CUT delivers high-tech learning experience to students
A group of students from the University of Applied Science, Ulm in Germany and CUT shows that knowledge is power and sharing knowledge empowers people. These students constitute the generation of youth that are native to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. They have expectations that technology is an important contributor to their educational experiences while studying.
Staff and students from the Department of Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering held its 3rd annual interactive lecture via modern technology (Skype) with their counterparts from Ulm University on 18 May 2018 to provide effective platform for students and lecturers to participate and contribute in the effective use of this technology as an important teaching and learning tool.
This follows an overwhelming success of the two previous ventures, which attracted keen interest among students and the academic staff from both universities. The idea of the lecture was to allow students from these universities in different continents an opportunity to exchange ideas and share knowledge on a portion of their engineering course; namely, Control Systems 3.
Control systems 3 is what is referred to as an exit level course in the National Diploma programme at these universities. It combines the knowledge of Mathematics, Electronics and Electrical Engineering that students have learned from their previous courses. This means that very few students get the chance to sit for this class from both universities. “There have been instances where our students from this interactive lecture did a portion of their Work Integrated Learning (WIL) at Ulm University, which is encouraging to them,” said Mr Rangith Kuriakose, Project Coordinator and Lecturer in the Department of Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering at CUT.
In order to make the Control systems 3 module challenging and competitive, the students were split into five groups of four members. Each group was given a project to complete. The Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (merSETA) funded these projects under Prof. Dilip Das and Prof. Mohammed Mostafa while Opti-num Solutions provided technical support in the form of a Total Academic Headcount (TAH) licence to CUT for MATLAB software. This software is used in academia and industry for teaching and simulating control systems. It is important to mention that CUT is one of the few recipients of the TAH licence in Africa and Opti-Num solutions that has the distributing authority in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The presenting group from CUT designed a simple ON/OFF temperature controller using Simulink and Arduino while their counterparts in Ulm university, headed by Prof. Walter Commerell, modelled an efficient classroom temperature controller using Simulink.
Asked about the future growth of the interactive session, Mr Rangith Kuriakose said that the session had matured significantly from when it started, and the audiovisuals have also improved. “I am proud to say that we have grown from where we were to now and our partnership is already bearing fruits as some of our students have done a portion of their WIL at Ulm. Our communication channels are more open and better than before. We want to send our sincere gratitude to our sponsors for making this interaction a success, Mr Paul Victor and Stefan Ferreira (Audio-visual support officers) who ensured that there were no technical glitches during the video conference.”
The interactive lecture was attended by the Assistant Dean of Research, Prof. Herman Vermaak, who was pivotal in establishing this initiative.
1: Control systems 3 students from Ulm university headed by Prof. Walter Commerell (left), modelled an efficient classroom temperature controller using Simulink, a block diagram environment for Model-Based Design. The students presented via video Conference.
2: Control systems 3 students from CUT designed a simple ON/OFF temperature controller using Simulink and Arduino. With them are Mr Rangith Kuriakose, Project Coordinator and Lecturer in the Department of Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering at CUT (back seat-right) and Prof. Herman Vermaak, Assistant Dean of Research (back seat- left).
Uploaded: 12 June 2018