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University choses NI ELVIS for mechatronic course

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Kingston University purchased thirty NI ELVIS units for use on a Mechatronic Engineering course.

Kingston University has purchased thirty NI ELVIS (National Instruments Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite) units to equip state-of-the-art laboratories in readiness for a new Mechatronic Engineering course that was started in 2009.

Gordana Collier, Senior Lecturer at Kingston University, explains why: "We chose to standardise on NI hardware and software tools in order to provide the best learning experience for our engineering students. Our strategy is to adopt an 'applied approach to teaching and research' - which was the driving force behind the investment. We are very passionate about hands-on, project-based learning being more engaging and producing better skilled, better prepared engineers for the workplace. NI ELVIS, LabVIEW and Multisim help us deliver this experience to students and more effectively support their learning."

Head of School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, Professor Andrzej Ordys, adds: "Our MSc in Mechatronics combines strong theoretical background with practical hands-on experience. We believe that this addresses the needs of students and employers. Moreover, we are seeing an ever-increasing importance of applied electronics in virtually all engineering disciplines; for example, in the automotive industry. Thus it is our imperative to enhance the electronics content and delivery in all our courses, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Furthermore, the NI equipment has already proven very useful in our research projects."

NI ELVIS, based on National Instruments LabVIEW, features an integrated suite of twelve instruments in one compact form factor and is highly appropriate for hands-on learning. Educators use NI ELVIS to teach concepts in circuit design, instrumentation, control, telecommunications and embedded/MCU theory.

Complementary hardware

Each NI ELVIS in Kingston's lab is accompanied by a Freescale microprocessor teaching board. Several experiments from Quansar, including an inverted pendulum, are also used with NI ELVIS. A suite of fifteen National Instruments CompactRIO real-time control systems has been deployed in research and teaching of advanced control.

Robert Morton, National Instruments UK & Ireland Managing Director, comments: "NI has always been passionate about enabling STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education and inspiring future engineers and scientists. Now, more than ever, we believe universities need to deliver a healthy stream of innovative, creative and talented engineers and scientists to address some of the serious challenges industry, and the world, faces in the 21st Century. NI is proud to be able to supply tools to help universities do this."

To continue developing the strong partnership between NI and Kingston University, National Instruments UK & Ireland is a regular participant in the Industrial Advisory Board, which is held at the University campus. The role of the Industrial Advisory Board is to shape and tailor university courses to meet industry needs, ensuring graduates achieve the relevant technical skills, knowledge and experience to take a proactive role in industry.

For more details about how National Instruments is working with Academia, go to www.ni.com/academic/.

20 January 2010

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