This Bachelor’s degree is a three-year programme with a mix of teaching methods, such as lectures, instructions, projects and self-study. Classes are taught between 8:45 and 17:30. A lecture consists of two 45 minute blocks, with a 15-minute break in between. The projects will help you to apply your knowledge in a group and experience the practical use of the various subjects and how they interrelate. You will also practise your presentation and reporting skills.
The Electrical Engineering degree programme consists of seven modules:
- Signals and Systems
- Digital Systems
- Electrical Energy
Mathematics is the tool you will use throughout your career and as such Mathematics is the core of the degree programme. The Physics courses include quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism. You will need this fundamental knowledge to comprehend the operation of electrical and electronic components and systems.
Each semester offers a number of courses and a project, for example to design an autonomous robot that can detect mines. In the third year, you will take a number of courses next to your minor and you will complete the Bachelor’s degree programme with a graduation project.
The first year is dedicated to learning the basics of electrical engineering. You will have lectures on electrical and electronic circuits and computer systems and you will learn how to program computers. You will also be heavily submerged in mathematics and physics. There are also tests on a regular basis to measure your progression and understanding of the material. The results of these tests are, if positive, part of your examination mark. You will also work on specific assignments, in which you will learn to apply your newly gained knowledge. An example of a project is to design and put together an audio system.
- Linear Algebra & Analysis A and B (EE1M11 and EE1M21)
Taking the mathematics that you are familiar with from secondary school as a starting point, e.g. differentiation and integration, this course goes deeper. It introduces you to new subjects such as limits, complex numbers and matrices. The mathematical skills you will acquire here are very important for other courses. Integrals, for instance, are used to describe electric and magnetic fields in the Electricity and Magnetism course.
- Linear Circuits A and B (EE1C11 and EE1C12)
This course will lay a foundation for the rest of your career as an Electrical Engineer. You will learn how to calculate electrical circuits: which current flows through an electrical component, what is the voltage drop across it and what power is converted to heat. You will learn to work with resistors, current sources and voltage sources, as well as with capacitors, inductors and op-amps (operational amplifiers). You will learn different ways of analysing circuits with multiple branches and different components
- Classical and Quantum Physics (EE1P11)
In this course the focus is on physics. You will learn about the classic world of forces, mass and movement and you will also become familiar with the quantum world where everything happens at an atomic level. The fact that particles can also be waves, and vice versa, is a well-known example. The particles responsible for light are photons. Knowledge of quantum physics is essential to understand how transistors and diodes work, components which are commonly used in electrical engineering.
- Project 1 - Booming Bass (EE1L11)
The Bachelor's degree programme in Electrical Engineering includes various projects in which what you learn in the other courses really comes to life. The first project you will work on is called the Booming Bass. In a team of around ten students, you will design your own sound system. This involves more than you might initially think: you will make the amplifier, the filters to direct the right tones to the right speaker, a reliable power supply and the nicest part of all: the booming bass extension, to amplify the bass in the music even more. By the end of the quarter, you will be able to play music on your own amplifier! The project concludes with an individual defence, a report and a joint presentation by the project group.
- Probability and Statistics (EE1M31)
This mathematics course is all about defining probability. Is it probable that a particular event will or will not occur? Statistics is important for other courses later in the degree programme. For instance, understanding how communication systems work requires an understanding of statistics.
- Amplifiers and Instrumentation (EE1C31)
This course is about measuring and amplifying signals. How is a smartphone able to identify the position of your finger on the screen? How does a thermostat measure temperature? You will learn how sensor signals can be processed using electronic circuits. While the focus is on amplifying signals with transistors and op-amps, digitising signals to enable them to be processed by a computer will also be handled. In the weekly laboratory courses, you will examine the precise working of such measuring equipment as oscilloscopes, but also the errors that can occur as a result of measuring. You will also build circuits to read out sensors.
- Digital Systems A and B (EE1D11 and EE1D21)
Programming in C and VHDL, Field Programmable Arrays (FPGA), bits, Boolean algebra – these are among the keywords of this course. You will learn the basics of the programming language C, which you can use to write a programme that calculates the shortest route between two points in a maze for a smart robot (see EPO-2), for example. VHDL is used to describe digital hardware, e.g. a digital counter. An FPGA is a large digital circuit integrated on a chip, the internal interconnects of which can be modified by uploading a data file to the chip. The chip can thus be re-programmed to perform different functions. Besides the laboratory modules, where you program and work with FPGAs, you will also learn to calculate using Boolean algebra. That is a particular kind of mathematics that is indispensable in the world of ones, zeros and bits.
- Electricity and Magnetism (EE1P21)
In this course you'll learn all about physical phenomena, such as electric and magnetic fields. The operation of every electronic circuit is based on electric and magnetic fields. These fields make it possible to transmit information wirelessly, but they can also cause unwanted effects such as noise and disturbance. How does such an invisible field come about, what are the related forces, and how can you best describe such a field? You'll learn that electric and magnetic fields are closely related and have a significant effect on charged particles, such as electrons.
- Project 2 - Smart Robot Challenge (EE1L21)
The second project is called the Smart Robot Challenge. Each team is given a small robot car which has to complete a number of challenges at the end of the project. These include autonomously finding the shortest route in a maze, detecting mines and wirelessly communicating with the computer. This requires you to apply the theory of various courses, e.g. making a mine detector (Amplifiers and Instrumentation) and writing codes and algorithms (Digital Systems A and B). It makes an interesting combination of different aspects of electrical engineering with an exciting conclusion during the final presentation and competition. Once again, you will write and submit a project report.
In the second year, you will focus more on Energy Technology, Signals and Systems, Microelectronics and Telecommunications. Your understanding of mathematics is further challenged by complex function theory and differential equations. You will also work on a project. This starts with outlining specifications, which you will incorporate into the design of a chip for a video game, like ‘Pong’. Once the chip has been produced at the clean lab at the faculty, you can actually test it. You will also learn how to model, design, analyse, document and measure.
- Complex Analysis (EE2M11)
Are you familiar with complex numbers yet? Complex numbers consist of two parts, of which one part (the so-called real part) is just an ordinary number and the other part (the so-called imaginary part) is a number representing multiples of the square root of -1. Using complex numbers is extremely important to Electrical Engineers; for example, the behaviour of inductors and capacitors at different frequencies can be described using a complex resistance (which is then called impedance). In short, complex analysis is a strong mathematical tool that allows analysing and designing electronic circuits in a very powerful way.
- Integrated Circuits (EE2C11)
Modern transistor technology is developing at a fast pace. Transistors, billions of which fit on a single chip, have become essential to everyday life. Your computer and smartphone are full of them! In this course you will learn exactly what these components are, how they work and how they are manufactured. Transistors in digital circuits behave more or less as switches, so in this course you will learn to calculate with the corresponding voltages and currents, and delay times between switching moments. The laboratory modules provide further insight into the various parameters of a transistor and show you, for example, how the behaviour of that little piece of electronics depends on its physical dimensions.
- Electrical Energy Conversion (EE2E11)
This course is all about one central concept: power. There are many different kinds of power. Electric power can be supplied that will vary according to the current and voltage. Mechanical power is also vital to machines where force, rotational speed and acceleration are determining factors. Energy loss, for example due to heat dissipating in a resistance or due to friction between two cogs, will affect the efficiency of a system. How efficient is a particular motor exactly? How much power is required to provide a particular force? How is electrical power converted into mechanical power? And how can this be optimised? This course is also about electronic circuits for power conversion and for driving of electric machines.
- Signals and Systems (EE2S11)
In this course you will learn to work with analogue and digital signals and the relation between the two. You will also learn that you can not only analyse a signal in the time domain, but also in the frequency domain. A signal can be as simple as a sine wave, but could equally well be far more difficult. Complex periodic signals can be seen as lots of sine waves added together, each with its own frequency. You will learn how to design filters that allow specific frequencies to pass, while blocking other frequencies, for instance. Be prepared to pull out all of the mathematics you've learned so far (including Complex Analysis): you're going to need it in this course.
- Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (EE2M21)
A differential equation is an equation that involves both a mathematical function and its derivative, or even a second or third derivative. This was already touched on briefly in the first year, but will be dealt with in much more depth here. In this course you will learn how integration and differentiation can help you to easily solve these sometimes awkward equations. This knowledge is needed, for example, to calculate the behaviour of electric circuits with inductors and capacitors. The linear algebra part of this course deals with systems of equations, which enable you to express the relationship between multiple variables. So it is an extremely important mathematical tool for all kinds of electronic analysis and design problems.
- Project 3 - Design a Chip (EE2L11)
The first project in the second year involves designing your own chip. It is left entirely up to you what its function is. Some students make a clock, others a game such as Tetris or Whack-a-Mole. If your design idea is feasible and meets specific requirements, you can start with the design of your chip. You'll do this using your knowledge of digital systems, integrated circuits and VHDL. You will learn to work as a team, and to co-design in a systematic way. The designs will be tested extensively throughout the project. The project will conclude with a presentation and demonstration.
- Systems and Control (EE2S21)
A system will usually not consist of only electrical components; for instance, it will often also include mechanical components. In this course you will learn how to calculate with all these different components in the same way. You will then learn how you can control a system by applying feedback (feedback control). For example: a thermostat measures the temperature in your living room. If it is too low, the heating will be switched on. And switched off again once the required temperature has been reached. How do you keep the temperature in your room constant, without fluctuation? Other examples include Segways, which automatically stay upright, and drones that can hover steady in mid-air.
- Telecommunication A and B (EE2T11 and EE2T12)
This course consists of two parts. In the first part, you will learn what an energy grid looks like. Why are pylons built the way they are? What other main components do you need to provide a country with a reliable energy supply? The second part looks at ways of generating energy in a sustainable way. What sources of renewable energy are there, and how much energy can they actually generate? In which countries would it be better to invest in solar or wind energy?
- Signal Processing (EE2S31)
This course expands on what you have already learned in Signals and Systems, focusing particularly on digital signals. There are countless digital signals in the world around us. When you make a telephone call, your voice is converted into a digital signal that is subsequently transmitted miles away as efficiently as possible. In this course you will learn how you can process digital signals, e.g. ways of filtering certain frequencies out of the signals. This course will also cover a little probability theory (see first year) with an emphasis on how to apply it to these signals. You will be able to calculate the influence that different signals have on each other if you were to transmit them at the same time, for example. The use of statistics allows us to reduce a phone's transmitting power, thus improving its battery life.
- Project 4 - Autonomous Driving Challenge (EE2L21)
For the last second-year project, you will use all the knowledge you have acquired up to then. For this project, a remotely-controlled car with various sensors must perform a range of tasks. This car must be able to be charged wirelessly, to avoid objects, to communicate with the computer for path planning, and to determine its own position using audio signals.
You will resume your studies in the third year with a minor at TU Delft, at another university, abroad or with an internship. In the third quarter, you will resume with courses in Electromagnetism, Computer Architecture and Organisation. During the Bachelor’s graduation project, you will work in a team on an electrical engineering design and prototype. For example designing a system to optimise the energy of the Nuna solar car battery. You will ’found’ a start-up to get acquainted with the business, commercial and ethical aspects of your work.
Your minor is an opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge of a subject other than Electrical Engineering. This could be software or physics or robotics, for example, but could just as easily be civil engineering, law or indeed any other field of study. You are completely free in your choice of minor, which does not have to be relevant to Electrical Engineering.
- Electromagnetism (EE3P11)
Ever heard of the Maxwell’s equations? These are four laws of physics that form the foundation of electromagnetism. As you may have learned in physics, both electric and magnetic waves are generated in the moment a current starts to flow. These electromagnetic waves can be used to transmit information wirelessly or in so-called transmission lines, e.g. coaxial cables. The Electromagnetism course builds on the first-year Electricity & Magnetism course. You will learn how electromagnetic waves arise and how you can use them.
- Computer Architecture and Organisation (EE3D11)
The Computer Architecture and Organisation course explains how a microprocessor works, how the processor uses its memory, and how that memory is configured. You will also learn the programming language C++. To allow a processor to execute C++ code, it must first be converted into an assembly language. The resulting code can then be converted into the familiar ones and zeros. This course focuses on the assembly language MIPS, and during a laboratory module you will programme a processor yourself using nothing but assembly language.
- Electronics (EE3C11)
Keen to learn how to design your own amplifier or oscillator? During the Electronics course you will learn what the various steps in the design process are and in which order those steps can best be taken. The course will also provide insight into how components as diodes and transistors work.
- Bachelor Graduation Project (EE3L11)
Your degree programme concludes with the Bachelor graduation project. For this project you will work full-time, in a team of around six students, on an electrical engineering design and a prototype of that design. The department has a number of assignments for groups to choose from, but you can also propose your own. Examples of assignments include: a system that allows divers to determine their position underwater (where GPS doesn't work) or a sensor that can measure a person's skin for signs of a form of skin. You will also consider the business and commercial aspects. As a group, you will write a business plan and explore the potential market for the product. All the knowledge acquired during your Bachelor's degree programme can be applied during this project. You will also be expected to examine the ethical aspects of the project and, more generally, the ethical responsibilities of your future profession.
In the first semester of year 3 of the Bachelor’s degree programme, you will have the opportunity to spend six months broadening your horizons and exploring a subject that interests you, in the way that suits you best. Electrical Engineering students, for example, choose minors as Electrical Sustainable Energy Systems or Offshore Wind Energy. Alternatively, you can broaden your perspective by opting for a cohesive course package, an internship or a course abroad. A well-chosen minor can help you to find the career options that suit you, or decide which Master’s programme you want to do after your Bachelor’s degree programme.
More information about Minors
Read more about: admission requirements
TU Delft employs the BSA system: the binding recommendation on the continuation of studies. This means that you must obtain at least 75 per cent of your credits (i.e. 45 of the 60 ECTS) in your first year in order to continue your programme. If you receive a negative binding recommendation on the continuation of studies, you will not be permitted to enroll in this programme again in the next 4 years.