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Redefining The Introductory Electrical Energy Conversion Course

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.342.1 - 2.342.7



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Paper Authors

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L.J. Bohmann

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B.A. Mork

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Noel Schulz

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

Session 2333

Redefining the Introductory Electrical Energy Conversion Course by L.J. Bohmann, B.A. Mork, and N.N. Schulz Department of Electrical Engineering Michigan Technological University


An argument is made that the traditional electrical engineering energy conversion course needs to be redefined. The traditional course is no longer relevant to the majority of electrical engineering students, and therefore has lost its place as a core course in many curricula. The course needs to be broadened to include other types of electrical energy conversion such as photovoltaics and batteries. Modern aspects of electrical machinery, such as power electronics and permanent magnets, need to be covered. The focus of the course should be the terminal characteristics of the devices and it should also relate how energy conversion is interconnected to other electrical engineering disciplines, such as electromagnetics, signal processing, controls, electronics, and computers. Michigan Tech has started the implementation of this course and some observations on its success are given.


For many years, the traditional energy conversion course in electrical engineering departments has been a course covering transformers, dc machines, synchronous machines, and induction machines. Over the years this has been a good course which introduced students to the principles of the basic types of electric machines.

This is no longer good enough. Many if not most electrical engineers will not actively deal with these large machines during their careers. As a result, many universities have dropped this course from the required curriculum. A course that is more relevant to the majority of electrical engineers would not only be more interesting to the students but also would be taught as a required course at more universities.

The question is, "What is a more relevant course?" We propose that the ideal Introduction to Electrical Energy Conversion course would discuss all forms of energy conversion that involve electricity and would focus on the type of apparatus that students have a good probability of encountering during their working careers. The goal would not be to educate students to design the equipment discussed, but rather to allow them to incorporate the equipment in system-level design.


Energy conversion has been part of the curriculum since the inception of electrical engineering as


Bohmann, L., & Mork, B., & Schulz, N. (1997, June), Redefining The Introductory Electrical Energy Conversion Course Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6759

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