Report on the IEEE EMC Society
2002 University Grant Program
Awarded to the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Course instructor, Dr. F. M. Tesche.

For the past several years, the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Society has funded a $10,000 grant to recognized educational institutions for the purpose of assisting in the establishment of a course in the ECE curriculum that addresses principles of and design practices for EMC. The 2002 grant was awarded to Clemson University. This article briefly describes the IEEE grant program and provides some details of the highlights of the EMC course that was given in the spring of 2003 at Clemson as a direct result of this grant.
Clemson University has long had a strong electromagnetics program. Unlike at many institutions, electrical engineering undergraduates at Clemson must take two courses in electromagnetics to graduate. In addition, students have the option of taking courses in Microwave Circuits, Antennas and Propagation, and Fiber Optics as technical electives. Dr. F. M. Tesche, a research professor at Clemson, and Prof. C. M. Butler saw that the addition of a formal course in electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) at Clemson would be an excellent addition to the existing electromagnetics program. They believed that an EMC course would complement the electromagnetics curriculum by providing a practical application side to the program’s mostly theoretical coverage.
Consequently, when the announcement for proposals for the 2002 award was made, they decided to make a bid for this grant and stated that, if it were awarded to their university, they would conduct an EMC course in the spring of 2003 at Clemson.
The requirements for applying for this grant were rather straightforward and involved submitting the following items to the EMC Society:

• A budget (direct and indirect costs as well as university cost sharing)
• A detailed syllabus containing a proposed course outline by class lecture
• Any experiments/demonstrations to be used or developed
• A description of any materials or software to be developed

In discussions with the ECE Department Chairman, Prof. John Gowdy, they were able to obtain a matching commitment of $10,000 in department funds to support their proposed course. This was above and beyond the normal instructor salary typically paid for teaching courses at Clemson.
This information was put together into a short proposal and submitted to the IEEE EMC Society for their evaluation and consideration. Much to their surprise (and delight), Mr. John Howard notified them in early June of 2002 that their proposal was accepted and that they would receive a check at the 2002 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Unfortunately, prior travel commitments to the Zurich EMC Symposium organization committee meeting precluded attending the Minneapolis meeting. However, Dr. Bud Hoeft kindly agreed to accept the award on behalf of Clemson (and forward the check promptly to the University).

Graduate assistant, Jason Keen (left), assists two EMC class students with a MathCAD simulation of cable cross talk.
Graduate student Mike Lockard proudly shows his Theremin device, which audibly demonstrates the effects of component lead lengths.


With support from the IEEE EMC Society and Clemson’s Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Tesche proceeded with the development of the course ECE 493/693, entitled “Introduction to Electromagnetic Compatibility,” and in the spring of 2003, this course was offered to seniors and graduate students at Clemson University. In addition, several auditors attended the course.
Of course, deciding to offer a new course is only the first step in the course development. One also must decide upon a set of goals for the course and plan how to accomplish them. In summary, the goals of the EMC course were to explain and illustrate the basic principles of electromagnetic compatibility, to expose students to a variety of EMC resources which might be useful in their future careers, and to provide the students with an opportunity to develop the necessary skills to conduct original research in the EMC area (including the ability to communicate their results in both written and oral formats).
In the development of the course outline, the field of EMC was broken into four subtopics: fundamental concepts, EMI effects on components and systems, EMC design, and EMC specifications and compliance testing. For the purpose of covering the fundamental concepts, the key models for conducted emissions, conducted susceptibility, radiated emissions, and radiated susceptibility were discussed. In addition, topics related to advanced transmission line models and EMC shielding were covered as part of this subtopic. The result was that this was by far the bulk of the course as Dr. Tesche tried to provide his students with a solid understanding of the material, preparing them for reading the literature in the future. Through a solid coverage of this material, students were better prepared to address the issues of EMC design and specifications in the last third of the course.
To enhance the learning experience, a significant array of resources was made available to the students during this course. The class lectures were conducted exclusively in PowerPoint and, at the end of each lecture, the course vugraphs were provided to the students in e-format. A variety of EMC textbooks and handbooks were purchased from grant money and were made available to the students; at the end of the course they were donated to the university library.

Typical classroom scene for the ECE 493/693 EMC course at Clemson University in Spring 2003.


In addition, a course website was developed. This extensive website included a variety of journal articles relating to topics covered in the EMC course and an extensive collection of class notes. In fact, not only did students have access to the class notes developed by Dr. Tesche, but also to EMC notes written by Prof. Ed Rothwell at Michigan State University (with permission). So as to provide the students with continuing access to these resources, a CD containing the complete content of the webpage was produced at the end of the course and provided to each student.

Prof. Butler (right) listens intently to graduate student Jeremy Rudbeck as he demonstrates direction-finding principles to the class.


As part of the goal to improve student research skills, Dr. Tesche decided to broaden their computational toolbox. Using money provided by the matching ECE Department grant, he bought a site license and provided a copy of MathCAD to each student in the class. Homework and projects were then assigned which utilized the MathCAD package for computational purposes. For these and other projects, students then wrote reports and prepared presentations.

Past IEEE EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. Bud Hoeft, presents his invited lecture at the Clemson IEEE meeting, held in conjunction with the EMC course.


One of the more extensive sets of projects was done in conjunction with students participating in an ECE 892 seminar course taught by Prof. Butler, also in the spring semester. In this conjoined course, students developed a variety of EMC demonstration projects, which were presented to the collected students in the ECE 493/693 EMC course via a PowerPoint presentation. These demonstrations were also documented in short reports, which were made available to the students. Assisting with these student projects, as well as with other aspects of this EMC course was Jason Keen, a graduate student in the ECE Department.
These projects provided simple and real-world insight into the relevance of EMC to an electrical engineer in the modern world and involved the following topics:

  1. Investigation of Ground Noise in Digital Logic
  2. Effect of Pulse Rise/Fall Time on Signal Spectra
  3. Locating RF Interference using a Dual-Dipole Switched Array
  4. Effects of Component Lead Lengths and Environmental Conditions on Oscillator Frequency: Theremin Demonstration and Discussion
  5. Crosstalk in Cables
  6. Electrostatic Discharge
  7. Electromagnetic Leakage through Seams

In addition to the formal part of the EMC course, the grant from the EMC Society allowed Dr. Tesche to bring in several external lecturers to the IEEE-sponsored campus meetings. Students in the EMC course were strongly encouraged to attend these extra curricular meetings. Keeping to the EMC theme, each of these speakers provided different views of the very broad area of EMC. The following speakers kindly agreed to participate in this program:
Dr. D. V. Giri, Pro-Tech, Radiation of Impulse-like Waveforms with Illustrative Applications, presented on March 24, 2003.
Dr. L. O. (Bud) Hoeft, Consultant, Electromagnetic Effects, How Electromagnetic Energy Penetrates Conductive Barriers: Electromagnetic Shielding of Cables, Connectors and Enclosures, presented on April 8, 2003.
Dr. Carl E. Baum, Air Force Research Laboratory, Application of Concepts of Advanced Mathematics and Physics to the Maxwell Equations, and High-Power Electromagnetic Radiators, presented on April 22, 2003.
Due to the support of the IEEE EMC Society, a new course was brought to Clemson University and its students. This support also allowed Clemson to improve and update its collection of EMC technical resources and to invite noted speakers to provide their knowledge and insight to Clemson students. All of the students who benefited from this course appreciate the support provided by the EMC Society. It is hoped that the EMC Society will continue this important educational program. EMC


The Icing on the Cake!

The new course on Electromagnetic Compatibility developed by Dr. Fred Tesche was a major enhancement to the electromagnetics curriculum in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University. We are grateful to the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society for providing financial support to make the development of this course possible. I am also very pleased that our ECE Department was able to provide cost sharing support to maximize the output of this endeavor.
Our EM program is blessed with outstanding senior leadership in the persons of Profs. Chalmers Butler and Wilson Pearson. Other key contributors to the program include Profs. Xiao-Bang Xu, Anthony Martin, and Michael Bridgwood. This group is known not only for their outstanding research accomplishments and professional society activities, but also for their excellence in teaching and their dedication to curriculum enhancement. We were very pleased when Dr. Tesche relocated to the Carolinas and was therefore able to strengthen our already strong EM faculty group.
For many years, Applied Electromagnetics has been one of the graduate research focus areas of our Department. EM is, of course, also a fundamental part of our undergraduate Electrical
Engineering program, and two three-credit junior level courses
are required for all EE majors. Our curriculum also includes senior level elective courses on Microwave Circuits, on Antennas and Propagation, and on Fiber Optics. Our graduate program includes eight three-credit courses and a one-credit seminar course in advanced aspects of EM. The EM graduate program has been consistently successful in attracting top students to study and perform research in this area.
The new course developed by Dr. Tesche was the “icing on the cake” of an already strong program in the EM area. The course was targeted primarily for graduate students, but was also available to advanced undergraduates. Student feedback indicates that the course was highly successful and presented a major addition the curriculum. Dr. Tesche not only did an excellent job of developing the course, but also carefully documented his course materials on a CD ROM to facilitate future presentations of the course.

Dr. John N. Gowdy
Professor and Chair
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
105 Riggs Hall
Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634-0915
Telephone: 864 656 5249
FAX: 864 656 5917


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