Academic institutions require the latest laboratories (labs) to ensure that engineering students are able to design, analyse and test their creations to the most current standards and using up-to-date technologies, facilitating successful practical applications that improve knowledge and skills.
IIE MSA, the educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, has launched three new high-tech labs fitted with the latest digital technology. “This allows students to be acquainted with current digital technologies instead of outdated ones – a distinct advantage when it comes to entering the workforce,” says IIE MSA programme manager: Engineering Wihann van Reenen.
The Head of School for IIE MSA Engineering, ICT, Science & Health Neil Manson believes that as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR, and automation become more prevalent, engineers are a critical driving force of the global economy, even in South Africa. “We need more engineers. For the student, the objective of having an engineering laboratory is to ‘practice by doing’. Laboratory courses help them gain insight and understanding of the real world which they learn by a shift from textbook learning to assimilating that learning through observation and doing. However, there’s little point in doing this with outdated technology, as those students will not be acquainted with it in their first work experience,” he says.
The engineering degrees offered at IIE MSA - the IIE Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the IIE Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering - are endorsed by the Engineering Council of South Africa.
IIE MSA opened a physics lab on campus in 2020 and began designing multimillion-rand, fully-fledged and equipped labs in July 2021, including a general-use electronics laboratory for the Electrical and Electronic Engineering programme, a chemistry laboratory and a mechanical engineering laboratory that enables fluid dynamics, thermo dynamics, and strength-of-materials testing. In addition to imported engineering equipment, a computer lab with high-specification computers has also been created for engineering students.