San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
Design in Engineering Education
25.4.1 - 25.4.22
A Survey of Existing Power Electronics Courses Offered at Universities in the United StatesAbstract: This paper presents the current number and location of academic programsoffering courses in Power Electronics at universities in the United States of America. Asurvey of Electrical Engineering (EE) and Electrical Engineering Technology (EET)programs has been done to determine the US universities that are offering courses of PowerElectronics with or without laboratory/practicum content, within their respective EE and/orEET programs.Data was collected from each university’s on-line catalog, and has been analyzed to evaluatethe extent of practicum/laboratory experience gained by EE and EET students in therespective US universities. Previous research has determined that the practicum/laboratoryexperience is instrumental in the graduates’ professional development, and it is one of themain criteria used by employers to hire graduates from EE and/or EET programs.Consequently, laboratory content in a Power Electronics course is directly related, andreflects the state of current focus of EE and EET programs in the United States of America.This research shows that laboratory sessions, offered as co-requisites to the PowerElectronics lecture, is a common practice at Tier-1 institutions and at institutions withapplied research requirements, while at most institutions laboratory/practicum content isuncommon practice. Thus, there is an implicit perception in the industry that graduates fromEE and EET programs with no laboratory/practicum component on the power electronicscourse are less competitive as compared to graduates where the laboratory/practicum isalready implemented. This research demonstrates the need of practicum/laboratory forpower electronics courses and, consequently the future available professionals that willsupport the transition of current US economy to an economy focused on renewable energy.
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