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610 Cobleigh Hall
PO Box 173780
Bozeman, MT  59717-3780
Telephone: (406) 994-2505
Fax: (406) 994-5958
Web site:

Department Head
Dr. Robert C. Maher, Professor

Graduate Coordinator
Dr. Todd Kaiser, Associate Professor


  • David Dickensheets; optical microscopy and tissue imaging, silicon micromachining and Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MOEMS), miniature imaging and spectroscopy instruments.
  • Robert Maher; digital signal processing, audio engineering, and acoustics.
  • Bruce McLeod; electromagnetic fields in biological materials.
  • M. Hashem Nehrir; alternative energy distributed power generation systems, load management, power system stability, fuel cells.
  • Joseph Shaw; optical remote sensing system design and application, lidar, radiometry, polarimetry, optical phenomena in nature.
  • Richard Wolff, Gilhousen Telecommunications Chair; optical networks, packet switching, wireless systems, satellite communications, rural ad hoc networks, telematics.

Associate Professors

  • James Becker; silicon micromachining for millimeter wave applications, microwave and millimeter-wave electronics applications.
  • Hongwei Gao; electric motor drives, power electronics, electric vehicles, renewable energy.
  • Todd Kaiser; Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS).
  • Kevin Repasky; laser research and development, laser remote sensing, electro-optics, feedback and control, optical technology development for communications.
  • Steven Shaw; fuel cells, signals and systems, system Identification, control, modeling, optimization, Instrumentation and circuit design. 
  • Ross Snider; signal processing, speech recognition, real-time systems, auditory and visual neuroscience.

Assistant Professors

  • Brock LaMeres; high speed digital design, programmable logic, interconnect systems, microprocessor and microcontroller based systems.
  • Wataru Nakagawa; near-field optical Interactions In nanostructures, scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM), and novel photonic devices based on nanostructures and near-field optical phenomena.

Research and Adjunct Faculty

  • Robert Gunderson; controls and robotic systems.
  • Phil Himmer; microfabrication, miniature optical systems.
  • Yikun Huang; Wireless communications, smart antennas, adaptive signal processing, computational biology.
  • Randy Larimer; embedded systems, computer engineering.
  • Andy Olson; communications, communications electronics, active and passive microwave circuits.

Degrees Offered
M.S. in Electrical Engineering
M.Eng in Electrical Engineering
Ph.D. in Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering option

The department offers graduate study and research leading to the Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, the Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering option. Fields in which the student may specialize include communication systems, computation systems, energy and materials, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), optical systems and photonics, and sensors and systems.

Admission to our graduate program requires a bachelor's degree in electrical or computer engineering or a closely related field (for example, physics, computer science, Mathematics, etc.). Students with bachelor's degrees in fields other than electrical and computer engineering (ECE) complete several additional courses to gain proficiency in key undergraduate ECE areas.
All applicants are required to submit scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) along with other application materials. A minimum quantitative GRE score of 680 is required, and most students In our program score significantly higher. A minimum verbal GRE score of 480 is recommended. Note that requirements based on the new GRE scoring system for all testing done after August 2011 will be available soon.
International students must have a minimum TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test, or 250 on the computer-based test, or 100 on the internet-based test, or a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 to be considered for admission with full standing.

Degree Requirements
Students may pursue the MS degree under either Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (professional paper). All MS students must pass the departmental Graduate Study Qualifying Examination. Plan A requires the completion of at least 20 credits of acceptable coursework and a 10-credit thesis. Under Plan B, a thesis is not required, but at least  27 credits of acceptable coursework and a 3-credit professional paper must be completed. Master's candidates must take an oral comprehensive examination near the completion of their graduate program.
Students in the M.Eng. program earn 30 course credits of acceptable coursework, of which at least 15 credits are in 500-600 level classes.
It is typical for a Ph.D. student to earn 20-24 course credits above the M.S. level, in addition to an 18-credit dissertation. In progressing toward this degree, the student must pass the following examinations:

  1. A written departmental Graduate Study Qualifying Examination administered to all doctoral students in their first year of work beyond the Master's degree.
  2. A comprehensive examination to be taken within two years of the qualifying examination and after completing two-thirds of their total coursework.
  3. A final oral examination and defense of a dissertation based on the student's research.

There is no foreign language requirement for the degrees.

EE Master of Engineering degree:
30 credits total (credits older than 6 years are not applicable to the degree):

    • ≥18 500-600-level credits
    • ≤9 credits of non-ECE classes
    • ≤6 credits Independent Study (EELE 592)
    • ≤3 credits pass/fail (excluding thesis)
    • ≤6 credits challenged
    • No credits of 488, 489, 490, 492, or 589

EE Master of Science degree with Thesis (Plan A):
30 credits total:

  • 10 credits EELE 590, Master's Thesis
  • 20 course credits:
    • ≥ 10 500-600-level credits
    • ≤ 10 400-level credits
    • ≤ 4 credits Independent Study (EELE 592)
    • ≤ 10 credits 570 + seminars (594)
    • ≤ 3 credits pass/fail (excluding thesis)
    • ≤ 6 credits challenged

EE Master of Science degree with Professional Paper (Plan B):
        30 credits total:

  • 3 credits EELE 575, Professional Paper
  • 27 course credits:
    • ≥ 17 500-600-level credits
    • ≤ 10 400-level credits
    • ≤ 6 credits Independent Study (EELE 592)
    • ≤ 10 credits 570 + seminars (594)
    • ≤ 3 credits pass/fail
    • ≤ 6 credits challenged

Ph.D. in Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering option:

      • A minimum of 60 total credits
      • All courses no more than ten (10) years old at time of graduation
      • 3 credits Research & Experimental Methods in Engineering (ENGR 610) in 1st semester
      • 2 credits Seminar (EGEN 694), taken just before the comprehensive examination
      • 3 credits Advanced Math (committee approved)
      • 3 credits Numerical Methods (committee approved)
      • 18 credits dissertation (EELE 690)
      • 31 additional course credits (400 and graduate level), distributed as follows:
    • ≥ 2/3rds of course credits at 500 level or above (strongly recommended)
    • ≥ 12 new credits in major area after master's degree
    • ≤ 24 graded course credits from M.S. Degree (with committee approval, M.S. credits can be used to satisfy the advanced M and numerical methods Ph.D. requirements)
    • 9 additional credits (beyond 60) for Ph.D. students who do not first earn an M.S.
    • ≤ 6 credits Independent Study (EELE 594)
    • ≤ 9 credits pass/fail (excluding dissertation)
    • ≤ 9 credits challenged
    • No credits of 400, 470, 488, 489, 490, 575, 588, or 589 are allowed
    • 7 additional credits of graded coursework or EELE 690 (for a total of 49 graded class and dissertation credits).

Research Experience
Research experience is required of all Master's students. This requirement is met by students in the Plan A program through their thesis work, whereas students in the Plan B program must fulfill this requirement through satisfactory participation in an acceptable research or practice-oriented project approved by the student's advisor. Each student in Plan B must register for EELE 575 (Professional Paper) for three credits.

Faculty and graduate students participate in research in the following main areas, which are continually developing:

      • Communication Systems: wireless communication systems, ad-hoc networks, fiber optic communication components and systems, micro-machined mm-wave components, antennas, and atmospheric propagation.
      • Computation Systems: biologically inspired signal processing, DSP hardware, novel computational techniques using FPGAs, micro-controllers and embedded systems, digital signal processing, optimal filtering, spectral envelope estimation, compression, audio and acoustical signal processing, and acoustic animal detection and recognition.
      • Energy and Materials: fuel cells, fuel cell materials, fuel cell modeling and control; renewable resource and fuel cell distributed generation systems; fuzzy logic and neural network applications to power system control; load management; reduced-component power electronic design and motor drives.
      • Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS): micro-machined components for millimeter-wavelength systems; MEMS tip-tilt and variable-focus mirrors and Micro-Optical-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MOEMS) components in optical imaging and spectroscopic systems; MEMS capacitive and inductive sensors.
      • Optical Systems and Photonics: Micro-Optical-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MOEMS), micro-machined mirrors and applications in confocal microscopes, spectrometers, and sensors; optics of nanostructures and near-field optical interactions; optical remote sensing systems and applications; lidar development and applications to measuring atmospheric aerosols, clouds, and gases; radiometric and polarimetric imaging system development and calibration; optical sensors for detecting explosives and biological species; optical communication components, systems, and networks.
      • Sensors and Systems: MEMS sensors and components; micro-machined sensors; lidars, laser sensors, radiometric and polarimetric imagers (see Optics section above); electronic sensors and systems for data acquisition and optical system control; acoustic and audio sensing of environmental noise and wildlife.

Research facilities in the department include: state-of-the-art electronics laboratories; optics laboratories with a variety of lasers, imagers, and electro-optical measurement tools; the Montana Microfabrication Facility with class 100, 1000, and 10,000 capabilities; a machine shop; a microwave and millimeter-wave electronics laboratory; a power and power electronics research laboratory, fuel cell characterization facilities; an audio and acoustics laboratory; and roof-port and roof-top facilities for optical remote sensing.  Students have access to all the leading electronics, electromagnetic, and optical design and analysis software resources.

Financial Assistance
A number of research and teaching assistantships are available for qualified graduate students. All applicants are considered automatically for financial support and do not need to apply separately.

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