Welcome to the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

We offer both an Electrical Engineering degree and a Computer Engineering degree. There are no fields that are more "high tech" than Electrical and Computer Engineering. Both of these fields lead to exciting, extremely diverse and financially rewarding careers. And engineering degrees, unlike computer science programming degrees, are not readily subject to outsourcing. There are many more engineering jobs in the U.S. than there are U.S. engineering graduates. Here are some descriptions of Electrical and Computer Engineers:

  • Engineers make a world of difference.
  • Engineers are creative problem-solvers.
  • Engineers help shape the future.
  • Engineering is essential to our health, happiness and safety.

Our engineering faculty, leaders in their fields, are accessible, friendly, and will help you succeed. Class sizes are small, and undergraduates have ready access to our outstanding laboratory facilities in the recently renovated all-engineering Duckering Building on campus. Seventeen of our undergraduate courses have labs associated with them. This "hands on" approach to learning yields vastly superior understanding when compared with just looking at equations in textbooks (and is more fun too!), and is unheard of at larger universities. Classes in ECE at UAF are taught by faculty, not teaching assistants as is common in many universities these days. Undergraduates often work on research projects with professors, gaining hands-on experience as they explore topics such as satellite communications, rocket payloads, wireless communications, laser remote sensing systems and electric power utility systems. Our students routinely win competitions with other Northwest area schools, such as the University of Washington, the University of Idaho and Oregon State University.

Our students are in high demand because of our department's excellent reputation. Most students receive multiple high-salary job offers upon graduation, both within Alaska and in the Lower 48 states. Companies that hire our graduates span the globe. In Alaska companies include: GCI, Alascom, FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), TRW, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Veco, Golden Valley Electric Assn., Chugach Electric Assn., Copper Valley Electric Assn., Anchorage Municipal Light and Power, Alaska Electric Light and Power, Homer Electric, Electric Power Systems, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Matanuska Valley Electric, Mosquitonet, Geophysical Institute, Internet Alaska, Arctic Region Super Computer, Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., United Utilities, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Alaska Anvil, Inc., Shannon & Wilson, Design Alaska, PDC, and many other consulting companies. Lower 48 and transnational companies that hire our graduates include: Microsoft, Stoner Software, EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute), Power Technologies Inc., Hughes Space Systems, TRW, Nortel, Sprint, SBC, IBM, Boeing, Agilent, JPL, Micron Communications, NSA (National Security Agency), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Central Intelligence Agency, MCI, Tyco Telecommunications, Hughes Network Services, Nortech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Goddard Space Flight Center, Hewlett Packard, Tektronix, Conoco Phillips, BP, Schlumberger and many others. We continually receive very positive feedback from employers regarding how well prepared and practically oriented our graduates are.

Some of our graduates go on to graduate school in places such as UAF, MIT, Stanford, University of Illinois, California Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech, Montana State University, University of Wyoming, Purdue University, University of New Hampshire, University of Washington, Virginia Tech, and Cornell, and report that they are very well prepared in comparison with their peers.

At UAF you will find a number of ways to become directly involved in the ECE program. An active student branch of IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) sponsors field trips, speakers, and social activities. The Student Rocket Project draws faculty and students of all levels into the design, construction, and launch of sounding rocket payloads. Other student organizations that are active include SWE (Society of Women Engineers), ANSEP (Alaksa Native Science and Engineering Program) and AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society).

By studying Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering at UAF, you will gain the skills necessary to work in a field that continues to improve the quality of life for people in Alaska and all over the world. Why should you experience a career in Electrical or Computer Engineering? Because dreams need doing. Electrical and Computer engineers created the Internet, computers, iPods, most instrumentation and medical technology, fuel cells, hybrid vehicles, cell phones, satellites, TVs, WiFi networks, remote sensing radars, and many other integral components of today's modern lifestyle. Electrical and Computer Engineers turn ideas into reality.

The Fairbanks community is unique for a city its size. It serves as an urban center for a vast area, attracting the best and the brightest in both the sciences and the arts. Some of the most splendid wilderness areas in the world, including Denali National Park, are only a few hours away. UAF offers the best access to Alaska's treasures through research organizations like the Geophysical Institute, the Institute of Northern Engineering, and the Poker Flat Research Range. UAF also provides cultural and outdoor recreation opportunities through organizations such as the Arctic Chamber Orchestra and the Student Activity Association.

On behalf of all of our faculty members, we are proud of our program and our graduates. If you have questions, please contact our Office Manager, Mrs. Angie Wohlford, at 907-474-7137 or adwohlford@alaska.edu


Dr. Charles E. Mayer
Professor and Department Chair
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Charlie Mayer