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Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers

ISBN: 978-1-118-80768-2
268 pages
January 2014, Wiley-IEEE Press
Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers (1118807685) cover image

Description

The book is a review of essential skills that an entry-level or experienced engineer must be able to demonstrate on a job interview and perform when hired. It will help engineers prepare for interviews by demonstrating application of basic principles to practical problems. Hiring managers will find the book useful because it defines a common ground between the student's academic background and the company's product or technology-specific needs, thereby allowing managers to minimize their risk when making hiring decisions.

Ten Essential Skills contains a series of "How to" chapters. Each chapter realizes a goal, such as designing an active filter or designing a discrete servo. The primary value of these chapters, however, is that they apply engineering fundamentals to practical problems. The book is a handy reference for engineers in their first years on the job.

  • Enables recent graduates in engineering to succeed in challenging technical interviews
  • Written in an intuitive, easy-to-follow style for the benefit of busy students and employers
  • Book focuses on the intersection between company-specific knowledge and engineering fundamentals
  • Companion website includes interview practice problems and advanced material
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

About the Author xv

About the Reviewers xvii

Note to Instructors xxi

1 HOW TO DESIGN RESISTIVE CIRCUITS 1

1.1 Design of a Resistive Thevenin Source 2

1.2 Design of a Coupling Circuit 4

1.3 Design of a Pi Attenuator 8

Problems 14

References 17

2 HOW TO PREVENT A POWER TRANSISTOR FROM OVERHEATING 19

2.1 Electrical Model for Heat Transfer 20

2.2 Using Manufacturer’s Data for Thermal Analysis 23

2.3 Forced-Air Cooling 26

2.4 Dynamic Response of a Thermal System 27

Problems 30

Reference 32

3 HOW TO ANALYZE A CIRCUIT 33

3.1 Frequency Response of a Transfer Function 34

3.2 Frequency Response and Impedance of Simple Circuits 38

3.3 Frequency Response for Ladder Networks 51

3.4 Generalized Technique for Determining Frequency Response 54

Problems 58

References 60

4 HOW TO USE STATISTICS TO ENSURE A MANUFACTURABLE DESIGN 61

4.1 Independent Component Failures 62

4.2 Using the Gaussian Distribution 63

4.3 Setting a Manufacturing Test Limit 68

4.4 Procuring a Custom Component 71

Problems 76

References 77

5 HOW TO DESIGN A FEEDBACK CONTROL SYSTEM 79

5.1 Intuitive Description of a Control System 80

5.2 Review of Control System Operation 81

5.3 Performance of Control Systems 84

5.4 First-Order Control System Design 84

5.5 Second-Order Control System Design 88

5.6 Circuit Realization of a Second-Order Control System 94

5.7 First-Order Discrete Control System 95

Problems 101

References 102

6 HOW TO WORK WITH OP-AMP CIRCUITS 103

6.1 The Ideal Op-Amp 104

6.2 Practical Op-Amps 108

6.2.1 Effect of Input Offset Voltage 108

6.2.2 Noise Contribution from Op-Amp Circuits 110

6.2.3 Dynamic Characteristics of Op-Amp Circuits 113

6.2.4 Effect of Capacitive Loading 116

6.2.5 A Nagging Issue 118

Problems 119

References 121

7 HOW TO DESIGN ANALOG FILTERS 123

7.1 Passive Versus Active Filters 124

7.2 The Lowpass RC Filter 125

7.3 Filter Response Characteristics 129

7.4 Specification of Filter Type 131

7.5 Generalized Filter Design Procedure 132

7.6 Design of Active Lowpass Filters 136

7.7 Design of Passive RF Filters 139

Problems 146

References 148

8 HOW TO DESIGN DIGITAL FILTERS 149

8.1 Review of Sampling 150

8.2 Using the z-Transform to Determine the Transfer Function and Frequency Response of Digital Filters 155

8.3 FIR and IIR Digital Filters 161

8.3.1 FIR Filters 162

8.3.2 IIR Filters 165

8.3.3 Comparisons between FIR and IIR Filters 167

8.4 Design of Simple and Practical Digital Filters 168

8.4.1 Averaging Lowpass FIR Filter 168

8.4.2 Lowpass FIR/IIR Filter 171

Problems 177

References 181

9 HOW TO WORK WITH RF SIGNALS 183

9.1 Energy Transfer 185

9.2 Signal Reflections 187

9.3 Effect of Signal Reflections on Digital Signals 190

9.4 Effect of Signal Reflections on Narrowband Signals 195

9.5 The Smith Chart 198

9.6 Using the Smith Chart to Display Impedance Versus Frequency 205

9.7 Final Comments Regarding the Smith Chart 205

Problems 206

References 209

10 GETTING A JOB—KEEPING A JOB—ENJOYING YOUR WORK 211

10.1 Getting a Job 212

10.1.1 Getting an Interview 214

10.1.2 Preparing for an Interview 216

10.1.3 The Interview 217

10.1.4 Selecting the Right Offer 220

10.2 Keeping a Job 221

10.2.1 The First Year 221

10.2.2 After the First Year 224

10.3 Enjoying Your Work 227

Afterword 231

Answers to Problems 233

Index 243

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Author Information

BARRY L. DORR, PE, is a Principal Design Engineer at Datron World Communications. He has taught Circuit Analysis at San Diego State University, Servo Systems for the IEEE, and numerous industrial seminars. He holds eight patents for signal processing and communication devices, and has contributed articles to Embedded Computing Magazine, Electronic Design News, and various trade publications.

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