School of Electrical and Computer Engineering


The former Electrical Engineering (EE) program, now known as Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), was launched 46 years ago. Since then it has grown and expanded from basic power and electronics engineering to five streams:

  • Electronic Communication Engineering;
  • Power Engineering;
  • Industrial Control Engineering;
  • Computer Engineering; and
  • Microelectronics Engineering.

The trends and pace of growth in introducing streams of study (or focus areas) have been moving steadily but rather gradually in line with progresses in staffdevelopment at senior and junior levels, as well as with the acquisition oflaboratory facilities in the AAiT, built almost with the generous contributions ofdonor countries like Israel (Faculty leadership from the Technion in the 1960s)and Germany (new Faculty Building with laboratory facilities since 1969).

Particular mention should be made of the dedicated leadership provided byProfessors Spira and Yehuda Peter from the Technion (i.e. from Tel-Aviv, Israel)in developing the core engineering programs of study. In the early 1960s,Professor Spira and his team of engineering instructors boldly transformed anolder two-year common program of study in pre- engineering inherited from the1950s into two viable degree-offering programs of study in Civil and IndustrialEngineering. The latter program of study was meant to combine key courses ofstudy from Mechanical and Electrical engineering. Professor Spira was then followedin the 1962-63 academic year by Professor Peter who first launched theMechanical and Electrical Engineering (EE) programs of Study in the then Haileselassie I University.

First Power and Electronics Options

In response to demands for specialized engineers in the 1960s, the original EEprograms were mainly designed to offer options in Power and ElectronicsEngineering. It was then strongly felt that graduates had to be prepared forimmediate employments by the growing Ethiopian Electric Power and LightAuthority (EELPA) and the Ethiopian Telecommunications Authority (ETA). Graduates from either option were also needed by theEthiopian Airlines and new industrial enterprises like the Cement Factory.

Beginning of the Unified EE Program

During the 1963-1964 academic year, the Israeli team of instructors, joined by theyoung Ethiopian graduates of those days, made attempts to concentrate on core EEcourses common to both the power and electronics streams. The EE programs ofstudy were however heavily loaded with non-EE courses from Civil and Mechanical Engineering. While inclusions of such courses were recommended forproducing fully proficient and all-round electrical/electronic engineers, it wasrightly noted that little room was being left for advanced and neededelectrical/electronic engineering courses. Above all, it was argued that modernEE courses supported by relevant laboratory exercises were needed for meeting theminimum international standards. However, introducing significant changes incurriculum structure and contents was not that easy as the opposing argumentwas also equally strong. It was strongly maintained that the material andtechnical backgrounds of freshman students with rural backgrounds werelacking. This therefore required extended exposures to key and fundamentalengineering concepts. Nonetheless, the trend towards introducing standard EEcourse descriptions and materials was steadily advanced through the use of newlypublished books and laboratory equipment.

The First Consolidation of University Programs

During the 1968-1969 academic year, the Universityundertook a complete overhauling of programs of studies in all of its collegesand faculties to consolidate and streamline programs of study. There wereseparate task forces working on updating and streamlining the arts (includingsocial science) and the natural science courses. The latter were subdivided intolife science courses (i.e., agriculture, medicine, biology and chemistry) andphysical science courses (i.e., physics, mathematics, geology and engineeringdisciplines). As a member of the physical science task force, one remembers howchallenging it was to be involved actively in shaping the essential foundations ofthe engineering programs of the AAiT, including the EE programs of study.

Start of Specialized Courses

Since the early 1970s, a full course on Instrumentation Engineering was included in the final-year course contents of the unified EE program of study.While covering a full range of electrical-electronic measurement techniques with Analog-digital instruments, the course is mainly aimed at providing a solidbackground in principles and generalized methods of transducerinstrumentation systems. Part of the course also provides a systematicintroduction to quality standardization methods and grades.

In replacing non-EE courses by specialized EE-courses, the program of study was further strengthened by inclusions of key additional courses that would equip the graduating electrical/electronic engineer to step into the practical world of engineering practice. Courses like electrical installations, energy conversion, control and computer engineering courses were gradually added. There have been one instrumentation engineering and two control courses being offered sequentially, the first one introducing and focusing on analog control systems, and the second one providing an introductory coverage of digital control systems. The instrumentation course wassupplemented also by laboratory classes in the overall ECE program. With the additions of sufficient digital courses in the regular EE program, it is now actually easy to extend the second portion to a full treatment of digital as well as non-linear control systems.

Academic Background of Students

Students who pass the national exam given at the end of their preparatory program and join the Institute of Technology, Addis Ababa University further study for one semester as pre-engineering students. In this assessment semester they are more prepared academically as well as psychologically for University education and life. They take basic science, mathematics, and fundamental engineering courses with some humanity and social science courses. At the end of the semester, these students take examinations in all subjects and those who successfully pass the exam have the possibility to join the school. The interest to join the School is so high that theSchool has the advantage of getting the best students.In general, any student who has successfully completed a one semester pre-engineering program can join the UG programs.

Moreover, any student who has successfully graduated in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Computer Engineering, Microelectronics Engineering, Industrial Control Engineering, Communication Engineering and Power Engineering) can join the Post-Graduate programs.

Vision Statement

The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering aspires to excel in teaching, research, and industry Linkage / consultancy at a national level as well as regionally and also in producing competent engineers within the field of electrical, electronic, and computer engineering to solve the problem of our country and bring about growth.

The realization of this vision requires focusing on specializations relevant to the needs of the country; namely, communication, electrical power, computer, control, and microelectronics engineering. This in turn requires institutional reorganization such as upgrading to institute level where each discipline may have its own school.

Mission Statement

The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering prepares young men and women to lead productive and rewarding professional lives at the forefront of engineering in the 21st century and pursue research and linkage with the industry to advance the state‐of‐the‐art in electrical and computer engineering education.


 General Objectives

  • To train high level technical manpower which can participate in the national development activities;
  • To carry out research in the areas of electrical and computer engineering relevant to the needs of the Country; and
  • To render consultancy services to the community.

Specific Objectives

  • To train electrical and computer engineers;
  • To prepare graduates with the capability of following the current and future developments in the field and related applications;
  • To help graduatesdevelop the spirit of teamwork in addressing technical problems which may be encountered in industry in real life situations;
  • To provide an opportunity for workers in the field of electrical technology to upgrade their knowledge through a continuing education program.
  • To provide graduates with sufficient background to undertake postgraduate training in any one of the various specialized areas of Electrical and Computer Engineering;
  • To engage students in research that offers optimal solutions to technical problems in the industry, energy sector, telecommunications, computer applications and other industrial sectors; and
  • To offer consultancy service to government, industry and society.