Southeast Students Benefit from Expanded Telecommunications Laboratory

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 19, 2008 — The Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology (IET) at Southeast Missouri State University recently received donations from Time Warner Telecom (formerly Xspedius Communications) of St. Louis and Falcon Communication of Malden, Mo., to support its Telecommunications and Computer Networking program. 

This donation will expose students to the theory and operations of fiber optic systems, Voice-over-IP (VoIP) switching systems, and fault-tolerant systems, according to Dr. Ragu Athinarayanan, chair of the Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology. 

The new equipment and technology makes it possible for the Telecommunications and Computer Networking program to offer students an integrated telecommunications experience, which today is based heavily on advanced fiber-optic communications networks, high-speed wireless networks, and advanced switching equipment, he said. The equipment donations were made, in part, due to the efforts of Wayne Smith, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation, Dr. Shuju Wu, assistant professor of industrial and engineering technology, and Athinarayanan, and help from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Technology Industrial Advisory Board.  The board, composed of area professionals, is committed to assisting the department faculty in providing the very best educational experiences for students in all IET programs, said Dr. Randy Shaw, dean of the School of Polytechnic Studies and assistant provost of the School of Extended Learning.

Leo Kutz, advisory board member and engineering director for Time Warner Telecom of St. Louis, Mo., said the equipment and lab is integral to student success.

“Students in the program will obtain a unique perspective with a terrific balance of lecture and laboratory time,” he said.

Wu said the new lab will help students develop broad technical expertise at all levels including developing applications using technologies to support the growing trend in telecommunication industry for integrated data, audio, and video services. 

The Telecommunications & Computer Networking program at Southeast started in fall 2005.  The program is designed to prepare students with background and skills to design, implement and support networked systems in both standard and enterprise settings.  Students enrolled in this program develop a solid foundation in the hardware and architecture of telecommunications networks, including fiber optics and wireless systems; network systems design and analysis; networking theory; network management and control; network flow optimization; network security; and network configuration and troubleshooting. 

For more information about the program, please contact Amanda Eller in the School of Polytechnic Studies at aeller@semo.edu or by phone (573) 986-6746.