CALCE Educational Philosophy

Engineers that develop or use electronic systems technologies must be able to synthesize interdisciplinary knowledge from many diverse sources: electrical, mechanical, thermal, materials, manufacturing, and business. In addition, they must be able to effectively communicate (verbally and in writing), as well as be adept at working on teams. Rapid advances in electronic products and systems require special efforts to educate the technical workforce. These special efforts include the use of systematic just-in-time transfer of state-of-the-art knowledge derived from the latest research results. The CALCE educational strategy is to pioneer a multi-faceted approach for the transfer of ideas and knowledge to all levels of students, through test-bed-development learning projects, a series of broadcast-quality videos, multi-media materials, text books, and courses. In addition, unique exchange programs between industry and the university are in place to promote collaborative research, education, and technology transfer. This strategy has already leveraged over $7M spent in the last five years on instituting innovative changes in the University of Maryland's engineering undergraduate and graduate programs.

Graduate program in Electronic Products and Systems

As a result of its interdisciplinary nature, the EPS graduate curriculum allows considerable flexibility in accommodating diverse undergraduate backgrounds, and graduate programs with various specializations can be pursued at the center. These specializations include reliability, mechanics, vibrations, computer aided design, electrical contacts and connectors, thermal engineering, high temperature electronics, optoelectronics, electronics manufacturing with an emphasis on environmentally friendly processes, electromagnetic compatibility and cost analysis for electronic systems. For a typical Master of Science degree plan - click here.

The Frequently Asked Questions page covers other common issues.

EPS Research Areas : Research areas addressed by the EPS curriculum are listed below. Each of these areas has a breadth of faculty involvement as well as collaborative activities with our partners.

      • Parts Reliability
      • Permanent Interconnects
      • Contacts and Connectors
      • Substrates and Circuit Card Assemblies
      • Thermal Management and Assessment
      • Stress Characterization and Management
      • Virtual Qualification
      • Accelerated Screens and Test
      • Parts Selection and Management
      • Risk Assessment of Electronic Systems
      • Life Cycle Economics
      • Electromagnetic Compatibility and Interference
      • Electromagnetic Wave-Material Interaction
      • Electromagnetic Propagation Measurements

These research areas cover all levels of electronic products:

  1. Components and Interconnects: multi chip modules (MCM)-L: laminated substrates, MCM-C: ceramic substrates, MCM-D: thin-film substrates, attachments, die attach, 3-D packaging, wire bonds, chip-on-board, flip chip, optical interconnects, leads and lead frames, metal and ceramic cases, lid seals, and lead seals, plastic encapsulated packaging, resistors/capacitors/other passives, power devices, flat panel displays, and high temperature devices
  2. Circuit Cards and Interconnects: area array interconnects; ball grid arrays/pin grid arrays, solder joints, flux-less, lead-free and composite solder, plated-through holes and vias, printed wire board assemblies; modeling, design for environment, placement and routing, flex and rigid flex circuits, connectors, heat sinks/spreaders, liquid flow through cooling, phase change material (PCM) cooling, high temperature electronics and conformal coating
  3. Boxes and Systems: enclosures, fasteners and hold-sown hardware, cables, connectors, card guides and mounts, racks, vibration isolators, power supplies, high temperature electronics, forced air cooling, passive cooling and liquid cooling.
  4. Supply Chain of Electronic Products: electronic parts selection and manufacturing, life cycle cost analysis, electronic manufacturing services, and supply chain creation and management.

Course Selection : Under the guidance of their advisor, students select course work that sets forth the entire program of study that will be undertaken to satisfy the objectives for the degree. The course selection is tailored on individual basis to meet students' needs and in such a way that a student may specialize in one of the many focus areas in electronic products. For the list of graduate courses offered within the electronic products and systems area of specialization in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, click here.

Two scenarios for M.S. and Ph.D. degree requirements are given below. For more information contact the individual faculty. For the list and contact information click here

Representative Selection 1: Electronics Packaging with Emphasis on solids and mechanics of materials

M.S. Degree Courses: Mechanical Fundamentals of Electronic Systems, Electronic Product   Development, Mechanics of Photonic Systems, Modeling Material Behavior, Computer Aided Manufacturing, Linear Vibrations, Advanced Mechanical, Engineering Analysis I, Manufacturing Technologies for Electronic Systems
Ph.D. Degree Courses: In addition to the above for the M.S., Micro- and Nano-Structural Characterization, High-Power and High-Temperature Electronics, Experimental Mechanics, Applied Finite Element Methods, Numerical Analysis I

Representative Selection 2: Emphasis on thermal engineering
    M.S. Degree Courses: Mechanical Fundamentals of Electronic Systems, Electronic Product Development, Mechanics of Photonic Systems, Advanced Classical Thermodynamics, Advanced Conduction and Radiation Heat Transfer, Advanced Convection Heat Transfer, Advanced Mechanical Engineering Analysis I, Manufacturing Technologies for Electronic Systems
    Ph.D. Degree Courses: In addition to the above for the M.S., High-Power and High-Temperature Electronics, Thermal Issues in Electronic Systems, Viscous Flow, Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer, Numerical Analysis I
Thesis Research : Research is a key component of the graduate education. All students pursuing a graduate degree within the EPSC program are required to complete a thesis and to defend it in a public forum. Thesis research calls upon all the knowledge that the students acquired during his/her academic career as an engineer. It also requires independent and creative thought as well as commitment and a strong sense of direction.

Semester-in-Industry : Under the EPS curriculum, graduate students have the opportunity to spend their third semester in an industry internship working with the internship provider on a project of mutual interest.  These projects are related to the topics of the student’s thesis research. The internship experience provides students an opportunity to focus their research to the industry’s needs, while providing first-hand exposure to the engineering challenges confronting the electronics industries today.

Just-in-Time Instruction : In the EPS graduate program, the latest research results and topics of significant industry interest are directly and systematically incorporated into the curriculum. Many of the EPS courses are based on the results of the research conducted at CALCE EPS Center. Some of the recent topics of significant industry interest investigated by CALCE include plastic encapsulated microcircuits, flip chip technologies, accelerated testing for reliability assessment, virtual qualifications methods, life cycle cost analysis and thermal management.

EPS graduate courses are also supplemented by the Experts in the Classroom Lecture Series. Guest lecturers selected for the series are experts on specific technology or application areas from industry, national laboratories, or academia. Industry experts bring the latest applications perspectives into the classroom. In addition, all CALCE master's and doctoral defenses are also widely attended by outside speakers and faculty providing another forum for exchange of ideas and transfer of technology.

Team Learning : All EPS students participate in group projects defined by the latest research conducted at CALCE as well as by course curricula. The projects emphasize effective oral, written and graphic communication. They also foster professionalism and teach students to work effectively in a team environment.

Electronic Learning : All EPS courses use World Wide Web technology to deliver materials and assignments and to provide online forums to facilitate open-ended interactions among students and faculty. The use of personal computers is integral to students' work.
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Degree requirements

The center offers Master's of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. The M.S. degree requires 24 credits of graduate level coursework (up to 6 credits transferable) and 6 credits of research. At least 15 credits must be for courses taken at the 600 level or above. All M.S. students must complete and defend a thesis.For more information please refer to grad/ms-mech or ms-reliability.
The Ph.D. degree requires 18 graduate credit hours beyond the Master’s degree, including 12 credits of research.  Also required is the successful completion of a qualifying examination, a successful defense of a Ph.D. proposal, and the completion and oral presentation of the dissertation.For more information please refer to phd-reliability or phd-mech
Students accepted into the Ph.D. program without a Master’s degree are required to take an additional 24 credits of coursework (42 credits of coursework total). All credits must be for courses 600 level or above.

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Admission Requirements

Applications for admission are accepted each semester. Programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are open to qualified students holding a B.S. degree in Mechanical, Electrical, Materials, Systems and Reliability Engineering. Admissions may also be granted to students with degrees in mathematics and physics. The competition for admission is strong and is granted to students who exhibit an excellent academic record and strong research potential. In addition to the requirements set forth by the University of Maryland Graduate School, applicants are also required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Students whose native language is not English and who do not hold a degree from an accredited US institution are required to submit scores of  the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

To apply, applicants should follow the University of Maryland and Mechanical Engineering Department admission procedures. To indicate their interest in the Electronic Products and Systems Program, applicants should list EPS on the application form as their area of specialization.

To submit online application, click here
To request a Graduate Catalog, click here***

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Contact Information
For more information on our program, contact:

Prof. Michael Pecht
University of Maryland
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)
1103 Engineering Lab Building
College Park, MD 20742

Tel: 301-405-5323
Fax: 301-314-9269

Graduate students are also encouraged to contact individual faculty advisors in the area of electronic products and systems. For a list and contact information click here
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