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< Contents ERCIM News No. 52, January 2003
Special Theme: Embedded Systems

Master Course Embedded Systems at Eindhoven University of Technology

by Jan Friso Groote

The area around Eindhoven in the Netherlands houses one of the largest concentrations of embedded systems industry in Europe. Therefore, Eindhoven University of Technology decided to offer an international master programme especially focused on the design and construction of embedded systems. The master course will start in September 2003.

Higher education in the Netherlands is quickly transformed according to the guidelines of the Bologna convention. All studies used to take five years. Now these are split into a bachelor phase of three years and a master phase of two years. Especially with the master phase this allows for more focused education. Therefore, instead of having a general master in computer science, the division of computer science offers four master programmes: Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Embedded Systems (ES), Business Information Systems (BIS), and Information Security Technology (IST).

Embedded Systems will be offered by the division of Computer Science and the faculty of Electrical Engineering. Computer Science in Eindhoven is strong in program design and system architecting, semantics and analysis. Electronics has its strengths in system theory, optotronics, and IC-design. These are rather disjoint fields. And it was observed that students from one of the faculties had difficulties communicating to students in electrical engineering.

Clearly, as was also clearly indicated by several industries in and around Eindhoven, this was not a desirable situation. The embedded systems industry is in need of integrators. Engineers that can translate high level requirements into a high-level architectural system design such that it can be realised with appropriate electronic technology. This is exactly the purpose of the master programme Embedded Systems.

The study takes two years and has three major parts of equal size, each consisting of 60 ects-credits. One part consists of mandatory courses. These comprise courses on software architecting, requirement analysis, software testing, performance modelling, multiprocessor systems, platforms, IC-design and the societal consequence of embedded system technology. The second part of the master programme consists of elective courses. These include an internship and if needed, elementary courses in case a student did enrol with almost sufficient basic knowledge. The third part of the master programme consists of a master thesis that can be performed at an embedded industry or internally at the university.

The whole idea of the Bologna convention is that students throughout Europe can select those places where they will receive the most appropriate education. It is explicitly intended that people with appropriate bachelor degrees will be able to attend our master programme. Therefore, the courses are offered in English. Admission to this master programme requires a bachelor degree in Electronics, Computer Science and Engineering, or a comparable degree.

Please contact:
Desiree Meijers
Tel: +31 40 247 3902

Jan Friso Groote, Eindhoven University of Technology,
Director of education in Embedded Systems
Tel: +31 40 247 5010