A Brief History Of Electrical Engineering Education

Proceedings of the IEEE (Impact Factor: 4.93). 10/1976; 86(9):1399 - 1407. DOI: 10.1109/PROC.1976.10333
Source: IEEE Xplore


Electrical engineering curricula made their first appearance in the U.S. in the early 1880's as options in physics that aimed to prepare students to enter the new and rapidly growing electrical manufacturing industry. As this industry developed, so did electrical engineering education, and within a decade made a place for itself as an equal among the older engineering departments. The curricula that evolved followed the needs of the industry, and before World War I were concentrated largely on the properties of dc and ac circuits and equipment and associated systems of power distribution. Before World War I, little graduate work was carried on, and what passed in academic institutions for "research" was typically advanced testing. The standard career pattern was to receive a B.S. deggee and then obtain a job where one could learn how practical electrical work was done. After World War I, developments in broadcasting and communication led to the appearance of communication options within electrical engineering departments. Concurrently, students having a special interest in teaching or in research were increasingly encouraged to obtain the master's degree. However, the numbers who did so were small, and practically no electrical engineers sought a doctor's degree. For example, at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology in 1925 there was only one member of that large faculty who held an earned doctorate, while the background of about half of the faculty consisted of a bachelor's degree plus practical experience. Under these circumstances research performed in academic institutions was in most cases superficial, although here and there some significant work was carried on by an unusual professor. When World War II came along and brought into being such new electrical and electronic techniques such as radar, microwaves, control systems, guided missiles, proximity fuses, etc., the electrical engineers were caught unprepared. As a group they had neither the fundamental knowledge required to think creatively about these new concepts, nor the research experience to carry through. Thus most of the great electrical developments of the war were produced not by engineers, but rather by scientists, particularly physicists who had turned engineers for the duration. -
In the decade after the war, electrical engineering education went throush a complete transformation. Prewar courses were drastically revised. Increased emphasis was placed on fundamentals, including particularly emphasis on physical and mathematical principles underlying electrical engineering. These results were achieved by reducing the time devoted to teaching engineering practice, by eliminating subjects such as surveying that were of little concern to electrical engineering, and by reducing the concentration on 60-cycle power. In addition, master's programs were developed that were direct extensions of the revised bachelor's program, and in time the master's degree became the recommended degree goal of the student who desired to follow a career in technical engineering. Concurrently, the doctor's degree became the objective of those who planned a career in academia or of research in industry, or who wanted training superior to that of their many classmates working for the master's degree. With government funds available, programs of studentfaculty research developed on many campuses that were the equal of the research being carried on in the best industrial laboratories. The combined effect of curriculum changes, more students carrying on graduate work, the existence of university research laboratories of the highest caliber with this research led by well-trained faculty aided by doctoral and master's candidates, has completely changed both the character and intellectual level of eletrical engineering on the campus. This is illustrated by the fact that in a 1969 survey of a representative group of major high technology firms, 82 percent agreed with the statemen

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    • "Generally, this knowledge is learned from regular undergraduate courses. Historically, changes and reviews in the curricula of Electrical Engineering courses had always been required [2] [3] [4], in order to fill the knowledge gaps, relevant to each time context. "
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    ABSTRACT: Concern about the energy resources' availability has been a constant discussion subject. Furthermore, there is a permanent concern regarding to the environmental resources' preservation. In this context, most often the engineers have been requested to develop projects considering the energy efficiency and consistent with regional characteristics, where the system will be placed. To do this, professionals must learn (and know) how to deal with the different knowledge areas. Considering the training difficulties, this paper proposes a model of curriculum structure for a discipline to be applied in Electrical Engineering Course. The presented results suggest some discipline possibilities, which can be constructed and adapted by teachers according to the energy resources availability of each region. Additionally, the resultant student activities work is shown. Along the course, it was produced a design methodology for alternative energy sources integrated exploitation, taking into account the energy efficiency of processes and services for final use. This methodology is compiled in the form of a set of spreadsheets that can be conveniently used in real practical designs.
    SIEPE - Salão Internacional de Ensino, Pesquisa e Extensão, Bagé - RS; 10/2013
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    • "Looking back in time at engineering education is not new to the IEEE: Terman's BA brief history of electrical engineering education[ appeared in the PROCEEDINGS OF THE IEEE in 1976 [3]. Nor is looking to the future of engineering education new: in 1962, the PROCEEDINGS OF THE IRE published Everitt's BEngineering educationVCirca 2012 A.D.[ [4] and Terman's BEducation in 2012 for communication and electronics[ [5]; in 1998–1999, the PROCEEDINGS OF THE IEEE followed up with commentaries by Trick [6] and Director [7] on the 1962 predictive papers. "
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    ABSTRACT: Engineering education has a long history in the IEEE. One of the IEEE’s parent organizations, the Institute of Radio Engineers, formed its Professional Group on Education (IRE-PGE)in1957andlaunchedtheIRETRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATIONin March 1958. With the merger of the IRE and the American Institute forElectrical Engineering (AIEE)in 1963,theIRE-PGEbecametheIEEEProfessionalTechnical Group on Education, and the journal became the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION ,w ith the numbering of its volumes picking up where the IRE TRANSACTIONS left off, with volume 6. The evolution from an IEEE Professional Technical Group to an IEEE Society appears in 1979, with the listing of the BIEEE Education Society[ on the cover page of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION [1]. One of the six major boards of the IEEE itself is the Educational Activities Board [2], which develops and delivers information and programs for pre-university students and teachers; resources for university faculty, especially in the area of accreditation and increasingly in the area of global engineering; and continuing professional education resources for practitioners. It is therefore an honor, but also appropriate, thatengineering educationbe represented in the Centennial Special Issue of the PROCEEDINGS OF THE IEEE.
    Proceedings of the IEEE 05/2012; 100(Special Centennial Issue):1342-1343. DOI:10.1109/JPROC.2012.2189818 · 4.93 Impact Factor
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    • "As shown in figure 1, the circuits and systems education plays in most programs of EE a rather central role between on the one hand the basic sciences like mathematics and physics and on the other hand the subsequent courses of signal processing, control, electrical energy, biomedical circuits and systems, microwave and telecommunication systems. This position in EE was already established around 1930 and has since not dramatically changed, but has been incrementally adapted to more complex systems, changing technologies and circuit designs and better computing and simulation facilities [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]. The CAS education often involves more lab oriented courses where students learn to analyse basic circuits and build these and measure these. "
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    ABSTRACT: Basic circuits and systems topics still are essential ingredients of electrical engineering education at most universities around the world. However these topics are under threat at many places in much the same way as the basic mathematics like linear algebra, differential equations, and analysis is threatened. This is caused by an urge for instant gratification from the side of the younger student generations. Of course, with the advent of computers, mobile phones, and internet, students handle information in ways that are essentially different from the past. Within this configuration new alternatives are needed. In mathematics a shortcut approach called "streetfighting mathematics" has been advocated. New methods of introducing circuits and systems have also been experimented with concepts like inventories, web based learning, activated learning, Conceive Design Implement and Operate CDIO learning, shortcuts in frequency domain concepts, and alternative ways of introducing concepts like first discrete time followed by continuous time.
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