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Introducing Students to Electronic Devices and Electric Circuit Applications at Early Levels in the Engineering Curriculum Through Multiple Projects

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Circuits and Systems Education 3

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1028.1 - 26.1028.17



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Paper Authors


Nesreen Alsbou Ohio Northern University

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Dr. Alsbou is an Assistant Professor at the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science at Ohio Northern University. She has experience teaching a variety of classes, including: Electric Circuits, Networks and Data Communication, Wireless Sensor Networks, Digital Logic Design, and others. Dr. Alsbou research in the area of wireless communications is focused on designing Media Access Control (MAC) protocols and their application in Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communications and she is interested also in collision avoidance systems design and their use in the V2V communications. In addition to the wireless research, Dr. Alsbou is collaborating with the medical imaging group at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center on research projects in medical imaging. The focus of these projects is on developing new approaches to reduce image and motion artifacts in helical, axial and cone-beam CT imaging used in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy. Dr. Alsbou has publications in the ASEE National Conference and attended multiple KEEN workshops, she uses ACL, PBL and EML in her classes. She has publications in several IEEE conferences, Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing Wiley Journal and co-authored several abstracts and journal papers in medical image processing with more work in progress in both research areas, wireless communications and medical images.

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Khalid S. Al-Olimat P.E. Ohio Northern University

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Dr. Khalid S. Al-Olimat is professor and chair of the Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science Department at Ohio Northern University. He obtained his BS in Electrical Engineering from Far Eastern University in 1990, the MS in Manufacturing Engineering from Bradley University in 1994 and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toledo in 1999. Dr. Al-Olimat is the recipient of Henry Horldt Outstanding Teacher Award in 2004. He is a senior member of IEEE and the chair of IEEE-Lima section. His areas of interest are power engineering, adaptive, fuzzy and intelligent control. Dr. Al-Olimat is a registered professional engineer in the State of Michigan.

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Vladimir A Labay Gonzaga University

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Currently, Dr. Vladimir Labay is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, USA. Dr. Labay was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and earned a B.Sc.(E.E.) and M.Sc.(E.E.) from the University of Manitoba in 1987 and 1990, respectively. After graduating with a PhD from the University of Victoria in 1995, he remained in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada as a lecturer and small business owner until he accepted an assistant professor position in 1999 at Eastern Washington University located in Cheney, Washington, USA. In 2007 and 2014, Dr. Labay was visiting faculty at SRM University in Chennai, India and at Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH, respectively. He has previously held adjunct professorship positions at the University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA and at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA. His research interests include modeling of and the development of microwave/millimeter-wave integrated circuit devices used in wireless and satellite communications. For the past several years, he has been active in the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) initiative at Gonzaga University that focuses on developing the entrepreneurial mindset in undergraduate engineering and computer science students.

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Heath Joseph LeBlanc Ohio Northern University Orcid 16x16

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Heath J. LeBlanc is an Assistant Professor in the Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science Department at Ohio Northern University.
He received his MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 2010 and 2012, respectively, and graduated summa cum
laude with his BS in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana State University in 2007. His research interests include cooperative control of networked
multi-agent systems, resilient and fault-tolerant control, and networked control systems. He received the Best Student Paper Award in the area of Intelligent Control Systems and Optimization at the 2010 International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics, and he received an Honorable Mention Award at the 2012 International Conference on Hybrid Systems: Computation & Control.

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Introducing Students to Electronic Devices and Electric Circuit Applications at Early Level in the Engineering Curriculum through Multiple ProjectsThis paper presents an approach to introduce the field of electronics to students taking ElectricCircuits through multiple projects in which the students learn about some of the fundamentalelectronic devices such as diodes and transistors, and some of the widely used sensors such asPiezoelectric Sensors. In addition to this, students will apply techniques often taught in subsequentcourses such as second-order transient response. These topics are not typically covered in atraditional Electric Circuits course; therefore, this approach will be extending the material andbridging the gap between Electric Circuits and Electronics courses. At the College of Engineeringat the authors’ institution, the Electric Circuits course is taken by students majoring in electrical,computer, mechanical, civil engineering, and engineering education. Depending on their majors,students are introduced to the world of electronics in a separate course (if at all). This leaves thestudents with the question of “How do the theory and analysis methods learned in Electric Circuitsclass relate to real world applications.”The students will work in teams during this project and they are given multiple projects to choosefrom such as: car alarm theft prevention circuit, and accelerometer measuring op-amp circuitwhich can be used to deploy a car air bag during a collision. The circuit schematics are given tothe students; however, these circuit schematics include components that are not covered in theclass such as diodes, transistors, sensors, etc. The students are initially required to perform twotasks; a research study on the different components of the selected circuit; and then the submissionof an initial report that describes the functionality of these basic electronic devices and thefunctionality of the overall selected circuit. The project also requires students to form teams of twoto four students; each team must include students from different disciplines. In addition, all teamsare required to first test the circuit by simulation and then layout and fabricate the circuit on aprinted circuit board. The final deliverable is a working prototype.The paper presents the details of the projects which include project description, the project learningoutcomes along with their assessment, the rubrics used for evaluation of students’ work, and thelessons learned throughout the project implementation. Additionally, the paper provides anassessment of the students’ attitude toward the project – especially learning new electronicsconcepts and electric circuit applications. A survey is used to gauge the attitude of the students andpredict whether the project retains the students and even attracts them to the Electrical andComputer Engineering majors.

Alsbou, N., & Al-Olimat, K. S., & Labay, V. A., & LeBlanc, H. J. (2015, June), Introducing Students to Electronic Devices and Electric Circuit Applications at Early Levels in the Engineering Curriculum Through Multiple Projects Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24365

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