Design007 Magazine

Design007-Mar2019

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10 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 George Fox University: Teaching PCB Design to EE Students Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson and Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 We've all heard the stories about engineer- ing students entering our industry with no idea how to design PCBs. It's not their fault; most students aren't exposed to PCB design in their electrical engineering curriculum. But George Fox University (GFU) is an exception to the rule. Gary Spivey is director of engineering proj- ects at this Christian college in the Pacific Northwest, and his students learn to design and fabricate a PCB while also giving back to the community. Not surprisingly, these graduates get snapped up quickly. In this wide-ranging interview, Spivey discusses GFU's engineering curriculum, their cutting-edge lab facilities, and the need to teach students to think critically. Andy Shaughnessy: What is your background and how did you end up working at George Fox University? Gary Spivey: I was an EE major at the Univer- sity of Arizona in '88, and I went to work for the National Security Agency, which I enjoyed very much. While there, I did a three-year stint in Scotland, and upon return, went back to grad school at the University of Maryland at College Park. I received my master's and was working on my Ph.D.; I had everything done except for that little essay. Then, I took my family back to Arizona. I got a job in Tucson with a defense contractor and finished my Ph.D. from there. About that time, I thought, "Well, what now?" I was browsing the web one day and stumbled upon GFU, a small Christian school in the Northwest that I didn't know anything about; I wasn't even looking for a job as a teacher. I noticed that they had an engineering pro- gram and were looking for someone, and upon a more detailed look, realized that they were looking for me. My major and minor and the company I was working for were the top three things they wanted. I let it sit for a year, and the position was still open. So, we decided to GFU's campus includes buildings dating back to the early 1900s, such as Wood-Mar Hall.

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