Welcome to ECE 445

Northrop Grumman Corporation

We would like to thank Northrop Grumman Corporation 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.


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.

Pocket Pedal - A Bluetooth Controlled Effects Box

Kaan Erel, Alexander Van Dorn, Jacob Waterman

Pocket Pedal - A Bluetooth Controlled Effects Box

Featured Project

Our idea is to make an inexpensive alternative to traditional pedal powered guitar effects boxes. Essentially, we hope to implement a single aftermarket effects box that can be remote controlled via a mobile app. This low-power, Bluetooth connected application can control the box to change effects on the go. The hardware within the effects box will be able to alter the guitar's signals to create different sounds like echoing, looping, and distortion effects (and possibly more). These effects will be implemented using analog circuits that we will design and construct to be controlled by an app on your phone.

This project eliminates the expensive buy-in for a guitarist hoping to sound like any number of famous musicians with multiple effects pedals. On top of this, it also aims to get rid of the clutter that comes with the numerous pedals and boxes connected to an amplifier. Many pedals today don't even have a visual interface to select effects through some sort of menu. The app will also provide a much more handy and portable visual representation of the possible effects all from the phone in your pocket!


Jacob Waterman jwaterm2

Kaan Erel erel2

Alex Van Dorn vandorn2