MUT’s Department of Electrical Engineering signs an MOU with CSIR

Holding the ends of the (LCSM) units are Dr Mekuria, left, and Dr Mulangu, and MUT staff and students, and Vilakazi, fifth from left

In its efforts to continue producing quality graduates, and contributing in the development of different communities across the country, the Department of Electrical Engineering has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Dr Chrispin Mulangu of the department said they signed the MOU for the CSIR to deploy low-cost spectrum monitoring (LCSM) units at MUT. The LCSM are part of national research infrastructure, among other things.   The LCSM would assist MUT staff and students to collect data for research and education in spectrum engineering. Spectrum management is the process of regulating the use of radio frequencies. Frequency management or spectrum engineering research has the potential to improve spectrum utilisation efficiency and capacity of national wireless Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure. This could contribute towards bridging the digital divide and support the creation of digital industry and knowledge economy in line with the broadband connectivity target set out in the National Broadband Plan (NBP) as guided by the National Development Plan (NDP) of South Africa, vision 2030. The project is expected to absorb four S4 students for P1 and P2 in-service training. The students will be exposed to cutting-edge technology.

Chief Research Scientist at the CSIR, Dr Fisseha Mekuria, said the CSIR decided to sign the MOU with all previously disadvantaged institutions.  So far it has sign such an agreement with the University of Zululand, University of Fort Hare, and the North West University. The MOU has a five year span, and is renewable.  “It is now up to MUT students and staff to take advantage of the technology we have donated. The aim is to empower the students and staff to develop innovations that will positively impact upon their immediate communities,” said Dr Mekuria.

The Department of Electrical Engineering will be liaising with Mlamuli Vilakazi, who graduated from the same department in 2018. Vilakazi did his work integrated learning and an internship at the CSIR. He is now an Electronic Technician in the company.