The curriculum of the ECE School of the Technical University of Crete aims at the in-depth education and high level hands-on training of engineers in current technologies in the areas of electronics, automatic control systems, computer science and telecommunications. The goal of the School is for the students to develop a sound theoretical background which will enable them to understand the fundamentals of the new technologies in all of the above areas so that they can cope with the demands and the rapid pace of technology growth at an international level.
Computers play a key role in all of the above areas. The curriculum of the ECE School places emphasis in the use of computers to develop applications in all of the above areas, such as the design of electronic circuits, integrated factory automation systems, robotics and automations, computer use in telecommunication systems, distributed computing and information systems, office and Government automation systems, and digital systems design and implementation. We will briefly present how the ECE School graduates can work in the above areas.
The School graduates can work in the private or public sector as software application engineers. To illustrate, companies have a need for computer applications (e.g. for payroll, for inventory, for automated processing of orders, etc.), for the design and management of large databases (e.g. banks, airline reservation systems, travel agencies and hotels, hospital management, etc.), for office and Government automation (e.g. automatic processing of Government services and public health care – to date such services are done with paperwork in Greece). Databases and office automation are at the heart of any serious company or organization today in advanced countries, and the effective operation of these organizations is based on specialized knowledge for database design and management, which our graduates have. Our graduates can also apply Artificial Intelligence techniques on complex problems in order to process by computer many complex problems which to date are only addressed by highly qualified human experts.
Our students are educated on new methods of analysis and design of electrical, electronic, and logic circuits. More specifically they learn the theory and the operation fundamentals of basic electronic components (e.g. diodes, transistors), how to design circuits which include analog and digital integrated circuits, how to design power amplifiers and high frequency (e.g. RF) circuits. They also learn how to design Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) circuits. The students practice the above skills both on Computer Aided design (CAD) stations and on the workbench. They also learn how to design systems with sensors, which demand reliable operation under adverse conditions, such as those met in industry, and the learn how to effectively use microprocessors and microcontrollers for the design and implementation of real-time and embedded systems.
Telecommunications are rapidly expanding world-wide. The ECE School graduates gain in-depth knowledge on subjects such as digital telecommunications (antennas, microwaves, wireless communications, satellite communications, wireless and wired telephony, mobile telephony, information and code theory, computer networks), as well as on modern applications of telecommunications based on automated voice recognition and speech processing and understanding (voice-based selection, database access with voice interface, etc.) so that they can work in the public or private sector. Computer networks transport voice, still and video images and computer-to-computer data. Computer networks are very important for the public and the private sector due to the rapid rate of growth of Internet usage in Europe and in Greece, a shift of telecommunications towards network-based ones, and high performance distributed computing (e.g. with grid computers). Large companies and organizations today need their own Virtual Private Networks (VPN) for personnel communications, and computer-to-computer communications, remote access of data, cooperative working, teleworking, etc. The proper design and integration of unified service networks is of vital importance in every large corporation and our graduates have solid foundations to work in these areas.
An additional area in which our graduates can work is factory automation (Computer Aided Design – CAD, Computer Aided Management – CAM, robotics, quality control, etc.). Integrated systems for factory automation are very prevalent today and computer applications with graphical user interfaces can be used to simulate, design, and monitor the process. Image processing and knowledge representation plays a key role for industry, which needs to employ knowledge engineers for the design of databases and their interface to the factory automation systems.
In addition to the theoretical knowledge and the fundamentals which qualify our graduates to work in the above areas, our undergraduate studies also aim at the good preparation for graduate studies, for basic and applied research, and for participation in research teams following their graduation. An important element of the five-year undergraduate education is a semester-long thesis (with no course load during that semester) which allows the students to study a topic in-depth under the close supervision of their advisor, and it is not uncommon for the results of these theses to be accepted for publication at peer reviewed and refereed international conferences or journals.