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Impact Of Simulation Software In The Engineering Technology Curriculum

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.293.1 - 4.293.6

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Stanley J. Pisarski

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

Session 2548

Impact of Simulation Software in the Engineering Technology Curriculum

Stanley J. Pisarski University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) offers the Bachelor of Science degree in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering Technology Many of the courses offered in UPJ’s Engineering Technology Program rely on laboratory experiments to supplement the lectures. Although there is no substitute for the experience that a laboratory environment provides, various software packages allow the user to simulate and predict with great accuracy how a system will react under actual laboratory conditions.

The Electrical Engineering Technology Department (EET) at UPJ utilizes several software simulation programs for supplementing laboratory work in the areas of circuits, electronics, digital systems, industrial electronics, digital signal processing, and control systems. Software packages such as PSpice, Logic Works, MATLAB and Simulink are heavily used to verify manual calculations and laboratory results. Additionally, these packages are used to solve theoretical problems which would be too complicated to solve by other means.

This paper provides examples of current engineering simulation software usage in the EET curriculum at UPJ, and identifies the ramifications of these experiences in the courses, student’s college education and beyond.

I. Introduction

The objective of this paper is to provide examples of circuits and systems that the electrical engineering technology students simulate with various software simulation packages. Specific courses have been chosen to examine the effect that the software has on student learning of circuit analysis and design concepts.

Software simulation has been used in the electrical engineering technology program at UPJ since the early 1970’s. Early circuit software was executed on an IBM 1130 mainframe computer that relied on hand-coded information for the circuit, punched computer cards, and submission of the card deck to the computer operator for the initial run. The next day the printed numerical results were obtained from the computer center. Advances in computer technology in the areas of computer software and hardware have paved the road for instant results for circuit simulations. The new computer software packages stimulate the senses with colorful, accurate circuit waveforms in graphical and tabular formats. No longer must the user of this software enter hand-coded data for circuits or systems, but a nudge of the computer mouse is all it takes to create a

Pisarski, S. J. (1999, June), Impact Of Simulation Software In The Engineering Technology Curriculum Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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