Welcome to ECE 445


We would like to thank Intel 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.

Smart Frisbee

Ryan Moser, Blake Yerkes, James Younce

Smart Frisbee

Featured Project

The idea of this project would be to improve upon the 395 project ‘Smart Frisbee’ done by a group that included James Younce. The improvements would be to create a wristband with low power / short range RF capabilities that would be able to transmit a user ID to the frisbee, allowing the frisbee to know what player is holding it. Furthermore, the PCB from the 395 course would be used as a point of reference, but significantly redesigned in order to introduce the transceiver, a high accuracy GPS module, and any other parts that could be modified to decrease power consumption. The frisbee’s current sensors are a GPS module, and an MPU 6050, which houses an accelerometer and gyroscope.

The software of the system on the frisbee would be redesigned and optimized to record various statistics as well as improve gameplay tracking features for teams and individual players. These statistics could be player specific events such as the number of throws, number of catches, longest throw, fastest throw, most goals, etc.

The new hardware would improve the frisbee’s ability to properly moderate gameplay and improve “housekeeping”, such as ensuring that an interception by the other team in the end zone would not be counted as a score. Further improvements would be seen on the software side, as the frisbee in it’s current iteration will score as long as the frisbee was thrown over the endzone, and the only way to eliminate false goals is to press a button within a 10 second window after the goal.