North Carolina State University

Senior Design Course Inspires an Industry Workshop

 

Customer

Dr. David Ricketts received his PhD in engineering and applied sciences from Harvard University and his BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Prior to joining academia, he spent eight years in the industry developing more than 40 integrated circuits in mixed-signal, RF, and power management applications. Ricketts’s research crosses the fields of physics, materials science and circuit design, investigating the ultimate capabilities of microelectronic devices and how these devices are harnessed by differing circuit topologies to produce the highest performing systems.

Challenge

Dr. Ricketts, an electrical engineering professor at North Carolina State University (NC State), developed a one-semester senior design course that guides students through the fundamentals of radio communications from design through to fabrication. Following on the success of this course, Ricketts felt the next challenge was to develop an accelerated workshop that offered the same design through fabrication in a single day for working professionals attending industry-related technical gatherings such as the annual International Microwave Symposium (IMS), recently held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Solution

Prof. Ricketts relied upon his professional connections through the IEEE MTT society to help bring to fruition his idea of a one-day workshop that could be offered to industry as well as academia. He enhanced and streamlined his RF/microwave class materials and combined them with NI AWR software into the interactive Bits to Waves: Building a Modern Digital Radio in One Day workshop for IEEE professionals that is now offered at IEEE conferences throughout the world. 

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