JOHN A PALMER, Ph.D., P.E. portrait
  • Associate Professor (Lecturer), Elect & Computer Engineering

Current Courses

Fall 2024

  • ECE 5625-001
    Power System Protection
    Location: WEB 2460 (WEB 2460)
  • ECE 6625-001
    Power System Protection
    Location: WEB 2460 (WEB 2460)
  • ECE 6950-012
    Special Study-MS
  • ECE 7950-049
    Special Studies Ph D

Summer 2024

Spring 2024

Professional Organizations

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). 01/01/2006 - present. Position : Member.
  • National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). 01/01/2002 - present. Position : Member.
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). 02/01/2001 - present. Position : Member.
  • National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI). 11/01/2000 - present. Position : Member.
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 08/31/1991 - present. Position : Member.

Teaching Philosophy

I believe that the great contribution that universities make to society is in the education of those who will be supporting and working within society over the decades to come.  While the research performed at universities does advance knowledge and provide new technologies that may enhance the quality of life, those advances are incremental and in most cases provide somewhat limited impact.  On the other hand, the engineers that we teach will, through the next several decades, become the backbone to society, implementing technology to maintain and enhance society's present quality of life.  Some of the engineers will go on to lead major corporations, others will work in industrial research laboratories and make major scientific breakthroughs in that setting.  A limited few will go on to become educators themselves to continue the cycle upon which a technologically-based society turns.  It is the ability to make this wide reaching positive impact on society, together with the joy of watching and assisting as individuals improve themselves and increase their understanding of difficult concepts, that has driven me to the role of educator.

In the development of those individuals, our role as educators is, first and foremost, to teach them think.  Technology will continue to develop.  Equipment, software, and other tools of the engineering trade will continue to evolve.  Many of the technology-specific concepts that we teach them today will be obsolete within a relatively short time.  However, if we can teach them the fundamental concepts of engineering and how to apply analytical reasoning in the use of those concepts, then they will be well prepared to deal with those changes. For this reason, my time in the classroom is focused on the understanding of fundamental concepts rather than the mechanics of how they use their calculators.  I try to make the classroom highly interactive and encourage their participation by calling on them to answer questions as I unfold the concepts to be covered during the given lectures.  I try to assist them in their problem solving skills by regularly having them work a problem, as small teams (2-4 students per team), while I move about the classroom to observe their implementation of the material that we covered in previous lectures.   I make myself readily available within office hours and beyond, to answer their questions and assist them in resolving their own difficulties with homework. 

Being an excellent teacher is a high priority to me, because the more effective my teaching style, the greater the impact that I may make by my teaching. 



Courses I Teach

  • ECE 5620 - Power Systems Analysis   (
    This course takes in the study of the largest machine ever built: the integrated power grid. You will be introduced to the broad range of theory and methods related to power system analysis and design.
  • ECE 5625 - Power System Protection   (
    This course takes in the study of the largest machine ever built: the integrated power grid. You will be introduced to the broad range of theory and methods related to power system protection. In the process, you will: Understand the nature of symmetrical and assymmetrical faults on power systems and the computational tools to evaluate them. Identify and describe the equipment involved in electric power system protection. Identify the techniques and technologies utilized for the detection, location, and isolation of electrical faults. Explain the types of analytical studies that are performed in the context of system protection.
  • ECE 5680 - Electrical Forensic Eng and Failure Analysis   (
    Electrical failures and accidents occur in a variety of circumstances to all kinds of equipment. Electrical Engineers, as with other engineering disciplines, must face on a daily basis one or both of two critical questions: “What could happen?” and “What Happened?” The question of “What could happen?” should be thoroughly considered both in the design process and in the operations process. By understanding potential failure modes, and the effect of those failures on other equipment and on personnel, the engineer can create equipment and system designs that address both safety and reliability. Operations can prepare for contingencies of equipment failures or system disturbances and limit the scope and extent of impact on delivery. The retrospective “What happened?” analysis provides critical insights for future product and system improvements. Effective post-failure analysis also plays a considerable role in the case of potential ensuing litigation. The purpose of this course is to develop critical tools for pre- and post-failure analysis. The intended audience includes future and current design engineers, system engineers, facility engineers and forensic engineers.