June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.369.1 - 15.369.19
Designing Printed Circuit Boards for Microwave Engineering Applications: a Teaching Tool for Engineering Technology Students Abstract
This paper will present the results stemming from an undergraduate course in Microwave Engineering Technology at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. An opportunity to experience the complete process of designing a microwave circuit with printed circuit board (PCB) technology was made possible by a grant provided by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department Heads Association (ECETDHA). The ﬁnancial support has allowed the students to apply the theory that is part of the class syllabus to a practical design challenge designed to mimic real–world applications such as wireless phones or GPS devices. Each student was challenged to meet similar, yet unique design speciﬁcations. A collaborative environment was fostered. Each student submitted a technical report along with a short presentation to the class as part of their ﬁnal evaluation. Students were also asked to respond to an on–line questionnaire aimed at evaluating their experience. Responses were tabulated to measure students’ feedback in 3 major areas: their understanding of microwave theory of distributed components; their understanding of the PCB technology applied to microwave design; and their challenges related to the execution of their project.
This paper is organized as follows: the main features of the course are outlined ﬁrst to provide a context within which this project was developed. An outline of the educational approach taken by the author will follow. Then, a description of the projects and challenges faced by the students will be sketched out. A review of the students’ feedback on their experience will be described and discussed. Some suggestions on how to improve this experience will be made before concluding the paper.
The Microwave Engineering Technology Course at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell
The University of Massachusetts, Lowell, is located in an area where high technology companies are often competing in securing new graduates. At the same time, a need for continuing education of their workforce has often brought back to the University their professionals interested in advancing their technical education. Within this local context, microwave engineering is of particular importance and a course on microwave engineering has been established by the author in spring 2008.
The course is entitled Foundations of Microwave Design (course # 17.403) and it is an elective course that the students may take either as part of their undergraduate program; or as individual class. Engineering Technology courses last 14 weeks and consist of a single 3 hour long class per week; all activities, such as a laboratory section, must ﬁt within the allotted weekly time. The prerequisite to Foundations of Microwave Design is Circuits II and Laboratory (course # 17.214) which deals with circuits under sinusoidal excitation. However, the University does not require
Boglione, L. (2010, June), Designing Printed Circuit Boards For Microwave Engineering Applications: A Teaching Tool For Engineering Technology Students Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15675
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