IEEE AESS BRAC University Student Branch Chapter in collaboration with the Laboratory of Space System Engineering & Technology launched a month-long advanced training course on Electronic Systems and PCB Design instructed by academic expert Abdulla Hil Kafi which started on 6th March 2022. The course was conducted online observing around ten sessions with an enrollment of approximately ten participants.  

The contribution of PCB in the modern era of integrated, compact, and complex technologies is beyond describable. A Printed Circuit Board (PCB), also known as a Printed Wiring Board contains and connects all the electronic design components into a compact circuit board. PCB allows a piece of electronic equipment to be constructed in a small-scale compound ensuring the avoidance of complicated design structures and corresponding errors. A well-designed PCB should ensure high quality and performance, debugging of functional or short-circuit errors, low cost, and sustainability. PCB products are now manufactured commercially on a wide-scale undergoing various modification and verification processes. The application of PCB includes, but is not limited to Power management systems, control systems, industrial IoT platforms, automotive, medical applications, and certainly Electronic systems.   

Reflecting on the current prospect of PCB in modern technologies and industries, electronic engineers must possess PCB design skills. To discuss corresponding aspects, the month-long course was launched with a view to training participants to enhance their electronic systems and PCB design skills. The course objectives include demonstrating real-life engineering solutions with proper conceptual and pragmatic knowledge, analyzing and assembling printed circuit boards with multiple CAD software and tools with a methodological approach, enhancing Electrical Engineering knowledge and preparing for industrial applications, and developing qualitative skills for the fourth industrial revolution. 

The course sessions principally focused on converting electronic design ideas into a working prototype implemented by advanced CAD tools such as Proteus, Eagle, and Fusion 360. The content supplement was mainly categorized into two major segments including Electronic Systems design and Printed Circuit Board design or PCB design. The electronic system design segment was incorporated with analyzing Analog and Digital signals and properties, timing diagrams, and their characteristics. Theoretical and applicational concepts of Transistors, Diodes, Timer IC chips, and Battery selector factors were further familiarized among the participants throughout the sessions. Several circuit constructions including Audio Amplifiers, voltage comparators, etc. were introduced and demonstrated through Proteus Simulation Software. Additionally, the PCB Design portion was instructed and executed through Eagle and Fusion 360 software simulation. Participants were enlightened with the corresponding abstractions regarding PCB design such as Noise, Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) in circuits, High-speed design, Laboratory design, PCB layout techniques, considerations, etc. PCB objects, layouts, footprints, traces, power planes, vias, and nets were further illustrated among the participants. Furthermore, 3D visualization of the designed printed circuit boards was represented throughout the process. The participants were not required to have any prior knowledge regarding PCB design except for fundamental electronics concepts. The instructor demonstrated and executed the lessons excellently to the participants through interactive discussion and evaluation.     

The course was instructed by academic expert Abdulla Hil Kafi, Research Associate of the School of Engineering, Brac University, and founder of the Laboratory of Space System Engineering & Technology (LaSSET). Abdulla Hil Kafi is a prestigious researcher and developer of the First Bangladeshi Satellite named BRAC Onnesha possessing advanced skills and a productive background to an extent in Space hardware, Robotics, Android hardware interfacing & Embedded systems. He completed his M.Sc. in Applied Science for Integrating System Engineering from Kyushu Institute of Technology. Abdullah Hil Kafi actively contributed to the BIRDS-1 Project which is the champion of the AIRBUS GEDC Diversity award 2017. His research interest includes space Radiation, earth observation application using machine learning, and the satellite of things. He plays the role of the advisor of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics System Society student branch, at Brac University. Furthermore, he is working as the Satellite Mission Idea Contest Coordinator of UNISEC-Global for the Bangladesh region. 

The course was co-instructed by Raihana Shams Islam Antara, Research Associate in the Laboratory of Space Systems Engineering & Technology (LASSET) at the BRAC University in Bangladesh. She is one of the Engineers of Bangladesh’s first satellite, BRAC Onnesha. Graduated as a Space Systems Engineer, she has a background in Communications, Embedded systems, Robotics, and satellite AIT. She is an engineer of the Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds satellite project acronym “Birds Project” where she has been involved in the design, development, test, and operation of 5 BIRDS CubeSats. Raihana is also the point of contact (POC) for UNISEC Bangladesh, the local chapter of UNISEC Global; an international nonprofit body to promotes practical space development activities, mainly at the university level.

Around ten students enrolled for the course and the classes were taken virtually via Google Meet.  The course sessions were presented by Abdul Mukit, Chair of the Brac University IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society Student Branch Chapter. Throughout the entire course, the course instructor fielded questions from the students and clarified their problems and misinterpretations. Finally, the spirited discussion concluded with subtle exchanges.