engineering research and development
Marc Thompson is an Adjunct
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and teaches several graduate
courses at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in
Worcester, Massachusetts. He also teaches
a seminar on analog and power electronics systems and industry short courses.
The ability to see the simplicity in a
complex design problem is a skill that is not usually taught in engineering
classes. Some engineers, when faced with design problems, immediately fill up
pages and pages of calculations, or do complex circuit simulations or
finite-element analyses. One problem with this approach is that if you get an
answer, you don't know if it is correct unless you have an intuitive feel for
what the answer should be. The application of some simple rules-of-thumb and
design techniques is a possible first step to developing intuition into the
behavior of complex electrical systems. The course outlines some ways of
thinking about analog circuits and systems that hopefully will help to develop
intuition. The course is run as a graduate seminar, and discussion and debate
is highly encouraged. The lectures are a mixture of instructional sessions
covering new background material, and design case studies.
Material covered includes:
- Use of scaling laws, intuitive approaches and energy
methods to simplify system design.
- Mechanical/electrical/thermal/magnetic circuit
analogies. How to use circuit
theory to predict behavior of other kinds of systems.
- Transistor amplifier design and amplifier bandwidth
approximation techniques using open-circuit time constants and
short-circuit time constants
- High gain amplifiers
- Switching transistor analysis using the charge-control
- Magnetic and electromechanical circuits
- Switching power converter design and MOSFET switching
- Design case studies
Samples of powerpoints
Circuits are here and here
Power Electronics (click
the link for a syllabus from a past class)
This is a
graduate-level power electronics course, covering:
- Power electronic systems
- Device physics and characteristics of switching devices
such as BJTs, MOSFETs, SCRs, IGBTs, diodes, etc.
--- non-controlled (diode) and controlled (SCR) rectifiers and inverters
switching power converters (such as the buck, boost, buck/boost, flyback, forward, Cuk,
issues; modeling, averaged and state-space models; discontinuous mode and
current mode control.
modeling and control
design issues such as snubbers, gate drives, thermal design, and magnetic
focus is on approximate design techniques, real-world case studies, and
intuitive methods. There is judicious use of SPICE and MATLAB circuit
sample of powerpoints from Power
Seminar on Analog
and Power Electronic Systems
Material covered includes:
- Basics of analog signal processing
- Basics of
- Use of
Electromechanics (click the link for a syllabus from a past class)
- Magnetics; electromagnets and permanent magnets
- Basic motors
- Advanced motors (DC, synchronous, induction)
Notes from the 3-day seminar on electromechanics:
Day 1: Basics
Day 2: Magnetics
Day 3: Machines
Power Distribution (click the
link for a syllabus from a past class)
An intermediate course in analysis and operation
of electrical power distribution. Topics
include electrical loads characteristics, modeling, metering, customer billing,
voltage regulation, voltage levels, and power factor correction. The design and
operation of the power distribution system components will be introduced:
distribution transformers, distribution substation, distribution networks, and
distribution equipment. Emphasis is on
the design of electrical systems in accordance with the National Electrical
Code (NEC). Supplemental materials on
power quality and other projects related to power and power distribution will
be supplied by the instructor. Numerous
case studies will be done on the blackboard (in closed form) and using
electrical and magnetic simulation tools.
Power Quality in Electrical Systems
Notes from the 3-day seminar (jointly taught with Dr. Alexander Kusko)
Outline Notes on EMI Day 1 Notes 1 Day 1 Notes 2 Day 2 Notes 1 Day 2 Notes 2 Day 3 Notes 1 Day 3 Notes 2
... "Power Quality in Electrical Systems"
Textbook on power quality standards, design
issues and mitigating strategies, available in 2007 from McGraw Hill, jointly
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.
Amazon.com link to the book is here
- “Seminar on Analog
Circuit Design,” Polaroid Corporation, 1999
- “Analog Circuits and
Intuitive Design Methods,” Allegro Microsystems, 2004
Electronics,” Allegro Microsystems, 2004
- “Power Quality in
Electronic Systems,” IEEE Boston, 2005 (with Alexander Kusko)
Distribution,” NSTAR, 2006
Basics,” Naval Air Engineering Station, Lakehurst N.J., June
2006, September 2006, June 2008
Distribution,” Northeast Utilities, 2007
Electronics,” National Grid, 2008
Electronics,” Naval Air Engineering Station, Lakehurst N.J., September 2008
Marc T. Thompson, Ph.D.
President, Thompson Consulting, Inc.
Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
9 Jacob Gates Road, Harvard MA 01451
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Business website: http://www.thompsonrd.com/
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