The Department of Computer Engineering (then known as Computer Sciences) was established in the Faculty of Engineering in 1985. Although it is the youngest degree awarding department in the faculty, it is one of the premier Computer Engineering departments in the country’s University system. Initially, the primary function of the department was to conduct computing-related courses to the students in all disciplines of the Faculty. Later, in the year 2000, the department started offering the Computer Engineering degree as a specialisation in engineering. Today it is a fully-fledged department, robust with a capable and energetic staff, rich in its resources and course content and showing maturity which belies its age.
Computer Engineering degree is a unique combination of computer science and electrical engineering. It includes the science and technology of design, construction, implementation and maintenance of software and hardware components of modern computer-controlled systems. Computer engineers have in-depth knowledge of hardware, software design as well as hardware-software integration. They are involved in all aspects of computing, from the design and use of individual microprocessors, circuit design and large-scale system integration, to kernel hacking, databases, networking, security and telecommunications.
Entrance to the Computer Engineering stream of study is highly competitive and its content, though challenging and demanding, is ultimately exceedingly rewarding. The courses offered to provide comprehensive coverage in Computer Engineering. Unlike many Computer Science/Engineering schools that tend to teach the details of the latest in-demand skills, skills that will soon be out-dated, we believe in providing a solid understanding of the foundations of Computer Engineering. These principles allow students to adapt to the inevitable changes in technology by developing practical skills on top of the foundations using leading-edge technologies. Such an approach inevitably makes the degree challenging and highly rewarding.
The curriculum of Computer Engineering degree is a four-year program with 150 credit hours including the General Programme and the Industrial Training. It provides the necessary theoretical background combined with hands-on practical experience in order to prepare graduates for their future careers. The program focuses on computer architecture and design, computer networks, databases, software engineering and computer applications in industry. It is geared towards the needs of not only industries but also higher education sectors to ensure a smooth transition after a student’s graduation.
The department continuously creates and strengthens its ties with other universities and industries. All its examination papers are currently moderated by faculty members from prestigious foreign universities and some of our ongoing research are conducted in collaboration with researchers from leading foreign universities. Already, some of the courses are offered with industrial collaboration. Industrial ties have further been strengthened by the IFS and hSenid Research and Development (R&D) laboratories housed within the Department. The Department also houses the one and only NVIDIA GPU Research Center in the country.
Research conducted by the department has greatly expanded over the years. The Embedded Systems and Computer Architecture Laboratory (ESCAL) is a research group whose interests concern on the architectural aspects of embedded systems and associated problems with a particular focus on the combination of the theory and practice. The Systems Engineering Group at Peradeniya (SEGPe) is a research group mainly focusing on the use of small kernel technology for secure and reliable systems construction and the application of formal methods to system design and implementation. The Complex Reactive & Intelligent Systems (CRISL) group concentrates on model-based design and formal verification of complex reactive systems, Logic/Supervisory Control and fault diagnosis of Discrete Event Dynamic Systems, and issues related to reconfigurable control of these systems. The department also conducts active research on Cryptography and Network Security. The Cryptography Research Laboratory (CRL) primarily focuses on the research on cryptographic fundamentals that enable secure communications. CRL develops new cryptographic schemes and formally analyse their security, implement cryptographic schemes for secure communications and work on cryptanalysis. The department has a focused group in the area of data analytics. Machine learning based methods for inferring from various data such as computer games, social media, news articles and DNA sequencing data are been designed and are being applied in multiple contexts. There are number of Masters and Doctoral students following postgraduate study programs of the Department. The research carried out by these research groups are being published in internationally recognized journals and conferences.
Laboratory facilities in the department provide the means to experience and practice the Engineering skills acquired during the learning process. The department provides a general laboratory with sixty high-performance computers with fast Internet connectivity and this facility is open even after hours to aid self-learning. Special laboratories are equipped with proper equipment to get hands-on experience on networking, interfacing, digital design and embedded systems. A special laboratory environment is provided for students who participate in projects. They have the freedom to use these resources as required.
The department library is well stocked with textbooks, CDs, DVDs, etc. which the students can borrow for a specified period (usually for a semester). Advanced teaching aids such as multimedia-based teaching and web-based learning resources are used by staff members to enhance the learning experience.
Independent student activities are encouraged via a student body, the Association of Computer Engineering Students (ACES), which aims to further the potential of students by catering to their professional and societal development needs and enhancing their competencies such as leadership skills. ACES together with Hackers Club annually organize various events thus providing opportunities to improve the students’ skills. ACES Hackathon and ACES Coders are national level product development and coding competitions in which undergraduates of national and private universities participate. The Career Fair provides opportunities to the students to find training and employment opportunities. The Symposium provides a platform to present the undergraduate research to researchers and to the industry.
The department’s greatest strength is perhaps in its energetic and passionate staff constantly driving undergraduates to excel in their studies. Academic staff of the Department of Computer Engineering has been and continues to be trained from higher education institutions all around the globe from the Silicon Valley in the US to the premier universities in the UK, Europe and the Asia Pacific. The warm and welcoming atmosphere created by the exuberant staff has formed family-like bondage that creates a strong cohesive unit and thus the Department of Computer Engineering has become a home for elites in engineering.
Our graduates are highly sought after by local as well as international employers. More than 70% of students of a graduating batch get offers for employment before graduation and 100% of employment after graduation.