Thompson Consulting, Inc.

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 seminars

Failure investigations

Design reviews and sanity checks




Electromagnetic design

- 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)




Company Overview

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.


Engineering Consulting and R/D

·        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

·        High frequency DC/DC converter design

·        Advanced magnetic design

·        Motors

·        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 

·        Optoelectronics  

·        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

Education and Maglev Research at M.I.T.

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 course slides from Analog Circuits are here and here

·        Samples of slides from Power Electronics



Recent Additions to Website:

Dr. Thompson interviewed about “Hyperloop

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:

List of patents (downloadable in PDF format)

Magnemotion M3 Maglev system description

Description of the General Atomics Urban Maglev System

Company overview  is here (in PDF format)

A bibliography of references related to inductance calculation methods

Analog Circuits and Intuition, syllabus ---f--- from my analog grad class covering transistor amplifier design, MOSFETs, JFETs, control systems, etc

Samples of slides from Analog Circuits are here and here  --- from my analog grad class

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

Notes from a 3-day seminar on electromechanics and machines:  Day 1:  Basics  Day 2:  Magnetics  Day 3:  Machines


Notes from a short course on Power Quality:   Power Quality 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 Distribution, syllabus --- from my grad class on electrical power distribution

Link to Dr. Thompson’s patents at the USPTO

American Maglev Technology --- technical assessment for Florida Department of Transportation, 2013

Chubu HSST Maglev Final Report, Federal Transit Administration, 2004

Nifty levitation videos from Nijmegen High Field Magnet Laboratory … Levitated frog      Levitated grasshopper   Levitated strawberry

Video:  Fun with ferrofluid


Analog and Power Electronics Laboratory Demonstration Videos:

Illustration of Faraday’s Law of induction using a magnetic sniffer coil

Video of the “Floater Rider” magnetic levitation and guidance in our lab, revised 10/11/15 --- 2 coils can levitate stably over an aluminum guideway

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



“Practical Issues in the use of NdFeB Permanent Magnets in Maglev, Motors, Bearings and Eddy Current Brakes,"  Proceedings of the IEEE, Nov. 2009

R. Thornton, M. Thompson, B. Perreault and J. Fang, “Linear Motor Powered Transportation,  Proceedings of the IEEE, Nov. 2009

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, June 3-5, 2008, Singapore

"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

"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

 “Designing Video Circuits” --- Part 1 --- Part 2 --- Part 3 --- ESD:  The Electronics System Design Magazine, 1988


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.

2nd edition, link

2nd edition, Barnes & Noble link

2nd edition book link from Elsevier

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. link to the book is 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.

Amazon link to the book

Textbook ... "Portable Electronics (World Class Designs)"

Contributor of 1 chapter to "Portable Electronics (World Class Designs)," edited by John Donovan, available from Elsevier, 2009.

Amazon link to the book


Contact Us:



Thompson Consulting, Inc.

9 Jacob Gates Road
Harvard, Massachusetts 01451



(978) 456-7722




Curriculum Vitae of Marc Thompson, Ph.D 

Thompson Consulting Inc. consulting projects

Maglev (PhD) and other (MSEE) research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Teaching at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and other design seminars

Links to manufacturers' websites, applications notes, etc.


Do you see any errors or omissions?  Please contact


Thompson Consulting, Inc. ("TCI") intends for the information contained in this web site to be accurate; however, errors sometimes occur. Therefore, TCI in no event shall be liable for any direct or indirect damages arising out of the use of material on this website.


© 1998-2016 Thompson Consulting, Inc., all rights reserved.


Updated 6/15/16