[time-nuts] Modern College Education for Electronics - Cubesats - Real world training
tholmes at woh.rr.com
Mon Nov 16 19:01:30 EST 2015
" and built a facility at
the school that is un-matched in the state."
I have to take issue with that statement. I get around to a lot of schools in my work and yours is un-matched in many states!
Tom Holmes, N8ZM
From: time-nuts [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Kruth via time-nuts
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2015 10:56 AM
To: time-nuts at febo.com
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] Modern College Education for Electronics - Cubesats - Real world training
I have been watching this thread. And I have some comments on what I have
read. I teach at the undergrad & grad level in the Space Science Center at
Morehead State University. We have a Space Systems Engineering Degree
track, BS & MS. Couldnt call it EE as UK has an EE program, dup not allowed in
Our students build a lot, do a lot of labs, learn RF, mechatronics,
microprocessors, satellites. They learn Solidworks and Altium, do designs of PCBs
and H/W. We have a new 21 meter dish that they learn to drive and we track
satellites for NASA and others. We have built 7 cubesat systems and had
them launched. Our kids actually build the satellites. For some things like
solar cell mounting, we have a "model-maker" quality staff guy do that, but
otherwise the students are at least waist deep in everything else. We hire
some undergrads and they work closely with staff. We have them use spec
ans,, network analyzers, the anechoic chamber, the CNC machine shop, the 3D
printers for mechanical verification, etc. We have a complete "shake & bake"
qual lab here with vacuum chamber, etc. We are a one stop shop for cubesat
satellite design and development. (Bob Twiggs, the cubesat co-inventor,
I run the Undergrad and Masters thesis classes and make my student run
their project as though it was an industry job, complete with a lot of writing
like proposals, PDR,CDR, final report, budget, timeline, etc. They learn
"the process" and I have gotten excellent feedback on this over my 20 year
teaching stint on the usefulness of this approach.
We have a good sized staff of older guys, like me, mostly in "retirement"
(2nd job) mode, who are basically training their replacement in the work
force. All the older skills and the newer ones as well are used. A deadbug
breadboard saves a lot of time in validating a design, but SMT stuff is tough
to do so we use modelling and PCB constructuion as well, both approaches
are useful & applicable.
Currently we are the prime on the LunarIceCube bird slated for launch in
2018 looking for lunar water transport mechanisms. We are working with
Goddard & JPL. Students are heavily involved and get a lot of exposure. We have
all who will bite at it get there ham ticket.
The USA is in a lot of trouble as far as competent engineers goes, with the
graying of the workforce. Over 80 % of the RF engineers in the USA are 45
or older (I know, I am one of them and track the numbers). Software apps
for your I-phone will not move us ahead in the world, things still need
built and tested in labs. What good is your wireless handheld thingy without
the RF part??
Most schools do not have the facilities we have. In my case, I brought over
15 tractor trailer loads of RF gear and lab from my Maryland R&D business
here to Kentucky (because I am crazy, that's why!) and built a facility at
the school that is un-matched in the state. C-beams, multiple 8566B, 8510C
vnas, etc. We do stuff, our students "see" stuff and we have paced people
at some prestigious organizations. Goldstone wants some of our people for
Anyway, the point is, there are a few places that blend "old-school" with
state-of-the-art techniques to produce solid fresh-outs that can think with
their hands and head. This is our goal. About 1/3 of our undergrad class
is women! And some of them absolutely love this stuff, eat it up! There is
hopand not all schools are the same.
Jeff Kruth, WA3ZKR
Staff Electrical Engineer and Instructor
Space Science Center
Morehead State University
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