Education and Student Activities Committee

Annals of human history reveal that civilizations which put education and learning at the highest level of importance in their societies have dominated the world. As the importance of education and learning gets diminished in their civilization, so is their importance and leadership in world affairs. The rise and fall of the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Arab, and several other similar civilizations bear a testimony to this age-old precept. What is true for a nation, or a country, is also true for a group of people or a Society like ours – the EMC Society. If we, as a Society, desire to lead the current technology scene we must promote education and learning in our Society. We as a Society must strive to innovate the art of EMC science through advanced learning and education. In my decade of formal connection with the Society I have never been more excited and confident about our future than now. We have some very talented young men and women in our midst who are on a path to take the EMC science to greater heights and excellence. I am pleased to report that the Education and Student Activities Committee (ESAC) has been instrumental in propelling the interest in EMC engineering and making this field of science a worthwhile endeavor for our young men and women around the world. Our decade old programs such as the Fundamental Tutorials, the Experimental Demonstrations, the NARTE Exam preparation, and the University Grant program have continued to increase in their appeal and participation by the membership. Even the “new kid on the block” type programs such as the Best Student Paper Award, and the Best Student Design Competition have been accepted and have continued to increase in popularity at an exponentially increasing rate. The success due to the amalgamation of all these ESAC programs is palpable in the discussions and the knowledge base of the “customers” who profit by attending the events organized and conducted by the hardworking men and women of the ESAC. Every one of these officers of the ESAC (listed below) deserves recognition for his/her part of the success and for what their synergy brings to the overall success of the ESAC. Next time you meet one of them, show your appreciation for their dedication to promote excellence in EMC education and learning. We at ESAC are not satisfied with the success achieved thus far. We believe that there is always room for improvement. If you have any ideas that you would like to share with us to make ESAC better in accomplishing its charter, then please contact any one of the officers listed below or me. With your help and support we will be on our way to becoming the best committee in our Society and a model for other IEEE entities to follow. The Boston, Massachusetts Symposium was a great success for ESAC. With record attendance in every program and the new threshold of excellence set in both the Best Student Paper Contest, and the Best Student Design Competition, we are poised to launch yet another program called the “Partners in Education.” We need help in this area (more on this later). Let me now provide you with the details of the ESAC activities during the Boston Symposium for your reading pleasure and enjoyment.


ESAC Chair Maqsood Mohd (far left) calls the meeting to order on Tuesday morning in Boston. Discussions included past and future activities of the ESAC.

Our big education events at the symposium included The Experimental Demonstrations and the Fundamental Tutorial Workshop. Eleven years ago, we started the Experimental Demonstration session, and ten years ago we started the Fundamental Tutorial and NARTE Exam Preparation workshops. A decade ago, on Mondays, the first day of the Symposium, there was hardly any other workshop offered. Over the years the choice for the attendees has grown to almost eight workshops on Mondays. Thanks to our excellent speakers and presenters, our Tutorial sessions have never lost their appeal and utility. The real down to earth and fundamentals education is really in demand. One of the reasons for this demand is that the environment in which we live is becoming richer with man-made electromagnetic energy and at the same time the susceptibility threshold of electronic technology is decreasing. So, many are in a desperate need to know how to deal with EMI and EMC today. Increasing participation of novices in this field at seminars and symposia and even the desire of seasoned professionals to brush-up and soak up every tidbit of EMC knowledge is noteworthy. After all, knowledge is power! This makes our Committee’s responsibility very important, and we don’t take that lightly. We of the ESAC, as in the past, will continue to strive to bring our members the best in EMC Education. But, we are always open for new ideas.

Clayton Paul of Mercer University at Macon, Georgia presenting a special 90-minute tutorial to a standing-room only crowd on the “Concept of Dominant Effect in EMC Problems Diagnosis” at the Fundamentals Tutorial Workshop at the Boston EMC Symposium.

Knowledge is power. And indeed education is the means to get the knowledge. To seek knowledge is a birth right of every human being. EMC professionals are included in this. It is never too late to learn and seek education. Education is a verb. Our goal is to become the premier education committee of the IEEE. This is your Committee. We are here to help you and support your education needs. We are striving to undertake unconventional and innovative means to achieve our goals. Help us help you better. Let me update you on the activities of various subcommittees. We welcome any help and support that you may be able to provide to any of our subcommittees. Please feel free to contact any of these subcommittee Chairs directly.

Boston, Massachusetts Symposium 2003
The Boston, Massachusetts Symposium is now behind us; and it was the best yet for educating and enriching EMC professionals. The Boston Symposium Committee deserves thanks and appreciation for the job well done. At this symposium, the Education and Student Activities Committee achieved great success in several areas. In the following paragraphs I have highlighted some of the events that took place that you may find of interest.


It was another landmark year for the Fundamentals Tutorials Workshop. Although the tutorials are primarily targeted for entry-level engineers in the EMC field, quite a few seasoned engineers also enjoy brushing-up on concepts that they might not have used in a while. This year several noted experts provided the tutorial material to help better understand EMC concepts and to better design systems from an EMC point of view. Highlights of the Tutorials included: introduction to EMC effects, system engineering concepts, grounding for safety and noise reduction, use of dominant effect in diagnosis of EMC problems, use of broadband filtering for suppressing noise and a very informative panel discussion about challenges EMC professionals face in their design work. If you did not attend the workshop, we just wished that you were there.

Maqsood Mohd (standing on right) as the first speaker of the day initiates the panel discussion. Seated from left are other speakers of the day, including Tom Van Doren of the University of Missouri at Rolla, Daryl Gerke of Kimmel Gerke Associates, Jim Muccioli of X2Y Attenuators, and Clayton Paul of Mercer University at Macon, Georgia.

As a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Fundamental Tutorial Workshop, two new features were added to the program. First, two topics and two speakers were planned to present extended discussions on the subject of prime importance to an EMC professional. Dr. Tom Van Doren presented a 90-minute tutorial discussion on grounding for safety and noise reduction and Dr. Clayton Paul presented a 90-minute tutorial discussion on the concept of dominant effect in the diagnosis of EMC problems. As expected, both IEEE Fellows got rave reviews. Second, a unique feature this year was a panel discussion at the end of the day. Even I was surprised how important and beneficial the panel discussion was. The audience posed EMC questions to one or more panelists and it was a real blast. The people were glued to their seats even at 5:30 pm. We had to end the program because of other planned activities. We would like to thank all the speakers and the audience for attending and making the panel discussion a great success. It is our intent to continue with this feature in the second decade of this very helpful and beneficial Workshop.

If attendance is any measure of success and popularity, the Fundamental Tutorials were very successful. Throughout the day, on average there was an impressive attendance of about 300 participants peaking to 400. We had standing room only during the morning and for part of the afternoon sessions. Like previous years, this year too the first-time attendees comprised about 50% of the total attendance. Thanks to all the speakers and the attendees who made the Fundamentals Tutorials Workshop a great success. But there is one individual, on this 10th year anniversary that we must recognize. He is Bob Hofmann, whom you may recall was the 1994 Symposium Chair in Chicago. It was his willingness to take the risk then and allow the ESAC to meet this challenge (while there were many skeptics in the ranks) that paved the way for the torch of learning and EMC knowledge to burn brighter than ever. In August 1993, he gave the green light for this Workshop and the ESAC Tutorial subcommittee went to work and has not stopped ever since. Many EMC professionals throughout the last decade have been enjoying the fruits of his risk-taking. Over the last decade, at least 6000 professionals and novices of our Society directly benefitted from this Fundamentals Workshop. Thanks Bob for your visionary leadership. The tutorial subcommittee is busy planning for another exciting and informative session during the Santa Clara Symposium. If you would like to propose a topic or a speaker for the Santa Clara Symposium, email your comments and ideas to

Experimental Demonstrations
This is another popular and “educational” activity we do as a committee. A variety of EMC concepts are demonstrated experimentally during the symposium to educate the symposium attendees. This was also the third year for the demonstrations of EM modeling and simulation (M&S) concepts. During the main three days of the symposium a total of 20 concepts were demonstrated that sometimes might be classified as abstract or black magic. Many happy souls were pleased to learn these concepts during these demonstrations. Their doubts changed into convincing beliefs.

Tom Van Doren presenting a 90-minute special topic on “Grounding for Electrical Safety and Noise Reduction” at the Fundamentals Tutorial Workshop at the Boston EMC Symposium.

Like the previous two years, the demonstrations were at the best location in the symposium. The Boston Symposium committee worked closely with the ESAC to make this a success. The experiments were solicited from a “Call for Experiments” and the Symposium committee also arranged for the equipment for the presenters. In the past, the ESAC used to do everything in this regard. This has been a successful transition. We are not totally in autopilot mode yet, but we are making it as a part of the main annual symposium committee function. A minimal interaction will still be with the ESAC for a foreseeable future, especially in an advisory role. The ESAC representative who has helped champion this effort is Andy Drozd. We want to recognize the invaluable service he has provided over the years to the great success of this wonderful program. Our thanks are due to the Boston Symposium committee, especially to Bob Dockey, for a fine job on arranging the Experimental Demonstrations. Our thanks are also due to very supportive vendors. If you would like to demonstrate an experiment at the Santa Clara symposium, respond to the Call for Experiments (please see Demonstrations). If you would like to demonstrate an EMC modeling and simulation concept at the next symposium in Santa Clara, please contact Andy at

2003 Best Student Design Winning Team explaining their design to a Symposium participant. Students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are Wayne Stollenwerk (left) and Antony Mihalopoulos (right). Not shown is Jon Kobleske.

NARTE Activities
As during the past 10 years, Dr. James Whalen has conducted the workshop for engineers and technicians who prepare to take the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers (NARTE) examination to certify as EMC engineers and technicians. Dr. James Whalen is also a part of the overseeing committee of the EMCS that would review the question pool along with several folks from the technical committees (TCs).

At the NARTE examination on Friday, 18 engineers and technicians sat for the exams. The word from NARTE is that 67% of the participants passed the exams. Our congratulations to all the successful applicants, and welcome to the ranks of certified NARTE professionals. Our thanks are due to Dr. James Whalen for championing the cause of “preparing for the NARTE exams.” Due to his selfless service to the ESAC and by conducting this workshop during the last 10 years, he has educated almost 400 engineers and technicians, out of which 236 took the test and 164 passed in the first attempt to become NARTE certified EMC engineers and technicians. This is a whopping 70% success rate.

Jim Whalen (seated), the NARTE Workshop Subcommittee Chair, conducts an experiment to demonstrate the nonlinear behavior of passive components.

University Grant
John Howard heads the university grant committee. His committee has been successful in finding a winner for this grant in 2003. This year we had responses from around the world requesting the grant money. The grant is provided to an institution that is on the verge of offering an EMC course. The grant money is used as seed money to start an EMC course as an established part of the curriculum in the Electrical Engineering department. The grant is open to all universities in the world. For more details, contact John Howard at This year’s winning school is the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Congratulations to Dr. Thomas Jerse of the Electrical Engineering department.

Ken Wyatt of Agilent Technologies (photographer for ESAC photos) demonstrating unusual ESD generators.

University Survey
Professor Antonio Orlandi is the Chair of this subcommittee. The mission of the university survey committee is to survey the universities and collect data about the EMC course offering, student population, modeling and simulation usage, etc. The data collected will help EMCS and its members in various ways. Information will be useful for prospective students, industry, employers etc. If you have not already done so, please, complete an online survey by going to the website If you know of a school or a college that has not participated in the survey, please encourage them to complete an online survey. For more information on this activity please contact professor Orlandi at

Student Design Contest
This has been one of the most exciting areas of growth during last few years for our Committee. This effort epitomizes the proverbial synergistic cooperative effort between industry and the Society. Ahmad Fallah is the Chair of this effort. This was our fourth year and we have learnt a few more things this year. We will still learn and fine-tune the process as we go. If you would like to join this bandwagon and help advance and fine tune this contest, then contact Ahmad Fallah. In this competition parts of a circuit (designed by Fallah) in the form of a kit are sent to the professors at the universities. The kit is yours free for the asking. This year almost 14 kits were sent around the world. We received eight entries. The entries were evaluated against a set of criteria provided in the information packet sent with the kit. The evaluators are EMC engineers from industry and academia who do not have any conflict of interest.
The 2003 EMC Student Design Competition was a major success! In the 2003 competition, we had an excellent wining entry. The winning entry team is from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The team consists of three members Antony Mihalopoulos, Jon Kobleske, and Wayne Stollenwerk. The team members presented an impressive poster paper presentation in the demonstration area. The team qualified to receive $900 in cash and one student from the winning team received an expense-paid trip to attend the 2003 IEEE Symposium on EMC in Boston, Massachusetts. The most important reward for the participants, however, was the experience of applying their EMC design knowledge to a real-life problem and explaining the EMI-reduction techniques to scores of professionals at the symposium.

If you are a student and want to participate in the 2003 EMC Student Design Contest, then all you need to do is have your professor contact Ahmad M. Fallah at (763) 694-2148 or via email at, and request a design kit and a copy of the competition rules by January 31, 2004. Follow the rules and submit a winning entry. Get started early and remember, the early bird gets the worm. The price is right; the winner receives a free trip to the Santa Clara EMC symposium and $900 US dollars! Not bad!

Dick DuBroff of the University of Missouri at Rolla presenting the report on Experiments Manual II to the ESAC Committee at their Tuesday morning meeting in Boston.

Experiments Manual On-line

Dr. Jim Drewniak and Dr. Dick DuBroff are leading this effort. However, Dr. Dick DuBroff is the “go to person” in command that is now expanding this activity to additional manuals. The first Experiment Manual published by the Education and Student Activities Committee is on the web site at: If you have an Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download the entire manual from this site. If you don’t have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, it can easily be downloaded from the site: Jim and Dick can still use some help from a volunteer who can do the follow-up work of soliciting and arranging the new experiments. If you are interested in broadening your career horizons, contact Jim or Dick or any other officer of the Education and Student Activities Committee. Dick DuBroff has been instrumental in preparing the second volume of the Experiments manual. If you are interested in getting more experimental material, then go to the site for Experiment Manual Volume II and additional experiments.

Education Committee Web Site
Randy Jost of Utah State University is in charge of this subcommittee as he assumed the role of the Secretary of the ESAC officially in August 2003. As the duties fall under secretary of the committee, Dr. Jost has done a superb job. Take a look at our web site at If you have any ideas how to improve our web site, please contact Randy or me.

Student Activities
Ahmad Fallah is the new Chair of this subcommittee. The mission of this committee is to reach out and interact with all students around the world. Primarily, the focus is on working with student chapters in four areas: The Awareness of EMC, Student Paper Contest, The President’s Award, and the Student Design Contest. The first order of business is to introduce the student chapters with EMC educational materials. If you have any ideas or wish to volunteer, please contact Ahmad Fallah ( or me (

Student Award Winners at the 2003 EMC Symposium
In addition to the Best Student Design Award, each year the Education and Student Activities Committee also awards the Best Student Paper Award at the annual Symposium event. The winning entries for this year are as follows:

Best Student Paper Contest: “Electromagnetic Coupling Through Perforated Shields Due to Near Field Radiators,” by Ms. Shabista Ali of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Delaware. Her award included $900 US and an expense paid trip to the Boston Symposium. Congratulations to Ms. Shabista Ali for her excellent and innovative paper about near-field effects of radiation.

Best Student Design Contest: The winning entry was from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The team members from UWM are: Antony Mihalopoulos, Jon Kobleske, and Wayne Stollenwerk. The three members of the UWM team share a cash award of $900 US. The team members got an expense paid trip to the Symposium in addition to the cash award. This year, all the team members were able to attend the symposium because they kept the total expense under the budgeted $2,100 US. Congratulations to these students, their team members, their professors, sponsors, and the universities!

Video/CD-ROM Based Educational Material Production
The task of this committee is to produce educational material in an appropriate and useful medium to the EMCS membership. Dick Ford is the Chair of this committee. This year Dick has completed a milestone in the video productions arena. A CD-ROM is produced that has three experiment demonstrations on it. The experiments are as follows. First is a demonstration of “EMC Aspects of Magnetic Field Coupling of Current Loops,” by Dr. Jasper Goedbloed of Geldrop Netherlands. He is a professional of great repute who worked for a number of years and retired from the Phillips Company in the Netherlands. He has authored an excellent book on EMC and has been a featured presenter in the ESAC Fundamental Tutorial Workshop and the Experimental Demonstrations over the years. Second is the demonstration of “ESD and EMI in Printed Wiring Boards,” by Doug Smith. Doug is well known and respected throughout the EMC and ESD communities for his high frequency measurements expertise. He worked for a number of years and retired from AT&T Bell Labs. He has authored an excellent book on EMC and has been a featured presenter in the ESAC Fundamental Tutorial Workshop and the Experimental Demonstrations over the years. Third is the demonstration of the “Effects of Pulse Rise/Fall Time on Signal Spectra,” by Professor Clayton Paul of Mercer University, in Macon, Georgia. Dr. Paul has been an icon in the EMC Society for a number of years. He is an IEEE Fellow, author of the first EMC book suitable for an academic course, and he has propelled the science of EMC engineering from the “Black Magic” arena into scientifically computable and understandable areas. He retired from the University of Kentucky after teaching there for a number of years and is now the Sam Nunn Eminent Professor of Aerospace Systems Engineering at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He is a long-term contributor to the ESAC Fundamentals Tutorial Workshop and Experimental Demonstrations programs. He authored and edited the first EMC Experiments Manual produced by the ESAC.

You don’t want to miss this CD if you are interested in learning the concepts and actually conducting an experiment to duplicate the concepts presented on it. This copyrighted material is available to our membership through the ESAC. There is a plan to provide these CDs to needy members. They will be provided to EMC Chapters, professors, and other educators. To get a copy of this CD, please contact Bob Nelson, Dick Ford or myself. What we do in this committee has a far-reaching impact in the 21st century. The educational material and the CD that we produced will be valuable to EMC students and professionals alike for a long time to come.

EMC Outreach
The task of this committee is to produce educational material in appropriate and useful medium to the EMCS membership. The outreach consists of three segments: The K-12 grade population, the college student population, and the professional members who are not fulltime students. We are beginning to devote our efforts and resources to the K-12 population segment during the coming months. If you have any ideas how to go about doing this job more effectively, please contact me at

Education and Student Activities Officers
Some changes have occurred during the Symposium. Contact any one of the following to become a part of the ongoing innovation in EMC engineering through education.

David Case,

Andy Drozd,

Experiments Manual II
Dick DuBroff,

Student Activities
Ahmad Fallah,

Student Design Contest
Ahmad Fallah

Video Productions
Dick Ford,

Randy Jost,

University Grant
John Howard,

EMC Outreach
Maqsood Mohd,

Maqsood Mohd

Vice Chair
Bob Nelson,

University Survey
Antonio Orlandi,

Jim Whalen,

I would like to express my personal thanks and appreciation to each of these officers who tirelessly work throughout the year to bring the very best in EMC education materials, workshops, demonstrations, tutorials, and student contests at every symposium to all the members of the EMC profession throughout the year. When you email them, contact them, or see them during a symposium express your appreciation for volunteering their valuable time for the EMCS and the Education and Student Activities Committee. EMC

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