EMC Core Curriculum

A task force lead by Prof. Dickmann from HSU Hamburg established recommendations for an EMC core curriculum with experts from academia and industry in the years 2011-2014. The recommendations give a selection of topics for curriculum content for a broad education in the field of electromagnetic compatibility and are constantly being updated.

With the help of Dr. Magdowski from OvGU Magdeburg the German document was translated for this web site.

General Levels of EMC Competence

  1. Competence to integrate EMC aspects in all planning and system levels, knowledge of corresponding development strategies (e.g. interaction matrix)
  2. Competence to model and solve EMC problems in an autonomous and independent way.
  3. Competence to detect and classifiy interference phenomena in running systems and to make the appropriate choice for countermeasures for the specific problem at hand.
  4. Competence to correctly use known procedures and in the given area of application

For a Bachelor degree the education level must reach competence levels 1 and 2 in in a choice of topics (see below) that do not require a profound theoretical knowledge (e.g. system theory, electromagnetic field theory .)
For a Master degree the education level must reach competence levels 1and 2 in all topics listed below.

Topics for an EMC Core Curriculum

  1. Examples for disturbance sources and intereference mechanisms
  2. Examples for environments where disturbances and intereference may occur
  3. Coupling model: source, victim, coupling paths
    • Classification of disturbances (natural/man-made, narrow-band/wide-band, periodic/transient), shortly repeat Fourier transformation and Bode diagram, knowing the order of magnitude is sufficient for EMC analyses
    • Failure mechanisms (due to energy, amplitude, time response, duration), reac- tion to the disturbance (defective appearance . . . destruction), quantification of immunity, signal-to-noise ratio, breakdown failure rate, bit error rate, spectral power density
    • Impedance coupling (galvanic, common impedance coupling, ground loop), capacitive coupling, inductive coupling (for electrically small systems, description using the law of induction, loop area, di/dt impact)
    • Electromagnetic (field) coupling (for electrically large systems), plane waves, wave impedance, Poynting vector, electric and magnetic elementary dipoles in the near field and far field
  4. Countermeasures: grounding, earthing, bonding, potential equalization, CM/DM, filtering, shielding, transfer impedance, signal integrity, power integrity
    • Starlike wiring, low-impedance wiring
    • Filtering
    • Shielding against capacitive coupling (at least one-sided connection of a cable shield)
    • Shielding against inductive coupling (two-sided connection of a cable shield), twisting of wires
    • Shielding efficiency against electric, magnetic and EM field, coupling via apertures
    • CM and DM disturbances, CM/DM conversion and filtering, common-mode choke, isolating transformer, optocoupler, balancing, cable properties, twisting, shielding, transfer impedance
    • Signal integrity: impedance matching, compensation of discontinuities, suppression of coupling, equalization, filtering
    • Power integrity: decoupling/blocking, ground-bounce control, reduction of wire loops, bonding, filtering, influence on signal integrity
  5. EMC-relevant properties of components (discrete components . . . distributed structures), dependency on the geometry, material, aging
    • Equivalent circuits for discrete components
    • Description and layout of filters
    • Conductor, elements of printed circuit boards (parasitic capacity of the board, vias), transmission line theory, multiconductor transmission line systems
    • Electromagnetic material properties in time and frequency domain (optional)
  6. Role of standardization, standardization structure, IEC, CENELEC, DIN/VDE, interdependences, individual accountability, product liability
    • Purpose and definition of standardization
    • Historical development
    • Structure of standardization (mostly European standards)
    • EMC directive, EMC law, declaration of conformity, CE marking
  7. EMC measurement techniques and procedures
    • Differences to general metrology (determining of physical quantities that should not be present)
    • Measurement quantities and corresponding measurement procedures: emission vs. susceptibility, conducted vs. radiated, ESD, surge, burst. Naming of a specific test method for each task
    • Measurement devices: antennas, spectrum analyzer, EMI test receiver, vector network analyzer, TDEMI, oscilloscope, time-domain reflectometer, pulse generator, coupling clamp, line impedance stabilization network
    • Measurement environments: open area test site, (G)TEM cell, absorber-lined chamber (fully-anechoic/semi-anechoic), reverberation chamber, strip line
    • Ancillary conditions: measurement uncertainty, calibration, reproducibility, standard specifications
  8. Numerical simulation, possibilities, limits, methods and choice of a method, valida- tion, role in the scope of EMC planning
    • Levels of abstraction and corresponding simulation processes (system simula- tion, network simulation, field simulation)
    • Application areas and limits of the methods and tools (methods of network simulation, volume meshing vs. surface meshing used in field solvers, time and frequency domain)
    • Discretization, accuracy, resources
    • Plausibility check
  9. Planning of EMC to avoid disturbances
    • Interaction matrix
    • Transition to the zoning concept
    • Project management (consideration of EMC in the early stages in the product development process, project phases incl. after-sales management)