Continuing Education
GOLD EMC At Work In Chicago
October 14, 2013
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fullHello! My name is Caroline Chan, the GOLD EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Society Representative, and I am proud to introduce Louann Devine who is another GOLD EMC member volunteering at the IEEE EMC Chicago Society.

Louann Devine received her M.S. degree in electrical engineering with emphasis in electromagnetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010 while working full-time at Agilent and Panduit, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2005. She is currently employed as a Principal Transmission Engineer in Panduit’s Corporate Research and Development organization; in this role, she focuses on wireless applications, antenna design and measurements, IEEE 802.11 developments, wireless infrastructure, and structured category cabling.

Louann has been an active member of the EMC Society since 2008. Her first interest in the society began when she saw the type of interference issues and testing that designers encountered while working at Agilent as a wireless applications engineer, and her previous experiences at Motorola developing cellphones. Fast forward to this year: she and her team from the Chicago IEEE EMC Society held a successful complimentary “Introduction to EMC” class over a series of four Saturdays.

The Illinois Institute of Technology was a key partner in the success of this course by providing the classroom space and enabling successful recipients to earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Education Credits (CECs). Each of the four classes offered approximately two hours of lecture and two hours of hands-on-labs.  The lectures were focused on topics ranging from cables, shielding, and PCB layout to the history and motivation of EMC. The labs concentrated on providing students an opportunity to work with lab equipment such as LCR meters, oscilloscopes, function generators, and network analyzers to explore the fundamentals of capacitance and inductance, the mechanisms of crosstalk, and how to design a low pass filter.  The intent of the class was to provide undergraduate seniors in electrical engineering, recent graduates or engineering students new to electromagnetic compatibility an opportunity to gain relevant knowledge and lab experience in applied electromagnetics.  The format of this class is unique when compared to a majority of university-level Introduction to EMC classes because it offered a practical hands-on lab component; many universities offer a class focused on the theory of EMC but do not offer hands-on lab experience.  Members of the EMC Chicago Society and Chicago area students recognized the need for electromagnetic applications and created this class to provide young Chicago area engineering students an opportunity to gain initial hands-on learning.

The class was taught by four instructors (Robert Hofmann, Louann Devine, Jerry Meyheroff, Roy Leventhal) and was supported by several dedicated EMC Chicago Society Members (Roger Swanberg, Jack Black and Yai Cao).  All instructors and supporters volunteered their talent and energy to prepare and deliver the lectures and hands-on labs.  Lectures were based on Henry Ott’s latest book “Introduction to EMC” (published 2009), and the lab ideas were sourced from the IEEE EMC Society lab handbook.  The EMC Chicago Society underwrote a heavy majority of the costs for the class including the Ott textbook, the lab equipment rentals, lab materials, and the administration costs.  Several key donations were made to the class including a personal donation from Sharon Phillips, the IEEE Chicago Section President.

The successful completion of this class in early 2013 encouraged the IEEE EMC Chicago Chapter to host a similar hands-on event at the 2013 Chicago EMC Mini-Symposium and create a new EMC Education board.  The board will support hands-on EMC concepts and demonstrations for engineers seeking to acquire practical EMC experience.  The board is planning for the Second Annual IEEE EMC Chicago Chapter Introduction to EMC class to be two to four days longer, with longer sessions each day (potentially offering more CECs).  The format and class content will be more rigorous and geared to young working engineers that are new to EMC concepts.  The IEEE EMC Chicago Chapter looks forward to these educational opportunities in 2014!

For more information on the IEEE EMC Society, visit their website at http://www.emcs.org/.

Article contributed by Caroline Chan, GOLD EMC Society Representative

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