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A Project Experience In Power Engineering Design Aspects

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Trends in Energy Conversion and Conservation

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.101.1 - 11.101.8



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Paper Authors


Giri Venkataramanan University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Giri Venkataramanan received the B.E. degree in electrical engineering from the Government College of Technology, Coimbatore, India, the M.S. degree from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After teaching electrical engineering at Montana State University, Bozeman, he returned to University of Wisconsin, Madison, as a faculty member in 1999, where he continues to direct research in various areas of electronic power conversion as an Associate Director of the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC). He holds six U.S. patents and has published a number of technical papers.

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Annette Muetze University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Annette Muetze received the Dipl.-Ing. in Electrical Engineering of Darmstadt University of Technology /Germany and the degree in General Engineering of Ecole Centrale de Lyon /France in 1999.
In 2004, she received the Dr. tech. degree in Electrical Engineering at Darmstadt University of Technology. Since May 2004, she has been working as Assistant Professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Wisconsin–Madison, WI. She directs research in the areas of electric machine design and has recently been awarded the NSF-Career Award for leading research in the area of electric machine design optimization.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Project Experience in Power Engineering Design Aspects

I. Introduction

While electrical energy conversion systems and power supply systems form an integral component of modern electrical and electronic systems, student engineers graduating from modern electrical engineering curricula are rarely aware of real-world design concerns that stem from power and energy issues1. Furthermore, within the larger context of university education, a major concern is the disproportionately small share of minorities and women who opt to enter engineering careers2. In recent years, a large volume of scholarship on effective pedagogical techniques that aim at encouraging a positive learning climate for underrepresented groups has emerged3. Beyond improving attrition rates among under-represented groups, these techniques have also been found to be effective in increasing the learning effectiveness of other groups of students4. As a concomitant development, the cognitive model for acquisition of knowledge held by educational psychologists has gradually evolved from a behaviorist towards a constructivist viewpoint5. Such a learning process built upon constructivist epistemic assumptions attributes a critical and enabling role to the situated variables in realizing cognition6. Learning is said to take place when it is situated in communities of practice, where the learners are extending their proximal zone of skills through their interactions with experts7. Arguably, such a viewpoint places an enormous burden in developing and implementing reforms within the existing institutions of education. If one takes a literal view of authentic experiences leading to education, even the role of a school becomes unclear8. It is therefore necessary to explore educational concepts that can be integrated with the setting of a university, while providing the necessary degrees of freedom to allow the constructivist development of learning opportunities. The purpose of this paper is to describe the engineering and pedagogic features of using an electric assisted bicycle as an authentic educational vehicle for introducing real world electronics engineering practice and only certain fundamental concepts of power engineering.

Section II gives an overview of effective pedagogical techniques that have been identified from the body of educational research, for incorporation into the power-engineering experience. In Section III, an outline of a related power-engineering summer experience that has been developed for undergraduate students is presented. This course has been developed around different instructional topics including analytical tools, technical skills, and laboratory experience. A brief concluding section summarizes the paper. The conclusions remark on the impact of the experience as it has been observed with the first generation course participants. Furthermore, other similar activities that have been developed as a result of this course are also discussed.

II. Effective Pedagogy

The Kolb’s learning style inventory (KLSI) is based on the concept that the learning process follows a cycle of activities consisting of four distinct segments, namely (a) feeling (through concrete experience or CE); (b) thinking (through abstract conceptualization or AC); (c) watching (through reflective observation or RO); and (d) doing (through active experimentation or AE)9,10. It is readily evident that in the absence of a laboratory – real-world experience the learning cycle is plainly incomplete.

Venkataramanan, G., & Muetze, A. (2006, June), A Project Experience In Power Engineering Design Aspects Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--761

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