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The B.Eng. in Communications Engineering is a new program concerned with the reliable, effective and economical generation, distribution and reception of information. Communications Engineers will be responsible for the planning, analysis and design, implementation, operation, testing, maintenance and management of communication systems and distributed information systems. Communications Engineers will play an essential role in the creation, deployment and operation of the economical and efficient information systems that modern society depends on. Communication is a generic human activity, and the systems that facilitate communications are the focus of Carleton’s Communications Engineering degree program. Information, while an intangible entity, may be engineered. The design and implementation of systems for communicating information must include the same regard for economy and effectiveness and protection of the public safety and well-being as buildings or aircraft.

The Carleton program is broad enough that our graduates will have the flexibility they require to practice in a world of rapidly changing technology. The program is deep enough that they will have the specific knowledge and skills to satisfy the immediate requirements of employers in the telecommunications and information industries, but provide the basis for future growth and continuing education. The program will also form an excellent basis for graduate studies in several areas.

The Carleton University degree in Communications Engineering is based on thirty-five years of experience in communications, control, computers and electronics. It is derived from the Telecommunications Stream in Electrical Engineering and from the degree in Computer Systems Engineering, which has a strong minor in communications.

What Communication Engineers Will Know

Communications Engineers will know the principles and practice of telecommunications and related computer technologies. They will understand how information of all kinds is represented, transmitted and received, in both analog and digital forms, over a variety of links and networks using radio and/or metallic or optical transmission lines; including point-to-point, switched, routed, and broadcast telecommunication systems; integrated multimedia voice, data, image, and television networks; and local and wide area computer communication networks. They will be particularly well prepared to engineer the integrated, convergent information systems of the 21st century.

And, as engineers, Communications Engineers will be equipped to use their knowledge and skills in the socially responsible practice of engineering in a world of rapidly changing technology.

The communications engineering degree will provide an undergraduate engineering education that has a broad foundation in basic mathematics, physical science and the engineering sciences and technology.

The program will cover communications theory and practice, design and analysis, and components, systems, software and applications. Our graduates will work in all sorts of private and public telecommunications systems, and in many related areas of information technology. For these reasons, the designation “Communications Engineering” is preferred over “Telecommunications Engineering”.

Students will receive a comprehensive education ranging from communications theory and practice to distributed information systems, including radio links, switching and networks and regulatory and social issues, with a strong background in real-time computer systems and software engineering.

The Carleton University Engineering program in Communications Engineering will provide our graduates with the knowledge and skills required for the socially responsible practice of engineering. We try to give our students flexibility: flexibility in problem solving, managing rapidly changing technology, and choice of future career paths. Their education will equip them to practice in their chosen discipline in a world of rapidly changing technology. In addition to imparting knowledge, the program will develop a professional attitude and prepare students for life-long learning.

What Communication Engineers Will Do: Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities for graduates in Communications Engineering are excellent. They will be the architects and implementers of the communications facilities that will meet the information needs of all manner of commercial, institutional and industrial users. These graduates will be active in the development of new generations of integrated voice, data and image telecommunication systems and ubiquitous personal communications. They will work in research and development. Communication Engineers will consult, plan and design. They will work in manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance, marketing, sales and management.

Graduates will work in the telecommunications industry. They will be employed by the common carriers and providers of private communication networks to create and maintain domestic and international telecommunication networks and facilities.

Graduates will be employed by the computer industry to engineer communications products, distributed computer networks, and multi-media systems, and to interface them with telecommunication facilities.

Communications are a vital part of the financial, transportation, hospitality, and defence industries. Communications Engineers will work for these communication users, and others, to plan and operate their communication facilities.

Communications are at the heart of the construction of ‘smart’ buildings, automated highways, and rapid transit systems. They are essential in air traffic control, in distributed banking and retail sales. In the aerospace industry every modern airplane relies on an internal communications network. Satellite systems are dependent on communications. In the broadcasting industry the distribution of high definition television and the introduction of multi-media systems will require new and better communications. Communications Engineers will be in demand in all areas where remote sensing and remote control occur.

Communications engineers will work for governments in research and development laboratories, in regulatory and licensing agencies, in standards organizations, and in operational departments.

Graduates of the new program will be knowledgeable concerning common carrier practices, network and switching theory, and standards. They will have had the opportunity to study wire, radio and optical transmission systems, as well as the design and synthesis of voice, data and image networks. They will study data network protocols, traffic analysis and transmission line theory in a single program along with broadcasting and television and advanced applications of integrated electronics and digital signal processing.

The Academic Program

The first year of the curriculum is the standard core program of the Carleton University engineering program. The rest of the program is a blend of Electrical Engineering and Computer Systems Engineering, with a number of new courses.

In Second Year students take the foundation courses in Computer Systems Engineering and Electrical Engineering, as well as an introductory course in Communication Theory. In Third Year, students take existing courses in Electronics, Discrete Signals, Linear Systems Theory, Electromagnetic Theory, Probability, Object-Oriented Programming, and Computer Communications. They also have new courses in Communications Theory and an introduction to Communications Software. In Fourth Year, students enhance their coverage of communications with courses in Digital Communications, Distributed network processing, Telecommunications Engineering, and Communication Systems Analysis and Design. As well, every student must complete the full course Engineering Project to gain practical engineering design experience. A set of Engineering Elective courses will be available to provide students with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge in related areas of engineering, or to concentrate on a deeper understanding in an area of interest.

Students interested in Smart Phones, Wireless and Mobile Applications should take a selection of the following courses: