RE: [SI-LIST] : Comments from your SI seminar (SendII)`

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From: Dave Macemon (davem@aplayers.com)
Date: Thu Oct 28 1999 - 13:31:00 PDT


All,

Adding to Doug Brooks' Response.

We see a lot of Engineers coming out of school with a Computer Engineering
degree. This seems to be a EE degree, without Fields and Waves where we
learn the basics of transmission lines, controls and a few other basics. Of
course, as Doug said, very few Universities target the board level in their
classes.

I find the best SI Engineers are those that have at some point designed bad
boards, and had to fix them. They have "lead logic/System designer"
experience, and understand the "total process" and the connections between
Specification, design and manufacturing and how optimizing for one, can
kill the other. These engineers don't look for the easy way out, they look
to understand the source of the problem through Simulations or Lab work
(often both). BTW: There are not many of these people around.

I also agree with Doug, having an in-house class can provide more value
than an open registration class. You can work with the instructor on your
problems - and not tip your hand to others who work for the competition.

To add to Doug's list of Instructors:
Eric Bogatin: http://www.bogatinenterprises.com/
SiQual ( http://www.siqual.com/ ) also provides training (Our trainers
include: Scott McMorrow - who often contributes to this list, and Rod
Strange, who has presented at PCB Design, DAC, and many other forums)

Also, I agree with Doug, companies need to start bringing in Engineers to
help (OK, that's our business....). We've all seen projects spend big $$
trying to fix a problem using internal resources, when an external
consultant would have cost less, and gotten the design out sooner, while
teaching the internal design team to be more self sufficient.

Dave Macemon
SiQual

At 12:42 PM 10/28/99 -0700, Doug Brooks wrote:
>At 11:00 AM 10/28/99 -0700, you wrote:
> >Doug-
> >
> >Well put.
> >
>
> >
> >2) Do you see a large gap between nominal theory presented in "typical"
> >Univerity courses [BS level?; MS level?] and material presented in
> >Conference short courses, tutorials, etc.? Perhaps schools present material
> >too far removed from real world apps and hardware [boards], while Industry
> >tutorials may skim the surface of SI cause/effects, but cover quite well
> >actual Industry cases & fixes familiar to that instructor/consultant?
> >
> >>From my perspective, if I don't have a short course instructor's
> >background/experience/advanced degree, I'm liable to pick up rules of thumb,
> >and quickly get into trouble misapplying them, due to a lack of deeper
> >understanding. Most of us with mechanical engr degrees, and I suspect many
> >"Digital centric" EE's, probably get into the same predicament!
> >
> >It makes me wonder, what is the best way to gain deeper understanding, given
> >finite resources of time and money? Picking this up solely through exposure
> >to forums [like SI-List], short courses and mag articles only gets you so
> >far. It's something I still struggle with!
> >
> >Regards,
> >
> >Michael Alderete
> >Aerojet [So. Calif.]
>
>
>In general, universities do a reasonable job teaching theory (at least at
>the graduate level) but not much of a job teaching practical issues. This
>is especially true at the board design level. Very few schools have any
>courses at all that focus at the board level. Many of the faculty people I
>have talked with have never considered the kinds of issues designers face.
>And few people AT ALL understand the black magic associated with EMI!
>
>Then, many in the design industry came up the mechanical engineering route,
>or no engineering route at all --- although this is changing. Most of the
>designers I have worked with have no formal engineering training.
>
>So, where do we get the training? IPC, IEEE, and PC Design Magazine (Miller
>Freeman) through their articles and conferences make an honest effort to
>provide training. Where do THEIR resources come from? People like us!! Who
>we already indicated may be (not in my case, of course!) part of the problem!
>
>Here comes the commercial --- don't read any further if that offends you.
>
>I have created a seminar titled Electrical Engineering for the Non-Degreed
>Engineer that has been given twice now at the PCB Design Conference. I
>wanted to title it "EE for the Engineer Who Didn't Get It The First Time"
>--- but Pete didn't like that!! To be honest, I am not totally comfortable
>with the course because I fear it goes over the head of some people, but is
>too basic for others. It's a hard target to hit. But the problem is --- how
>do you communicate topics like bypass cap resonant frequencies, resonant
>poles and zeros, transmission line impedances, current and voltage
>reflections, electromagnet coupling, capacitive and inductive (crosstalk)
>coupling, etc., to people who have a shakey grasp of what a capacitor is
>and does, and even less of a grasp of inductance? It's a tough challenge.
>
>I believe companies should should offer more in-house training. Either
>through their own internal resources or through (here goes) consultants
>like us who have put some time into trying to figure out how to communicate
>these issues to others. There are several of us available to come to firms
>to put on seminars, and they can be better directed to specific needs if
>they are done on location rather than in a general seminar environment.
>
>Who can do these? Look at who already does them.
>Doug Brooks (me)
>Rick Hartley
>Lee Hill (I think)
>Lee Ritchey
>and of course, the giant in our industry, Howie Johnson
>
>What really needs to happen, then, is for COMPANIES to more seriously
>address this issue from the inside and bring in some outside resources to
>help.
>
>And --- one more commercial --- I will have my seminar available in book
>form for purchase from our web site before year end. Watch for the
>announcement on the web site.
>
>Doug Brooks
>
>
>
>
>
>.
>****************************************************
>Doug Brooks, President doug@eskimo.com
>UltraCAD Design, Inc. http://www.ultracad.com
>
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Dave Macemon
Stilwell Baker / SiQual Corporation
davem@aplayers.com
phone (503)885-1231
fax (503)885-0550
http://www.siqual.com/
http://www.aplayers.com/

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