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Supporting An Emphasis In Product Development: Integrating Electronics Cad Tools Across The Curriculum

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Curriculum in Electrical Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1101.1 - 14.1101.15



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Paper Authors


Jay 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 BS degree in electrical engineering (1987), the MS 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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Joseph Morgan Texas A&M University

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Joseph A. Morgan has over 20 years of military and industry experience in electronics and telecommunications systems engineering. He joined the Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution Department in 1989 and has served as the Program Director of the Electronics and Telecommunications Programs and as the Associate Department Head for Operations. He received his BS degree in electrical engineering (1975) from California State University, Sacramento, and his MS (1980) and DE (1983) degrees in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University. His education and research interests include project management, innovation and entrepreneurship, and embedded product/system development.

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Wei Zhan Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Wei Zhan is an Assistant Professor of Electronics Engineering Technology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Zhan earned his D.Sc. in Systems Science from Washington University in 1991. 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 University. 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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George Wright Texas A&M University

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George Wright is a Senior Lecturer in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technology at Texas A&M University. He has been with the Programs for over 25 years. His research and education interests include software development for embedded systems and product development.

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

Supporting an Emphasis in Product Development: Integrating Electronics Design, Simulation and Implementation CAD Tools Across the Curriculum Introduction

Over the past several years, several institutions of higher learning have developed courses and emphases in product development to introduce their students to entrepreneurship.1,2,3 In this same spirit of “doing” versus “lecturing”, the Electronics and Telecommunications (EET/TET) Programs at Texas A&M University have been developing an emphasis in electronics product design. To this end, the curriculum has been augmented to include topics such as electronics manufacturing, system integration, innovation, project management, and entrepreneurship. An initiative to team engineering technology students with business students who understand marketing and small business plan development has also gained substantial momentum over the past three years.4 Finally, all students are required to participate in a capstone design sequence where they work in teams to develop the concept for a product and implement a fully functional prototype.5

In addition to changes in the curriculum, the faculty also recognizes that most of the applied research being done in the Programs also centers on the development of product prototypes for industrial partners across a range of market sectors including RFID, medical, security, communications, and power. While the particular focus area of research can be quite different between faculty members, the goal of most funded research products is quite often a product or a system that provides an application solution for the customer. For these reasons, the Programs recently decided to ask industry to help guide them in formalizing this new direction. This led to the recent “Product Development Summit” held by the Programs on the Texas A&M campus. In this meeting, industry was asked to help answer the following questions:

≠ What does product/system development mean to your organization? (ie, is it focused on internal or external customers, is it focused on software/hardware or something else, what might the final product/system look like) ≠ What product/system development methodologies are used within your organization? (ie, interfacing with the customer, project management tools, idea generation techniques, system planning tools, documentation requirements) ≠ What does the career path of an individual in product/system development look like? (what would be the progression of promotions, what internal/external training would be required) ≠ What attributes are necessary to be a successful product/system developer? (ie, technical skills, “soft” skills, personality) ≠ What educational components would serve the future product/system developer best? (While we know that companies will probably not hire new graduates directly into product/system development roles, we want to prepare them with an interest in this area, and the skills to maximize the likelihood of success.)

An immediate action that resulted from working with these industrial experts was the need to develop a more holistic approach to product development. It was recognized that for students to

Porter, J., & Morgan, J., & Zhan, W., & Wright, G. (2009, June), Supporting An Emphasis In Product Development: Integrating Electronics Cad Tools Across The Curriculum Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5713

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