copies of strategic plan laying on a table

Electrical Engineering Strategic Plan


The Penn State Department of Electrical Engineering, established in 1893, is among the oldest in the nation and recognized for its excellent undergraduate and graduate programs. The department offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering. There are approximately 550 students (juniors and seniors) enrolled in the undergraduate program, and 240 students in the graduate program, with more than two thirds pursuing doctoral degrees. The department currently has 44 faculty, including 8 IEEE Fellows. The EE department has formed closer ties with the computer science and engineering department after the formation of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2015. The School has provided more opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students in terms of courses and research options. The EE department offers many courses from freshman to graduate level, encompassing all areas of electrical engineering, and the CSE department offers a large array of courses in computer engineering and computer science. The EE department provides a vibrant research program for both graduate and undergraduate students. Faculty and students in EE are engaged in courses and research in the following fields: Biomedical devices and systems; Communications, information theory and coding over networked systems; Control and decision systems; Data science and artificial intelligence; Electromagnetics; Electronic materials and devices; Integrated circuits and systems; Optical materials, devices, and systems; Power and energy systems; Remote sensing and space systems; Signal and image processing. With this strategic plan the Electrical Engineering department focuses on developing its strengths and aligning with the institutional priorities of the School of EECS and the College of Engineering.


The Penn State electrical engineering department is dedicated to the education of our students and to conducting cutting edge research for the benefit of society.

We promote a culture of equity and inclusion among our faculty, staff, and students and a commitment to the Penn State values.

We provide a quality education in electrical engineering as well as in computer engineering and computer science for our students and instill in them the attitude, values, and vision that will prepare them for a lifetime of continued learning and leadership in their chosen careers. 

We generate new knowledge through research that transcend scientific and engineering disciplines, utilize such knowledge to improve quality of life, and facilitate technology transfer for the benefit of the State of Pennsylvania, our nation, and the global community.

We serve professional societies, government, and industry to advance effective knowledge exchange and the educational mission of the university. 


The Department of Electrical Engineering will be recognized as a leader in promoting learning, discovery, and innovation within and beyond conventional academic disciplines, and in providing current and future engineers, educators, and researchers a diverse and welcoming environment as they develop an understanding of technical, societal, and environmental challenges and the training and tools to address them. 


Goal 1 (culture and climate): Create a diverse, equitable, inclusive, collegial, and collaborative environment for faculty, students, and staff.

Goal 2 (education): Develop undergraduate and graduate curricula that respond to current and emerging needs of society, industry, government, and academia.

Goal 3 (research): Pursue research in core electrical engineering and in relevant 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.

Goal 4 (service): Contribute to and provide leadership in professional societies through which we enhance engineering education and impact our profession.

Goal 5 (governance): Create and nurture structures and procedures for shared governance, leading to the enhancement of the sense of community and institutional investment among faculty and staff. 


Objectives in culture and climate

  • Increase the diversity of our faculty and staff.
  • Increase the percentage of women, underrepresented minorities, and other socially disadvantaged students in our undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • Continue to strengthen the School of EECS at Penn State.
  • Promote convergent thinking to solve complex societal and technical challenges.

These objectives will be achieved by taking the following actions:

  1. Form and direct search committees focusing on diversity hiring.
  2. Increase efforts for recruiting and retention of women, minority, and socially disadvantaged students by working with the College and the University admissions office.
  3. Work with the COE Dean’s office and various national organizations to collect data and find opportunities to improve recruiting and retention of women and underrepresented minorities.
  4. Work with the COE Communications office to enhance advertising efforts, both for enrolled students and students considering Penn State.
  5. Hire faculty who help to strengthen the breadth and depth of expertise in research areas that are at the intersection of EE and CSE in the School of EECS.
  6. Encourage collaborative activities (both teaching and research) between faculty from EE, CSE, and other academic disciplines across PSU.

Objectives in education

  • Enhance undergraduate student recruiting with the objective of increasing student diversity and quality.
  • Broaden the undergraduate course/specialization options and research experiences.
  • Focus resources for the recruitment of high-quality Ph.D. students and increase the PhD student-to-faculty ratio to 5.
  • Increase the number of enrolled MS students and the MS student to faculty ratio to 4.

These objectives will be achieved by taking the following actions:

  1. Use and expand undergraduate scholarships as a recruitment tool.
  2. Utilize opportunities created by the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to provide our students a broader range of specialization options at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  3. Offer summer and multi-year design projects for undergraduate students and increase the opportunities to be involved in faculty research; also utilize the funding resources offered by the COE and University programs for undergraduate research experiences.
  4. Support educational interactions with national and international academic and governmental institutions.
  5. Increase the number of Ph.D. graduate assistantships/fellowships using departmental funds and utilize the COE and Graduate School fellowship opportunities.
  6. Utilize the MS paper option to increase MS enrollments.
  7. Enhance the department’s on-line resources and on-line educational materials.
  8. Increase outreach to K12 schools and to other universities in Pennsylvania.

Objectives in research

  • Hire faculty in areas that will enhance existing strengths in the department and develop strong interdisciplinary research within the College and the University.
  • Utilize co-funding opportunities to hire faculty who provide expertise in technical areas of continued national growth that are not currently well-represented on the EE faculty, including artificial intelligence and robotics, bioinformatics and biological signal processing, quantum devices and information processing.
  • Establish closer research and development interactions with industry nationwide and in Pennsylvania in particular.
  • Establish centers of research excellence in EE and the School of EECS by fostering collaborations among faculty and encouraging effective mentorship for junior faculty.

These objectives will be achieved by taking the following actions:

  1. Utilize new faculty lines in University thrust areas for hiring faculty.
  2. Pursue co-funding opportunities with the Institutes and related departments for hiring new faculty.
  3. Encourage faculty to apply for seed grants (from the Institutes and the COE) to pursue new and risky research and to complete ongoing research.
  4. Provide funds and develop space for faculty groups forming research centers.
  5. Engage industry R&D leaders including the members of the School of EECS IPAC in seminars and workshops at Penn State.

Objectives in service

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

These objectives will be achieved by taking the following actions:

  1. Recognize faculty serving professional societies and conferences by highlighting their activities on our website and in our newsletters and provide funding to participate in impactful activities.
  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 at faculty, staff, and student meetings.

Objectives in governance

  • Further the careers of our staff.
  • Enhance the sense of community and investment.
  • Encourage shared governance.
  • Achieve efficiency and agility to respond to ever-changing operating conditions. 

These objectives will be achieved by taking the following actions:

  1. Continue funding and encouraging EE Staff to obtain training for developing their technical and professional skills.
  2. Rotate membership of department committees so that faculty are aware of and participate in a broader range of department activities and so that over time they can provide leadership.
  3. Continue obtaining student feedback from the Undergraduate and the Graduate Student Advisory Committees. Provide these committees resources for organizing technical and social events.
  4. Continue regular meetings with the Faculty Advisory Committee and Staff Advisory Committee for dealing with short- and long-range departmental issues and bringing ideas and action items to relevant departmental committees and to general faculty meetings.

The above 27 actions for advancing the department in climate, 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