Salt Lake City, Utah
June 20, 2004
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004
9.811.1 - 9.811.7
Introducing Undergraduate Research Results in RF Microelectronics into the Undergraduate ECE Curriculum
Robert Caverly, Timothy Walsh, Sean Pearson, Jane Hall1, Jeffery Cotton2 ECE Department, Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085
Abstract -- Smart communications technology is currently implemented in a variety of applications ranging from smart antennas to wireless LANs. Microelectronics technology is the only means available to fit the ever-increasing amount of system functionality in a smaller physical footprint. This paper will present how current research being done by undergraduates in silicon technology is being integrated into an EE electromagnetics course to provide a look at a contemporary technology. Information on obtaining course materials is provided.
Smart communications technology is currently implemented in a variety of applications ranging from smart antennas to wireless LANs. The current research in this area encompasses many aspects of antenna, receiver and system design. Microelectronics technology is the only means available to fit the ever-increasing amount of system functionality in an increasingly smaller physical footprint. An understanding of microelectronics components for use in a mixed signal environment (analog, digital, RF) will be required for undergraduate engineers to design the complex circuits that will ultimately be a part of smart communications systems on a single chip. These new technologies are also excellent motivational tools to help students put theoretical concepts into a current context. This is especially true in required undergraduate courses like electromagnetics (EM) that are heavily mathematics based.
The integration of contemporary topics into EM courses is fundamentally different than the use of multimedia assets that help students visualize EM concepts that are quite mathematically complex [1-3]. Contemporary topics that faculty introduce are frequently based on their research or consulting activities. Increasingly, undergraduate students are involved in research under the direction of faculty and bring a unique perspective to the research process. The experiences faculty mentors gain by observing undergraduate research students learn new material can be leveraged into providing unique lecture material for undergraduate classes.
This paper explores two issues: first, the undergraduate research program in microelectronics at the university; and secondly, some of the benefits undergraduate research students bring in helping faculty introduce research material into classes. The undergraduate student selection and mentoring processes are presented. An example of how undergraduate research results can be brought into the EM classroom, focusing on passive RF microelectronic components such as inductors and capacitors, is discussed. These circuit components are introduced early in the student s academic career, but usually only as ideal circuit elements. Concepts such as resistive 1 Now with Lockheed Martin Corp., King of Prussia, PA. 2 Now with Raytheon Corp., Chelmsford, MA. D©% ¦£ ¢ %)¤¤)42 7$!9B%G6£ ¤%BF£ ¢D$B79¤A5¤976£ ¨542¤)'¨%$" ¤¤¤©¤¦¤¢ Q ¨ § ¨ ¨ ¥ P I 8 H 1 ¥ 8 § H E ¨ ¨ E ¥ C ! ¨ § ¥ @ 8 § 3 1 0 ( ( & # ! ¥ ¨ ¨ § ¥ £ ¡ d ¥7$!9B%G6£ ¤%BF£ ¢DC$B79¤A5¤9§76£ 54)0¤)aF)B6¤YSV%PX 7$WVUT¤E c 8 § H E ¨ ¨ E ¥ ! ¨ § ¥ @ 8 ¨ 3 1 b ( ( & ` ! # £ C ¥ ¥ ! ¥ S R
Walsh, T., & Pearson, S., & Cotton, J., & Hall, J., & Caverly, R. (2004, June), Introducing Undergraduate Research Results In Rf Microelectronics Into The Undergraduate Ece Curriculum Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/13722
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