Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineers research, design, develop, test, and oversee the development of electronic systems and the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment and devices. This includes a broad range of applications and specializations that generally involve both hardware and software — areas such as power systems, communications, analog and digital signal processing, embedded systems, and control systems.

Products developed by electrical engineers often have significant impacts on society, like portable smart devices, medical instrumentation, electric and smart vehicles, sensor networks, and renewable and smart energy systems.

The Electrical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Western’s Engineering and Design Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering.

Dustin Sjoerdsma
Electrical Engineering Student

“Western has given me the knowledge to pursue a degree in my major along with countless internship opportunities and experience. In one of my projects, I helped construct the new KWVC station equipment and studio to transmitter link in Bellingham.”

Students may choose a concentration in either Electronics or Energy. Both concentrations include a common electrical engineering core.

The Electronics curriculum involve the development, design, and application of circuits, devices, and firmware for embedded systems. Content includes digital and analog electronics, embedded microcontrollers, communications, controls, and digital signal processing.

The Energy curriculum includes a combination of advanced electrical engineering courses and interdisciplinary courses in the sciences, economics, policy, and the environment. Topics deal with the sources, generation, control, and utilization of electric power, energy conversion and storage; and smart power topics such as system analysis, protection and stability, solid state motor control, and industrial process control systems. Projects are normally interdisciplinary, in collaboration with faculty in the Institute for Energy Studies


Beyond the Classroom

Students have numerous opportunities to participate in projects and undergraduate research with faculty members. Additionally, students can choose to work on projects directly with industry partners as part of their course work.

Students often participate in internships during the summer quarters.  Employers where students have interned recently include:

  • Ava.ai
  • Bardy Diagnostics
  • Blue Sea Systems
  • Genie Industries
  • Technical Systems, Inc.
  • Triumph Group, Inc.
  • MidNite Solar

Careers and Graduate Studies

Electrical Engineering graduates find work with engineering applications, embedded systems, electronic systems analysis, design and development, test engineering, and technical sales and service.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates

  • Amazon
  • AVA.ai: Developer
  • Bardy Diagnostics; Firmware Engineer
  • BMT Scientific Marine Services: Electronics Engineer
  • Boeing
  • Conversica
  • Eldec
  • Electroimpact; Electrical Engineer
  • f5 Networks
  • Fluke: Hardware and Software Engineer
  • Genie Industries
  • Intel
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Kenworth; Electrical Design Engineer
  • Microsoft: SDET
  • PACCAR Technical Center: Test Engineer
  • Physio Control; Embedded Software Engineer
  • Port of Seattle
  • Schweitzer Engineering Labs; Associate Hardware Engineer
  • Triumph Group, Inc.
  • Qualnetics: Lab Technician
  • Universal Avionics
  • Wireless Application Corporation: RF Engineer Analyst


Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.


Sample Careers

  • Electronic Design Engineer
  • Systems Test Engineer
  • Global Support Engineer
  • Device Development Engineer
  • Embedded Controls Engineer
  • Hardware Design Engineer


Department of Engineering and Design