Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering

ENTC

Envoyage: ENTC-Stakeholder Forum on Fifty Years and Beyond

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Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering (ENTC) of the University of Moratuwa celebrates its golden jubilee this year. Rise of the ENTC from its inception in 1969 to the current state of being the most sought-after department by the physical science students in Sri Lanka, the service its graduates have done to Sri Lanka in making Sri Lanka an advanced nation in telecommunication receive commendations. A careful examination reveals what made this journey possible is the intricate interdependence between the students, staff, alumni, and the industry. In this semi-centennial year, ENTC wishes to celebrate this bond and be energized for the journey forward at a get together of students, staff, alumni, and industry.

  • Date: Thursday, November 7, 2019
  • Time: 6:00 pm.
  • Venue: Eagles' Lakeside Banquet & Convention Hall in Attidiya

ENTC '14 Welcome

Written by Sahani Goonetilleke.

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ENTC '13 batch held their official welcome for their immediate juniors, the ENTC '14 batch on the 15th of September 2015. Proceeding of the day commenced with a vibrant video. Then speeches were made on a wide range of topics. Firstly, the Head of the department, Prof. Rohan Munasinghe warmly welcomed the '14 batch. Then Mr. Kithsiri Samarasinghe enlightened the students on topics such as adapting to the new environment, facing challenges, etc. Representing Level 4, Sirimevan Jayasundara gave a great motivational speech. Next Dr. Ajith Pasqual gave insight into the new curriculum and it's implications to the industry, along with changes that should be adapted to. E Club president Hasantha Malavipathirana raised awareness on the E-club as well as other extracurricular activities within the department. Finally ENTC '13 batch representative, Ishan Karunanayake wrapped up the day's proceedings, informing that another stage of the welcome will be held in the near future.

 

Under Water Robot

Written by Madara Wimalarathna.

       Robots reach things we couldn’t do, bring nature secrets closer and make them observable. This news is about such an amazing robot design. Recently four students of the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering of the University of Moratuwa developed an underwater robot successfully as their final year project, under the supervision of Prof. Rohan Munasinghe and Mr. Charitan image of the underwater robotha Makavita.


This robot is capable of moving under the water according to manual commands. It has a floating unit to receive operator commands and send the same commands to the robot through a cable. Also the Robot can record HD video with a water-tight forehead camera with the help of the underwater flash light.


       The Robot is enclosed with a fiber hull which takes the shape of a fish. That design helps to reduce the fluid resistance. There are two motors on either side of the hull to propel and steer the robot. The same propellers are driven in reverse direction to perform reverse motion. There are two vertically mounted propellers to climb and dive in water. These two motors are used to control pitch. The robot is battery powered for about 40 minutes operating time.


        This can be considered as the valuable first step of a long journey and this Robot can be improved to use for professional underwater exploration in future.

Ideamart MoraHack 2015

Written by Samodha Pallewatta.

 

‘Ideamart Morahack 2015’, 3rd annual hackathon organized by Dialog ideamart team in collaboration with E club of University of Moratuwa  was held on 21th August 2015 at the Dialog head office. This amazing overnight coding experience provides UOM students a great opportunity to turn their creative ideas into high revenue generating applications. Ideamart Morahack was first held in 2013 and was organized annually thereafter.

 

 For this year’s hackathon 10 teams out of the registered teams were chosen based on their proposed innovative ideas. Participants gathered to Dialog Auditorium where they enthusiastically engaged in creating innovative products and solutions using Dialog Ideamart APIs. Hackathon which started at 5.00pm was continued overnight.

Out of the ten teams, 1st place was won by team ‘Bit Masters’while team ‘Romankaarayo’ and team ‘Navitaz’ became 1st runners-up and 2nd runners-up respectively. Each of these teams won marketing budgets to take their projects forward. ‘Ideamart Morahack 2015’, a coding experience full of fun and excitement was successfully concluded, after giving UOM students yet another chance to explore their talents.

“Translational research in image guided clinical interventions” – Talk by Dr.Tharindu De Silva

Written by Samodha Pallewatta.

Translational research is an area that can be introduced as the life blood of science based medicine. It is the process of harnessing knowledge from basic sciences to enhance disease diagnosis, treatment etc. Advances of medical imaging over the past decade, have paved ways to effective translation of computational image-based techniques into the clinic. This has resulted in rapid improvements in the field of image guided interventions, where computer-based systems are used to help the physicians precisely visualize and target the surgical sites. Thus Translation research in image guided clinical interventions has become a widely discussed topic in modern Bio Medical research domain.

On 13th August 2015 Dr.Tharindu De Silva addressed Biomedical Engineering students and graduate studies aspirants of University of Moratuwa on the topic “Translational research in image guided clinical interventions” at an event held at ENTC1. Dr. Tharindu De Silva is a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering Department, working on development of image registration techniques for application in spine surgery and other image guided interventions. His research interests include 3D-2D image based registrations, deformable registration algorithms and validation of these algorithms to make clinical translation feasible.

In his speech Dr. Tharindu De Silva thoroughly explained how clinical translation is achieved in research environment. Here he presented two clinical applications, and discussed about them from problem definition to clinical deployment, highlighting how clinical translation occurs within this process. As his first example, Dr.Tharindu De Silva presented image guided improvements in prostate cancer diagnosis. He explained that, in current method of diagnosis known as unguided prostate biopsy, accuracy of diagnosis is low since random samples drawn from the prostate are tested. The solution to this problem comes from guided prostate biopsy where MR is used to identify suspicious regions of prostate and these regions are mapped onto 3D ultra sound acquisition of the prostate, so that samples drawn from these regions can be examined. He further explained that the main issue that had to be managed was the target motion tracking which is the process of compensation for organ motion between target planning and needle placement. He stated that clinical transition of this product occurred through a technological company that marketed the solution to clinical centers where clinical trials are carried between novel method and traditional method to determine its impact.

As the second example, Dr. Tharindu De Silva presented image guidance in spine surgery. He stated that image guidance is of vital importance in different stages of spine surgery including localization, guidance during surgery and verification after surgery. Among these, localization is the highly critical stage as potential for wrong level surgery is high due to difficulty in localizing target. In the proposed solution patient undergoes CT scan and this CT image is used to accurately indentify vertebrae labels. These labels are projected onto intraoperative radiographs using 3D-2D image registration techniques, so that physicians can use it to verify if there localization is accurate. Dr. Tharindu De Silva mentioned that the clinical translation for this occurred in a slightly different way from the first example as this problem was first identified by the industry, collaborated with research teams to find a solution and translated to clinical domain.

After Dr. Tharindu De Silva presented these two examples, before concluding the talk next 30 minutes was allocated to answer the questions of the audience. Many graduate studies aspirants and Biomedical Engineering students, presented their questions regarding the two applications discussed and of the clinical translation process, which were answered by Dr. Tharindu De Silva. Afterwards, this event which provided Biomedical Engineering students and graduate studies aspirants, a great opportunity to expand their knowledge base, was successfully concluded. 

Semester 3 - Laboratory Practice Project Demonstrations

Written by Dumindu Tissera.

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Demonstrations of the group projects of level two students of the Electronic & Telecommunication Engineering Department were successfully completed on the 12th August, 2015. This was conducted under the module EN2092 “Laboratory Practice 2” which is a mandatory module for semester 3. Students were first divided into groups of four members and the teams were assigned with one of the following five projects

  • Mixed Color Analyzer
  • System to Separate Black Grains in Dhal
  • Optical Transceiver
  • Solar Tracking System
  • Analog Line Following Robot

 

The specialty of these projects which was also the challenge to the students, was the fact that all of the projects were pure analog automated systems. The students were not allowed to use any means of digital systems or programmable micro-controllers or any other pre-implemented modules. This time students had to come up with the design and implementation of pure analog circuitry and logic which was quite difficult to achieve but also gave the students an opportunity to brighten their skills and knowledge.
For each project, a project instructor was appointed. Their
duty was to guide the students to achieve their goals and also to evaluate their progress and the final outcome as well. Instructors encouraged the students to concentrate on their projects from the beginning so that the students were able to complete their projects within the time allowed. Also the students were encouraged to work as a team, manage finance and other aspects and also to face the difficulties on their own and come up with the solutions. These were achieved by the meetings and discussions, Progress reports which were required to submit during the project and progress evaluations.
Almost every group had completed their projects and was able to meet the requirements specified. The demonstrations were evaluated by a panel consisting of senior lecturers and lecturers. The teams were evaluated based on the accuracy of the results, finish of the project, the extent to which the final outcome met the required specifications, team work, and individual contribution.

Dr. Jayathu Samarawickrama, a senior lecturer in the department of Electronic & Telecommunication was the module coordinator. Here are his thoughts:

Q: What is your opinion on having project bases evaluations as a part of the academic work? What is the importance 2of making the projects fully analog?

A: Most of the time our students try to use digital solutions. Therefore, our main aim is to improve their confidence in the analog electronic circuits and components, as most of the systems are equipped with analog front end circuits. Usually most of these project can be done with a simple microcontroller, which is very common these days. This encourages the students to learn analog electronics. We expect that students would explore how to select devices and components to solve real world problems, for example, opams, sensors, based on their specifications.

 

Q: We saw that you spent at least 15 minutes with each group (even more sometimes) to evaluate. Among the evaluators you were the one who took the longest time to evaluate students. Also, we saw that you evaluated the individual contribution thoroughly. What aspects did you take into account in your evaluations? How did you evaluate them?

 A: In order to have the projects improve year by year, we need thorough evaluations. The people who worked hard must be rewarded. That is why I spent more time with the students. I wanted to find who had worked hard and who hadn't. Moreover, I wanted to know whether they know their electronics. The projects' main aim is to give electronics exposure. However, in a project there is a mechanical part and an electronics part. I wanted to know who did what part and give more marks for the students who directly engaged with the electronic design. This, I hope, will make students in electronics department confident in electronics. If a student had actually participated in the electronic design and had an idea about what is happening in the electronics design, I gave more marks. They should know what components were used and how they were selected etc. Group work is another aspect of the project. If the project is functioning according to the specifications they, also got more marks.

 Q: Are you satisfied with the overall achievement of the s5tudents?

 A: Yes, I am satisfied. Most of the projects were excellent. Generally no circuit work at the first time. Many students learnt troubleshooting methods for the first time. That is what I expect from an electronic engineer. Overall they have done a good job and learnt a lot.

 Q: What are the suggestions for improvements?

 A: Comparing alternative approaches and selecting the optimum, making good PCBs, improving the final look-and-feel, have room for improvement. They are still semester 3 students. I am confident that they will improve themselves year by year.

 Q: What is your final message to the students and as well as to anyone who would read this?

A: Keep it up. This is just the starting point. You have to open your eyes and see the world and find out problems for which you can give an electronic solution. Sri Lanka has a lot of problems that we can solve ourselves. However, we do not see them. If you can keep up the good work, you can become successful entrepreneurs finally. You can sell your solutions here in Sri Lanka or internationally. I want all the students to have some interest to do practical projects and be entrepreneurs at the end of this course.

 

 

 

 

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 Dr. Jayathu Samarawickrama while evaluating projects

 

 

 Dhanuja Wanniarachchi, a student who engaged in the projects also shared his experience with us.

Q: What is your project? Can you give a brief introduction?

A: Ours was the analog line following robot. We had to implement a line following robot. You might think that what is so special in building a line follower. Specialty is that this is a pure analog robot. We were not allowed to use any micro-controllers or modules. With those, we would have made the robot within one day.

Q: What was your preparation? How did you manage yourselves as a team?

A: We didn't have any idea at the beginning. But we had experience in building digital line followers. Also from what we learnt under the electronics module, basically about Opamps, we thought that we would be able to go for our goal. We got together and had a lot of discussion. We planned the project stage by stage. First of all, we designed the main circuit and later we had to add some other parts also. We divided the work among us, prepared a time line and always tried to stick to the plan. Finally we succeeded.

Q: What are the challenges you faced? How did you manage to overcome them successfully?

A: We had to balance the project work with our academic work. Dividing the work among us helped a lot.3

We struggled with the implementing certain parts of the robot. The experience we had by doing projects last semester helped us a lot in that case. The biggest challenge we faced was that our robot wasn't functioning properly at the beginning. We had to do a lot of troubleshooting in order to make the project functioning properly. Instructors helped us in achieving these objectives.

Q: What did you learn? Was this effective for you?

A: Of course this was effective. We could learn a lot and obtain experience about so many things, how to design analog circuits, how to use electronic components practically, dealing with relevant tools and equipment, about accuracy and deviations of results, and troubleshooting. Also we experienced the advantage of team work and learnt a lot about how to work as a team, managing difficulties and about how to take a professional approach to a design and implementation problem.

Q: What do you have to say finally to your colleagues?

A: Although it was quite a challenge to implement analog systems there were so many things to learn. I felt that this is real electronic engineering, dealing with basic circuitry rather than going for easier steps such as the use of micro-controllers. I would like to make this as an opportunity to give a message to all the undergraduates that it will be much better if you can get involved in more projects like this, so that you would be able to graduate as real electronic engineers and as persons who can give simple solutions for real world problems. Finally, I would like to thank the lecturers and instructors for giving us this chance to improve ourselves.