Syllabus for EE/ME 345

Fall 2019

Course description

This course is an introduction to the mathematical modeling and design of electrical, mechanical, and electro-mechanical systems. A system dynamical approach is used, which allows different energy domains to be modeled within a unified framework. Circuit elements covered include resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, transistors, and operational amplifiers. (Adopted from the course catalog.)

General information

Rico AR Picone, PhD
Office Hours (CH 103C)
Tu 12–2 and Th 1–2
Office Hours (CSS)
W 3–4
Office Hours (Pan 107)
W 4–5
Office location
CH 103C
Classroom location
Cebula Hall 201B
Times (A1)
MWF 11:00–11:50 am
Times (B1)
MWF 1:00–1:50 am



Derek Rowell and David N. Wormley. System Dynamics: An Introduction. Prentice Hall, 1997. (Required. Abbreviation: RW)

Agarwal, A. and Lang, J. Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits. Elsevier Science, 2005. (Recommended.)

Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill. The Art of Electronics. Third Edition. Cambridge University Press, 2015. (Recommended. Abbreviation: HH)


Everyone is required to join the messaging service called “Slack.” We’ll use it to communicate with each other during the semester. The Slack team you need to join is called drrico. That’s a signup link. Be sure to join the channels #345-general and #345-homework.

Differential Equations Primer

I highly recommend reviewing the solution of linear ordinary differential equations. I have developed a text Differential Equations Primer For SISO Linear Systems (DE) and a companion lecture series to help prepare students to enter this course.


Class resources will be posted here throughout the semester.

Homebrew texts and notes

Partial texts (with fill-ins) I’m writing will be posted on the Electronics: an introduction (El) and the Dynamic Systems: an introduction (DS) pages.

Have a service such as that of the SMU Computer Resource Center print them in bulk for you. Whichever printing service you use, I recommend binding them such that pages can be replaced (e.g. three-ring bindable) in case there are major revisions to a section during the term.

In either case, you are required to have a binder (or equivalent) with Electronics Lectures 01.01 – 01.03 ready to show by our second class to avoid a 10% deduction on your first quiz grade. (Or you can show me those lectures on your note-taking tablet, if that’s your preferred method.)

Throughout the semester, you should be ready to show these (current) in any class, with threat of 10% quiz grade deductions.

Video pre-class lectures

Before every class, there will be one or more video lectures you will be required to watch! See the Schedule. I’ve uploaded them all to YouTube. Watch them with the texts printed out, filling in the blank sections as you go.

I recommend subscribing and familiarizing yourself with the playlist for this course.


The following schedule is tentative. Bonus lectures denoted "+" are optional, but so is this class.

day pre-class lectures to watch week reading due
none (00 if you feel like it) 1 HH 1.1–1.3
Electronics 01.01, 01.01.1
01.02, 01.03
01.04, 01.05 2 HH 1.4 Ass. 1
01.06, 01.07
02.01, 02.02 3 HH 1.5–1.6 Ass. 2
03.01, 03.01.1, 03.02 4 HH 1.7–1.9 Ass. 3
04.01 5 HH 2.1–2.2 Ass. 4
04.02.2, 04.02.3
04.03 6 HH 3, 4 Ass. 5
04.04.2 Inverting opamp example
Dynamic Systems 01.01, 01.02
01.03, 01.04 7 RW Ch 1, 2 Ass. 6
midterm exam review
Midterm 1, Review Section A, Review Section B
01.05.1, 01.05.2 8 RW Ch 3 Ass. 7
01.06, 01.07
02.02 Sign convention brass tacks
(optional) 02.02.1
(optional) 02.02.2
9 RW Ch 4 Ass. 8
02.03, 02.04
03.01, 03.02 10 RW Ch 5 Ass. 9
03.03, 03.04.1
+03.04.3 Perrin's mocha state-space model
03.05 11 RW Ch 5 Ass. 10
+03.06.2 Speedometer state-space example
+04.02.2 State-space model of a winch driven by a motor
12 RW Ch 6
Midterm 2
04.03.1 13 Ass. 11
+04.04.3 Ribbon microphone state-space model
04.05 14
+04.06.2 Motorized wire dispenser state-space model
    - StateMint file
+04.06.3 Designing with motors
15 Ass. 12
Course Review


Assignment 1

Assignment 2

Assignment 3

Assignment 4

Assignment 5

Assignment 6

Assignment 7

Assignment 8

Assignment 9

Assignment 10

Supplementary assignment

Assignment 11

Assignment 12

Homework, quiz, & exam policies

Homework & homework quiz policies

Weekly homework will be “due” on Fridays, but it will not be turned in for credit. However — and this is very important — each week a quiz will be given on Friday that will cover that week’s homework.

Quizzes will be available on moodle each Friday (around mid-day), and must be completed by that evening (before midnight). Late quizzes will receive no credit.

Working in groups on homework is strongly encouraged, but quizzes must be completed individually.

Exam policies

The midterm and final exams will be in-class. If you require any specific accommodations, please contact me.

Calculators will be allowed. Only ones own notes and the notes provided by the instructor will be allowed. No communication-devices will be allowed.

No exam may be taken early. Makeup exams require a doctor’s note excusing the absence during the exam.

The final exam will be cumulative.

Grading policies

Total grades in the course may be curved, but individual homework quizzes and exams will not be. They will be available on moodle throughout the semester.

Participation and Homework Quizzes
Midterm Exam 1
Midterm Exam 2
Final Exam

Participation grades depend on (a) watching the video lectures before class, (b) filling in your notes, and (c) engagement in class discussions.

Academic integrity policy

Cheating or plagiarism of any kind is not tolerated and will result in a failing grade (“F”) in the course. I take this very seriously. Engineering is an academic and professional discipline that requires integrity. I expect students to consider their integrity of conduct to be their highest consideration with regard to the course material.

Access and accommodations

Your experience in this class is important to me. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Support Services for Students (DSS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DSS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DSS at 360-438-4580 or or DSS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions. Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DSS. It is the policy and practice of the Saint Martin’s University to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.

Sexual misconduct/sexual harassment reporting

Saint Martin’s University is committed to providing an environment free from sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. There are Title IX/sexual harassment posters around campus that include the contact information for confidential reporting and formal reporting. Confidential reporting is where you can talk about incidents of sexual harassment and gender-based crimes including sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/relationship violence. This confidential resource can help you without having to report your situation to the formal reporting process through unless you request that they make a report. Our confidential reporting faculty are: Dr. Emily Coyle, Psychology, and Dr. Rico Picone, Mechanical Engineering. Additional information and or reports can be made to the Title IX Team here on campus through the Dean of Students – Ms. Melanie Richardson, Associate VP of Human Resources – Ms. Cynthia Johnson, Public Safety – Mr. Will Stakelin, or the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Kate Boyle. Please be aware that in compliance with Title IX and under the Saint Martin’s University policies, educators must report incidents of sexual harassment and gender-based crimes including sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/relationship violence. If you disclose any of these situations in class, on papers, or to me personally, I am required to report it. [As one of your two confidential support people, I am not, but this statement applies, otherwise.]

Correlation of course & program outcomes

In keeping with the standards of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, each course is evaluated in terms of its desired outcomes and how these support the desired program outcomes. The following sections document the evaluation of this course.

Desired course outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the following course outcomes are desired:
  1. students will have a clear and thorough understanding of concepts, principles, and methods of modeling mechanical, electrical, and electro-mechanical systems;
  2. students will be familiar with the operation and input and output characteristics of the following electrical circuit elements:
    • resistors,
    • capacitors,
    • inductors,
    • diodes,
    • transistors, and
    • operational amplifiers;
  3. students will understand the designs of basic circuits;
  4. students will be able to model electrical and mechanical systems with a unified modeling technique;
  5. students will be able to construct state-space models (including state equations) of electrical, mechanical, and electro-mechanical systems;
  6. students will be able to analyze the characteristics of system models;
  7. students will be able to solve for first- and second-order linear (time-invariant) system responses;
  8. students will be able to solve for general linear (time-invariant) system responses;
  9. students will understand the larger contexts of electro-mechanical system dynamics, especially with regard to technology development and society; and
  10. students will be able to communicate what they are learning and its broader contexts.

Desired program outcomes

In accordance with ABET's student outcomes, our desired program outcomes are that mechanical engineering graduates have:
  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Correlation of outcomes

The following table correlates the desired course outcomes with the desired program outcomes they support.
desired program outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
desired course outcomes 1