The inception of the Laboratory of Automation and System Engineering (LASE) dates back to 1967 when a few new laboratories were founded within the Faculty of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, including the Laboratory of Electronics and Automation. In addition, in 1972 the Laboratory was divided into a Laboratory of Electronics and a Laboratory of Automation, which also encompassed the computation center. The Laboratory of Automation and System Engineering (LASE) became part of the Bureau of Automation in 1982, and since 1994 it has been part of the Institute of Automation and System Engineering (IASE).
It should be noted that both the Institute and the Laboratory of Automation and System Engineering represent the only educational institutions in the Republic of North Macedonia which provide education in the fields of automation and system engineering. The main subject area of the Laboratory is its educational, scientific, research, and application activity. In 2016, the Laboratory was extended with eight additional work stations with programmable logic controllers and a SCADA system.
The laboratory exercises include: control system theory, modeling and simulation, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic control, hardware and software aspects of control, estimation and optimization algorithms, application of microcontrollers in control systems, industrial production automation, programmable logic controllers, SCADA systems, distributed control systems, etc. In addition, the thus obtained know-how is applied during many practical projects in the course of the studies.
Besides contributing the infrastructure necessary for the graduate studies, the LASE also provides conditions for simulations, testing, and examination of both technical and nontechnical complex dynamic systems within the postgraduate studies at the Institute of Automation and System Engineering. The Laboratory is also used for research in several national and international projects, as well as for running training courses for engineers in industry, such as the courses for programmable logic controllers and SCADA systems.
Regarding hardware equipment the Laboratory has 22 PCs, 5 laboratory platforms with Siemens programmable logic controllers (PLCs), 10 Mitsubishi PLCs, 2 Unitronix PLCs, 2 Allen Bradley PLCs, 18 development platforms for PIC microcontrollers, 6 microgripper robot platforms, 2 access control laboratory simulation boards, 6 GSM / GPRS моdems, 12 computer controlled platforms called eduPLC, designed by the IASE as a part of the project ”Development of Computer Control Kits for Vocational Schools” provided by USAID, and many other hardware and software systems designed as part og various graduate, postgraduate, and PhD student projects.
Furthermore, the software platforms which are used for the laboratory exercises, the design of student projects, and the research activity at the laboratory include MATLAB, SIMATIC Step 7, SIEMENS TIA Portal, Simatic WinCC, Mitsubishi GX Developer, Mitsubishi MAPS SCADA, Unitronics Visilogic, MikroC, MPLAB, etc.