B&K Precision, based Yorba Linda, Calif., specializes in test and measurement instruments. This gift provides sophisticated oscilloscopes for Walla Walla University’s physics laboratory.
While B&K Precision has not given a gift of this size before (the company typically donates one or two scientific instruments per school or individual), Victor Tolan, B&K Precision’s chief executive officer, decided to donate additional scopes to WWU because of his familiarity with the school. B&K Precision recently worked with WWU’s School of Engineering.
The donation is also unique since the instruments are not for a specific project, as they are commonly given for, but used instead to equip an entire laboratory.
“I would like to express my thanks to B&K Precision, and specifically to Geisa Mello [B&K Precision’s Director of Business Development] for her role in obtaining this generous donation for the physics department,” says Tom Ekkens, chair of the Physics Department. “The upper division physics laboratories have been in need of quality instruments since previously used oscilloscopes were expensive and often difficult to operate. The instruments were also noisy and made exporting data a time-consuming process. These B&K scopes are faster, allow us to export the data much quicker, and have better user controls,” explains Ekkens. “We can now spend more time on the experiments and less on the process of taking data.”
In addition to simplifying the process of acquiring data, the oscilloscopes allow students to gain experience using state-of-the-art equipment. “For the majority of physicists, most of their day is spent in the lab building experiments or in the office processing data from those experiments. Our labs are the best preparation for their actual work day,” says Ekkens.