm designed by Prof. Heath Hofmann.

Join the Student Team, Michigan Hybrid Racing, and race your car in competition.

Faculty Advisor: Prof. Heath Hoffman

In the News

Ford boosts hiring of engineers, computer workers
USA Today

The future looks electric: Carmakers scramble to hire engineers
Detroit Free Press

Computer Code an Increasingly Precious E.V. [Electric Vehicle] Commodity
New York Times