Asee peer logo

BYOE: The Design and Operation of an Electric Motors Simulator

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies - Bring Your Own Experiment

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Carl J. Spezia P.E. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

visit author page

Carl J. Spezia is an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Technology program in the Department of Technology at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (SIUC). He joined the program in1998 as a Visiting Assistant Professor. He worked as a power systems engineer for electric utilities for eight years prior to seeking a career in higher education. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois. His industrial assignments included power system modeling, power systems protection, and substation design. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from SIUC in 1991 and 2002, respectively. He teaches courses in electric power and machinery, industrial automation, and is the Program Coordinator. He has won departmental teaching honors three times in the last five years. His research interests include power systems economics, power markets, and electric energy management.

visit author page


Garth V. Crosby Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

visit author page

Dr. Garth V. Crosby is an associate professor in the Technology Department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Florida International University in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering, respectively.
Dr. Crosby’s primary interests of research are wireless networks, wireless sensor networks, network security and active learning strategies for STEM. He has served as a reviewer for several conferences, magazines and journals publications, including IEEE INFOCOM, and IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and Eta Kappa Nu.

visit author page

Download Paper |


There are fundamental challenges in teaching a lab-intensive course in electric motors online. There are few simulators to choose from, and these are quite expensive. Therefore, the question was asked, “how do we teach electric motors in a way that is inexpensive for both the student and the institution?” To answer this question, an undergraduate student research project was designed and developed with funding from the university’s Center of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities. The objective of the project was to develop a user-friendly simulator that can be used to conduct electric motors (machines) experiments. This project resulted in the development of a customized educational simulator appropriate for use in the electric motors course. The instructor can use this simulator as a tool to teach his/her students various electric motors concepts in a visual way. Additionally, students can use this simulator at any time or place to reinforce important theoretical concepts by conducting the experiments and noting the results. The developers utilized a graphically-based set of virtual machines and instruments that produce results that closely approximates actual devices. This paper discusses the design, implementation and operation of the simulator. Results of a survey of a pilot group of students is presented. Additionally, a sample experiment that demonstrates the simulator’s functionality is described. Finally, information pertaining to how to freely access the simulator is provided.

Spezia, C. J., & Crosby, G. V. (2017, June), BYOE: The Design and Operation of an Electric Motors Simulator Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27997

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015