3 ECTS credits
75 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 1010886BNR for all students in the 2nd semester at a (B) Bachelor - advanced level.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Enrollment Requirements
Om te kunnen inschrijven voor Informatie en Communicatietechnologie moet men ingeschreven of geslaagd zijn voor Informatica en voor Toegepaste elektriciteit.
Taught in
Faculty of Engineering
Department and involved faculties/organizations
Electronics and Informatics
Applied Physics and Photonics
Educational team
John LATAIRE (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
48 contact hours Seminar, Exercises or Practicals
Course Content

This work college has multiple aims. First, it is the goal to build a bridge between the highly theoretical courses and the practical applications in order to stimulate the future engineers. Second, it is the aim that the students get in touch with electronics, photonics and information theory (EIT), and in addition has some knowledge about control theory. This will enable the students to make an educated choice about what they want to study later on. A last goal is to inform the non-EIT students about some fundamental aspects on EIT and control theory.

The aim of the work college is to control the heighted of a floating pint-pong ball. This ping-pong ball is positioned within a plexiglas tube and a ventilator blowing in this tube.

In a first phase, the wanted position of the ping pong ball is chosen to be fixed, while the position of the ball is measured and a signal is fed back to the ventilator to control the height. This requires the design of both some (small) analogue electronic circuitry, as well as the programming of a microcontroller in C. Additionally, the students need to mount a professional printed circuit board (PCB) using SMD technology.

In a second phase, it is required to be able to vary the position of the ping pong ball depending on some externally defined trajectory. This trajectory can be obtained in various ways: starting from video recondition techniques to detect the position of a hand, using a laser-based scanning technique, using the level of an audio sound, and yes, even controlling the height over the internet using the microcontroller (e.g. using an Adruino) is one of the possibilities. The actual method highly depends on the interest of the student. Creativity is hence strongly stimulated.

The student work in groeps of 4 to 5 persons and each group has access to a setup containing:

  • A ping pong tower comprising a tube, a ventilator, a ping pong ball and a tripot,
  • A power steering module to provide the necessary power to the ventilator,
  • Various types of sensors to determine the position of the ping pong ball in the tube,
  • A microcontroller bord to process the sensor measurement through USB and which is used as digital controller to be programmed in C,
  • Electronic components, experiment board and commercial PCB to realize analog electronic circuitry,
  • PCs (both hard- and software) to readout the measurement, process them (using a control algorithm) and to control the height of the ball. Java is used for that purpose.
Course material
Practical course material (Required) : Een map met technische documentatie over de verschillende onderdelen, schemas, data sheet en handleidingen zijn voorhanden
Practical course material (Required) : Een minimale applicatie die de communicatie met de microcontroller mogelijk maakt
Additional info

• A map with technical documentation about all the parts composing the system. Datasheets and manuals are available.
• A minimal application for the basic communication with the microcontroller

Learning Outcomes

General competencies

This technology project aims to give the students a flavor of a number of essential skills of an engineer. The focus is put more in particular on those skills that are essentially developed in the EIT curriculum.
• An intuitive approach to the system concept. This is one of the key concepts in the everyday abstract thinking of an engineer.
• Learn to use the system concept for the design and the debugging of a technical machine. You will have to learn to use the typical “what-if” techniques that are commonly used in this context.
• Learn to critically assess the advantages and the disadvantages of your own design. Learn to exploit the strengths of the design and to remediate its flaws.
• Learn to report in a technically fair way about the specifications of the design, and to clearly transfer the knowledge about the design to the colleagues working in the team.
• Learn to distribute the workload over the team members as a group, to allow evolving towards a solution in consensus.
• Learn about new topics and techniques independently. Of course, these topics will be founded on the prior basic skills of the curriculum.
The practical skills that you obtain in this course are
• The discovery of the many aspects of analogue and digital electronics, control engineering, signal processing and (micro) photonics.
• To learn to use and keep a lob book to ease the reporting of the project results, and their transfer to others.
• To learn to discover the borders between software and hardware in electronic engineering applications


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Oral Exam determines 50% of the final mark.
PRAC Teamwork determines 50% of the final mark.

Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • evaluation individual work with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 50% of the final mark.

    Note: De individuele beoordeling is gebaseerd op
    • Het stellen van meer diepgaande vragen over hetgeen je zelf hebt gerealiseerd.
    • Het uitleggen van de keuzes en het begrijpen van de grote lijnen van elk onderdeel. Het gebruik van het laboboek is zeker toegelaten voor deze twee eerste punten.
    • Kritische evaluatie van de werking van de groep en de individuele bijdrage van de leden.
    Indien een student in eerste zittijd een onvoldoende zou halen voor dit werkcollege geldt volgende regeling voor de tweede zittijd:
    • De punten behaald voor het groepswerk en de evaluatie van de bijdrage tot de groep blijven behouden.

Within the PRAC Teamwork category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • report & presentation with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 50% of the final mark.

    Note: De beoordeling van de groep gebeurt op basis van:
    • De creativiteit van de aangereikte oplossing. Het is niet omdat iets niet werkt, dat het niet goed of creatief is. Wij moedigen je aan om risico´s te nemen in je wetenschappelijke keuzes!
    • Het begrip van de gebruikte technieken. Zorg er voor dat je begrijpt wat je gebruikt. Gedurende de labo´s zijn we er om jullie de nodige uitleg te verschaffen
    • De schriftelijke rapportering. Deze gebeurt via het laboboek. In dit boek noteer je wat je hebt gerealiseerd, je berekeningen, de schema´s van je schakelingen, en alles wat je niet mag vergeten en je wenst te gebruiken in de mondelinge verdediging
    • De mondelinge presentatie en de demo. De groepsleden vertellen elk over hun bijdrage en hoe deze in het project past.

Additional info regarding evaluation

The evaluation of the work college is a continuous evaluation over the whole period. This involves all staff that guides the work colleges. The points are given in consensus, taking the following criteria into account:

  • The creativity of the solution that is proposed. It is not because something does not function properly that it is not good or not creative. We encourage students to take risks in your scientific choices!
  • The use of ICT in all its aspect by discovering/trying all aspects (from analogue to digital solutions), and not get specialized in one sub-domain.
  • The understanding of the techniques used. During the lab´s you are welcome to ask us for the necessary explanations.
  • The written report in the form of the lab book. This book contains the schematics, results, calculations, the reasoning behind the design choices ….
  • Presentation and demo of the achieved results. All the members of the team highlight their contribution and how this fits in the project.
  • The individual answering to in-depth questions about the part that you have realized
  • The critical evaluation of the working of the group and the assessment of the individual contribution of the group members.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Bachelor of Engineering: Mechanical and Electrotechnical Engineering (only offered in Dutch)
Bachelor of Engineering: Civil Engineering (only offered in Dutch)
Bachelor of Engineering: Chemistry and Materials (only offered in Dutch)
Bachelor of Engineering: Electronics and Information Technology (only offered in Dutch)
Bachelor of Engineering: Electronics and Information Technology Profile Profile Computer Science (only offered in Dutch)
Bachelor of Engineering: verkort traject elektronica en informatietechnologie na vooropleiding industriële wetenschappen (only offered in Dutch)
Bachelor of Engineering: Startplan (only offered in Dutch)