Texas Instruments Gift Supports Electrical Engineering Lab

Téa Williams, Texas Instruments vice president and general manager for amplifier products, cuts the ribbon on the newly renovated circuits lab in Bell Engineering Center. Leaders from Texas Instruments and the University of Arkansas gathered Oct. 14 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new space.
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Téa Williams, Texas Instruments vice president and general manager for amplifier products, cuts the ribbon on the newly renovated circuits lab in Bell Engineering Center. Leaders from Texas Instruments and the University of Arkansas gathered Oct. 14 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new space.

Electrical engineering students have access to the latest lab equipment and software thanks to a gift from Texas Instruments.

The company donated more than $70,000 to support the renovation of the Department of Electrical Engineering's undergraduate circuits lab, a critical space that hosts all the department's core courses, which are required to complete an undergraduate degree.

Leaders from Texas Instruments and the University of Arkansas gathered Oct. 14 for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new space, which can accommodate 36 students and features custom-designed desks to help students with disabilities more easily navigate the space.

The lab will be named the "Texas Instruments Incorporated Laboratory."

Juan Carlos Balda, University Professor and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering, said the renovations will allow students greater access to technology during instruction.

"Simulation tools are becoming very important to electrical engineering and design," he said. "If you look at the desks, they have two monitors. In one of the monitors, the students will be able to see what the graduate teaching assistant is doing and the other monitor they will be, for example, able to write a simulation. And the GTA will be able to reach out to all the test benches at once, so it becomes more effective."

The lab improvements will help the department continue to differentiate itself from peer institutions.

"The advantage of our program when you compare with other electrical engineering programs is that we have nine courses with associated laboratories, so the hands-on experience is an important part of the curriculum," Balda said.  

Labs planned for the space include integrated circuit design and antenna design.

Frankin Cooper, university account manager for Texas Instruments, said the gift was an investment in a successful program.

"The University of Arkansas continues to produce industry-ready students by focusing on hands-on education," Cooper said. "TI is proud to support this new learning environment that is equipping future engineers."

Contacts

Wendy Echeverria, multimedia specialist
Department of Electrical Engineering
479-575-4037, wechever@uark.edu

Nick DeMoss, director of communications
College of Engineering
479-575-5697, ndemoss@uark.edu

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