June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.474.1 - 10.474.8
Development of Simulation Models for Power Converters – Undergraduate Research Experience
Penn State University – Harrisburg, Middletown, PA
Abstract – The value of early exposure of engineering undergraduates to research has drawn much attention over the past decade, and a wide array of creative options have been explored. This paper discusses the process and challenges of guiding a group of engineering undergraduate seniors through a research project that holds the potential of exposure to realistic engineering problems, and a motivation for students to pursue advanced studies.
Index Terms – Undergraduate research, power electronics.
The merits of involving engineering undergraduates in research have been widely discussed in engineering journals. It has been suggested that such an initiative may help the student become more passionate about the subject, create appreciation for research process and practice, improve problem-solving skills or even serve as motivation for further education in graduate school1-3. Furthermore, it allows advanced students an opportunity to be exposed to challenging and realistic engineering problems they may encounter in post graduation work. In some cases, the students participate directly in a funded research that holds significant benefit to all participants – students, faculty, and the university4. The growing recognition of the importance of undergraduate research is underscored by the determination to deliberately embed undergraduate research in the curriculum in some engineering programs, through involving students in innovative design experience5-6.
The modalities of productively involving less experienced students in meaningful research is however not trivial. This is largely due to the strict requirements of the undergraduate curriculum that often call for heavy course loads. Many students begin to take elective classes in engineering specialty areas when they are in their final year. This leaves little room to engage in research after acquisition of basic knowledge in the relevant courses. Since research by nature tends to impose more demands on time, it is not very attractive to an overburdened undergraduate student without some meaningful incentives.
This paper discusses the process and challenges of guiding a group of engineering undergraduate seniors through a research project that gets them exposed to typical real-life engineering problems. The project is centered on a variety of switching power converter available in the energy conversion environment at Penn State Harrisburg. Students were
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Idowu, P. (2005, June), Development Of Simulation Models For Power Converters – Undergraduate Research Experience Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/15286
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