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New test equipment for TUT’s electrical engineering lab
The Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Electrical Engineering Department has recently undertaken a major refurbishment of their Electronic Engineering Laboratory with the help from Comtest.
This involved scrapping the older, outdated instruments and replacing them with Tektronix AFG 1022 arbitrary generators, Tektronix TBS 1052B-EDU digital storage oscilloscopes, and GW INSTEK GPE 3323 DC power supply. The newly-configured laboratory is used by approximately 450 electronics and design project students, with 42 students accommodated per laboratory session for electrical measurement experiments and projects.
Professor Josiah Munda, head of department for PrEng and associate dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment said that the newly equipped laboratory is what any university of technology should have, and that he would like to see all TUT labs equipped with equipment of this quality.
A very important component of the success of this lab model is the enlisting of two undergraduate students to mentor, monitor and assist electronics and design project students during the laboratory classes. According to Prof. Munda, this has been found to be the most effective method yet of teaching in the labs.
Undergraduate students Jackson Chokoe (electrical engineering/bio-medical engineering) and Remmington Seima (electrical engineering/digital technology) conduct student lab sessions as well as undertake the general and ongoing maintenance of the laboratory equipment. According to Seima the new equipment makes everything easier and more advanced. A big advantage is being able to assist and correct or change settings with students in real-time.
According to Darius Opperman from Comtest (supplier of the instruments), the greatest value of the new equipment to the lecturers is probably the ability to globally manage and monitor students individually during lab sessions. Every instrument in the lab can be tracked while the student is performing set tasks.