Multi-disciplinary engineering research and development
Custom electronics design
- Advanced analog design
- Power electronics
- Instrumentation and low noise
- High frequency/high current design
- Specialty power supply design
Design reviews and sanity checks
- Magnetic suspensions and Maglev
- Magnetic braking
- Linear and rotary motors and actuators
- Finite element analysis (2D and 3D)
- Custom magnetics
- Non-contact power transfer (resonant and inductive)
In business since 1995 in the metro Boston/Worcester area, we provide multidisciplinary engineering research and development in a variety of electrical and mechanical areas, including advanced analog, power electronics, electromechanical, thermal and magnetic design and failure investigations. We also provide custom R/D and prototype assembly (through-hole and surface mount). We have successful new product experience in instrumentation, sensing, custom magnetic design and power electronics for large companies and startups. An overview of the company is here (in PDF format).
Background of Principal
Dr. Marc Thompson is President of Thompson Consulting, Inc. and Teaching Professor of Electrical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Thompson holds 8 patents and has authored numerous publications and 2 textbooks based on his consulting and research work.
Dr. Thompson has the B.S., M.S., E.E. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.)
· For his curriculum vitae, follow this link. (For an up-to-date CV please contact us directly).
· For thumbnail sketches of some of his past engineering consulting projects, go here.
· Electromechanical actuators
· High efficiency magnetic design
· Eddy current braking
· High speed, precision and low-noise analog design
· Power electronics and power converter design
· Non-contact power supplies
· Custom magnetics and non-contact transformers
· Advanced magnetic design
· System modeling and simulation
· Finite-element analysis (magnetic/electric/thermal)
· PSPICE and PSIM analysis for electronic, power and thermal circuit design
· Failure investigations
· High speed switching design using silicon and GaN MOSFETs
· Maglev and magnetic suspensions
· Control system design
· Semiconductor laser diode drivers
· Design seminars and design reviews
· Technical report preparation
· Induction heating
· MATLAB, Mathematica, Ansoft 3D, FEMM and 3D FastHenry analysis and simulation tools
· Inductive power transfer systems
Dr. Thompson received the Ph.D., E.E., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His doctoral thesis at MIT "High Temperature Superconducting Magnetic Suspension for Maglev" concerned the design and test of high-temperature superconducting suspensions for Maglev and the implementation of magnetically-based ride quality control. Dr. Thompson has authored a number of papers concerning superconducting magnetic suspension design, scaling laws, and actuation. Other areas of research and consulting interest include: planar magnetics, power electronics, induction heating, IC packaging for improved thermal and electrical performance, use of scaling laws for electrical and magnetic design, acoustic and optical ranging systems, electrochemistry of the water/electrode interface, piezoelectric transformers for consumer electronics, and high speed laser diode modulation techniques.
Below, you can find links to Dr. Thompson’s MSEE and Ph.D theses.
Courses at W.P.I. and other Design Seminars
At Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Dr. Thompson teaches several different graduate design courses. The first, "Analog Circuits and Intuition”" develops intuitive and "back of the envelope" methods for analog circuit, power electronics, magnetic, thermal and system analysis. Dr. Thompson also teaches Power Electronics, focusing on intuitive methods for designing power electronics systems. He also teaches analog, power quality, power electronics, electromechanics and electric motor and power distribution design seminars for high-tech companies.
· Samples of slides from Power Electronics
Recent Additions to Website:
FTA Urban Maglev “Lessons Learned” --- Federal Transit Authority Report No. 0026
Photo of “Floater Rider” magnetic levitation demo at the 2012 Worcester Polytechnic Institute Spark Party
Dr. Thompson’s Ph.D. thesis on Maglev, available here from MIT
Dr. Thompson’s Master’s thesis on high speed laser diode drivers available here from MIT
IEEE podcast discussing Shanghai Maglev: http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/transportation/mass-transit/transrapid-internationals-maglev
Analog Circuits and Intuition, syllabus ---f--- from my analog grad class covering transistor amplifier design, MOSFETs, JFETs, control systems, etc
Power Electronics, syllabus --- from my Power Electronics graduate class
A sample of slides from Power Electronics
Electromechanics, syllabus --- from my grad class covering electric motors and generators
Power Distribution, syllabus --- from my grad class on electrical power distribution
Analog and Power Electronics Laboratory Demonstration Videos:
Video of the “Floater Rider”
magnetic levitation and guidance in our lab, revised
Video of levitating aluminum coil --- levitating a single coil with induced eddy currents
Generating voltage with a moving permanent magnet --- showing how you can generate voltage, by Faraday’s law
A mass-spring system and resonance --- fun with a simple mass-spring system, with not much damping
Line current drawn by incandescent vs. compact fluorescent lamps --- interesting illustration of real-world power quality issues
Line current drawn by a laptop charger --- surprisingly low power factor
Levitating the “Floater Rider” with a thyristor converter --- using a triac converter to levitate coils above an aluminum plate
Triac converter with resistive load --- driving a light bulb with a triac converter, and looking at the current waveforms. See how power factor changes.
Transformer, unloaded and loaded --- looking at the line current drawn by the primary of a transformer
TTL gate buck converter design and demo --- a very crude buck DC/DC converter made with an off-the-lab-shelf TTL gate
Phase -controlled converter with LR load --- a thyristor converter driving an inductive load
Transformer loaded with a half-wave rectifier --- more interesting power quality issue
N. Medora, A. Kusko
and M. Thompson, “Impact of
Line Voltage Sag on Switch Mode Power Supply Operation,” 2008 3rd IEEE Conference
on Industrial Electronics and Applications,
"Eddy Current Magnetic Levitation--- Models and Experiments," IEEE Potentials, vol. 19, no. 1, Feb./March 2000, pp. 40-44
"Electrodynamic Magnetic Suspension --- Models, Scaling Laws and Experimental Results," IEEE Transactions on Education, vol. 43, no. 3, August 2000, pp. 336-342
M. T. Thompson, R. D. Thornton and A. Kondoleon, "Scale Model Flux-Canceling EDS Maglev Suspension --- Part I: Design and Modeling," IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 35, no. 3, May 1999, pp. 1956-1963
M. T. Thompson and R. D. Thornton, "Scale Model Flux-Canceling EDS Maglev Suspension --- Part II: Test Results and Scaling Laws," IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 35, no. 3, May 1999, pp. 1964-1975
"Estimating Inductance of Wire Loops," Newsletter of the IEEE Power Electronics Society, Volume 10, No. 2, April 1999, pp. 3
"Inductance Calculation Techniques --- Part I: Classical Methods," Power Control and Intelligent Motion, vol. 25, no. 12, December 1999, pp. 40-45
"Inductance Calculation Techniques --- Part II: Approximations and Handbook Methods," Power Control and Intelligent Motion, 1999, website http://www.pcim.com
"Simple Models and Measurements of Magnetically-Induced Heating Effects in Ferromagnetic Fluids," IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 34, no. 5, September 1998, pp. 3755-3764
M. T. Thompson and M. F. Schlecht, "High Power Laser Diode Driver Based on Power Converter Technology," IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, vol. 12, no. 1, Jan. 1997, pp. 46-52
Online Symposium for Electrical Engineers, “Permanent Magnet Electrodynamic Brakes…”
Online Symposium for Electrical Engineers, “Inductance Calculation Techniques…”
“Tips for Designing High-Gain Amplifiers” --- Electronic Design Magazine, 1994
“Design Linear Circuits using OCTC Calculations” --- Electronic Design Magazine, 1993
“SCTC Analysis Estimates Low Frequency –3dB Point” --- Electronic Design Magazine, 1993
“Network Tricks Aid in OCTC Circuit Analysis” --- Electronic Design Magazine, 1993
Textbook ... "Intuitive Analog Circuit Design" (now available in revised 2nd Edition)
The revised text includes Powerpoint lecture slides, MATLAB design exercises, as well as numerous LTSPICE circuit simulations throughout the text. (The LTSPICE files are also provided). The 2nd edition, revised throughout, includes new lab demos and new chapters covering JFET amplifiers and amplifier noise.
1st edition table of contents and preface are here, in PDF format.
For book errata, email us here.
Book review from IEEE for the 2nd edition
Textbook ... "Power Quality in Electrical Systems" by Kusko and Thompson
Textbook on power quality standards, design issues and mitigating strategies, available in 2007 from McGraw Hill, co-authored with Dr. Alexander Kusko. An outline of the book is found here. A link to the book front and back cover is shown here.
Textbook ... "Analog Circuits (World Class Designs)"
Contributor of 3 chapters to "Analog Circuits (World Class Designs)," edited by Bob Pease, available from Elsevier, 2007.
Textbook ... "Portable Electronics (World Class Designs)"
Contributor of 1 chapter to "Portable Electronics (World Class Designs)," edited by John Donovan, available from Elsevier, 2009.
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