About Us

Update from the Chair

Photo of Hespanha

The start of a new school year is a good time to recall the events that took place this past academic year.

This last May, our colleague Professor Art Gossard received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama at a ceremony held at the White House. Art joined our faculty in 1987 and is widely recognized for his research at the interface between Electrical Engineering and Materials Sciences; most notably on the growth of semiconductor molecular layered materials.

For the first time this year, the Mechanical and Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments joined forces in organizing a year-end celebration event to showcase the creativity and hard work of our students in developing their Senior Capstone Projects.  A select panel of judges, which included both notable faculty and industry leaders, were tasked with awarding and recognizing those students whose projects represented  engineering excellence. The Hyperloop Team featured in the 2016 issue of  “The ECE Current” received the Best Technical Presentation Award. The event, attended by over 300 guests from both community and industry, was a tremendous success and we are looking forward to building on this year’s success to make next year’s Capstone Showcase even better.

Another topic that is very much on my mind are the many improvements that we have made to the academic, scientific, and social environment in our department. We have renewed aging equipment in several of our instructional laboratories and have made some of these labs more comfortable as well as aesthetically pleasing. We have also started a weekly coffee hour to bring together our graduate students in order to foster a stronger sense of community. Many of these efforts were supported by gifts from alumni and friends of our department. We are very thankful for this.

Please explore our website for information about our programs, research, and faculty. I look forward to another successful year in ECE and extend a warm welcome to all of our new students and faculty.

João Hespanha, ECE Department Chair

Giving to ECE

We invite you to make a gift to ECE — your generosity is instrumental in our ability to educate the next generation of leaders whose future endeavors will have a profound impact on society.

Funding opportunities include:

unrestricted support, the Roger Wood Endowment, scholarships & fellowships, lecture series, undergraduate lab renovations, and endowed chairs

Invest in ECE:

Unrestricted gifts to the Department and the Roger C. Wood Endowment can be made through our online giving form (credit card) or mail in a donation (pdf).

For more information or to designate your gift within the Department, please contact Beth Ptalis Hough at 805-893-5198 or beth.hough@ucsb.edu.

Thank you for supporting UCSB ECE.

ECE Department Facts & Figures

The ECE Department was established in 1962 and is the largest of the five academic departments in the College of Engineering.

Research Funding

(3-year Annual Avg. 2013-2016)

  • Total: $18.5 million
  • Government: $16.5 million
  • Corporate: $1.8 million
  • Other: $0.2 million

Faculty and Staff

  • 41 Tenured / Tenure-Track Faculty
  • 5 Adjunct / Visiting Faculty
  • 12 Affiliated Faculty
  • 19 Emeritus Professors
  • 2 Lecturers
  • 43 Staff Members

Faculty Awards & Honors

  • 2 Nobel Prize (Kroemer & Nakamura)
  • 1 IEEE Medal of Honor (Kroemer)
  • 2 National Medal of Technology (Gossard & Culler)
  • 5 National Academy of Science (2 active / 3 emeriti)
  • 15 National Academy of Engineering (11 active / 4 emeriti)
  • 36 IEEE Fellows (27 active / 9 emeriti)
  • 6 AAAS Fellows (2 active / 4 emeriti)
  • 15 NSF Career Awards (11 active)
  • 5 NSF Presidential Young Investigators (5 active)

Academic Statistics

Enrollment (Fall 2015)

  • 274 Graduate
  • 284 EE Undergraduates
  • 252 Computer Engineering Undergraduates

Degrees (2014-2015)

  • 27 Ph.D. Degrees
  • 79 Master's Degrees
  • 49 B.S. Electrical Engineering
  • 40 B.S. Computer Engineering


The ECE Department attracts some of the top faculty researchers from academia and industry. Research in the Department is categorized into four focus areas: Communications & Signal Processing, Computer Engineering, Control Systems, and Electronics & Photonics. ECE faculty partner their research efforts with industry, government, outside academic institutions, other UCSB departments, and in the Department.

Graduate Studies

The Department offers both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The Department has 3 types of degree programs (M.S., M.S. / Ph.D., or Ph.D.) with emphases in Communications, Control & Signal Processing, Computer Engineering, and Electronics & Photonics.

Undergraduate Studies

The ECE department offers programs with degrees of Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering. The curriculum in EE is designed to provide students with a solid background in mathematics, physical sciences and electrical engineering.

A wide range of program options are available including communications, control systems, signal processing, computer engineering, microwaves, and semiconductor devices and applications.