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An Industry Related Project-Based Microcontroller Course

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Project-based and Cooperative Learning in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.171.1 - 23.171.12



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Paper Authors

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Faruk Yildiz Sam Houston State University


Reg Recayi Pecen North American College Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Recayi “Reg” Pecen was formerly a professor and program chairs of Electrical Engineering Technology and Graduate (MS and Doctoral) Programs in the Department of Technology at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Dr. Pecen is currently serving as President and Professor at North American College in Houston, TX. He is also serving as a Chair of Energy Conservation and Conversion Division at American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). Dr. Pecen holds a B.S in EE and an M.S. in Controls and Computer Engineering from the Istanbul Technical University, an M.S. in EE from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wyoming (UW, 1997). He served as a graduate assistant and faculty at UW, and South Dakota State University. He served on UNI Energy and Environment Council, College Diversity Committee, University Diversity Advisory Board, and Graduate College Diversity Task Force Committees. His research interests, grants, and more than 50 publications are in the areas of AC/DC Power System Interactions, distributed energy systems, power quality, and grid-connected renewable energy applications including solar and wind power systems. He is a senior member of IEEE, member of ASEE, Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society, and ATMAE. Dr. Pecen was recognized as an Honored Teacher/Researcher in “Who’s Who among America’s Teachers” in 2004-2009. Dr. Pecen is a recipient of 2010 Diversity Matters Award at the University of Northern Iowa for his efforts on promoting diversity and international education at UNI. He is also a recipient of 2011 UNI C.A.R.E Sustainability Award for the recognition of applied research and development of renewable energy applications at UNI and Iowa in general. Dr. Pecen established solar electric boat R & D center at UNI where dozens of students were given opportunities to design solar powered boats. UNI solar electric boat team with Dr. Pecen’s supervision won two times a third place overall in World Championship on solar electric boating, an international competition promoting clean transportation technologies in US waters. He was recognized as an Advisor of the Year Award nominee among 8 other UNI faculty members in 2010-2011 academic year Leadership Award Ceremony. Dr. Pecen received a Milestone Award for outstanding mentoring of graduate students at UNI, and recognition from UNI Graduate College for acknowledging the milestone that has been achieved in successfully chairing ten or more graduate student culminating projects, theses, or dissertations, in 2011 and 2005.

He was also nominated for 2004 UNI Book and Supply Outstanding Teaching Award, March 2004, and nominated for 2006, and 2007 Russ Nielson Service Awards, UNI. Dr. Pecen is an Engineering Technology Editor of American Journal of Undergraduate Research (AJUR). He has been serving as a reviewer on the IEEE Transactions on Electronics Packaging Manufacturing since 2001. Dr. Pecen has served on ASEE Engineering Technology Division (ETD) in Annual ASEE Conferences as a reviewer, session moderator, and co-moderator since 2002. He served as a Chair-Elect on ASEE ECC Division in 2011. He also served as a program chair on ASEE ECCD in 2010. He is also serving on advisory boards of International Sustainable World Project Olympiad ( and International Hydrogen Energy Congress. Dr. Pecen received a certificate of appreciation from IEEE Power Electronics Society in recognition of valuable contributions to the Solar Splash as 2011 and 2012 Event Coordinator. Dr. Pecen was formerly a board member of Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development ( and also represented UNI at Iowa Wind Energy Association (IWEA). Dr. Pecen taught Building Operator Certificate (BOC) classes for the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) since 2007 at Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri to promote energy efficiency in industrial and commercial environments.

Dr. Pecen was recognized by State of Iowa Senate on June 22, 2012 for his excellent service and contribution to state of Iowa for development of clean and renewable energy and promoting diversity and international education since 1998.

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Keith L. Coogler Sam Houston State University

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A Project Based Microcontroller CourseA microcontroller is the brain of an electronic device. Most electronic and electromechanicaldevices such as alarm clocks, cell phone, printer, digital watch, and games come with amicrocontroller system. Microcontrollers manage interactions between the peripherals of adevice according to the programming embedded in the memory section of the microcontroller. Inorder to program a microcontroller, a student has to know the architecture of a microcontrollerincluding its microprocessor, bus architecture, I/O system, memory type, interrupts, addresses,etc. In most cases, there are more components such as analog to digital converters, displays,electronics components, sensors (tilt, position switch, gas, temperature, level, force, humidity,mass, distance, image, light, motion, etc.) that the student should be familiar with, in addition tounderstanding the working principals and functionality. It may be difficult to teach studentsabout all the types of the sensors, microcontroller architecture, and programming skills. In fall2011 semester, a project based microcontroller course was developed and taught coveringprogramming, microcontroller architecture. The course addressed a variety of sensors andexternal electronic peripherals. In addition, students were required to make at least five projectsusing the sensors and electronics components provided. The testing of the projects has beenmainly accomplished within the campus environment. These projects include: a) measuringtemperature, humidity, wind speed, sound, motion, and force; b) detecting gas levels, smoke,water level in the water tanks; c) building a GPS unit; d) mini-robots with sensors and otherdevices attached. A student survey was taken about the projects. Most of the students commentedthat they improved their programming skills by completing the projects. All the details (coursecurriculum, student body, projects, and components) will be shared in the conference paper andpresentation.

Yildiz, F., & Pecen, R. R., & Coogler, K. L. (2013, June), An Industry Related Project-Based Microcontroller Course Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19185

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