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A Practical RF Engineering Curriculum for Engineering Technology Students

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2023 Fall Mid Atlantic Conference: Meeting our students where they are and getting them where they need to be


Ewing, New Jersey

Publication Date

October 27, 2023

Start Date

October 27, 2023

End Date

January 10, 2024

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Doug Kim Farmingdale State College

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Dr. Kim is currently an associate professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Farmingdale State College. He worked in RF and wireless industry for more than 15 years before joining academia. Dr. Kim received B.S. in EECS from University of California Berkeley, M.S. in EE from University of Southern California and Ph.D. from Stony Brook University,

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One of the most difficult areas in electrical engineering to teach in classroom settings to engineering technology students is Radio Frequency (RF) engineering. This is mostly due to two aspects in RF engineering. The first is the high levels of theoretical understanding of both physics and mathematics including statistical modelling, which are not regularly taught to engineering technology students. The second potential issue is the lack of essential equipment used in RF engineering that the students can learn with because the equipment used by RF engineers in the field most of times are too costly to have in the undergraduate teaching labs. For these reasons, many engineering technology students do not have an opportunity to be properly trained on the basic skills required to qualify for RF engineering positions. For these reasons, electrical engineering technology programs must carefully design a curriculum that meets the requirements from the RF industry as starting RF engineers. The curriculum proposed in this paper is devised with three main goals: To provide easy to understand lesson contents with a minimum mathematics and physics backgrounds, to provide hands-on exercises with the lab equipment, and to prepare the students with the practical applications of the theory learned. The curriculum is comprised of three courses in sequence, The first course covers fundamental knowledges in RF engineering, which includes the topics such as RF power, Passive Components, Transmission Lines, and Antenna. The second course expands upon the first class with more advanced topics on Propagations, Microwave Devices, Amplifiers, Noise Management. The third course in sequence is a practical application design course, which can replace the senior project or an internship to apply the learnings into practical uses. The curriculum can be used to award a micro-credential in basic RF engineering to the students that can help showcase their achievement in the area. The paper will describe in detail how each course can be designed and taught including the lab activities in a structured and practical approach.

Kim, D. (2023, October), A Practical RF Engineering Curriculum for Engineering Technology Students Paper presented at 2023 Fall Mid Atlantic Conference: Meeting our students where they are and getting them where they need to be, Ewing, New Jersey. 10.18260/1-2--45113

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