What can you do in Electrical or Computer Engineering at RMC?
The principles of Electrical and Computer Engineering can be applied to a wide range of fields. These are just some of the many areas you could focus your research in.
Avionics & Vehicle Systems
Computers, electrical systems, and sensors are all key components of today’s aerospace and automobile industries. They provide control, redundancy, safety, navigational enhancements, and the ability for remote operation. As computer hardware and software is incorporated more and more into vehicles, their systems are becoming more complex. Knowledge of engineering principles is integral to their design and operation.
Significant advancements are being made in the development of unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs) that can travel over land, through the air, and under the oceans. Robotics plays a significant role in their development and use within a military context. This can range from the nanotechnology used to build hummingbird-sized surveillance robots to the complex programming required to create autonomous machine learning programs for ground, air, and nautical vehicles.
Biomedical engineering is an emergent field where engineering principles and design concepts are applied to medicine and biology. Innovations such as using software and radar to diagnose concussions, weaving optical fibres into bandages to monitor healing, wireless medical monitoring devices to assist in rehabilitation and recovery, and computer-assisted surgery are just some examples of work being done in this field worldwide.
Research into biomedical engineering is important in the Canadian Armed Forces for the sake of ensuring the health and wellbeing of military personnel, veterans, and their families. RMC and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering participate in the Canadian Institute for Military & Veteran Health Research, which brings together researchers from a variety of fields across Canada to form a network for knowledge sharing on the subject of military health research.
Cyber Warfare & Networks
In our highly connected and electronic world, one of the greatest challenges is in the area of safeguarding our computing and communications resources. Networks of information are embedded in many aspects of modern life: air traffic control, radio and TV, cell phones, the utility systems that provide electricity, gas, and water to our communities, and more. Attacks on any of these networks can have serious implications for our society.
With increasing threats in the areas of cyber-crime and cyberterrorism, we are collectively focusing more attention on how to prevent attacks and protect these systems. Current security measures focus on a “perimeter defence” approach that is akin to patching holes in a dam. Talented engineers are needed to develop innovative solutions that can protect the software systems integral to modern life—both by building security measures that can catch malicious software in the attack, and by detecting and eliminating vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
When most people think of green technologies, they picture wind power systems and solar panels, but this field encompasses much more. In Electrical and Computer Engineering, one major area of focus is in smart power distribution: embedded systems composed of sensors, instrumentation, analytics, and controls, which can be used to create a smart power grid that manages the transmission and distribution of electricity in the most energy-efficient way—whether for a single vehicle or for an entire city.
As the Canadian government looks to new approaches to create energy-efficient ships, aircraft, and vehicles—as well as to protect the environments in which they operate—green technologies are growing in importance in military research. Energy efficiency is critical to keeping the costs of fuel manageable and to reducing emissions during training and operational activities.
Radar & Sensors
Radar systems were developed during World War II in order to use radio waves to determine range, altitude, direction, and speed of both moving and fixed objects. Today, the use of radar is highly diverse, ranging from air traffic control, electronic warfare, and air defence systems to vehicle parking, weather monitoring, and ground penetration for geological observation.
These systems make use of complex sensors in order to transmit and receive their signals, which we can interpret to derive critical information about their environment. Digital signals processing algorithms are a key component of these systems, and are used to separate the necessary information from interference or noise. Engineers focus on improving the clarity, range, and capabilities of radar technology, for applications across military and civilian life.