Many of you have read about the announcement of the ECE Revitalization
Initiative that asked for your support to maintain, modernize
and advance the ECE facilities and programs at LSU. (If you
have not yet read about it, please visit the Archive section
of the website and click on the Revitalization link.) To date,
the ECE Revitalization Fund combined with a two-year old College
of Engineering effort on behalf of ECE now totals about $69,000
from alumni, friends, and business supporters. While this initial
response was modest, it was a positive step.
Progress has continued throughout the year. Two new faculty members will join the department for fall 2005. The undergraduate Integrated Power Laboratory mentioned in the previous newsletter will be ready for use this fall and the new Digital Signal Processing Laboratory has already been used in the spring for teaching. A Biometrics Laboratory has also been funded by LSU Tech. Development of the BioMEMS Lab and Nanostructured Materials and Devices Lab and the upgrading of the Electronic Material and Device Lab have continued. The space allocated to the department for new labs and additional offices is in the processing of being renovated and will be available in summer 2006.
The critical challenge remains as the need to replace aging lab facilities, create new teaching and research laboratories, arrange for support of faculty, and other personnel necessary to upgrade our academic and research programs. ECE currently maintains more than 10 undergraduate teaching laboratories, many of which will need significant upgrading within two-to-three years.
All lab courses now present students the opportunity to learn basic principles. However, without the most modern and capable equipment, they will not receive the hands on experience so important when entering the workplace. Therefore, we are philosophically dedicated to the requirement that all upgraded and new laboratories have the most modern equipment, capable of meeting technology changes as far into the future as possible. This will require a very large fiscal outlay and we do not have sufficient state funds available.
Unfortunately, additional financing is NOT available for the needed significant upgrades to existing laboratories and infrastructures or creation/completion of new facilities for research or the academic program. We must face these issues and succeed lest we fall so far behind that recovery is impossible. We will continue to vigorously seek support from various resources, including contributions from corporations and individual donors.
As you know, an LSU Foundation account has been created to receive donations for this initiative. It is the "ECE Revitalization Fund". We are again asking you to consider joining other alumni and friends of the department to help make the Electrical and Computer Engineering program at LSU one of the top ones in the nation. We have set a goal of $3M over the next several years.
Please contribute now, and if you work for a "Matching Gift" company, please complete the Matching Gift Form to maximize your tax deductible contribution.
For those of you who would like to participate via the internet,
please go to ECE Revitalization Contribution Forms and Instructions
. This link will lead you to directions for making a contribution
to our Revitalization efforts.