Engineering students are required to design, analyse, and test their creations – now IIE MSA engineering students can do so with the latest technology at its three new high-tech labs fitted with 2022-era digital technology.

The emphasis on laboratories has increased manifold over the years in the modern engineering curriculum. This increased reliance on laboratory work in the curriculum and teaching methods mean academic institutions require the latest labs. In addition, lab equipment must not be outdated by the standards of today’s fast-paced and innovative technologies.

Working in a lab is the first hands-on experience that an engineering student gets in their career. The number of successful practical applications carried out by students in engineering labs helps them become more confident about their knowledge and skills.

IIE MSA is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, the largest private higher education institution. Wihann van Reenen, IIE MSA Programme Manager: Engineering, explains that its newest engineering laboratories are equipped with the latest technological advances in the respective fields of engineering. “This allows students to be acquainted with current digital technologies instead of outdated ones – a distinct advantage when it comes to entering the workforce Wihann van Reenen, IIE MSA Programme Manager: Engineering, explains that its newest engineering laboratories are equipped with the latest technological advances in the respective fields of engineering. “This allows students to be acquainted with current digital technologies instead of outdated ones – a distinct advantage when it comes to entering the workforce.

The Head of School for IIE MSA Engineering, ICT, Science & Health, Neil Manson believes that as 4IR and automation become more prevalent, engineers are a critical driving force of the global economy, even in South Africa. He says, “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 However, there’s little point in doing this with outdated technology, as those students will not be acquainted with it in their first work experience.”

The Engineering degrees offered at IIE MSA are endorsed by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), the IIE Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the IIE Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering.

“A lab holds critical importance in training engineers. In technical subjects, students would far rather practically apply data in the lab than sit in a lecture hall hearing pure theory. Together with all necessary computers and additional equipment, we can offer our students more modern machinery within our smaller, more intimate classes and remarkable one-on-one supervision,” Mason adds.

“Students will use this facility during class-based demonstrations and experiments and will also have the opportunity to use the equipment for individual and group-based exploration during their design and research projects. Our new facilities will cater for the set work practicums of the IIE accredited courses,” adds van Reenen.

IIE MSA opened a Physics Lab on campus in 2020 and began designing a multimillion-rand of fully-fledged and equipped labs in July 2021. One facility is a general use electronics laboratory for the Electrical and Electronic Engineering programme; one a chemistry laboratory; and the third a mechanical engineering laboratory that caters for all the major testing required of the course – fluid dynamics, thermo dynamics, and strength of materials testing. In addition to the imported engineering equipment, a computer lab with high-spec computers has been created for the Engineering students.

“Whereas many lab facilities offer analogue equipment, ours will be digital and ‘smart’ wireless technology facilitating links to various required apps, phones and PCs. This technology, in turn, replicates what our first tranche of graduates will likely work with within the private sector. The students are the ultimate winners, as our small-class personal attention philosophy is now extended to the practicums while enabling improved scheduling and significant time-saving. “Being in a lab is the most fun a student can have – as they get to play around with concepts, they’ve previously only learned the theory of,” says van Reenen.

2022 applications are open at IIE MSA for all Independent Institute of Education programmes and for the Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering – classes start on 28 February 2022.

Find out more about studying engineering by visiting www.iiemsa.co.za to request a consultation with one of our student advisers. Alternatively, email us at enquiries@iiemsa.co.za or call us on +27 11 950 4009.