Curiousity + Coursework


It’s no secret that engineering education is transforming.

At UT, an abundance of new high-tech classrooms, modern teaching labs and fully stocked makerspaces is unleashing creativity and experimentation in ways never before imagined. There is no better example than in the Cockrell School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where entire courses are being developed around hands-on projects that teach students not just how to build something that works, but how to design something that doesn’t yet exist.

Furthering the Application

The concepts of embedded systems continue in the Embedded Systems Design Lab, a course that helps students become proficient with software and hardware while pushing the limits of their creativity. For their final project, students design embedded systems for LCD displays, motors, keyboards sensors, speakers and more. The result? Devices like a spinning LED-lit globe that reacts to the beat of music, a homemade wearable fitness tracker and an interactive basketball game with a moving hoop are built and tested.

Accelerating Their Skills

We encounter real-time operating systems every day in our computers, cell phones, appliances and even in traffic lights. In the Embedded and Real-Time Systems Lab, students develop their own operating system in an autonomous robot and then put the robots to the test on the racetrack. From the design and development stages through the preliminary and final Autonomous Robot Races, students learn to test, debug and continually improve their operating system so the robot can better maneuver through the racetrack without bumping into barriers or moving in the wrong direction.

Piecing It All Together

The Capstone Design Program is the culmination of an electrical and computer engineering student’s undergraduate experience. Through the yearlong program, students work in groups and collaborate with industry mentors to develop a solution to a real-world engineering problem. They carry out the design process from start to finish, from defining the problem and developing the concept to building an actual working prototype. In past years, students have created potential world-changing technologies like a smart residential door opener that makes homes more accessible, a wearable tech that reads the vitals of infants and even an augmented reality headset that can be used outdoors.

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