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From UG to 5G


The rapid pace of technology requires that students gain advanced experience with modern tools and techniques starting at the undergraduate level. To meet these growing demands, we must connect teaching, research and industry.


We hear this in academia all the time, and we say it in industry, too. But why?


Because it’s not something you achieve once, done, forget about it… Research and Industry are moving frontiers. Teaching must keep up. We all know that somewhere at the back of our minds, it’s common sense, but the moment we stop reminding ourselves is the moment we start to fall behind.


So, how do you know when you’re on top of the game? What does ‘connecting teaching, research and industry’ actually look like?


Well, Mobile World Congress is on right now in Barcelona, Spain. I love this kind of conference for showing us glimpses of the future and examples of what systems people are prototyping today. They’re a great yard stick for measuring ourselves against to see if our own teaching tools, topics and techniques match up to the cutting edge.


Mobile World Congress, or “MWC”, has particularly exciting news for us at NI this year; One of our most celebrated academic research teams from 2016’s Engineering Impact Awards has partnered with industry to run field trials of their 5G Massive MIMO system.


A team of 5G engineers from NI, University of Bristol, Lund University, and British Telecom (BT), got together at BT’s Suffolk campus to try out the system in both indoor and outdoor real-world scenarios. The results are yet another world first for MIMO and spectral efficiency which is going to pave the way for future wireless communications technology.




When we see the awesome technology and the inspiring, often young, personalities behind the creations being showcased at these events one has to step back ask, “Does what I do in my lab classes plug directly into the technology I see at MWC?” and “What am I doing to graduate the kinds of curious minds that will go out there and push the boundaries of what is possible?”


Tough questions that we will break down in the course of these blog posts as we interview top educators and researchers in the world. What you can do is to make sure students have access to the same platforms that are being used in cutting edge research.


Read the full story in this University of Bristol news article.>>


If you’re interested in teaching with the same hardware and software as Bristol, Lund and BT used in their MIMO system, check out the teaching bundles powered by LabVIEW Communications and NI USRP.>>