copies of strategic plan laying on a table

Electrical Engineering Strategic Plan


The Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State, established in 1893, is among the oldest and most innovative in the nation. The Department offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering. There are approximately 540 students enrolled in the undergraduate program, and 220 students in the graduate program, with more than two-thirds pursuing doctoral degrees. The Department currently has 41 professional faculty, including 15 IEEE fellows. Nearly 90 courses from freshman- to graduate-level are offered, encompassing all areas of electrical engineering. A vibrant research program involves both graduate and undergraduate students. Faculty and students are engaged in courses and research in the following fields: communications and networking; control systems; electromagnetics; electronic materials and devices; optical materials and devices; power systems; signal and image processing; remote sensing; and space systems. With this strategic plan the Department focuses on developing its strengths and aligning with the institutional priorities of the College of Engineering.



We pursue excellence in education, research, scholarship, and service to society.


We seek and embrace innovation in learning, research and discovery, and governance of our academy.


We conduct all our tasks with integrity and honesty.


We perform our work responsibly, respect others, and accept accountability.


We seek to provide an environment that promotes and celebrates diversities in culture, background, and viewpoints.


We collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to attract and integrate expertise and experiences complementary to ours in pursuit of excellence in our mission of education, research, and service.


We strive to enhance our awareness and practice of sustainability with the goal of establishing and maintaining a healthy


The Department of Electrical Engineering will be a leader in promoting learning, discovery, and innovation, and in providing current and future engineers, educators, and researchers with an understanding of technical and societal challenges and the training and tools to address them.


To provide a quality education in electrical engineering for our students and to instill in them the attitude, values, and vision that will prepare them for a lifetime of continued learning and leadership in their chosen careers. To generate new knowledge through research, utilize such knowledge to improve quality of life, and facilitate technology transfer for the benefit of the Commonwealth, our nation, and the global community.

Strategic Objectives


Develop undergraduate and graduate curricula that respond to current and emerging global needs of society, including industry, government, and academe.


Pursue research in core electrical engineering and related interdisciplinary areas to enhance quality of life and to develop basic knowledge and enabling technologies that serve society and address the most pressing global challenges.


Contribute to and provide leadership in professional societies through which we enhance engineering education and impact our profession.

Institutional Governance

Create and nurture structures and procedures that balance due process and agility to achieve financial stability and shared governance, leading to the enhancement of the sense of community and institutional investment among staff and faculty, as well as achieving flexibility and efficiency, leading to enhanced response to ever-changing regional, national, and international operational conditions.

Strategic Goals

In Education

Strategic goals in education include:

  • Enhance undergraduate student recruiting with the objective of increasing student quality.
  • Broaden the undergraduate course/specialization options and research experience.
  • Develop a one-year, non-thesis M.S. program to generate new income to support graduate research.
  • Enhance the recruitment of high-quality Ph.D. students.
  • Enhance international educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

These goals will be achieved by taking the following actions:

  1. Use undergraduate scholarships as a recruitment tool.
  2. Form a school together with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering to provide our students a broad range of specialization options at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  3. Offer summer and multi-year design projects for undergraduate students and provide them opportunities to be involved in faculty research; also utilize the funding resources offered by the College of Engineering Research Experience for Undergraduates initiative.
  4. Promote and support educational interactions with international academic institutions.
  5. Increase the number of Ph.D. graduate assistantships/fellowships with new revenue sources and utilize the College of Engineering Excellence Graduate Fellowships and Teaching Fellowships.
  6. Enhance the Department’s online presence and online educational materials.
  7. Use College of Engineering grants for developing one-year, non-thesis residential M.S. degree program.

In Research

Strategic goals in research include:

  • Increase the number of tenured/tenure-track faculty to at least 40 by 2018.
  • Hire faculty in areas that will enhance existing strengths in the department such as materials and devices, signal processing and communications, remote and in situ sensing.
  • Hire faculty that will connect different research areas in the Department, College, and University (e.g., networked systems, biosensors and devices, and bioinformatics), focusing on interdisciplinary research encouraged by the Institutes as well as new initiatives put forth by the University.
  • Establish closer research collaboration with academic institutions nationally and internationally.
  • Establish closer research and development interactions with industry nationwide and in Pennsylvania in particular.

These goals will be achieved by taking the following actions:

  1. Utilize College of Engineering Frontier Faculty Lines for hiring new faculty.
  2. Pursue co-funding opportunities with the institutes and related departments for hiring new faculty.
  3. Encourage faculty to apply for the College of Engineering Innovation Grants to pursue new and risky research and to complete on-going research.
  4. Utilize College Instructional and Research Equipment Grants to enhance laboratory facilities.
  5. Engage industry R&D leaders in seminars and workshops at Penn State.

In Service

Strategic goals in service include:

  • Increase faculty involvement in professional societies, and national and international conferences.
  • Improve the quality of the graduate colloquium and expand participation.
  • Incorporate discussions on ethical issues in various undergraduate courses and the graduate colloquium.
  • Enhance awareness of sustainability issues and best practices.

The following actions support our service strategic goals:

  1. Recognize faculty serving professional societies and conferences by highlighting their activities on our website and in our newsletters.
  2. Enhance funding for the graduate colloquium and invite more speakers of high stature. Encourage undergraduate students to attend the colloquium talks.
  3. In addition to existing ethics discussions, bring in speakers from the Rock Ethics Institute in undergraduate design courses and the graduate colloquium.
  4. Highlight sustainability topics and discuss at faculty, staff, and student meetings.

In Governance

Strategic goals in institutional governance aim to create organizational structures and management procedures that:

  • Further the careers of the faculty and staff.
  • Enhance the sense of community and investment.
  • Encourage shared governance.
  • Achieve efficiency and agility to respond to ever-changing operational conditions.
  • Promote fiscal responsibility, ensure financial stability.

These goals will be achieved by taking the following actions:

  1. Continue funding and encouraging Departmental staff to obtain training for developing their technical and professional skills.
  2. Continue obtaining student feedback from the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Advisory Committees. Provide these committees resources for organizing technical and social events.
  3. Continue regular meetings with the Faculty Advisory Committee for dealing with short- and long-range Departmental issues and bring ideas and action items to relevant departmental committees and the general faculty meetings.
  4. Establish a Staff Advisory Committee to regularly provide the Department Head feedback from the staff.

The above 20 actions for advancing the Department in education, research, governance, and service form the basis of the implementation plan that will be developed in the next phase of strategic planning.



The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was created in the spring of 2015 to allow greater access to courses offered by both departments for undergraduate and graduate students in exciting collaborative research fields.

We offer B.S. degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering and data science and graduate degrees (master's degrees and Ph.D.'s) in electrical engineering and computer science and engineering. EECS focuses on the convergence of technologies and disciplines to meet today’s industrial demands.

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

The Pennsylvania State University

207 Electrical Engineering West

University Park, PA 16802


Department of Computer Science and Engineering


Department of Electrical Engineering