Macroelectronics: A gateway to electronics and instrumentation education

Stephen A. Dyer, John L. Schmalzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Conventional approaches to teaching electronics and instrumentation emphasize microelectronics. This paper describes an approach that emphasizes macroelectronics instead. The objectives of the electronics course now focus on giving students the tools they need to create useful electronic instruments composed of functional subsystems. To achieve this goal, a design project is given at the beginning of the course. The design projects are chosen to provide motivation and affirmation of course content. We have used a power supply and a semiconductor curve tracer as example design projects in offerings at our respective universities. The experience has been positive as measured by student responses and their ability to complete useful instruments. We have also used a model corporate structure as a way to organize student efforts and to handle the support needed to ensure success. All students serve a technical role as design engineers. Depending on class size and the size of model companies desired, students vie for executive, marketing, financial, procurement, manufacturing, and technical-documentation positions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1503-1506
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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