Keysight Technologies, a test and measurement software manufacturer, recently donated $1.3 million worth of technology to Cal Poly to transform a room that was once simply lab tables and computers into an advanced communication laboratory for electrical engineering students.
Cal Poly professors, alumni and students, as well as Keysight employees, met in Engineering East (building 20, room 113) on Friday armed with party poppers to unveil the wire-filled Keysight Advanced Communications Laboratory. The new laboratory will allow students and researchers to generate, receive and analyze 4G and 5G wireless signals.
“There was only so much that we could do on our own,” electrical engineering department chair Dennis Derickson said. “We couldn’t achieve our vision with our own resources. We put this vision together and put it out there … It’s just amazing what can happen when you actually ask.”
Students working in the laboratory will learn how mobile communication devices work. Each of Cal Poly’s 650 electrical engineering students will use the Keysight vector analyzers as part of their curriculum, according to Derickson. This will help improve the electrical engineering curriculum and help put students ahead of the curve as the industry transitions from 4G to 5G over the next decade, College of Engineering Dean Debra Larson said.
“The thing that keeps me up at night — I sleep pretty good — but the thing that keeps me up is this idea of how we continue to keep our learning environment relevant with the changes that are happening with technology,” Larson said. “Keysight … recognized the importance of being able to help us upgrade our labs because they’re going to be able to hire more relevant and state of (the) art engineers. It’s a wonderful and synergistic relationship that we have.”