Bench Skills


Through both personal and school projects, I have been able to hone my electronics bench skills. Below I have included a short summary of some key technical skills I have learned.

In my second year, winter semester of my degree I decided to take part in the Integrated Learning Stream pilot project. This pilot involved students learning about electrical engineering principles through more hands on and group work. Despite a good portion of the hands-on being cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I still learned lots and gained valuable experience in designing my own circuits.


Most importantly, my time in the ILS classroom has made me intimately familiar with oscilloscopes. Prior to this, I had only briefly used oscilloscopes in my Circuits I labs and didn’t have a good grasp on them. I can now properly:

  • Trigger signals
  • Perform measurements
  • Manipulate signals using the MATH functions
  • Graph IV characteristics using XY-mode
  • Export data in various formats
  • etc…

This newfound knowledge has been such a critical aspect of debugging my own circuit designs and it is incredibly simple to view outputs at various points. It is much, much more efficient than using a simple multimeter.


I have been soldering for many years now. However, over the past year, I have gained some new skills that have taken my ability to the next level. In particular, after spending time on the University of Calgary’s Solar Car Team, I am now able to solder SMD components with ease down to 0603 sizes. For my own projects, I tend to use 0805 sized as they are a little less error-prone by hand. I also have experience in soldering QFN and other similarly packaged chips onto boards. In addition, I also have experience in using SMD rework stations using hot-air soldering techniques. This is very useful when working with tightly packed components.


I personally own a small handheld multimeter, and that’s what I use for most of my own projects. For larger projects, and most work done at school, I like to use desktop multimeters which provide more accuracy. I can successfully use all multimeter functions including:

  • Measuring voltage
  • Measuring current
  • Continuity test
  • Measuring resistance
  • etc.