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A Hands-on Workshop on Optical Fiber Technology to Celebrate International Day of Light (IDL-2022) at ISBAT University, Kampala, Uganda

hands on photonics work

By Mayur Kumar Chhipa MIEEE, MIEEE Photonic Society Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Engineering, ISBAT University, Kampala, Uganda

On May 16, 2022, the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (FICT), ISBAT University, Kampala, organized a hands-on experiment workshop on Optical Fiber Technology to Celebrate International Day of Light (IDL-22). Arranged in association with Liquid Intelligent Technologies from Uganda, the IEEE Uganda Section, and the IEEE Photonic Society, Uganda, the event was aimed at promoting the study of light and optics-based technologies among the young IT and Engineering Students and IEEE Uganda Society Members.

The The international day of Light (IDL) is a worldwide celebration of light and light-based technologies, celebrating the role that light plays in science, culture and art, education, sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy. The celebration allows for many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrate how science, technology, art and culture can help achieve the goals of UNESCO – building the foundation for peaceful societies. The IDL is celebrated worldwide on 16th May.

As per the program schedule, the event started with the welcome address delivered by Dr. Pradeep Kumar, Director of Academic Affairs – ISBAT University, and the opening remarks were given by Honorable Vice Chancellor – ISBAT University, Prof. K.M. Mathew, followed by Dr. Tyagi, Dean I/c FICT and Head of Engineering. Mr. Mayur Kumar Chhipa, EC Engineering, and Workshop Coordinator – ISBAT University delivered a presentation on Why to Celebrate International Day of Light on 16th May? After that, Mr. Dennis Kahindi, CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies made a presentation on the fiber network of Liquid Telecom in Uganda.

It was a full day celebration with hands-on workshop/practical learning sessions using optical kits to demonstrate some basic concepts related to optical fiber links. These included some fundamentals of optical network design, splicing optical fibers and OTDRs and optical loss testing. Regarding fiber optic cables, the workshop overviewed optical fiber connectors, measurements on fiber misalignments, cable preparation for termination, and many other. Both, demonstrations and the hands-on experiences included the participation of engineering and IT students of ISBAT University (Main Campus and City Campus), along with students from other institutions including Makere University, Kyambogo University, and Busitema University. Other participants included the Uganda Institute of Communications Technology (UICT)- Nakawa, Research and Education for Uganda (RENU) and the Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan.

The event gathered a total of 145 participants: 43 from IEEE Chapter Uganda and other institutions, and the rest were students from ISBAT University Main Campus and City Campus, Kampala. The group had the opportunity to discuss the topics covered during the workshop, and also performed practical work using the optical fiber kits. The workshop was very insightful and provided an excellent framework to learn and discuss the principles of optical fiber communication technology and its application in today’s world (a YouTube live recording video can be seen here:

Closing remarks of the event were given by Mr. Ezabo Baron, Chair – IEEE Uganda Section, followed by acknowledgments by the workshop coordinator, Mr. Mayur Kumar Chhipa. Certificates were also presented to the participants for their active participation.