RF-certified and industry ready: Electrical engineers become first at New Paltz to earn Keysight credential

The inaugural class of RF-Certified SUNY New Paltz Electrical Engineering students, with Assistant Professor Reena Dahle

A collaborative effort to deliver a new professional credential to electrical engineering students at SUNY New Paltz came to fruition on Feb. 7, as the College honored the first class of engineers to complete the Keysight Radio Frequency and Microwave Industry-Ready Student Certification Program.

Keysight Technologies, an international leader in engineering hardware and software, created this credential for electrical engineers who demonstrate special expertise working highly specialized software and hardware to design devices that transmit or receive radio waves. The 11 New Paltz students who completed the training join an elite group of fewer than 650 Keysight-certified engineers in the U.S.

“I want to congratulate our graduates for seizing this opportunity,” said President Donald P. Christian. “The skill set you’ve acquired in radiofrequency and microwave areas will serve you well and help meet industry’s growing needs for engineers with this kind of experience.”

Students can earn this certification through Assistant Professor Reena Dahle’s “Introduction to Microwave Engineering” course. Dahle worked in consultation with Keysight to build a curriculum emphasizing applied design projects that challenge students to demonstrate the skills that will be expected of them as they begin their careers.

“The students who have gone through this course go through the entire process, from design on paper, to software simulation, to manufacturing and test, using Keysight’s modular systems,” Dahle said. “It’s not very common for undergraduates to experience this process; students are typically exposed to this high-level design work in graduate programs or in industry working as an RF engineer.”

This kind of design experience is a key differentiator for electrical engineering programs looking to partner with Keysight to offer the Industry-Ready Certification.

“Going through this design cycle is what industry needs from today’s engineers,” said Art Lizotte, director of Americas University Development at Keysight Technologies. “The recruiting representatives we work with tell us that when they hire RF-certified students, they are confident they will know what they are doing from their first day on the job.”

Art Lizotte, director of Americas University Development at Keysight Technologies

Radio frequency and microwaves are among the fastest growing engineering fields, vitally important to industries including communications, aerospace and defense. These are the technologies behind the rapid expansion of “Internet of Things,” the interconnectedness of appliances and other physical objects in our homes and workplaces.

“This is a very well recognized certification, and it gives the students who get it a real advantage at finding jobs in the region, because they’ve proven they have skills that are in tremendous demand,” said Dan Freedman, dean of the School of Science & Engineering.

New Paltz is the only SUNY college or university offering this credential, and just one of two institutions offering it anywhere in the northeast U.S. (Columbia University is the other).

More information about the Keysight Radio Frequency and Microwave Industry-Ready Student Certification Program is available online.

Visit the Division of Engineering Programs at SUNY New Paltz to learn more about this and other opportunities for students in electrical, mechanical and computer engineering.