EMC Management Tools

Fig.1 – Organizational Relationship Between Board of Directors and TAC

“Managing engineers is like herding cats.” How many of us have heard this axiom, and have echoed it as we bemoan yet another bout with attempting to accomplish the merely mundane with a staff of experienced, highly educated individualists otherwise known as “the engineering staff”? Many of us who now find themselves managers at one level or another are also engineers by discipline. Injecting common sense into the process, a methodology we used to advantage in our salad days as designers and/or troubleshooters, is in general the way most of us try to attack the problems of everyday management of the folks without whom we couldn’t get the job done. The reality is that management of highly trained professionals presents many more challenges than just trying to get the latest max-gain amplifier design to amplify and not oscillate, or solving the simplistic problems of achieving synergy between the conducted interference characteristics requirements and the operational stability of the company’s most recent DC/DC converter application. Engineers, by their nature, are very likely to question authority, and in general, desire to work independently. These can be admirable traits, particularly in those who are counted on to bring innovation and creativity into the process. Unfortunately, these traits also make it difficult to maintain any semblance of herd control for the typical engineering manager.
Now, carry the above concept a step further. What about the aspiring IEEE EMC Society (EMCS) Technical Committee (TC) officer, faced with the prospect of managing a group of volunteer electromagnetic compatibility engineers? These volunteers are professionals all, with prior commitment to job and family outside of their EMCS TC obligations, who once a year or so show up at a more or less loosely organized meeting to discuss the progress, or lack thereof, of their respective duties assigned the previous year. These are engineers who have chosen a discipline that treads the border between physics and electrical engineering, that often spans project development from the circuit board to final platform integration. EMC engineers are interested in solving problems like protecting aircraft from the caress of a 200 thousand ampere lightning attachment. How can anyone expect these folks to be too concerned with following Robert’s Rules of Order once a year? Clearly, organization on the part of the TC officer is a must if TC activities are to be meaningful and successful. In turn, TC success is at the foundation of the ability of the Society to bring cutting edge knowledge and expertise in electromagnetic compatibility to the forefront of the discipline. Of equal importance to the success of TC activity is training the TC members to assume the role of TC officer. Officer succession is key to the health and ongoing revitalization of the TCs, and ultimately of the EMCS as a whole. It is incumbent on older, more experienced members of the Society, as they move up in the ranks, to facilitate the process of training and preparing the younger members of the Society to move in and assume the role of leadership at the lower levels.
Which brings me to the topic of this newsletter article, EMC Management Tools. By careful web surfing, one can find on the TC1 web page (web address is http://www.ewh.ieee.org/soc/emcs/tc1/tc1rpts.htm) a zip file under the name of “EMC Management Tools (.zip format)”. Downloading this 264kB file and unzipping it yields a bounty of practical software tools that can be readily adapted to the organizational needs of any EMCS TC officer.
For example, a meeting is far more easily managed for content and time with an agenda to follow. MtgAgenda.doc, a Microsoft Word file, admirably fills the need for a simple template that can be adapted to any TC for any meeting. Companion templates to MtgAgenda.doc, whose titles are self-explanatory, are MtgNotice.doc, MtgSignInSht.doc, and MtgMinutes.doc. In addition to these, a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet file, ActionList.xls, is available to track assigned action items from meeting activities. Finally, at least once a year, each TC is expected to submit a status report to the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). StatusReport.doc can be a very useful tool in collecting, organizing, and reporting the previous years’ TC activities to the TAC Chair. Any TC officer who wishes can employ any or all of these templates to aid in the simplification of meeting planning, control, and reporting.
As indicated above, officer progression is key to the health and ongoing revitalization of the TCs, and ultimately of the EMCS as a whole. In order to facilitate this process, a number of tools are available to the TC officer who wishes to engage his committee members in proper training and preparation for advancement. For example, there are two versions of a record sheet, one named OfficerTraining.doc, the other named Officer_trng.xls. These two files are essentially identical lists of topic headings to spur the thought process as to what information should be passed on to the trainee member(s). The TC officer has a choice of format, and of course may add more topics to the list as they come to mind. And, to keep track of the progress of the trainees, the TC officer has Training_Log.xls ready at hand to log the topic, reference material, trainee name, and date of training completion.
Three documents are available to the TC officer to provide thought jogging guidance in the areas of how to run a TC (HowToLeadCom.doc), what TC leadership is all about (LEADERSHIP.doc), and finally, a one page document that talks to the philosophy/methodology of TC Officer progression within the EMCS.
As with any collection of such tools, there are a couple of miscellaneous documents to be found amongst the rest. Presentation_Fmt.ppt is actually a copy of a presentation made by Dave Southworth that talks about TC Electronic Communication, and incidentally provides some very good information about setting up and running successfully a majordomo for a TC. This same process has been used already to set up majordomos for TC1, TC4, and the TAC. Two different but very similar files provide a letterhead template; one is identified as TC-1_Letterhead.doc, the other simply Letterhead.doc. The use of these templates is quite obvious upon opening the file(s). DocumentList.doc is another thought jogger, intended to aid in planning of a number of separate, but related tasks such as leadership, meeting planning, even testing/analysis activities. Finally, there is TestCertification_Record.xls, a spreadsheet file designed to aid in the preparation of a test facility for audit inspection, such as one might encounter for a formal laboratory accreditation.
Well, I hope this brief discussion and description of the Management Tools available to all on the TC1 website has been brief and interesting enough to pique the interest, and perhaps even motivate one or two folks to go check out the files. Good Luck in your Leadership roles, whatever they may be!

Technical Committee 1 – EMC Management
This committee is concerned with the development and dissemination of Best Practices and Methodologies for the successful leadership, supervision and guidance of EMC related activities. These Best Practices and Methodologies shall be structured so as to provide assistance to all managers, and engineers. Appropriate and convenient tools shall serve as a foundation to these Best Practices and Methodologies.
Chair: Dan Hoolihan
Vice Chair: Dave Southworth
Secretary: Bob Scully

Technical Committee 2 – EMC Measurements

This committee is concerned with the measurement and instrumentation requirements in EMC standards and procedures and how they are interpreted. Also concerned with the adequacy of measurement procedures and measurement instrumentation specifications for radiated and conducted emission and susceptibility tests and the rationale for performance limits for these tests.
Chair: Don Heirman
Vice Chair: Bob Hofmann
Secretary: Ed Bronaugh

Technical Committee 3 – Electromagnetic Environment
The charter of TC3, the Technical Committee on Electromagnetic Environment, is to encourage research on the:
a) electromagnetic environment (EME),
b) development of standards for EME measurement and characterization,
c) natural and man-made sources of electromagnetic environment that comprise this environment,
d) effects of noise (unwanted portions of EME) on systems performance, and
e) effects of international civil and military standards intended to control man-made intentional and unintentional emissions of electromagnetic energy.
Chair: Don Gilliland
Vice Chair: Bill Strauss
Secretary: Ray Siu

Technical Committee 4 – EMI Control Technology
This committee is concerned with the fundamentals of transmission/propagation media and interference control technology, together with associated design, analysis, and techniques useful for the identification, characterization, control and mitigation of electromagnetic interference at the system, subsystem and unit levels.
Chair: Bob Scully
Vice Chair: Dan Modi
Secretary: Kermit Phipps

Technical Committee 5 – High Power Electromagnetics

This committee is concerned with the effects and protection methods for electronic equipment and systems for all types of high power electromagnetic environments. These environments include electromagnetic pulse (EMP), intentional EMI environments (e.g. high power microwaves and ultrawideband), lightning electromagnetic currents and fields, and electrostatic discharge. Interactions with aircraft and other mobile systems are included.
Chair: William Radasky
Vice Chair: Michael McInerney
Secretary: vacant

Technical Committee 6 – Spectrum Management
This committee is concerned with frequency coordination, management procedures for efficient spectrum use, band occupancy and congestion, federal regulations and their adequacy.
Chair: Tom Fagan
Vice Chair: Michele Brown
Secretary: vacant

Technical Committee 7 – Nonsinusoidal Fields
This committee is concerned with the application of electromagnetic signals with large relative bandwidth, commonly referred to as non-sinusoidal waves, delineation of the differences between time-domain and frequency-domain principles, analytical and numerical treatments of the Maxwell postulates directly in time-domain, conceptualization, design, fabrication and testing of materials and devices for ultra-wide bandwidth systems.
Chair: William Croisant
Vice Chair: Michael McInerney
Secretary: vacant

Technical Committee 8 – Electromagnetic Product Safety
TC8 has formed the Product Safety Technical Committee, whose charter is to develop itself into an autonomous IEEE Product Safety Society, with support from the IEEE EMC Society. The IEEE Product Safety Engineering Society will address safety engineering for equipment and devices used in the scientific, engineering, industrial, commercial and residential arenas. It will allow engineers and other technical professionals an opportunity to discuss and disseminate technical information, to enhance professional skills, and to provide outreach to engineers, students and others with an interest in the field. The new Society will accept members for the 2004 membership year.
Chair: Richard Georgerian
Vice Chair: Dan Modi
Secretary: Jim Bacher

Technical Committee 9 – Computational Electromagnetics
This committee is concerned with broad aspects of Applied Computational Electromagnetic techniques that can be used to model electromagnetic interaction phenomena in circuits, devices, and systems. The primary focus is with the identification of the modeling methods that can be applied to interference (EMC) phenomena, their validation and delineating the practical limits of their applicability. Included are low and high frequency spectral-domain techniques and time-domain methods.
Chair: Christopher Holloway
Vice Chair: Zorica Pantic-Tanner
Secretary: Jun Fan

Technical Committee 10 – Signal Integrity
This committee is concerned with the design, analysis, simulation, modeling and measurement techniques useful in maintaining the quality of electrical signals. These activities encompass all aspects of signal integrity from the integrated circuit level to the system level.
Chair: Jim Drewniak
Vice Chair: John Howard
Secretary: Ross Carlton

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