About the degree

Dr. Kambhampati with students

The Computer Engineering (CENG) degree is a synergy of resources from the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering (CIDSE) and the School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering (ECEE). The design of this degree program will require students to determine the concentration area they are interested in pursuing at the time of application to the program.

  • Concentration in Computer Systems Engineering (CIDSE)
  • Concentration in Electrical Engineering (ECEE)

The selected concentration area will determine the academic support team and faculty advisor the student will work with from application to graduation.

The CENG degree provides the knowledge and skills necessary to advance and develop new paradigms for the design, system integration, testing, evaluation and deployment of state-of-the-art hardware and software systems that include computing, communications and networking (wired and wireless), control functions, sensing, signal processing and actuation. It is a multidisciplinary program that builds on the fundamentals of computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and applied mathematics, with a balance between hardware and software courses.

The field

Computing systems have expanded far beyond desktop machines or mainframes, and today are embedded in nearly everything including smartphones, appliances and medical devices. They now involve not only computation, but multi-modal sensing, signal processing, communications and control—enabling novel applications in domains ranging from homeland security, human-computer interaction, green computing and pervasive healthcare. Moreover, functions that were previously considered to be strictly software or strictly hardware can no longer be distinguished in that way. This is allowing the next generation of adaptive and intelligent computing systems to address emerging complex societal, health, security and sustainability problems.

Computer engineering is concerned with ways that the science of computation is applied to building devices, components and systems that perform the computation. It considers the design, analysis and optimization of systems that span nearly 10 orders of magnitude in scale—from components that are billionths of a meter in size to systems that occupy hundreds of square meters such as data centers.

The future

Students with a graduate degree in computer engineering can reap the financial benefits of the growing job market in that field, as forecasts by the U.S. Labor Department forecasts that the demand for computer engineers will remain strong. Students with a Ph.D. in computer engineering have additional options for high-paying jobs, including academic positions, government and industrial research centers and senior engineering positions in industry.

The opportunities

Component manufacturers: The key components that are integrated into a modern computer system include system software, integrated circuits (IC) and boards. Significant players in this market with a presence in Arizona include Intel, IBM, Motorola, Microchip, ON Semiconductor, Freescale, NXP and Marvell Technology.

System integrators: The computing system components are integrated into finished end products by system integrators. Arizona is home to several major electronic control system integrators that cater to the aerospace/defense market including HoneywellRaytheon, Boeing and General Dynamics.

System innovators: The software and hardware components are designed and structured in novel ways by system innovators to provide solutions to new problems or to solve old problems in a more efficient and effective manner. Arizona is home to several companies which do computing systems research including Intel and IBM.