Strategic Plan


Students will be broadly educated in the fundamentals of electrical, computer and software engineering enabling them to adapt to technological changes and become leaders who shape the future of the field.  Students will be educated to have state-of-the-art skills and knowledge together with an enthusiastic dedication to life-long learning. Our faculty, staff, and students will be creative, innovative, and have impact that benefits society by sharing and applying knowledge and furthering Iowa State’s land-grant mission.


The mission of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) is to:

  • To provide an outstanding educational program that enables graduates to become leaders in their profession.
  • To pursue discovery of new knowledge and its applications that will improve human conditions, local, and national economies, and sustain the leadership position of our country in engineering.
  • To build a strong outreach program that engages with industry and the engineering profession.

What we will achieve

We will serve the state of Iowa, the United States, and the world through achievements in:

Developing understanding of fundamental concepts, acquiring and disseminating knowledge, promoting adaptability and developing leadership skills
We will emphasize an understanding of fundamental engineering principles to facilitate adapting to subsequent developments in the state-of-the-art, discovery and creation of new knowledge and engineering innovation. We will provide instruction on various strategies to perform efficient and substantive learning, communicating the importance of continuous evolution of those strategies throughout life. We will encourage and facilitate the development of leadership and supporting skills including initiative, goal setting, decision-making, interpersonal, oral and written communications skills.

Innovative, high-impact, collaborative research
We will develop and foster a culture where faculty, staff, and students strive for individual excellence while engaging in innovative and high-impact activities. This will include research and conduct of collaborative interdisciplinary projects with a goal of societal and economic impact.  To accomplish this, we will remain alert and agile in responding to emerging technology and trends, maintaining annual assessment of research areas that we expect to be at the leading edge of in 5 years. We will strengthen these areas by hiring faculty into them, encouraging faculty to develop activities in these areas, investing in related infrastructure, identifying partner industries and universities, and identifying high quality national and international graduate student recruiting pools.

Student education and experience
We will provide focused advising through multiple contacts with staff and faculty to build relationships and to facilitate early initiation of curricular and career planning. We will broaden the student experience, seeking to build competence and self-confidence. We will provide students with a competitive advantage in the employment marketplace.

Outreach and engaged partnerships
We will proactively seek and establish interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary partnerships with faculty in other disciplines, both at Iowa State and at other U.S. and international institutions, with researchers and practitioners within industry, with national laboratories and government agencies, and with K-12 educators, to pursue opportunities, build instructional excellence, develop research alliances, enrich the student experience, and extend knowledge and skills.

Ethical decision-making, integrity, and mutual respect
We will practice and instill values of integrity, including good faith and truthfulness, justice, respect, compassion, and service in decision-making at all levels, and communicate these expectations to students. We place high value on expressing respect as we engage with all people. Our culture of inclusion and diversity will promote creative thought and quality decision making that are directed to address the best interests of the people we serve.


We will:

  • provide an education for our students that focuses on fundamental principles, emphasizing understanding of concepts, critical thinking, and ethical behavior.
  • pursue activities and approaches which facilitate leveraging integrated instructional, research, and outreach efforts.
  • encourage and make available industry internships, international education, research activities for undergraduates, peer-mentoring opportunities, and campus co-curricular activities.
  • increase percentages of domestic and of women and underrepresented minorities in both the undergraduate and graduate student populations.
  • review and regularly update both undergraduate and graduate curricula.
  • ensure that enrollments are at reasonable levels for the size of the department with ratios of 25-30 undergraduates per faculty, and a minimum of 4 graduate students per faculty.
  • increase the rate of graduation of Ph.D.’s to an average of one per faculty member per year.
  • expand the research activity and average annual research funding level per faculty through writing large, high-impact, high-quality successful proposals.
  • monitor research quality, recognizing and rewarding faculty, staff and students who excel in achieving high-impact research results.
  • monitor teaching quality recognizing and rewarding faculty, staff and students who excel in achieving results in teaching.
  • develop and maintain a lecture series focused on interdisciplinary grand challenge problems, industry perspectives, and leading edge research problems.
  • build industrial support through development of a strong alumni network, maintaining an advisory board consisting of industry leaders, and strengthening industrial research collaborations.
  • facilitate technology transfer, rewarding successful extension and outreach activities.
  • encourage entrepreneurship among faculty, staff and students, including starting companies.