ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Accredited by ABET
Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Design Projects


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We actually got to see how a car is built. From building the engine, to installing the battery—it's very hands-on. What I found most rewarding is seeing this thing come together.

- Alexander Keller (BSEE '13), software team leader for the 2013 HEVT car

By completing design projects, ECEs are able to develop an understanding of the system as a whole. It's very impressive because it shows practical experience, attention to detail, and time commitment. It's almost like a job itself.

- Brandon Vella (BSEE '13), electrical team leader for the 2013 VT Motorsports Formula car

Design projects are often the most remembered, most fun experiences for engineering students.

Course-Based Design Projects

Photograph of IEEE robot

For EE and CPE students, design projects are woven throughout the curriculum. Following the introduction of simple design problem solving in the first ECE courses, students design increasingly complex devices and systems. EE students are required to take one design-intensive "capstone design" course during their senior year. CPE students are required to take two "design technical electives."

Integrated Design Courses

Under the new integrated design model, ECE seniors can enroll in two-semester, project-based courses. Options include: Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Team, IEEE Robotics Team, satellite design, and radio frequency spectrum sensing.

Autonomous Mastery Prototyping (AMP) Lab

Photograph of student soldering

The Autonomous Mastery Prototyping (AMP) Lab provides space for ECE students to work on personal projects. The lab offers mentorship, soldering certification, and free materials. Students' recent projects include an autonomous ground vehicle, a laser harp, and a smartphone facial recognition system.

Extra-Curricular Design Projects

The ECE faculty encourages all students to complete extracurricular design projects. There are many opportunities for ECE students to participate in electrical and computer engineering design competitions or join multidisciplinary engineering teams.

Design Project Examples


IEEE Hardware TeamIEEE Hardware Team

The VT IEEE Hardware Team designs and programs robots to participate in obstacle course missions at the annual IEEE SoutheastCon hardware competition.


Autonomous Underwater VehicleAUVT

The Virginia Tech Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Team (AUVT) designs autonomous submarines to compete in missions at the annual RoboSub Competition sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

Hybrid carHEVT

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) is participating in the 2011-2014 EcoCAR 2: Plugging in to the Future Advanced Vehicle Competition Series. Read more about the team in the 2013 ECE Annual Report.

DBF TeamDesign Build Fly

The Design Build Fly team constructs radio-controlled aircrafts to complete missions at an annual competition sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

IEEE Future Energy TeamIEEE International Future Energy Challenge

ECE student teams participate in the International Future Energy Challenge, a biennial electrical system design competition that focuses on innovation and energy efficiency.

Motorsports TeamVT Motorsports Formula SAE

The VT Motorsports team designs high-performance formula-style racecars to compete in the annual Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Design Series. Read more about the team in the 2013 ECE Annual Report.


Bolt motorcycleBOLT

The Battery Operated Land Transport (BOLT) team designs electric motorcycles to compete in the TTXGP international electric motorsport race series.



Motorsports TeamHPS Team

The Human-Powered Submarine (HPS) team designs, builds, and races submarines that are propelled solely by human power for competition at the International Submarine Races.