Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering Fundamentals

In addition to traditional large computer applications, devices containing some form of embedded computing system are becoming pervasive in our society. Computer engineers design and develop hardware and software for all of these systems, ranging from software applications to communication networks to components in computing systems to small embedded sensors. Branches of computer engineering include:

  • operating systems
  • embedded systems design
  • digital circuits
  • algorithms
  • software design
  • computer architecture

Important applications include:

  • wired and wireless networks
  • simulation
  • automation
  • digital control
  • sensing
  • robotics
  • “apps,” data management

Our comprehensive curriculum prepares students to identify, formulate and execute solutions to real-world problems. Students learn how to use modern engineering tools in well-equipped laboratories, with activities that reinforce the concepts learned in the classroom. The curriculum emphasizes design and teamwork, and culminates in a capstone senior design project that integrates the material learned in earlier courses. Our well-established co-op program enables students to strengthen the connections between theory and practice in a professional setting, and provides valuable industrial experience.

Our Faculty

  • hold doctoral degrees in a wide range of areas in electrical and computer engineering
  • are actively engaged in both teaching and research
  • direct industry- and government-funded research and development projects
  • bring their extensive practical experience into the classroom
  • advise undergraduate and graduate students in their research and design projects

Akron Advantage

Hands-on Learning

Our students experience computer engineering firsthand through educational and research laboratories, including facilities for:

  • circuits
  • analog electronics
  • digital electronics
  • digital hardware and embedded systems
  • computer architecture
  • software engineering
  • programming languages
  • networks
  • electromagnetics compatibility and signal integrity
  • alternative energy
  • sensors and instrumentation
  • integrated circuit design and high-temperature electronics
  • automation and wireless sensor networks
  • communications
  • capstone senior design
  • student design center

Real World Experience

Our students gain important practical professional experience through the optional Cooperative Education Program. Co-op students alternate semesters of work and school following the sophomore year. They work with the engineering co-op staff to find positions that match their career interests. Co-op students earn competitive salaries while on co-op and graduate with one full year of professional work experience. They often accept permanent positions with their co-op employers upon graduation.

Qualifying students have the opportunity to earn academic credit while participating in undergraduate research, alongside faculty and graduate students in a research laboratory. Through this program, they are able to present their research work in technical publications and conferences.

Starting in the first year, students can join a wide variety of competition teams, working on projects ranging from firefighting robots to hybrid electric vehicles. Students learn to manage large projects, deal with budgets, and interact with students from other disciplines and at other universities. With their advisers, students travel to competitions across the country. 

Recent placements include:

  • FirstEnergy Corp
  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • General Electric
  • Diebold
  • Goodyear
  • Codonics
  • Cisco
  • Hyland Software
  • Lockheed Martin
  • National Security Agency

Engineering Student Organizations

Interact with other engineering students and professionals in the field through organizations such as:

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Tau Beta Pi (engineering honorary)
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
  • Society of Automotive Engineers
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering Society
  • American Society of Civil Engineering
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Sample Curriculum

Career Opportunities

Degrees and Preparation

A degree in computer engineering prepares you to:

  • design and develop software for embedded and networked systems
  • solve technical problems
  • design, develop and test computer chips, circuit boards, computer systems and related equipment

Career Outlook

Computer engineering has consistently ranked among the top ten careers for salary and placement nationally. 

Cooperative Education and Placement

The College of Engineering's Cooperative Education Program enables you to integrate classroom instruction with practical and valuable on-the-job work experience. If you choose to co-op, you will complete your first five semesters of study and then begin alternating a semester of paid employment in your major field of interest with a semester of classroom study, until your senior level. Learn more.

The University of Akron

Akron, OH 44325
Phone: 330-972-7111
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