|You can see the enthusiasm the students
have for EMC! Instructor Mark Steffka is shown with students
Dale Sanders and Maureen McGinnis (left to right) in the University's
new EMC Lab.
What started out with a $10,000 IEEE grant in 1999 in order to
help incorporate EMC into the Electrical and Computer Engineering
(ECE) courses at the University of Michigan - Dearborn, has grown
into a key part of the undergraduate curriculum and the engineering
continuing education programs! The accomplishments that have been
achieved since the Winter 2000 term are significant and include:
Establishment of two undergraduate courses,
"ECE 319 - Introduction to EMC" and "ECE 420
- EMC Testing and Instrumentation",
A United States National Science Foundation
(NSF) grant to establish an on-campus EMC laboratory,
Two courses conducted in "Automotive
System EMC" (as part of the Engineering Professional Development
The total past and current enrollment in
the undergraduate courses is now over 100 students and 30 engineers
have taken the "Automotive System EMC" two-day course.
The IEEE grant was initially pursued by the ECE department chair,
Dr. M. Shridhar, in response to a request he received to look
at how the topic of EMC could be covered at the university level.
In developing the rationale for the grant, Dr. Shridhar requested
and received outstanding industry cooperation through the efforts
of many EMC professionals located in the Southeast Michigan region,
many of whom are members of the IEEE EMC SE Michigan Chapter.
This cooperation resulted in the preparation of an outline of
an EMC curriculum content, selection of appropriate reference
materials (primarily textbooks), and the identification of a need
for a laboratory facility to assist the students in their understanding.
In order to introduce the topic to current students, the university
then conducted a series of guest lectures on different aspects
of EMC. These lectures were well received and indicated the potential
viability of full-term course(s) in EMC at the campus.
|The "EMC Dream Team" of
John Shen (left) and Mark Steffka who helped make the dream
of an ongoing EMC curriculum a reality at the University of
Michigan - Dearborn.
In the Winter 2000 term the first course in the EMC sequence
(ECE 319) was taught by Mr. Jim Muccioli, a well-known EMC professional
from the Detroit area. This course is an introduction to the EMC
discipline, how it has evolved, its impact on product design practices,
and what basic techniques are used to minimize EMC issues in components
and systems. Since the Fall 2000 term, the curriculum has been
taught by Mr. Mark Steffka, an EMC Specialist at General Motors,
and an Adjunct Lecturer in the UM-D ECE department. The course
that was first offered for the Fall 2000 term was ECE 420 - which
builds upon the fundamentals covered in ECE 319 and incorporates
a study of test methods and instrumentation used in EMC. ECE 319
utilizes Henry Ott's text, "Noise Reduction Techniques in
Electronic Systems" and the textbook for ECE 420 is Dr. Clayton
Paul's book "Introduction to EMC". (Since the Winter
2001 term, Mr. Steffka has also been the instructor for ECE 319).
The Winter 2003 term for ECE 319 has the highest enrollment that
has been experienced to date! Over 40 students enrolled in the
course, and many signed up on a "wait list" basis. Students
indicated that they selected the course based on the "practical
approach" that Henry Ott's book utilizes.
|The new EMC Lab under construction.
The shielded enclosure was donated to the University of Michigan
- Dearborn by General Motors. The University welcomes good
quality EMC product donations!
Initial feedback from both university students and faculty has
been very positive and supportive of this curriculum! As a result,
Dr. Shridhar and Professor John Shen believed that the university
should pursue a grant from the NSF to assist the campus in establishing
an EMC laboratory to be located in the engineering building. In
May 2001, a proposal was submitted by the university to NSF emphasizing
the role that the university could fill in response to the EMC
needs of the automotive industry, due to the campus' unique heritage
and links to the automotive industry "Big Three". (This
involvement with the automotive industry has now taken on a much
deeper and comprehensive role due to many other automotive OEM's
and suppliers locating in the Detroit area.) Late in 2001, the
university did receive a grant from NSF for the establishment
of an EMC laboratory to be located on campus. Key to this grant
award was the recognition by NSF that the university has active
involvement in the curriculum by automotive industry EMC professionals
and that their contributions provide the important "real
world" balance that is needed.
In early 2002, believing that there is need for EMC education
of engineers currently working in the automotive industry, Mr.
Steffka and Theresa Ceccarelli, Ph.D., (of the Engineering Professional
Development Program office) designed, developed, and implemented
a two-day course focused on automotive system EMC issues. The
first course was held in October 2002, and had such an overwhelming
response that a second course was added in December 2002. The
participants reviews of these courses were very positive and have
resulted in three (3) more sessions that are planned for 2003!
A key element of the success of the course is due to each student
receiving a copy of Dr. Paul's textbook "Introduction to
EMC". This book is frequently used during the class to link
automotive EMC issues to the concepts presented in the book. This
approach allows the engineers to return to their workplace and
immediately apply what they have learned as well as have an EMC
reference book that they are familiar with.
|ECE 319 student Dale Sanders enjoys
conducting a laboratory experiment as part of the EMC lecture-based
What's next for the University of Michigan - Dearborn EMC curriculum?
The completion of the laboratory facilities,
including the re-assembling of a shielded room that was donated
from the General Motors North American EMC test facility in
Incorporation of laboratory experiments
into the current lecture-based content of ECE 319 and ECE 420,
More extensive use of the laboratory by
the engineers participating in the "Automotive System EMC"
Future plans include continuing to add to
the laboratory through either university purchases or by donations
of instrumentation and hardware.
In summary, thanks to the initial grant from the IEEE EMC Society,
the University of Michigan - Dearborn has been able to demonstrate
its commitment to EMC education for both today's working engineers
and engineering students (who will be tomorrow's engineers)! It
is hoped that the seeds sown in this work will benefit many for
years to come.
A special "Thanks" also goes to Henry Ott and Clayton
Paul for their work in writing the texts that have become the
core material for the campus' EMC educational programs.
Steffka has over 20 years experience in the design, development,
and testing of military, aerospace, and automotive electronics.
He is currently an Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Technical
Specialist with the General Motors (GM) Powertrain Group, supporting
the product engineering organization with respect to EMC design,
testing, and specifications. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer at
the University of Michigan-Dearborn, in the Electrical and Computer
Engineering Department, where he is the instructor for the EMC
courses that are offered at the campus. His educational background
consists of a B.S.E.-E.E., from the University of Michigan, and
a M.S. in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. His involvement
in professional activities includes the Society of Automotive
Engineers Electromagnetic Standards Committees, and the Institute
of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Southeastern Michigan
Chapter of the EMC Society. In 1998, he was the co-author of the
"Automobiles" chapter in the ARRL RFI Book, which was
published in 1998. He is an amateur radio operator (WW8MS) and
was first licensed in 1975. He may be contacted at email@example.com