ECE Undergraduate Program in Automatic Control

The ECE Undergraduate Program in Automatic Control

"Control! Control! You must learn control!"


The subject of feedback control addresses a technique commonly used in engineering to enhance the performance of a physical device or process. The basic idea is to gather information from sensors which measure pertinent system variables, process that information (typically using an on-board microprocessor), and then send signals to actuators which drive the system in a manner consistent with good performance. This feedback "loop" automatically adjusts the behavior of the system to compensate for a variety of unpredictable events. Simple examples of the technique include the temperature regulation system of a house and cruise control on an automobile. Indeed, feedback systems pervade many fields such as transportation, robotics, manufacturing, and power generation and distribution; they also appear in numerous consumer products.


In the ECE department at UW we offer 5 undergraduate elective courses at the undergraduate level in control theory and practice:

The entire sequence is designed for completion in 3 semesters. Students are welcome to take either part or all of the sequence. The prerequisite structure is summarized in the following diagram:


ECE 332 may be taken concurrently with ECE 417.
MATH 320/340 may be taken concurrently with ECE 334.


There are currently 6 ECE faculty who teach the graduate control curriculum:

Career Opportunities

Control engineers are in demand in all the industries mentioned above in "Overview". College recruiters from several companies visit our campus each semester looking for graduating students with background in control. See Engineering Career Services for more information.