Chancellor Linda Katehi: Hands-on Projects Lead to Greater Confidence and Student Success

April 15, 2016
Prof. André Knoesen and EE Emerge are the center of a recent post by Chancellor Linda Katehi.


The late Clark Kerr, a visionary educator who was president of the UC system from 1958 to 1967, once famously said that undergraduate education invariably suffers at a public research university because research gets so much of the emphasis and attention.

But if Kerr were alive today and paid a visit to our campus, he would learn that his assessment was no longer accurate. All across our campus, we have brilliant faculty researchers doing important research and who also love and are devoted to teaching and helping students achieve academic success.

André Knoesen, an Electrical and Computer Engineering professor who also serves as chair of the Academic Senate, is just one of the many faculty on campus who fit this description.

Over a two-year period, a group of André’s students participated in EE-Emerge and EEC 136A/B – Electronic Design Project. Designed primarily for students majoring in computer and electrical engineering and with the financial support of Texas Instruments and Cypress Semiconductor, the courses allowed the students to fully immerse themselves in “conceiving, designing and building interactive electronic systems” that can one day be available to the general public.

Many of those working with André are first-generation college students. The hands-on experience brought out their talents and gave them greater confidence as fledgling engineers.

André also introduced these students to the art of technical writing and presenting, as well as the complexities of product marketing.

Here are a few of the projects the students worked on during the last six months:

Adapt / Motion Presenter

Sensor Network and UAV Data Collector (Quadcopter)

Developing a Mask to Aid Thoracic Surgeons in Assessing Patient Recovery

Dynamically Weighing Live Bees – a collaborative project with Professor of Entomology and Nematology, Neal Williams.

Bluetooth Memory Metal Locks: WeLock

BLE Home Automation: Roost

Poultry Data Acquisition – a collaborative project with Professor in Civil and Environment Engineering, Debbie Niemeier

Hands-on learning gave these students a valuable opportunity to cultivate ideas and express their talents as engineers. Thank you, André, for your commitment to teaching and student success.

Connect with me on social media; visit my FacebookTwitterInstagram Google+YouTubeLinkedIn profiles or my Huffington Post Blog.