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Electronic engineers boosted by new CityU, RS strategic partnership

Cathy Lau

A new strategic partnership between the Department of Electronic Engineering (EE) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents, will nurture a new generation of electronic engineers.

In addition, CityU announced the launch of an innovative concept called “Home Lab” at the signing ceremony for the new partnership on 27 October.

“Home Lab” is a set of kits designed and produced by EE students at CityU, with the range of components offered by RS. The kits enable students and electronic engineers to conduct research outside the laboratory. The aim is to help students learn more effectively and motivate them to discover and innovate in their professional life.

The partnership agreement was signed by Professor Man Kim-fung, Chair Professor and Head of EE, and Mr Eric Lee, Head of Regional Technical Marketing, Asia Pacific of RS Components. Mr Raymond Luk, Hong Kong Area Sales Manager of RS Components, presented a plaque to Professor Man as a symbol of the collaboration between the two parties.

Under the agreement, RS will sponsor US$10,000 annually to support student projects by providing RS components and services as well as student activities such as internship, student competitions, overseas visits, and cash prizes on special request.

CityU will also conduct a series of workshops to teach students how to produce their own “Home Lab” kits and start up new projects, thus helping to turn theory into practice.

“RS and CityU have been providing engineering students with industry relevant learning and development opportunities for quite some time,” Mr Lee said.

“With the formalisation of our partnership, we look forward to strengthening this collaboration in nurturing young engineers in Asia. In fact, we see positive outcomes from our collaboration. The ‘Home Lab’ kit is a smart idea created by CityU students on the RS internship programme using software and components from RS. We are very pleased that students are learning and benefitting directly from our programmes,” he added.

Four electronic engineering students developed the “Home Lab” kit during their internship this summer. They had opportunities to learn from industrial experts, using DesignSpark software developed by RS and applying the company’s unique rapid prototyping ecosystem to shorten design cycles.

Professor Man thanked RS for offering internship opportunities and sponsoring students for components that they needed for producing the first-ever “Home Lab” kit.

“Electronic engineers spend a lot of time in laboratories and have to use a variety of equipment to test their inventions. With ‘Home Lab’ developed by our students, engineers will be able to conduct testing and measurements anytime, anywhere. It is the first of its kind in the industry,” Professor Man said.

With the aid of emerging 3D printing technology, our students could even transform their creative ideas into actual objects, making it easier to offer a clear understanding of how a device works, he added.

“This is a holistic approach to learning, from theory and design through to production. We hope that more students can benefit from the ‘Home Lab’, and indulge themselves in studying electronic engineering,” Professor Man said.