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Product and System Development: Creating a New Focus for an Electronics Engineering Technology Program

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Topics Related to Electrical Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1071.1 - 25.1071.17



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Paper Authors


Jay R. Porter Texas A&M University

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Jay R. Porter joined the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University in 1998 and is currently the Program Director for the Electronics and Telecommunications programs. He received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering (1987), the M.S. degree in physics (1989), and the Ph.D. in electrical engineering (1993) from Texas A&M University. His areas of interest in research and education include product development, analog/RF electronics, instrumentation, and entrepreneurship.

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Ben Behbood Zoghi Texas A&M University

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Ben Zoghi is the Victor H. Thompson endowed Chair Professor of electronics engineering at Texas A&M University, where he directs the College of Engineering RFID Oil & Gas Consortium and teaches application of emerging technologies. Over the past 10 years, Zoghi has led or been involved in the development of many RFID and sensor implementation and solutions. He is a frequent speaker for association and industry events on RFID, wireless sensor network, technology applications in oil and gas, and petrochemical industries globally.

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Joseph A. Morgan Texas A&M University

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Joseph A. Morgan is a Full Professor in the Electronics Engineering Technology program at Texas A&M University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas. His major areas of interest include wireless networking and embedded microcontroller-based data acquisition, instrumentation, and control systems. Morgan has also served as Director of Engineering and as a Senior Consultant to the private sector where he has been involved in several design, development, and system integration projects sponsored by the FAA, USAF, and major airport authorities. As a Texas A&M faculty member, he established the Mobile Integrated Solutions Laboratory (MISL), a joint university-industry partnership focusing on the design and development of hardware and software products Morgan served 22 years in the Air Force, including a tour of duty on faculty with the Electrical Engineering Department at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

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Wei Zhan Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Wei Zhan is an Assistant Professor of electronics engineering technology at Texas A&M University. Zhan earned his D.Sc. in systems science from Washington University in St. Louis in 1991. From 1991 to 1995, he worked at University of California, San Diego, and Wayne State University. From 1995 to 2006, he worked in the automotive industry as a system engineer. In 2006, he joined the electronics engineering technology faculty at Texas A&M. His research activities include control system theory and applications to industry, system engineering, robust design, modeling, simulation, quality control, and optimization.

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PRODUCT AND SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT: CREATING A NEW FOCUS FOR AN ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM Fifteen years ago, the Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technologyprograms at ________________ University were two very distinct options, each designed toaddress specific industry needs. The Electronics program produced graduates that hired intogeneral electronics technician positions in field service, technical sales, and electronics testing.Telecommunications graduates performed similar functions but specifically for traditionaltelephone service providers. Since then, there has been an evolving shift in the career paths ofElectronics and Telecommunications graduates. Today, even though the graduates take positionsworking for small to large companies that span a broad range of market sectors includingautomotive, medical, oil and gas, quality of life, telecommunications, and semiconductormanufacturing; one can see a common thread in their duties and responsibilities. Virtually allgraduates have careers that support either specific products or large systems through their lifecycle, performing functions such as testing, product engineering, applications engineering,sustaining engineering, and systems integration. To a large degree, this can be attributed to thedramatic change in the faculty. Today, all faculty members have degrees in engineering fieldsand the majority of the faculty has five plus years of industry experience supporting products andsystems. With the faculty recognizing this shift, a process has been implemented to merge the twoprograms into a single Electronics Engineering Technology (EET) program that emphasizesproduct and system development. First, a product development summit was held to solicitfeedback and collect industry best practices. Then, over the past year, three faculty retreats havebeen held to methodically create a new, restructured curriculum. This has been accomplishedthrough three primary mechanisms. First, the most relevant courses pertaining to modernelectronic product and systems were identified and retained. These include basic analog anddigital circuits/electronics, embedded hardware/software design, wired and wirelesscommunications, instrumentation, and control systems. Second, the content and objectives ofthese courses were modified to reflect a strong system design and integration perspective. Aspart of this, most courses have become project-based, requiring teams of students to work onopen-ended, industry designed projects. Finally, courses have been added to the curriculum inareas that support product development such as testing, quality assurance, design of experiments,and product/system development processes. Now that the new curriculum has been designed, it will be vetted with industrial advisoryboard this fall and the roll-out will occur over the next year. This paper will discuss all aspectsof the development and rollout of the new program. Results from the product developmentsummit will be presented and the restructuring process used by the faculty will be detailed.Finally, feedback and perspectives from both industry and our students will be given.

Porter, J. R., & Zoghi, B. B., & Morgan, J. A., & Zhan, W. (2012, June), Product and System Development: Creating a New Focus for an Electronics Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21828

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