Formative Assessment and Classroom Activities of New Era Microwave Engineering Curriculum

Formative Assessment and Classroom Activities of New Era Microwave Engineering Curriculum

Kok Yeow You (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4036-7.ch013
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Microwave engineering (ME) is a technology-based course. The aim of this course is to train future professional engineers to gain practical skills, such as RF-integrated circuits design and analysis, as well as microwave instrument operation. Therefore, the curriculum for this course needs to revise and meet the needs of the future so that future graduated engineers in the telecommunication field can find the job easier and have the professional skills required by the employer. This chapter proposes and presents some simple practical assignments for undergraduates to complete their assessment in the ME course. At the same time, the gap between the university's curriculum and the current development of microwave technology in the industrial sector can be reduced through such practical assignments.
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Microwave Education Background

Microwave education is the application of circuit theory to electromagnetic waves (Gupta et al., 2002) at microwave frequency range. Microwave education combines advanced science for electromagnetic theory and circuit theory which emphasizes the application of the latest microwave technology. In microwave education, the phenomenon of electromagnetic wave propagation with microwave frequency range (300 MHz to 300 GHz) in each device/medium/circuit is quantitatively analysed and solved using the lumped-element equivalent circuit or transmission-line theories. Usually the subject of electromagnetic theory and CT are compulsory to be taken by electrical/electronic engineering undergraduate students before attending the microwave engineering class. As shown in Table 1, widely mixed parameters or variables are used in microwave education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0): A major shift in industrial development tends to enable automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and processes, including cyber physical systems (CPS), industrial Internet of things (IIOT), cloud computing, cognitive computing, and artificial intelligence.

Microwave-Integrated Circuit: An integrated circuit (IC) device that operates at microwave frequencies.

Microwave: A form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths ranging from 1 m to 1 mm, which is corresponding to operating frequencies ranging from 300 MHz to 300 GHz.

Smith Chart: A graphical calculator or nomogram designed for electrical and electronics engineers specializing in RF/Microwave engineering to assist solve the transmission line and matching circuit design problems.

Device-to-Device Communication (D2D): Direct communication between two mobile users by the cellular operator without traversing the base station (BS) or core network.

Microwave Network Theory: The formulation of microwave field problems in terms of transmission lines to represent the guiding regions (microwave in waveguide), and lumped elements to represent the effects of junctions and other geometrical discontinuities (waveguide discontinuities and radiation regions).

Scattering Parameters: ( S-Parameters): A parameter describe the electrical behavior of a linear electrical networks when subjected to various steady state stimuli by electrical signals.

Microwave Electronic Design Automation (EDA): A software tool for designing microwave electronic systems, such as microwave integrated circuits and high frequency printed circuit boards.

Formative Assessment: A series of formal and informal assessment procedures conducted by the teacher during the learning process to modify teaching and learning activities to enhance students’ learning ability.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD): A computer software tool to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design.

Vector Network Analyser (VNA): A vector test instrument that measures the response of a network as S-parameters so that its performance can be characterized.

Printed Circuit Board (PCB): A board made for connecting electrical or electronic components together.

Internet of Things (IoT): A system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical, and digital machines provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Fifth Generation Wireless Technology (5G): Digital cellular mobile communication networks that began wide deployment in 2019.

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