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Student Projects for an Electromagnetics Course

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Electromagnetics & Power Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Marc Mitchell University of Evansville

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Dr. Mitchell is currently an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Evansville. He graduated from the University of Evansville in 2000 with a BS in engineering and physics. Professor Mitchell attended Cornell University for his masters and PhD. Upon graduation from Cornell he became a research assistant professor at the Idaho Accelerator Center at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. Dr. Mitchell has more than 25 publications in engineering physics.
Ph.D. – Engineering Physics Cornell University, 2007
M.S. – Engineering Physics Cornell University, 2004
B.S.E.E. – University of Evansville, 2000
Areas of specialization include electromagnetics, lasers and optics, electro-optics, microcontrollers, plasma science and applications.

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Dick Blandford University of Evansville

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Dick Blandford is the department chair of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the University of Evansville.

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Katherine Michelle Chandler

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Katherine Chandler received her B.S. in Nuclear Engineering Sciences from the University of Florida in 1997 and her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University in 2005. Her research interests include x-ray spectroscopy, plasma dynamics, plasma physics, x-ray imaging, and image processing.

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The course on electromagnetics, which is a mainstay of many electrical engineering programs, is typically taught in the junior year as a theory course without a lab. Several abstract and difficult concepts are introduced and often, even good students, will leave the course having mastered the mathematics but with little intuition about how the theory they know relates to the physical world of engineering. Concepts introduced include movement of charge, capacitance, inductance, static magnetic fields, and electromagnetic waves.

In the electromagnetics course at the University of Xxxx, projects have been introduced to help students relate the theory from class to the real world. Projects are completed outside of the classroom and open project labs provide access to lab equipment at all hours. Projects are done in teams of two and each team typically does three projects over the semester. This paper describes seven projects which have been used in the course to illustrate concepts. Student feedback is presented along with practical implementation strategies for success.

The seven projects are: 1. Capacitive Rain Gauge: Students design a gauge that is sensitive to the fluid level in the gauge. This gauge is based on the principle that capacitance is dependent on the dielectric constant of the material between two conductors. 2. Plastic bowl speaker: Students construct a speaker from a magnet, a coil of wire, and a plastic bowl. 3. Guitar pickup: Students construct an electromagnetic pickup to detect the vibration frequency of a steel wire. 4. DC Electric Field Probe: Students design a non-contact probe that can detect the presence and polarity of a static (or slowly varying) electric field in air. 5. Transmission Line Characteristics: Students must calculate characteristic impedance and propagation speed of a coaxial cable based on measured dimensions. 6. Metal Detector: Students design a metal detecting device based on mutual inductance. 7. AC Current Meter: Students design a non-contact AC current meter.

Mitchell, M., & Blandford, D., & Chandler, K. M. (2016, June), Student Projects for an Electromagnetics Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27347

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