EMC specialist Keith Armstrong wins IEEE award


Thursday, 20 September, 2018


EMC specialist Keith Armstrong wins IEEE award

Global electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) specialist Keith Armstrong has become the first person to receive the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) new Excellence in Continuing EMC Education Award, presented at the 2018 joint IEEE EMC society and Asia-Pacific EMC (APEMC) symposium.

The awards ceremony follows a series of successful EMC training courses from Armstrong in Australia, held in April and May this year. They were the latest in a series of courses on good, cost-effective EMC, signal integrity (SI) and power integrity (PI) engineering that Armstrong has delivered worldwide for more than 23 years.

During this period Armstrong also wrote many articles and guides and presented many conference papers on these topics, including testing techniques and risk managing electromagnetic interference (EMI), which used to be called ‘EMC for Functional Safety’. It was his commitment to continuing EMC education for practising engineers that prompted the launch of online resource EMC Standards in 2016.

“A strong understanding and knowledge of EMI and EMC is imperative in modern engineering,” said Armstrong. “Designers are always using die-shrunk integrated circuits (ICs) and power switching devices and adding new features to products in a never-ending quest to maintain or grow market share. This generally results in worse SI, PI, emissions and immunity: increasing difficulties in complying with functional specifications and EMC standards; poorer customer experiences; and increased warranty costs.

“Achieving EMC is often left to a small group of EMC experts, after the functional design is complete, sometimes called ‘throwing it over the wall to the EMC department’. But this has become extremely inefficient because almost every aspect of a modern electronic product has an impact on EMC. To get to market quickly with a successful and profitable product now requires all designers to use good EM engineering. They don’t need to become EMC experts, or know how to test to standards, but they do need to know enough to ensure that their first prototypes are close enough to their final products to only require minor modifications.

“Unfortunately, practical EM engineering is generally not taught as part of academic engineering courses, at any level, so I have always focused on helping design engineers and their managers understand — in practical terms — what is required at each stage of the product cycle to avoid real-world problems and reduce financial risks.

“I am very honoured to have been the first person to be presented with this new IEEE award, and will continue to deliver practical education on EMC, SI and PI to engineers worldwide. I hope to deliver this increasingly via my continually updated training course material on the EMC Standards site.”

For more information on Armstrong’s practical educational material for EMC, SI and PI design, including EMC compliance, visit EMC Standards.

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