You’ve probably gathered by now that electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is an enormous topic, and it is constantly evolving. Even seasoned EMC professionals are like a good cast iron pan—that is, there is always room for more seasoning!
Maybe you learned the basics in school. Maybe you’ve been working in the field for years. Maybe you never read about EMC before this blog. Wherever you are in your EMC learning journey, I hope that a few of my tried and trusted resources might offer a next step to help you dig deeper on some of the topics in this blog that may be of special interest to you.
Read on to see some of my top resources for continuing your EMC education.
We engineers work long days at the computer, so reading from paper can be a nice break from the screen, but it also offers several learning advantages compared to reading the same book in a digital format. With paper, you can bookmark important pages or write notes in the margins. Plenty of studies have demonstrated that taking notes helps you learn better. I’ve certainly noticed in my own studies that I retain material better when I read it on paper.
However, even if you prefer to read digitally, published books are some of the best resources, as they’ve been vetted both by the publisher and by past readers. You can confirm that the author is a reliable source and read reviews before buying so you know exactly what you’re getting. Scroll down to see a list of books that helped me navigate some sticky EMC situations.
Lifelong learning is more accessible than ever thanks to online courses and webinars. No longer do you have to show up to a classroom in person to learn something new. You can study from any teacher, anywhere in the world, on your own time.
One course I particularly liked was EMC Fast Pass, a subscription course available over the span of an entire year. The flexibility of that program was key, as it enabled me to continue learning around the constraints of my busy schedule—a challenge I’m sure all engineers can understand well!
Some other ideas: If you’ve found an author or expert you like, check online to see if they are teaching a course you can attend virtually. Investigate whether your preferred manufacturers offer any webinars about EMC on their site. And of course, don’t forget the video site where you can learn almost anything these days: YouTube is my friend, and it can be yours too!
The above resources are excellent for learning principles and concepts, but if you need to learn about specific components for a work in progress, the best place to look is the manufacturer’s website. Most manufacturers provide application notes that show their products in action and/or explain how the component should be used.
Think of it like following the recipe suggestion on the wrapper of a pie crust or pasta sauce. There may be other ways to use the product, but these are the optimal ones—tried, tested, and guaranteed to taste delicious when you’re done.
Additionally, some manufacturers offer EMC-specific guidance. For Analog Devices, I created a webpage to consolidate all our EMC resources into a single location. If you’re shopping elsewhere, look to see if your manufacturer has something similar.
Possibly the most valuable (or at least, the stickiest) type of resource on this list, on-the-job learning lasts. There is no better learning than reading something in a book, reflecting on it, and applying it in the lab. One of my managers used to say, “The best way to learn is to fail fast and fail often.” If you’re reading a great book about EMC, don’t be afraid to put new concepts to the test: Get out the oscilloscope, beehive probes, or other tools to bring abstract concepts to life.
It’s never too early or too late to add some “seasoning” to your understanding of EMC. These are just a few examples of resources I’ve used in the past, but don’t be afraid to do your own research and find the right tools for you. Consider the ways you learn best and see what’s out there. Now let’s fire up the stove and get cooking!
High Speed Digital Design – A Handbook of Black Magic by Howard Johnson and Martin Graham
Introduction to Electromagnetic Compatibility by Clayton R. Paul
Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineering by Henry Ott
Testing for EMC Compliance – Approaches and Techniques by Mark Montrose and Edward Nakauchi