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Utilizing Advanced Software Tools For Classroom Projects In Control And Power System Studies

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Energy Programs and Software Tools

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1394.1 - 9.1394.14

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Paper Authors

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Fanourios Chalkiadakis

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

Session 3433

Utilizing Advanced Software Tools for Classroom Projects in Control and Power System Studies

Fanis Chalkiadakis , Recayi Pecen

Electrical and Information Engineering Technology Department of Industrial Technology The University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa

1. Introduction

Studies in control and electric power systems have always been a major part of the core course requirements of every electrical engineering and/or electrical engineering technology program. In recent years however, undergraduate and graduate student interest has seen a documented decline in both of these areas [1]. This is mainly due to two reasons: a) the abundance of available positions in the computer engineering and the telecommunications industries, and b) the false impression that electric power and control theory are considered to be “old knowledge” with no space for future development compared to the impressive achievements in the modern fields of computer engineering and telecommunications.

Despite this situation there are still many engineering and engineering technology programs nationwide that offer courses with updated material in the fields of control and electric power systems. The Electrical and Information Engineering Technology (EIET) program at the University of Northern Iowa is one of these programs. It is also the first and only program in the state of Iowa that grants its students with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology after the completion of a four-year course of studies. The EIET program was updated from the Electromechanical Systems (EMS) program in the fall semester of the year 2002.

Recently the program completed its first year of operation with great success and increased enrollment. Part of this achievement is due to the fact that the faculty uses advanced software tools to educate the students that choose the EIET major. These tools are also used by many professionals and utility companies nationwide. Hence, the students are given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the operation of software packages that most likely they will have to use after they join the workforce. In that spirit, the Department of Industrial Technology has supported the efforts of the EIET faculty for curriculum development with significant classroom renovations, installation of new multimedia equipment and purchase of laboratory apparatus, including hardware and software tools.

Due to the intensity of the program, a substantial portion of the classroom projects that require the use of advanced software is assigned mostly to senior and graduate students in the form of independent studies, and/or final projects. In addition the authors use frequently these software packages for demonstrations during regular class lectures in the courses of Introduction to

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Chalkiadakis, F. (2004, June), Utilizing Advanced Software Tools For Classroom Projects In Control And Power System Studies Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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