Projects and Labs

The University of Utah ECE Department has a unique and interesting set of undergraduate laboratories. Instead of building a few individual components, these labs give you the chance to build the components, and then combine them into a working system to give you a better understanding of how the different parts work together. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation who supported the development of these labs under grant NSF0431958.

If you find problems/typos/etc with these labs, please email the contacts at the bottom of this page. If you are an instructor interested in implementing these labs at your university, email the contacts at the bottom of the page.

The following is a listing of all system level design projects implemented in the ECE curricula.

ECE 1250: Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering

Overview of the ECE 1250 Labs

Design, evaluate, build, test, and debug simple circuits using voltage and current sources, resistors and capacitors, op amps, and diodes. Each lab will give you tools to build to the final 3 week project – an electrical invention of your own choosing!

ECE 1250 Course Website

ECE 2240: Fundamentals of Electric Circuits

Overview of the ECE 2240 Labs

Project: Electromagnetic Launcher

In this project, you will construct and test an EM launcher similar in many respects to the coil guns described above; but to avoid the time, expense, and danger involved in constructing a device to launch larger projectiles, yours will be a miniature coil gun consisting of one small coil, and the projectile will be a short (3-4 mm) segment of wire from a standard paper clip. Because the magnetic forces on the projectile would force it to the center of the coil if a steady current were applied, you will need to design a circuit to produce a short current pulse and, to get sufficient force for launching, the current must be high. Therefore you will also design a circuit to discharge a capacitor into a coil to produce a short, high-current pulse. This project is but one example of many ways in which voltage and current pulses are employed in a variety of devices.

ECE 2240 Course Website

ECE 2280: Fundamentals of Engineering Electronics

Overview of the ECE 2280 Labs

Project: Regulated DC Power Supply

Design a dual rail, regulated, DC power supply to supply enough current to operate an op-amp based microphone and speaker circuit created as part of the second class lab and supported by the concepts of the third lab.

ECE 2280 Course Website

ECE 3110: Engineering Electronics II

Overview of the ECE 3110 Labs

Project: EMG Sensor with Audiovisual output

Design a dual rail, regulated, DC power supply to supply enough current to operate an op-amp based microphone and speaker circuit created as part of the second class lab and supported by the concepts of the third lab.

ECE 3110 Course Website

ECE 3300: Introduction to Electromagnetics

Overview of the ECE 3300 Labs

Project: Cardiac Pacemaker Communication System

Students will build and test a wireless communication system for a cardiac pacemaker. A matching network for a monopole antenna will be built. The received power from the transmitting antenna embedded in muscle simulant will be measured. The receiving antenna is attached to an amplifier and splitter that detects if 420 or 460 MHz signals are received.

ECE 3300 Course Website

ECE 3500: Introduction to Signals and Systems

Overview of the ECE 3500 Labs

Project: Cardiac Pacemaker Communication System – FSK Transceiver

This is a five week long experiment about frequency and amplitude modulation. Using electronic components, students build a frequency shift keying (FSK) circuit. Both modulator and demodulator modules are constructed and tested. The carrier frequencies used here are 1 kHz and 5 kHz, for representation of logical 0 and 1, respectively. We have purposefully chosen these low frequencies to allow straightforward prototyping in the laboratory using bread boards. The concepts from this experiment are expanded in the EM class where students build the FSK system in the MHz range.

ECE 3500 Course Website

ECE 3510: Introduction to Feedback Systems

Overview of the ECE 3510 Labs

Project: Magnetic Levitation Control System

Controls Students build a simple magnetic levitation system, measure its system response, and design a hardware or software control system to allow the user to define the vertical rise and response dynamics of the levitated object. The course also includes a hardware PLL for timing acquisition that will draw a link between ECE3500 and ECE3510.

ECE 3510 Course Website

ECE 5320: Microwave Engineering I

Overview of the ECE 5320 Labs

Project: FSK Wireless Local Area Network

Students build an FSK WLAN from microstrip components. This is an adaptation of labs at BYU and USU.

ECE 5320 Course Website

ECE 5324: Antenna theory and design

Overview of the ECE 5324 Labs

Project: Multi Band Patch Antenna Design

The students designed dual-band patch antennas for use for wireless telephone (835 and 1900 MHz) and wireless LAN communications (2.45 and 5.5 GHz). The patch antennas were tested for their performance in our newly renovated anechoic chamber and network analyzer stations.

ECE 5324 Course Website

ECE 5530: Digital signal processing

Overview of the ECE 5530 Labs

Project: QPSK Communication System

We developed three modules that together allow the students to simulate a complete QPSK system in software. In these modules, the students apply concepts of sampling, filter realizations, filter designs and discrete Fourier transform in their implementations.

ECE 5530 Course Website

ECE 5570: Control of Electric Motors

Overview of the ECE 5570 Labs

Project: Motor Control System

This course starts with identification and control of DC motors on a prototyping platform. Then the control of stepper and induction motor is presented. Finally the class is completed with a student project for controlling a Brushless DC motor. This course has cross-over with the embedded system courses by providing a platform similar to embedded motor lab.

ECE 5570 Course Website

ECE 5780: Embedded Systems Design

Overview of the ECE 5780 Labs

Project: Microcontroller Design

Students designed simple systems using a Motorola HC(S)12 microcontroller and peripheral hardware. Labs included design a keypad interface, a thread scheduler, a simple serial network, pulse generator, DC motor controller that utilizes a 4-bit DAC.

ECE 5780 Course Website


Overview of the Microsystems Labs

Project: Nanosensor project

Packaging, system integration and reliability studies are the topics tying together the entire canon of micro, nano, sensor and electronics technology courses. Packaging requires a thorough understanding of system integration and the awareness of system and application/market requirements.

Program Contacts

For more information contact:
Cynthia Furse at or
Bryan Stenquist at