Location

West Lafafayette, Indiana

Abstract

Electromagnetism describes foundational principles in the field of electrical engineering. However, in a typical course, the connection to modern engineering topics can easily be missed while focusing on complex mathematics, physics and the mechanics of vector algebra. A final project in an electromagnetics course at Valparaiso University was developed to highlight the continued significance and applicability of this field of study. For this assignment, student pairs selected and presented a reputable article reporting on a contemporary issue directly related to an electromagnetic device, concept or system that was of interest to them. This project provided students with an opportunity to connect course concepts with modern applications while practicing effective verbal and written communication on advanced technical topics. Allowing students to self-select topics brought autonomy to the course and the freedom to research an application that aligned with their individual interests. Additionally, students gained exposure to a wider range of modern electromagnetics applications including wireless charging, the Tesla solar roof, cellular networks, RFID applications and MRI technology. This paper presents the details of this project and its implementation in a senior-level electromagnetics course. Samples of student work, instructor and peer assessment of verbal presentations and assessment of the written reports are presented. Further, we provide a brief qualitative analysis of the student experience with this project. Overall, the exercise was well received with impressive and engaging student presentations. This lesson could be further improved by incorporating additional electromagnetic applications throughout the course and highlighting their ethical and societal impacts. These examples will improve students’ ability to identify the larger impacts of their chosen topics.

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Bringing Contemporary Issues and Topics into an Electromagnetics Course

West Lafafayette, Indiana

Electromagnetism describes foundational principles in the field of electrical engineering. However, in a typical course, the connection to modern engineering topics can easily be missed while focusing on complex mathematics, physics and the mechanics of vector algebra. A final project in an electromagnetics course at Valparaiso University was developed to highlight the continued significance and applicability of this field of study. For this assignment, student pairs selected and presented a reputable article reporting on a contemporary issue directly related to an electromagnetic device, concept or system that was of interest to them. This project provided students with an opportunity to connect course concepts with modern applications while practicing effective verbal and written communication on advanced technical topics. Allowing students to self-select topics brought autonomy to the course and the freedom to research an application that aligned with their individual interests. Additionally, students gained exposure to a wider range of modern electromagnetics applications including wireless charging, the Tesla solar roof, cellular networks, RFID applications and MRI technology. This paper presents the details of this project and its implementation in a senior-level electromagnetics course. Samples of student work, instructor and peer assessment of verbal presentations and assessment of the written reports are presented. Further, we provide a brief qualitative analysis of the student experience with this project. Overall, the exercise was well received with impressive and engaging student presentations. This lesson could be further improved by incorporating additional electromagnetic applications throughout the course and highlighting their ethical and societal impacts. These examples will improve students’ ability to identify the larger impacts of their chosen topics.