GVSU Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Center Shares 2020 Highlights and Future Plans
June 09, 2021
The DTE Energy Foundation Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Center at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) supports EMC education, research, and EMC pre-compliance testing for industry. The center employs co-op students through a unique industry collaboration with onsite EMC & High-speed engineering & testing company, E3 Compliance. Inside this 6,000 square-foot facility there are seven EMC test chambers for radiated and conducted emissions, radiated and conducted immunity, electrical and electrostatic discharge testing. The center provides support for university electromagnetic compatibility courses at undergraduate and graduate level as well as EMC certificate courses for industry.
In spite of Covid, 2020 was a successful year for the EMC Center, which gained 23 new clients and added one full time EMC Engineer who was previously working as a GVSU Co-op student at the EMC Center. Several new lab capabilities and upgrades were completed, and more than ten GVSU students participated in experiential learning through EMC Center projects.
GVSU graduate student, Brian Gilbert, worked directly with EMC Center Director, Dr. Bogdan Adamczyk on research regarding SI & EMC design principles. Engineering students Cameron Beemer, Jacob Bluhm, Alexandra Evans, Steven Lindsey, and Hannah Lucas completed a Radio Frequency Turntable senior project. The automated turntable provides a way for products being tested in the EMC chamber to be rotated during measurements to capture maximum noise according to FCC test requirements. The final turntable was both non-conductive and controllable from outside of the EMC chamber.
Additionally, Five GVSU co-op students, Bilguun Baatar, Corey DeGasperis, Mat French, Nick Koeller, and Alex Pearson, completed a combined set of over 275 individual lab projects, enhanced existing capabilities, developed new test capabilities, assisted in equipment maintenance and repairs, provided lab tours, and performed lab SW maintenance and scripting. The students also completed EMC and Signal Integrity simulations on high-speed digital interfaces. During their time at the EMC Center, the students’ skillsets advanced to the point that they were able to troubleshoot and provide initial design guidance to clients. They also gained experience running tests with customers and documenting results in final reports.
In order to better meet the needs of clients, a variety of lab upgrades and new equipment purchases were made to enhance the EMC Center’s capabilities. New lab capabilities and upgrades include the addition of a key high-frequency EMI Receiver to speed up and improve diagnostics, an emissions diagnostics tool to provide real time spectrum analysis, as well as new voltage, current, and frequency meters and probes. A major conducted immunity upgrade was completed, adding a new low frequency probe and fixture to perform new automotive and military EMC requirement tests. Further, the GTEM Cell immunity upgrade included a new power meter and sensors to expand the frequency range and power levels for commercial testing. The EMC Center also added thermal imaging, purchased function generators, oscilloscopes and upgraded to a new version of Nexio Test Lab Automation software. Additional software license upgrades were completed for the EMC Center’s EMC/SI/PI simulation tools.
In 2021, the EMC Center is focusing on expanding its support of academic opportunities involving students and training classes. In addition, a number of publications are planned to help share research and the study of EMC concepts with a broad audience. Engineering and testing capabilities will be expanded throughout the year along with growing the team of engineers needed to support the increase in demand for both academic and industrial support.