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New Modes of Instructions for Electrical Engineering Course Offered to Non-Electrical Engineering Majors

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

ECE-related Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Seemein Shayesteh P.E. Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Lecturer in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue School of Engineering at Indianapolis

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Maher E. Rizkalla Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Dr. Maher E. Rizkalla: received his PhD from Case Western Reserve University in January 1985 in electrical engineering. From January 1985 until August 1986 was a research scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL while he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Purdue University Calumet. In August 1986 he joined the department of electrical and computer engineering at IUPUI where he is now professor and Associate Chair of the department. His research interests include solid state devices, applied superconducting, electromagnetics, VLSI design, and engineering education. He published more than 175 papers in these areas. He received plenty of grants and contracts from Government and industry. He is a senior member of IEEE and Professional Engineer registered in the State of Indiana

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An issue of “too abstract and not too visible” ECE content materials was often cited by non electrical engineering majors when pursuing an electrical engineering course. Close scrutiny to the issues suggests that new modes of instructions are to be pursued in order to meet students’ satisfaction and successful delivery of the course.

The ECE20400 “Electrical and Electronics Circuits”, a required course for the mechanical engineering program, has been offered for near 10 years in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at our school with the traditional text book format, covering linear circuits and digital electronics with a lab that is integrated with the course materials. Feedback from ME students throughout the years, has led to the new approach covered in this paper. New modes of instructions using mechanical/electrical system analogy, attached learning with real engineering applications to each section of the course, and project based portfolio with students’ engagement in multidisciplinary teams. In the latter, designated assignments to group individuals has led to positive impact on the course.

In this paper, we are providing the new approach on the modified course in recent offering at our campus. Feedback from summer 2105 in addition to fall 2015 will be incorporated to the outcomes of the new development.

With the advancement of integrated electrical systems from sub-micron integrated circuit technology to high frequency Wi-Fi wireless applications and as global market competition demands systems with enhanced functionalities and yet - lower cost, lighter weight and smaller size - the role of mechanical engineers in a multidisciplinary team in the workplace is highly critical in the success of the system design and performance. The non-electrical disciplines such as manufacturing, packaging, board layout, wire bonding, heat transfer, etc. have a profound impact on an electrical design. It is critical that non-EE team members know the basic electronics. To boost students’ interest, this message is conveyed to a mostly mechanical engineering student population in this required introductory analog / digital course. In addition, peer led teams from class present effective analogies to observe the connection of electrical engineering concepts to mechanical engineering equivalence. These, in addition to circuit simulation and hands-on laboratory experiments, encourage creative thinking, teamwork and active class participation, in an effort to prepare students in the global work force.

Students’ feedback from summer 2015 supported much of the new modes detailed in this paper.

Shayesteh, S., & Rizkalla, M. E. (2016, June), New Modes of Instructions for Electrical Engineering Course Offered to Non-Electrical Engineering Majors Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25789

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