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ECE pioneers electronic testing equipment lending library for students

This spring, the ECE department pioneered a program to lend out electronic testing equipment to students for use at home—students could check out items including an oscilloscope, multi-meter, waveform generator, and triple power supply for up to 30 days at a time.

The program, introduced by Alan Feinerman, an associate professor in the department, is housed at UIC’s Richard J. Daley Library. He was unsure of the demand for the equipment but knew that the UIC MakerSpace had to turn down requests to borrow similar items in the past.

“Students have told me they want to work on their electronics projects in their home,” Feinerman said in February. “I believe we are the first university that offers this service.”

One student who took advantage of the program last year, Federico Palacios, wanted to work on his senior design project at his apartment. He indicated that the check-out and return of equipment went smoothly and shared about the program with classmates.

Feinerman never could have foreseen the spring shutdown of campus or continuing restrictions of in-person instruction and on-campus gatherings due to COVID-19, but he is especially pleased the department is continuing the equipment lending program this fall, when fewer students are working on campus.

“I would like to expand the program to include the Digilent Analog Discovery 2 (AD2) kits we used over the summer in ECE 225 and ECE 340, when the campus was still closed,” Feinerman said. “These kits are much easier to transport and offer more functions for our students.”

Students interested in checking out equipment from the program should make a reservation to enter the library, complete a mandated health survey before entering, and go to the circulation desk located on the first floor. They can inform library personnel that they need to pick up ECE equipment stored in the reserve office.

Items available include a power supply, multimeter, waveform generator, oscilloscope and oscilloscope probes, and all necessary cables.

Any additional questions can be directed to library personnel, EIL staff, or Alan Feinerman.