SFU Calendar 2001-2002

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School of Engineering Science

9851 Applied Sciences Building, (604) 2914371, (604) 2914951 Fax, http://fas.sfu.ca/ensc


J.D. Jones BSc (Sus), PhD (Reading), PEng

Graduate Program Chair

M. Saif BSc, MSc, PhD (Cleveland), PEng

Faculty and Areas of Research

For a complete list of faculty, see "School of Engineering Science"..

J.S. Bird - statistical signal processing, system performance analysis, underwater acoustics and optics, radar, sonar and communications applications

C.R. Bolognesi - fabrication and characterization of advanced compound semiconductor devices such as high electron mobility and heterojunction bipolar transistors, development of new materials and processes for high speed devices, optoelectronics, heterostructure fabrication and characterization; solid state phenomena

J.K. Cavers - mobile communications, signal processing, network protocols

G.H. Chapman - microelectronics (fabrication, defect avoidance techniques, device physics), laser processing of materials, VLSI/wafer scale integration, computer aided engineering

V. Cuperman* - signal processing, speech coding and recognition, multimedia information compression, digital communications, digital signal processing structures and hardware

M.J. Deen - microelectronics, high frequency electronics, semiconductor devices and circuits, device physics, device modelling

J.C. Dill - computer graphics, computer aided design, user interfaces, intelligent design

D.A. George* - adaptive signal processing for communications and remote sensing systems

W.A. Gruver - intelligent robotics, machine sensing and sensor-based control with applications to service robots, rehabilitation engineering, and manufacturing automation

K.K. Gupta - computer vision, robotics, interpretation of three dimensional scenes, motion planning, spatial reasoning

R.H.S. Hardy - computer networks, interaction between network and device technologies and network performance, wireless networks

P.K.M. Ho - mobile communications, modulation and detection techniques, joint source and channel coding techniques, integration of stream and packet mode CDMA traffic

R.F. Hobson - very large scale integrated design, computer design, interpreter design

J.D. Jones - applications of artificial intelligence to engineering design, design for manufacturing, finite element analysis, heat transfer and thermodynamics

A.M. Leung - microelectronics, integrated circuit technology, integrated sensors, optical lithography

M. Parameswaran - silicon micromachining, integrated microelectronics and micromechanical sensors and actuators, commercial integrated circuit process compatible sensors and actuators design, integrated circuit design, (application of micromachining for biomedicine and biotechnology) microelectronic processing, process and device simulation

S. Payandeh - robot mechanics and control, modelling and control of grasping and manipulation, interpretation of contact forces and tactile images, kinematic geometry of mechanisms

A.H. Rawicz - reliability physics and engineering, very large scale integrated reliability, physical transducers, integrated sensors, film, technology, nonlinear optics, materials processing in microelectronics

M. Saif - estimation and control theory, model based fault diagnosis, large scale systems, optimization, and application of the above to engineering systems

S.P. Stapleton - passive radio frequency/microwave circuits, GaAs monolithic microwave integrated circuits, nonlinear radio frequency microwave devices, active radio frequency microwave circuits

M. Syrzycki - microelectronics, semiconductor devices, digital and analog VLSI design, integrated circuit technology, integrated sensors, integrated circuit fabrication defects, yield and reliability of VLSI integrated circuits

L. Trajkovic - data communications (collection, characterization and modelling of traffic in high speed networks), computer aided design tools (novel algorithms for simulation of transistor circuits); theory of nonlinear circuits and systems

J. Vaisey - image compression and processing, signal processing, digital communications

Associate Members

P.N.S. Bawa, Kinesiology

R.F. Frindt, Physics

J.A. Hoffer, Kinesiology


Degrees Offered

The School of Engineering Science offers two distinct master's degrees, master of engineering (MEng), or master of applied science (MASc) and a doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree.

Master's Program

The MEng program, for part time study by practising engineers, is based on a set of courses, normally offered in the evenings, plus a project performed in industry. The principal areas of study for the MEng program are electronics; communications and signal processing; intelligent systems; and control theory. The MASc is a full time program with primary emphasis on the thesis, rather than course work, is more exploratory than the MEng, and covers a greater range of study.


The normal admission requirement to the MEng and MASc programs is a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, engineering science or a related area, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (B grade) from a recognized university, or equivalent. The quantity of faculty members limits the number of MASc students accepted into the programs.

Transfer from MEng Program to MASc Program

Normally transfer from MEng program to MASc program will be considered under the following conditions.

Degree Requirements - MEng Program
Course Work

MEng candidates are required to complete a minimum of 21 credit hours of course work at the graduate level. All students must take ENSC 820. Students must also specialize in an area of study and take the required course or courses(s) as follows. Students specializing in communications must take ENSC 805 and 810. Those specializing in electronics must take one of ENSC 851, 852 or 853. Those specializing in intelligent systems or control theory must take ENSc 801. Elective courses from the list below normally make up the remainder of the 21 required credit hours. Additional courses may be required to correct deficiencies in the student's background.

In addition to course work, a student must complete a project, expected to take a minimum of two person months. In the event that the project is performed in the student's work place, the student will receive academic supervision from the senior supervisor, and daytoday supervision from the student's manager, or designated associate. Industrial supervisors, who are on the supervisory committee, will be appointed by the graduate chair in consultation with the senior supervisor. In very small companies, alternate arrangements will be made for industrial supervision.

In addition to submission of a technical report at the completing the project, the student will make an oral presentation to the supervisory committee and the graduate chair. A grade will be assigned based on the quality of the submitted report, the presentation, and the student's understanding of the subject. A grade of `complete' or `in progress' will reflect the majority decision. In the case of an `in progress' grade, the student is required to re-submit the project report and present it again.

MEng Fees

Students registered in the MEng program may complete their program before paying the minimum total fee for a master's degree. In such cases, an additional payment is required prior to graduation to satisfy the minimum fee requirement of six fulltime fee units. see "Graduate Fees"..

Degree Requirements - MASc Program

MASc candidates complete 30 credit hours consisting of a minimum of 12 credit hours of course work, plus a thesis equal to 18 credit hours. In consultation with the senior supervisor, the courses will normally be selected from the list below, except that ENSC 820 may not be used towards the course requirement of the MASc degree. Additional courses may be required to correct deficiencies in the student's background. The thesis is based on an independent project with a significant research component. The student defends the thesis at an examination, in accordance with regulations.

Research Seminar

All MASc students are required to register for ENSC 800 in the fall and spring semesters. In addition to attending the course, students are encouraged to give one or two talks during the course of their MASc program.

Graduate Research Internship

With the approval of the supervisory committee, students accepted in the MASc or PhD programs have the option of doing research internship in industry. The responsibility for finding a suitable internship rests with the student, though the senior supervisor will provide guidance.

In addition to satisfying the program's degree requirements, students who choose this option must satisfy the following conditions.


The proposal must be approved by the supervisory committee and by the graduate committee. The proposal must include the following.

During the internship, the student must spend at least one day per week (or equivalent as approved by the graduate committee) on campus to meet with his/her supervisor and attend regular seminars. This is in addition to time spent on campus for course work.

Oral Presentations

A minimum of two oral presentations for the supervisory committee (not including the thesis defence) on the progress of the student's work will be given during the internship.


The duration of the internship will not exceed two semesters, in the case of a MASc student, or four semesters, in the case of a PhD student.

Failure to Comply

see "1.8 Progress, Withdrawal and Leave"..

PhD Program


To qualify for admission, a student must have a master's degree in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, computer science or a related field, have submitted evidence that he or she is capable of undertaking substantial original research in engineering science, and have identified a faculty member willing to act as senior supervisor.

see "Graduate General Regulations". for other PhD program admission requirements.

Residence Requirement

Students will conform to the residence requirement as outlined in General Regulations 1.7.3 (page 300).

Transfer from the Master's Program to the PhD Program

Proceeding to a PhD program without first completing a master's degree is discouraged. However, a student may be admitted after at least 12 months in the MASc program if all the requirements have been completed with a 3.67 or better CGPA, outstanding potential for research has been shown, and approval of the student's supervisory committee, graduate program committee and senate graduate studies committee been given.

Degree Requirements
Course Work

The minimum requirement is 18 credit hours beyond that of the of the MASc degree. Six of these hours will be for prescribed courses in the option in which the student is enrolled; alternatives can be substituted with the approval of the student's supervisory committee. At most, six hours may be senior level undergraduate courses. At most, six credit hours may be directed studies. At least, six credit hours must be within engineering science, except that ENSC 820-3 may not be used towards the course requirement of the PhD degree. Additional courses may be required to correct deficiencies in the student's background.

Research Seminar

All PhD students are required to register for ENSC 800 in the fall and spring semester. In addition, PhD students are required to present at least one research seminar per year in ENSC 800.

Qualifying Examination

To qualify the student will submit a brief written research proposal and defend it orally to his/her supervisory committee within the first 14 months of admission. The proposal defence will be judged according to the feasibility and scientific merits of the proposed research, and demonstration of a sophisticated understanding of general material in the student's major area of research. This level of understanding is associated with senior undergraduate and first year graduate course material. The possible outcomes of the qualifying examination are `pass,' `marginal' and `fail' (a student with `marginal' will be required to re-submit the research proposal and defend it for the second and final time within six months and/or to take more courses, a `failing' grade requires withdrawal).


Students define and undertake original research, the results of which are reported in a thesis. An examining committee is formed as defined in 1.9.3 of the Graduate General Regulations. Students conform to residence requirements (1.7.3 of the Graduate General Regulations). The senior supervisor will be an engineering science faculty member approved by the department's graduate program committee.

The student's progress will be reviewed every 12 months by a supervisory committee of three or more faculty members. At each annual review, the student presents a summary of his/her work to date, with the first review being the research proposal defence described in the section for Qualifying Examination. Students not making satisfactory progress in their research topics, or failing to demonstrate satisfactory knowledge and understanding of recent publications in their general area of research, or failing to have their revised research proposal approved by the supervisory committee within 20 months of admission may be required to withdraw as per section 1.8.2 of the Graduate General Regulations.

Research Seminar

PhD students present at least one research seminar per year as a part of regularly organized departmental seminars, including some based on completed or nearly completed thesis work. Students are expected to attend all the research seminars of the school.

Directed Studies and Special Topics Courses

Directed studies (ENSC 891, 892) and special topics (ENSC 894, 895) courses may be offered by the following research groups, subject to student interest and demand.

Communications Group

estimation theory

ATM network performance evaluation

optical telecommunications networks

advanced modulation techniques

spread spectrum communications

information flow and decision theory

adaptive arrays

active and passive sonar systems

synthetic aperture radar

Microelectronic group

analog VLSI signal and information processing

applied solid state electronics

CMOS compatible micromachining

embedded VLSI systems

low power, low noise, high frequency circuits

optoelectronic devices

photonics and laser applications in engineering

reliability engineering

sensor - principles and applications

VLSI circuits for telecommunications

Intelligent Systems and Control Group

design optimization

algorithms for robotics

intelligent design

intelligent control of robotic systems

intelligent manufacturing systems

model-based fault diagnostics in control systems

multivariable control systems

nonlinear control systems

numerical modelling of heat transfer

robotic synthesis

Graduate Courses

ENSC 800-0 Graduate Seminar in Engineering

A seminar series presented by graduate students, university researchers, government or industrial labs on recent developments in engineering science. All full time graduate students are required to register for this course in fall and spring semesters. Grading will be restricted to satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U), and to attain a satisfactory grade, students need to attend at least two thirds of the seminars. (0-0-0)

ENSC 801-3 Linear Systems Theory

State-space analysis of finite dimensional continuous and discrete time linear systems. Linear vector spaces, linear operators, normed linear spaces, and inner product spaces. Fundamentals of matrix algebra; generalized inverses, solution of Ax=y and AXB=Y, least square and recursive least square estimation, induced norm and matrix measures, functions of a square matrix, Cayley-Hamilton and Sylvester's theorems, Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) with applications. Analytical representation of linear systems, state-space formulation, solution of the state equation and determination of the system's response. Controllability, observability, duality, canonical forms, and minimal realization concepts. Stability analysis and the Lyapunov's method. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

ENSC 802-3 Stochastic Systems

The application of theories in probability, random variables and stochastic processes in the analysis and modelling of engineering systems. topics include: a review of probability and random variables; random deviate generation; convergence of random sequences; random processes; autocorrelation and power spectral-density; linear systems with stochastic inputs; mean-square calculus; AR and ARMA models; Markov chains; elementary queuing theory; an introduction to estimation theory. Areas of application include digital communications, speech and image processing, control, radar and Monte Carlo simulations. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

ENSC 805-3 Techniques of Digital Communications

This course discusses the fundamental techniques used in the physical layer of a digital communication system. The main topics are as follows: digital modulation, including complex baseband representations, the concept of the signal space, optimal demodulation, bit error probability analysis, as well as timing and carrier recovery; error control techniques, including soft decision decoding and the Viterbi algorithms; and various kinds of equalization (linear, decision feedback, and maximum likelihood sequences estimation). Sub topics of the equalization section include pulse shaping and eye diagrams. The emphasis may vary slightly in different offerings. Prerequisite: ENSC 802 or permission of instructor.

ENSC 810-3 Statistical Signal Processing

Processing techniques for continuous and discrete signals with initially unknown or time-varying characteristics. Parameter estimation; Bayes, MAP, maximum likelihood, least squares the Cramer-Rao bound. Linear estmation, prediction, pwer spectrum estmation, lattice filters. Adaptive filtering by LMS and recursive least squares. Kalman filtering. Eigenmethods for spectral estimation. Implementation issues and numerical methods of computation are considered throughout. Prerequisite: ENSC 802 and 429 or their equivalents.

ENSC 815-3 Multirate Signal Processing

An advanced digital signal processing course. Topics include: sampling rate conversion; multirate and polyphase representations and implementations; multirate filter banks and the discrete wavelet transform; modulated filter banks. Applications are drawn from areas such as transmultiplexing, echo suppression, signal compression and modulation. Prerequisite: ENSC 429 or equivalent.

ENSC 820-3 Engineering Management for Development Projects

This course focuses on the management and reporting activities of typical engineering development projects. Through seminars and workshops it builds the student's skills at estimating project cost and schedule, keeping a project on track, and handing over the completed project to a customer or another team. A writing workshop emphasizes techniques for writing proposals, and writing and controlling documentation. Note that ENSC 820 will not count towards the course work requirement of students enrolled in the MASc and PhD programs. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

ENSC 832-3 Mobile and Personal Communications

Propagation phenomena, modulation techniques and system design considerations for mobile and personal networks. Topics include: fading and shadowing, noise and interference effects, analog and digital transmission, cellular designs, multiple access techniques. Prerequisite: ENSC 802 or permission of instructor.

ENSC 833-3 Network Protocols and Performance

This course covers the techniques needed to understand and analyse modern communications networks. The main topics are as follows: practical techniques for the design and performance analysis of data communication networks; performance analysis of error control, flow and congestion control, and routing; networks of queues using stochastic and mean value analysis; polling and random access LANs and MANs; wireless networks; broadband integrated services digital networks and asynchronous transfer mode; optical networks. Prerequisite: ENSC 802 or permission of instructor.

ENSC 834-3 Fundamentals of Optical Communication

This course discusses modern fibre optics communication systems. The major topics to be covered are as follows: the analysis of optical transmission media, including multimode and single mode technology; bandwidth limitations imposed by dispersive behaviour of fibre; modified fibre profiles for third generation fibre communication systems; solitons; semiconductor laser diodes; external modulation; PIN photo diodes and avalanche photo detectors; bandwidth and noise limitations; optical amplifiers' semiconductor laser amplifiers; doped fibre amplifiers; optical receiver and transmitter circuits; quantum limited receiver performance; BER performance; optical communication networks.

ENSC 835-3 High-Speed Networks

(3-0-0) Prerequisite: ENSC 427 or permission of the instructor.

ENSC 850-3 Semiconductor Device Theory

Detailed treatment at the graduate level of semiconductor fundamentals and theory. Electronic properties and characteristics of selected semiconductor devices: pn junctions, schottky barrier junctions, silicon-based heterojunctions and ohmic contacts; bipolar junction transistors; field effect transistors; heterostructures; charge coupled devices and microwave devices. (3-0-0) Prerequisite: PHYS 365 or permission of instructor.

ENSC 851-3 Integrated Circuit Technology

Review of semiconductor physics. Technology of semiconductor devices and integrated circuits: material evaluation, crystal growth, doping, epitaxy, thermal diffusion, ion implantation, lithography and device patterning, and thin film formation. Design and fabrication of active and passive semiconductor devices, packaging techniques and reliability of integrated circuits.

ENSC 852-3 Analog Integrated Circuits

Models for integrated circuit activity and passive devices and their implementation; computer aided design tools and their use in designing analog integrated circuits; analysis of single transistor amplifiers; current sources, current mirrors, and voltage references; op-amps characteristics, analyses and circuit design examples; frequency response of integrated circuits; noise in integrated circuits; low power integrated circuits; non-linear analog integrated circuits. The students will be required to either design, fabricate and test simple analog ICs in the microelectronics lab, or do a project which involves the design, analysis, modeling and simulation of an analog integrated circuit. Prerequisite: ENSC 850 or permission of instructor.

ENSC 853-3 Digital Semiconductor Circuits and Devices

MOS device electronics. Second Order Effects in MOS transistors. BJT device electronics. Static and transient analysis of inverters. Digital gates, circuits and circuit techniques. Speed and power dissipation. Memory systems. Gate arrays, semicustom and customized integrated circuits. CAD tools. Students are required to complete a project.

ENSC 854-3 Integrated Microsensors and Actuators

Microelectronic transducer principles, classification, fabrication and application areas. Silicon micromachining and its application to integrated microelectronic sensors and actuators. CMOS compatible micromachining, Static, dynamic and kinematic microactuator fabrication. Integrated transducer system design and applications. Students will be required to complete a micromachining project in the microfabrication lab at ENSC. Prerequisite: ENSC 370, 453, 495 or permission of instructor.

ENSC 855-3 Modern Semiconductor Devices

The course will present the physical concepts required to participate in (or gain appreciation for) the field of high performance, high speed semiconductor devices used in telecommunication systems. Topics include: basic semiconductor energy band structure, low and high field transport in semiconductors, ballistic transport, the depletion approximation and beyond, heterostructures, band line-ups, lattice mismatched heterostructures - strain as design parameter, charge recombination, operating principles of modern semiconductor devices such as SiGe or III-V HBTs, MESFETs/HEMTs, photodetectors, quantum well lasers.

ENSC 856-3 Compound Semiconductor Devic Technology

The course will present the necessary tools and techniques required in the fabrication of compound semiconductor devices. Because of the wide disparity between III-V and silicon semiconductor devices, the course is orthogonal to the silicon device fabrication course ENSC 851. Topics to be cover include: basics of HBTs and HEMTs, elements of III-V compound semiconductor materials science, III-V substrate preparation and properties, doping of III-V compounds and amphoteric behavior, epitaxial growth by MBE, MOCVD, characterization of epitaxial layers, lithography: optical and electron beam, Schottky and Ohmic contact formation, plasma processing techniques such as RIE and PECVD.

ENSC 858-3 VLSI Systems Design

Topics of relevance to the design of very large scale integrated (VLSI) circuits in CMOS technologies are covered. Key design techniques and fundamental limitations for high-speed computer and communication circuits are discussed. Most of the material will be presented through a series of case studies. The main topics are: CMOS technology, cell library design, memory design (SRAM, DRAM, ROM, PLA), arithmetic unit design, and embedded processor design. Parallelism, pipelining, and clocking are also discussed. (3-0-0) Prerequisite: ENSC 450 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

ENSC 861-3 Source Coding in Digital Communications

This course presents basics of information theory and source coding with applications to speech/audio, images/video and multimedia. The course first covers the topics of entropy, information, channel capacity and rate-distortion functions. Various techniques used in source coding, such as entropy coding, scalar and vector quantization, prediction, transforms, analysis by synthesis, and model based coding are then discussed. Prerequisite: ENSC 802 or equivalent.

ENSC 883-3 Optimal Control Theory

Review of finite dimensional linear systems represented in state space formulation. Bellman's principle of optimality and dynamic programming with applications to control of discrete and continuous time systems. Introduction to variational calculus, Pontryagin's maximum principle, Hamilton-Jacoby-Bellman Equation, and variational treatment of control problems. Several optimal control problems such as optimal linear quadratic regulator (LQR), optimal tracking and suboptimal output controllers will be discussed. Prerequisite: ENSC 483 or 801.

ENSC 887-3 Computational Robotics

A main goal of computational robotics is to automatically synthesize robot motions to achieve a given task. This course discusses geometric and algorithmic issues that arise in such an endeavour. For examples: how can a robot plan its own collission-free motions? How does it grasp a given object? How do we account for uncertainty? The course employs a broad range ot tools from computational geometry, mechanics, algoithms and control. The material covered also finds applications in designing devices for automation and in computer animation. The course involves a substantial project which exposes students to practical and implementational issues involved in building automatic motion planning capabilities for robotic systems. Prerequisite: ENSC 438 and a basic course in data structures and algorithms, or permission of the instructor.

ENSC 888-3 Finite-Element Methods in Engineering

Overview of FEM and its use in industry mathematical foundations of FEM; Galerkin method; finite element interpretation of physical problems in one, two and three dimensions; numerical techniques for storing and solving sparse matrices; checking for convergence, error estimation; pre- and post-processing; automatic mesh generation.

ENSC 889-3 3D Object Representation and Solid Modelling

Introduction to concepts of 3D geometric modelling. Curve and surface descriptions including Bezier, B-Spline and NURBS. Polygonal representations. Regularized boolean set operations, primitive instances, sweep representations boundary representations, spatial partitioning and constructive solid geometry. Discussion of geometric coverage versus modeller complexity. User interface issues for solid modelers. Description of existing solid modelers and discussion of applications and limitations of solid modelling. Prerequisite: ENSC 439 and CMPT 351.

ENSC 890-3 Advanced Robotics: Mechanics and Control

Robotic applications are extensively involved in various fields such as manufacturing and health care with new, efficient tools and methods having been developed for modelling and co-ordinating such devices. The main focus of this course is to introduce these tools and methods for kinematic and dynamic modelling approaches. These new approaches allow more intuitive and geometrical representation of motion and interaction in any articulated multi-body system such as robotics devices. The course offers valuable background for students involved in computer graphics (e.g. animation), human/machine interface (eg. haptic interface), control engineers (e.g. trajectory planning, master/slave system) and robotic designers. The course involves individual projects in modelling and co-ordination of a robotic device. Prerequisite: introductory course in robotics (ENSC 488) or permission of the instructor.

ENSC 891-3 Directed Studies I*
ENSC 892-3 Directed Studies II*
ENSC 894-3 Special Topics I*
ENSC 895-3 Special Topics II*
ENSC 897-0 MEng Project
ENSC 898-0 MASc Thesis
ENSC 899-0 PhD Thesis
Courses Offered by Other Departments

Of particular interest to engineering science graduate students are these courses. Complete descriptions can be found elsewhere in this Calendar.

BUEC 820-4 Analysis of Dynamic Processes
CMPT 720-3 Artificial Intelligence
CMPT 750-3 Computer Architecture
CMPT 815-3 Algorithms of Optimization
CMPT 821-3 Robot Vision
CMPT 822-3 Computational Vision
CMPT 827-3 Expert Systems
CMPT 851-3 Fault-Tolerant Computing and Testing
CMPT 852-3 VLSI Systems Design
CMPT 853-3 Computer-Aided Design/Design Automation for Digital Systems
KIN 885-3 Seminar on Man-Machine Systems
MATH 851-4 Numerical Solutions of Ordinary Differential Equations
PHYS 425/821-3 Electromagnetic Theory
PHYS 810-3 Fundamental Quantum Mechanics
PHYS 861-3 Introduction to Solid State Physics

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Index : searchable with the Find function in your web browser Calendar.pdfs Office of the Registrar / SFU
Table of Contents : searchable with the Find function in your web browser Course Database or Course Outlines
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Financial Assistance