Welcome to ECE 445

ARM

We would like to thank ARM for their generous support of our course.

Are you interested in learning more about sponsoring Senior Design? Click here!

This course helps electrical and computer engineering seniors make the transition into industry through self-chosen team projects. To do so, the course emulates the day-to-day life of a real engineering design environment. Students put together what they have learned in prior courses and experiences, develop teamwork and leadership skills, and gain in-depth practical knowledge in a topic that excites them. Moreover, Senior Design Projects make a good addition to a resume. Many employers consider a good Senior Design Project to be just as valuable as internship experience.

Throughout this rigorous semester-long course, students work in self-chosen teams of 2 or 3 to envision, design, implement, and document a project of their own choosing. Teams are provided support from the dedicated course staff, consisting of ECE faculty and teaching assistants, as well as other ECE departmental resources, such as the electronics and machine shop. Almost any project idea can be undertaken in this course, as long as it is safe, ethical, and has a level of design complexity commensurate with the rigor of the ECE Illinois curriculum. As such, students have incredible freedom to undertake any project of their choosing - perhaps some idea that has been lingering in their minds for the past three years. Although daunting, this freedom creates an environment that numerous students have called their favorite class.

Sponsorship

Please visit the Sponsors link to learn more about all of the great companies that help make this course possible

How to Receive Credit for Senior Design

ECE 445 is one of several ways to satisfy the senior design requirement for bachelor degrees in EE or CE. Other methods for satisfying this requirement exist. If you utilize one of these other methods, you may be required to complete the special circuit to satisfy the hardware design requirement of the EE curriculum.

S.I.P. (Smart Irrigation Project)

Jackson Lenz, James McMahon

S.I.P. (Smart Irrigation Project)

Featured Project

Jackson Lenz

James McMahon

Our project is to be a reliable, robust, and intelligent irrigation controller for use in areas where reliable weather prediction, water supply, and power supply are not found.

Upon completion of the project, our device will be able to determine the moisture level of the soil, the water level in a water tank, and the temperature, humidity, insolation, and barometric pressure of the environment. It will perform some processing on the observed environmental factors to determine if rain can be expected soon, Comparing this knowledge to the dampness of the soil and the amount of water in reserves will either trigger a command to begin irrigation or maintain a command to not irrigate the fields. This device will allow farmers to make much more efficient use of precious water and also avoid dehydrating crops to death.

In developing nations, power is also of concern because it is not as readily available as power here in the United States. For that reason, our device will incorporate several amp-hours of energy storage in the form of rechargeable, maintenance-free, lead acid batteries. These batteries will charge while power is available from the grid and discharge when power is no longer available. This will allow for uninterrupted control of irrigation. When power is available from the grid, our device will be powered by the grid. At other times, the batteries will supply the required power.

The project is titled S.I.P. because it will reduce water wasted and will be very power efficient (by extremely conservative estimates, able to run for 70 hours without input from the grid), thus sipping on both power and water.

We welcome all questions and comments regarding our project in its current form.

Thank you all very much for you time and consideration!