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Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers
RF Cafe Quiz #60

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All RF Cafe quizzes would make perfect fodder for employment interviews for technicians or engineers - particularly those who are fresh out of school or are relatively new to the work world. Come to think of it, they would make equally excellent study material for the same persons who are going to be interviewed for a job.

Some of these books used in quizzes are available as prizes in the monthly RF Cafe Giveaway.

Note: Many answers contain passages quoted in whole or in part from the text.

 

Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers - RF Cafe

This quiz is based on the information presented in Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers, by Barry L. Dorr.

Note: Some of these books are available as prizes in the monthly RF Cafe Giveaway.

 

You or somebody you know needs this book. When author Barry Dorr told me a while back that he had a new book coming out aimed at recent college graduates and other job hunters, I figured it might be just another "Top 10" type collection of ideas which wouldn't hurt to know, but that would be too specific for general use. After reading through Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers I can confidently tell you that it is much more than one guy's opinion of what you should know to advance in your career. It is rare that I actually read through as much of an engineering book as I did this one. Mr. Dorr's primary goal is to provide new graduates and junior level engineers the tools needed to seek out and get invited for an interview, and then to perform well during the interviewing process and follow up in a manner that sets them apart from the rest (assuming the competition has not also read his book). From beginning to end, he has packed the pages with very useful review material and fundamentals on circuit analysis, design and implementation of analog and digital filters, opamps, and feedback control systems. Clear examples are provided for each topic, and practice problems are provided to help you hone the skill just learned. One chapter I particularly appreciated discussed using statistics to design manufacturable products. Being able to demonstrate a familiarity with "real world" requirements for providing the production floor with designs that will pass electrical test is something every interviewer will appreciate. Of course just about everybody reading this will also love the inclusion of a full chapter on RF circuits that reviews reflections, the Smith Chart, and impedance matching. The closing sections teach strategies for behavior during the interview, such as how to choose the best seat in the room when being grilled by a team of questioners, how to respond both when you know the answer and when you don't, and even how to help a not-so-great interviewer focus on your potential for contribution to the company's needs so as not to waste your time. I definitely give Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers a 10:10 rating for achieving its stated goal. That said, if there were ever to be a second edition published, I would like to see the addition of a chapter reviewing the proper use of precision and accuracy in numerical calculations; the random use of significant digits in mathematical operations that use measured and/or specified values is one of my pet peeves.

 

Now, on to the quiz:

 

1.  What can be the result on digital signals when signal reflections exist between source and load?

a)  Erratic clocking
b)  Garbled data
c)  Overstressing of components
d)  All the above

 

 

 

2.  What causes signal reflections?

a)  A current mirror circuit in the source
b)  A current mirror circuit in the load
c)  An impedance mismatch between the source and the load
d)  Buried circuit traces
 

 

 

3.  Why is sitting at the head of the table during a group interview the best position?

a)  It establishes your dominance
b)  It allows you to address everyone eye-to-eye at once
c)  It forces everyone else to enter first
d)  It is usually closest to the door, facilitating a hasty retreat

 

 

 

4.  What is 'statistical independence' when referring to component failure rates?

a)  The failure of one component has no influence on the failure of any other component
b)  The failure of one component influences the failure of other components
c)  The calculated failure rate is not likely to be erroneous
d)  The calculated failure rate is likely to be erroneous

 

 

 

5.  What parameter does the Smith Chart represent?

a)  Complex reflection coefficient
b)  Vector voltage
c)  Tensor susceptance
d)  All the above

 

 

 

6.  What is the difference between a passive and an active analog filter?

a)  Passive versus active components
b)  Analog versus digital components
c)  An active filter includes a gain element (i.e., opamp) whereas a passive one does not
d)  There is no difference, fundamentally

 

 

 

7.  What limits the response of a FIR (finite impulse response) digital filter?

a)  Duration of the input signal
b)  Amplitude of the input signal
c)  Clock speed of the DAC
d)  Length of the filter register

 

 

 

8.  What property describes a first-order feedback control system?

a)  No steady state error to step input
b)  Unconditionally stable
c)  No overshoot in response to step input
d)  All the above

 

 

 

9.  What are the electrical circuit model equivalents of temperature and heat?

a)  Voltage and current
b)  Inductance and capacitance
c)  Resistance and conductance
d)  Power and energy

 

 

 

10.  What is the term for the area of negotiation between the new graduate's perspective
        and the employer's perspective?

a)  Middle ground
b)  No-man's land
c)  Hades
d)  38th parallel

 

Need some help? Click here for the answers and explanations.

 

 

 

 

Posted  May 30, 2014

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