Department Profile

Mission and Objectives

Educational Mission:

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department strives to contribute to the state, nation, and world through the education of outstanding professionals and leaders in engineering. Our educational focus is on a broad, rigorous education in all areas of electrical and computer engineering with significant hands-on experiences. The program will provide students with an understanding of engineering problem solving at all levels and an appreciation for engineering as a profession.


Technical competency: Graduates will have a sound knowledge of the fundamentals in electrical or computer engineering that allows them to analyze and solve technical problems, to apply hardware and software tools, to create and evaluate technical products, to learn independently, and to succeed in the workplace and in graduate school.

Engineering perspective: Graduates will be capable of understanding complex projects including their evolution and abstraction and the optimization of associated decisions and risk, both locally and globally.

Professional skills and knowledge: Graduates will have the ability to communicate well in both oral and written form, to interact in teams, to manage and lead technical projects, to manage their career, and to conduct themselves with an understanding of ethics, economics, and intellectual property.


Noteworthy Alumni

  • Jonas “Jon” Bereisa Jr. of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., director of the General Motors Automotive Competitive Fuel Cell Programs. He earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in electrical engineering from UMR in 1967 and 1970, respectively. Bereisa joined General Motors in 1974. For more information click here.
  • John P. Fairbanks (EE’71) is the legendary creator of the TI-30 calculator and the Poquet computer – two inventions at the vanguard of personal computing. Formerly the vice-president for engineering at Mattel Electronics, he founded Poquet Computer in 1987, which was acquired by Fujitsu. For more information click here.
  • Mervin Kelly (Phy’14) was a past President of Bell Telephone Laboratories and director of Prudential Insurance Company and Bausch and Lomb Optical Company and member of the National Academy of Science. While not officially a graduate of EE, as MSM did not offer EE degrees until 1916, he was among the first Physics student to specialize in electricity and went on to become highly accomplished in the EE field. Quoted as saying “I was really pretty lucky to go to Rolla,” he was a pioneer of trans-Atlantic communication and formed the research group led by William Shockley that invented the transistor. For more information click here.
  • Sandra Magnus (Phy’86, MSEE’90) is a former NASA astronaut and Executive director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She flew multiple missions to the International Space Station aboard the Space Shuttle in 2002, 2008, 2009, and 2011. She has logged 133 days in orbit. For more information click here.
  • George Mueller (EE’39) was associate administrator of NASA’s Office of Manned Space Flight from 1963 to 1969. He was a major force in the Apollo mission to the moon and in the planning for Skylab. For more information click here.
  • Steve Sullivan (EE’89) is a principal engineer at Industrial Light and Magic, George Lucas’ visual effects company. Sullivan won the Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 2001. For more information click here.
  • Theodore “Ted” Wiese (EE’67, PD EE’94, HD’00) retired as the president and chief executive officer of Federal Express Corp. (FedEx). Wiese, an avid aircraft enthusiast, led the development of the company’s aircraft dispatch function. For more information click here.
  • Roy A. Wilkens (EE’66) retired as the chief executive officer of Network Services for McLeodUSA, president of WorldCom, and president and founder of WilTel Inc. In 1985, Wilkens founded WilTel, a subsidiary of The Williams Companies, which was purchased by WorldCom in 1994 for $2.5 billion for the optical communication network that Wilkens developed. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the National Security Telecom Advisory Council in 1992 and continued under President Clinton. For more information click here.



ECE Department History

This is a brief history of Electrical Engineering at Missouri S&T.  About 100 years have passed since the first Electrical Engineering courses were offered at MSM, and 75 years have passed since the EE department was created.  It is interesting to note that it took an act of the Missouri legislature and a Missouri Supreme Court ruling to get Electrical Engineering offered as a degree at MSM. Only 30 years later, EE had become the largest department on campus.

In the Beginning...

The Missouri School of Mines had been offering classes in Electrical Engineering through its Physics department since the 1890's, but no EE major existed. In order to add a BS degree in Electrical Engineering to the MSM curriculum, the Missouri General Assembly passed the Buford Act in 1915. The Buford Act was to allow degrees in Electrical Engineering, as well as other engineering disciplines. But the UM Board of Curators voted 5-3 to ignore the Buford Act. So a case was brought before the Missouri Supreme Court, with MSM student Harry Tobias Heimberger named as the plaintiff. The court ruled that the Buford Act should be followed, and Electrical Engineering was offered as a degree at MSM. In 1917, Hiemberger became the first student to graduate from MSM with a BS in EE. At first the Physics department was in charge of offering the EE degree. But in 1924, Electrical Engineering officially became a separate department.

Timeline of EE at Missouri S&T

- 1890's: The first courses in Electrical Engineering are offered by MSM Physics department.

- 1915: MO General Assembly passes the Buford Act, allowing MSM to offer a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. UM Board of Curators vote to ignore Buford Act, 5-3. The case is brought to the Missouri Supreme Court. Court rules the the Buford Act should be followed.

- 1917: Heimberger is first MSM BSEE grad.

- 1924: Electrical Engineering becomes a separate department.

- 1924: Student chapter of American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) is started.

- 1944: Jean McCaw Lloyd becomes the first female graduate in EE at MSM.

- 1946: After World War II, 400 new students enroll in Electrical Engineering. Electrical Engineering becomes the largest department at MSM.

- 1946: Master's degree in EE is offered for the first time.

- 1948: Student branch of Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) is started.

- 1950: Theta Mu chapter of Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) established.

- 1951: Theta Mu chapter of HKN is officially recognized.

- 1959: The new Electrical Engineering building is completed.

- 1962: PhD program in EE is offered.

- 1963: AIEE and IRE merge to become the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

- 1964: The Missouri School of Mines changes its name to the University of Missouri - Rolla.

- 1996: Construction and renovation of Emerson Electric Co. Hall begins.

- 1998: In January, renovation on the EECH building is completed.

- 1998: On June 11, the EE department becomes the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The name change reflects the BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Computer Engineering that are now being offered.

- 1999: 75 years have passed since the EE department was created.

Much of the information on this page comes from: Jack B. Ridley, Completing the Circuit: A Century of Electrical Education at Miner, 1984


In the News

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