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The View from the Chalkboard – November 2012

I am pleased to be writing this first edition on what we plan will be a periodic column on the topic of formal EMC educational opportunities offered by colleges and universities around the world. I have met many of you in my years of work in both industry and teaching EMC. I look forward to meeting many more of you as a result of being asked this year by the EMC Society to serve as the new chair of the Education and Student Activities Committee (ESAC), which I gladly accepted!

The origin of this column goes back a few years when I was asked by the staff of In Compliance if I’d like to contribute to their publication. I was very much honored by that invitation and had replied that I would consider it when I had a topic that I felt was worth the valuable time of the readership of the publication. Earlier this year, in my discussions with Lorie Nichols, the question of “Who’s doing what in EMC Education?” came up and I realized that was “the topic”! My passion for EMC Education is no secret to those of you who know me. And it’s a frequent topic in my discussions with many of my undergraduate and graduate level students wanting to continue their studies in EMC. The questions from these students are typically to the effect of “Where can I further my education in EMC?” Or “What universities offer formal courses in EMC?”

Perhaps you may have read a paper that Dr. Thomas Jerse (Emeritus Professor – The Citadel) and I wrote for the 2007 IEEE International Symposium on EMC – “Establishing EMC Education: The Ten-Year Contribution of the University Grant Program“. In that paper we reviewed the EMC educational grants that had been awarded by the EMC Society – and the formal courses that resulted from those grants. In addition, there are a few universities that I personally know that have had an extensive contribution to EMC education for many years – most notably, Missouri University of Science and Technology (MST), in Rolla, Missouri (USA), and Politecnico Di Torino, in Turin, Italy. I know there are many more and that is part of the purpose of this column, to identify other universities and what they offer.

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VSWR and its Effects on Power Amplifiers

Voltage Standing Wave Ratio results from an impedance mismatch between a source (an amplifier) and a load (test application). This mismatch can influence the performance of the source.

What I’d like to be able to do in these pages that In Compliance has allowed me to use is to identify the formal university-linked EMC educational opportunities around the world – from undergraduate to doctoral level, “live” (on campus), or distance learning (DL) formats, as part of a regular curriculum or professional development.

So – here’s where I’d like to begin. If you know of (or are involved) in a university EMC course – a regular semester or professional development, I’d love to hear from you. As time goes on, I’d like to be able to provide In Compliance readers a readily usable resource to easily identify those EMC educational opportunities.

I’d like to compile a matrix to identify these opportunities – including contact information and look forward to updating it as the months go by. So – as they say “Keep those cards and letters coming in!” 


Course Title Location When Delivery Method Contact
Introduction to EMC (Undergraduate course) University of Michigan – Dearborn Fall semester (typically) On campus class with lab Mark Steffka
Advanced Topics in EMC (Graduate Course) University of Michigan – Dearborn Winter semester (typically) On campus with distance learning available
Mark Steffka
Electromagnetic Compatibility (Undergraduate/graduate class) University of Detroit – Mercy Once every 2 to 3 years On campus Mark Steffka
Your EMC Course University name When it’s taught Method Contact information


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Mark Steffka, B.S.E., M.S.
is a Lecturer (at the University of Michigan – Dearborn), an Adjunct Professor (at the University of Detroit – Mercy) and an automotive company Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Technical Specialist. His university experience includes teaching undergraduate, graduate, and professional development courses on EMC, antennas, and electronic communications.  His extensive industry background consists of over 30 years’ experience with military and aerospace communications, industrial electronics, and automotive systems.
Mr. Steffka is the author and/or co-author of numerous technical papers and publications on EMC presented at various Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) conferences.  He has also written about and has been an invited conference speaker on topics related to effective methods in university engineering education. He is an IEEE member, has served as a technical session chair for SAE and IEEE conferences and has served as an IEEE EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer.  He holds a radio communications license issued by the United States’ Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and holds the call sign WW8MS.

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