Research Area: Digital Technologies | Status: Ongoing | Led By: Student- and Researcher-led
As technology continues to evolve at an incredible pace, careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are in high demand. Experience and skills in these fields are critical to innovation and to forging a sustainable future. Having exposure to inspiring applied research projects helps drive student interest in STEM, which is why hands-on learning experiences in real-world scenarios often lead learners to discover their passion.
Students in the Electronics Engineering Technology program at NBCC have many opportunities to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills through applied research and experiential learning projects. These range from experimenting with robotics and automation, to designing mobile apps and data communication systems, to aerospace engineering, and more. One such research project is CubeSat NB, which allows learners to participate in the design, build, and testing of New Brunswick's first cube satellite, named VIOLET after the provincial flower. VIOLET will help deliver new insights to scientists and researchers on the Earth's ionosphere. NBCC students have used their senior technical projects to develop a UHF helical antenna and software-defined radio for the CubeSat NB ground station, as well as to revise and enhance one of VIOLET's printed circuit boards. Once built and tested, the satellite will be launched to – and then deployed from – the International Space Station in 2023.
CubeSat NB is a first-of-its-kind partnership among NBCC, the Université de Moncton, and the University of New Brunswick. The partnership is one of 15 groups nationwide to have the opportunity to work with the Canadian Space Agency on their CubeSat Project. This hands-on experience provides students with an opportunity to acquire a wide range of expertise and develop invaluable skills preparing them to become Canada's next generation of innovators—both in space and terrestrially.
From building satellites and antennas to robots and radios, NBCC students are exposed to many STEM fields and have the opportunity to learn by doing. It's the wide range of practical skills learned through experiential learning projects like this that give NBCC students a real advantage after graduation.
Réjean Barriault, Instructor in NBCC's Electronics Engineering Technology program
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