Master Course Description

No: EE 453


Credits: 5

UW Course Catalog Description

Coordinator: Mohamed A. El-Sharkawi, Professor, Electrical Engineering

Goals: To introduce students to the design, theory of operation and analysis of electric drive systems.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the basic components of an electric drive system.
  2. Understand the basic types of solid-state converter circuits.
  3. Design converters for electric motors.
  4. Understand and design various speed controls, braking and holding techniques for electric motors.
  5. Understand and design a complete electric drives system for industrial applications.
  6. Enable students to carry out a final project on an electric drives system for industrial applications.
  7. Work in teams to perform laboratory experiments.

Textbook: Fundamentals of Electric Drives, Mohamed A. El-Sharkawi, Brooks/Cole Pub, 2000.

Reference Texts: IEEE Transactions, industrial reports and the worldwide web.

Prerequisites by Topic:

  1. AC and DC circuits
  2. Single-phase and multi-phase analysis
  3. Transistors and Diodes
  4. Calculus


  1. Elements of Electric Drive Systems
  2. Introduction to Solid-State Devices
  3. Introduction to Power Electronics Switching Circuits
  4. Joint Speed-Torque Characteristics of Electric Motors and Mechanical Loads
  5. Speed Torque Characteristics of Electric Drives
  6. Speed Control, Braking and Holding of Electric Drives

Course Structure: The class meets for two lectures a week, each consisting of 100 minute sessions. A lab session of 3 hours/week is required. There are regular homework and at least one midterm exam. A final project is required by the end of the instruction period.

Computer Resources: Students use computer facilities for their homework and final projects. Simulations of electric drives system using commercial simulation software may also be used.


  1. Basics of power electronics and electric drives
  2. Design of converters
  3. Design of speed control of electric motors
  4. Design of Braking Systems for electric motors

Outcome Coverage:

(a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering. This course includes mathematical modeling of various elements of drive systems including motors, mechanical loads, and power electronic converters. (H)

(b) An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data. Before the students perform their laboratory experiments, the students analyze the objectives of the experiments and design a setup to achieve these objectives. During and after the experiment, the students interpret their measurements to determine whether the experiment results meet the objectives of the laboratory. (H)

(c) An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability. For the final project, the students are required to design a drive system to meet given requirements and objectives. An integral part of the project is to develop a business plan for commercializing the product that includes cost analysis and marketing techniques. The safety of the designed system is assessed based on the intended use. (H)

(d) An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams. Students form teams of up to 3 students in the laboratory as well as for the final project. The students may have different background strength, but are cooperatively working to achieve the objectives of the experiments or project. Team members tend to specialize in one aspect of the experiment or project, such as power electronics or digital systems versus machines, creating a multi-disciplinary environment within the team. (H)

(e) An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems. The class includes various examples of operational problems such as mismatching mechanical load and electric machines, mismatching of energy source and machines, and power electronic interface. Students are required to identify the problems and design systems to solve them. (H)

(f) An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. (N/A)

(g) An ability to communicate effectively. The students are required to prepare written report on their final projects. The progress of the projects is presented by the students in form of predesign reviews (PDR) as well as business plan. Grades are given for technical, writing and presentation quality. (H)

(h) Broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context. The impact of modern electric drive systems on existing or new industrial process is discussed throughout the course. The final projects may include the effect of efficient electric drive systems on environment, the effect of systems such as the electric or hybrid electric vehicles on the society. (M)

(i) A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning. The course material contains areas where technologies are continually changing. New generations of power electronic devices and machines are continually introduced and the students understand that they must be capable to track these development. Students also understand that electric drives are continuously and rapidly replacing mechanical drives in industrial applications that were not considered before. In addition, students must consult reference sources and inform themselves concerning certain aspects of the course material. This helps students realize that they need to be able to learn material on their own, and given them some of the necessary skills. (M)

(j) Knowledge of contemporary issues. The student projects often relates to contemporary issues such as electric vehicles, mass transportation systems, spacecraft actuations, power quality and environmental impacts of drives systems. Students are engaged during the lecture time in discussing and evaluating these issues. (M)

(k) Use of modern engineering tools. The students in this course are utilizing the web to obtain copies of the lecture material, to receive and/or deliver their work. The web is also used as a supplemental source of research material. In addition, modern simulation tools such as mathematical model simulators and electronic circuit simulator are used. (H)

Prepared By: M. A. El-Sharkawi

Last revised: 12/4/2012