The ECBE Department at Union traces its history back to 1902, when the Department of Electrical Engineering was founded by Charles Proteus Steinmetz. He hoped to imbue in students, “the spirit of divine discontent, for without it the world would stand still.” Union College fosters an educational environment where students from engineering also have the flexibility to study subjects in the liberal arts which has led to its reputation as one of the finest engineering schools in the country. This standard of excellence is maintained to this day, and U.S. News & World Report ranks Union Engineering in the top 15 undergraduate colleges.
The Computer Systems Engineering (CSE) Program at Union College began in 1997 and grew out of the existing programs in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. It was formed to meet the needs of students who wanted an in-depth study of both hardware and software design as part of their engineering education. Continuously accredited since its first ABET accreditation visit in 1997, the program name was changed to “Computer Engineering (CpE)” in 2002.
The Bioengineering (BNG) Program began in response to growing interest among students and faculty in the applications of engineering in biology and medicine. Interested faculty from the Biology, Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and Mechanical Engineering departments formed the Bioengineering Program and a minor was instituted in the academic year 2003-2004. The ABET-accredited BNG major was first offered to students in 2009-2010. The program name was changed to “Biomedical Engineering (BME)” in 2017.
Effective July 1, 2017, the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department and the Bioengineering (BNG) Program merged to form a new Department of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering (ECBE)! We now have eleven faculty: Tak Buma, Palma Catravas, Shane Cotter, Jennifer Currey, Luke Dosiek, Helen Hanson, James Hedrick, Sudhir Khetan, Chandra Pappu, John Spinelli, and Cherrice Traver. Steinmetz 211 is still the main department office, where Lisa Galeo is the administrative assistant. The ECBE faculty offices remain primarily in Steinmetz Hall.