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Development Of An Eet Electrical Power And Controls Course

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.208.1 - 3.208.6



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Paper Authors

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William E. DeWitt

author page

Timothy L. Skvarenina

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

Session 1333

Development of an EET Electrical Power and Controls Course

Timothy L. Skvarenina, William E. DeWitt Purdue University


This paper discusses the development of a new course combining topics from a conventional electromechanical energy conversion course with topics from controls and electrical distribution courses. The paper begins with some background of why we developed the new course and the process that was used to develop it. The course topics and laboratory experiments are then described in some detail.


Several years ago, our department began an intensive review of our entire curriculum, with an eye toward revising it to more directly meet the needs of employers for the next century. The process began with a so-called ad hoc, radical curriculum review team. The ad hoc team began the process of revising the curriculum by starting with a clean slate and “blue skying” their ideas of what it should look like. Later as the process matured, they expanded it to include the department’s specialty area curriculum teams. The development of the new curriculum took approximately two years and consumed several thousand hours of faculty members’ time. During the process, members of the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) and graduates of our program out in industry were consulted to help shape the new plan of study.

For many years, the Purdue EET program prided itself as being one of only a few in the United States with a strong electric power program. The plan of study included a required electric motors course, which was organized in a traditional pattern of magnetics, DC machines, transformers, and AC machines. Electives included a course oriented toward electric utility operations (generation and transmission), an electrical distribution course, 1 and two controls courses. Despite this history, some faculty viewed the required course as a target for elimination, which would allow other topics to be included. Surprisingly, however, there were a few non- power faculty who felt the course should be kept exactly as it was.

Like others,2 we noticed the change in what was important to industry and how that differed from what was included in most undergraduate energy conversion courses. Our required course, as previously mentioned, covered DC machines before AC machines and generators before motors. Prior to the formation of the curriculum review team, we reversed the order of presentation of AC and DC machines and put more emphasis on motors as opposed to generators. We felt this was appropriate because the vast majority of our graduates will encounter induction motor applications long before they use DC motors or generators of any sort We also added a lecture and laboratory covering variable speed drives since many motors are now connected to them to provide more efficient plant processes. This constituted a good beginning, however, it was very

DeWitt, W. E., & Skvarenina, T. L. (1998, June), Development Of An Eet Electrical Power And Controls Course Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7040

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