You can access detailed descriptions of our departmental facilities, including our teaching laboratories, recording studios, digital media suite, computing laboratory and clean room, as well as the University’s Nanotechnology Research Centre.
Housed in a complex at the centre of the campus, the department's main building contains a concourse area which combines open-planned study space with flexible teaching rooms and large scale lecture theatres. Acessible by lift or stairs, the upper floors house our other specialist facilities, with the entire fourth floor devoted to extensive teaching and project laboratory space.
The research laboratories and staff offices are also close at hand. Undergraduates often become involved with research activities via their individual final-year project, with some projects taking place in research laboratories.
The University campus also provides a wealth of study facilities including the University Library and computing classrooms, many in the Colleges where you may be living.
The Electronic Engineering teaching laboratories have recently been completely re-equipped and extended at a cost of over two hundred thousand pounds. To complement these new facilities a comprehensive range of fully integrated Audio-Visual equipment is available including twin data projectors and screens, electronic visualiser system, radio microphones and CD/DVD player to enable full multi-media presentations in the laboratories. We provide the latest test equipment and laboratory instruments to enable our students to develop their practical skills in core electronics. Typically, students work in pairs at each standard workstation, which includes a PC, 60MHz Digital Storage Oscilloscope, power supply, Pulse and Function generators and other general-purpose test equipment. This is supplemented by specialised equipment and purpose built teaching aids, including:
First year students undergo an intensive laboratory introduction programme at the beginning of their course, designed to familiarise them with the equipment they will be using and develop key skills. These include fault finding techniques, soldering exercises and circuit prototyping and PCB manufacture. For project work in all years, students have access to PCB production facilities, including PCB design software, etching facilities and CNC drilling machines. Through-hole plating is available for complex digital PCBs and high-speed manufacturing. A surface mount prototyping facility and re-working system is also available. A new student project laboratory has also been created and fitted out with an entire suite of new PCs to extend the provision already available in the department’s own extensively equipped computing laboratory.
More information on the projects students carry out in the laboratories can be found on our teaching methods page.
In addition to 24 x 7 access to the computing facilities available to all students in the campus computer classrooms, Electronic Engineering students have exclusive and open access to the department's computer laboratory.
The laboratory is situated in a purpose built facility offering video projection equipment for teaching purposes. It provides a comprehensive set of PCs with permanent Internet access via the campus Gigabit ethernet network. The PCs offer a wide range of both general purpose software such as word processing, graphics and e-mail, plus specialist teaching software such as JAVA, C, MATLAB and PSPICE. As a result of a generous donation from Texas Instruments, the laboratory also provides DSP based teaching equipment.
As well as access to their central file store and e-mail, Electronic Engineering students also have access to an additional departmental file store for use in group projects, assessments and laboratory practicals, helping to promote teamwork and interpersonal skills.
Technical support is provided between 09:00 and 17:15 Monday to Friday by the Computer Support Group which is located adjacent to the laboratory.
The Department encourages students to make full use of all the computing facilities available to them, not only as part of their timetabled courses but as a way of developing their general IT skills.
The department possesses its own recording studio suite consisting of seven sound-proofed, acoustically treated rooms: three Studios, two live rooms and two Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) production rooms.
Studio 1 is a traditional analogue recording solution, interfacing with the latest digital recording technology. The studio is centred round an Audient Zen 16-channel automated mixing desk. Recording is facilitated using a custom-built PC with MOTU audio hardware. Software includes Steinberg Cubase Pro 8.5 and Nuendo 7, Avid Pro Tools 12, and Cockos Reaper 5 (an affordable DAW that many students purchase for their own use). This software is standard across the studio suite, with Cubase and Reaper also being available across 30+ departmental classroom PCs. Nord keyboards are installed for recording and provide MIDI input, while several soft synths including Pianoteq and Halion Sonic provide synthesis capabilities. A 42” LCD monitor is available for post-production work, Foley or voice over.
Studio 2 is a purely digital studio designed for audio post-production and surround-sound work. It offers the same software as Studio 1, combined with Focusrite audio hardware. An Avid 16-channel digital control surface front end and transport control are available for hands-on control, while Genelec (5.1) and Yamaha (Stereo) speakers provide monitoring. A 65” 4k monitor screen is available for 4k HD video playback. A small voice over booth with fold out acoustic doors is built into a wall facing the 4k for voice over/Foley use.
Studios 1 and 2 are connected via balanced patchbays to the central Live Room where small ensemble recording can take place. This room provides:
These two smaller rooms each contain a PC running the same DAW software found in Studios 1 and 2, together with a MIDI controller keyboard. These rooms allow small projects to be completed, or preparatory work carried out prior to using the main studio control rooms. The Studio Suite is used for teaching purposes, but can also be booked for assignments or personal use by students. Studio suite provision is also enhanced by 30+ Cubase/Reaper audio workstations in our departmental PC labs for large group teaching and student-led assignment or personal use.
A third studio is available at Genesis 6 – a separate building a short distance from the main department buildings. This studio features the same software and hardware as Studio 2, and has an attached small live room with its own range of microphones, guitar and bass amps. With a large control room, the Genesis 6 studio is particularly suited to group project work.
A wide range of equipment is also available for location recording. A large selection of microphones is available for loan, along with a range of solid-state digital recorders ranging from 2 to 8 channels. Several Focusrite audio interfaces are also available to borrow if students wish to use their own computers for recording. Microphone stands, stereo bars, cables and other accessories are all available for project work.
The Digital Media Suite is a professionally designed facility providing industry standard media production and post-production tools. Workstations are equipped with broadcast quality non-linear video editing systems (Matrox MXO2 Mini) and a comprehensive range of major 2D graphic, 3D graphic, compositing, and multimedia authoring programs.
Blu-Ray can be burned in-house, complete with Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound encoding. The suite also shares a high-speed local area network with the Recording Studios enabling powerful distributed rendering of graphics, composite effects and intensive audio processing. Like the Recording Studios, the Digital Media Suite is used for teaching purposes but can be booked by anyone.
Digital Media Systems students have access to a comprehensive range of camera, lighting and grip equipment for location production. Packages include professional cameras by Panasonic, Lowel DP field lighting kits, Manfrotto fluid head tripods and a range of grip equipment by Matthews, Avenger and others, providing complete production support.
Opened in 2006, this multi-million pound facility represents a major long term collaboration between the University of York, Yorkshire Forward and JEOL UK Ltd, world leaders in electronic optics. In addition to supporting world class research activities, we will be offering undergraduates on the Electronic Engineering with Nanotechnology programme the opportunity to use the centre’s highly specialised facilities for project and other work. Located adjacent to the Heslington campus on the Science Park, the Nanocentre is a short walk from the Department.
The Department has its own Clean Room fabrication facility for the preparation, fabrication and measurement of micro- and nano-scale devices. Second year students undertake a device fabrication laboratory that allows them to build their own component on a silicon wafer. The clean room and associated microscopy facilities are used in final year projects.
Mrs Helen Lay
Dr Jude Brereton
(+44) 01904 322365