Education: Initiatives target discrete manufacturing, research

01/23/2007


Charlottesville, NC —Advancing education and research in discrete manufacturing control systems to help develop the engineering workforce of the future is the goal of a recent partnership between GE Fanuc Automation , a unit of GE Industrial, and Kettering University . Under the agreement, GE Fanuc will provide the university with manufacturing control components for installation by the school in its department of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) labs.

Contributions include GE Fanuc's Assembly Application Suite (AAS) hardware and software products to simulate manufacturing environments. Kettering will integrate the hardware and software into its course curriculum and develop GE Fanuc-based continuing education offerings, including case studies and projects for discrete manufacturing industries. Initial courses using the resources are expected to be available in the summer 2007 term.

"The electrical and computer engineering department at Kettering University prides itself on providing a current, relevant, and practical engineering education to its students while keeping pace with the leading edge of technology," said David Foster, lecturer on computer engineering at the school. "The academic experiences and research opportunities made possible by GE Fanuc's hardware and software will allow us to continue to do just that in the area of discrete manufacturing."

The cooperative agreement, added Dr. Juan Pimentel, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Kettering, "will enable Kettering students and faculty, using state-of-the-art equipment, to tackle significant problems faced by U.S. manufacturing plants."

U.S. News & World Report 's 2007 edition of "America's Best Colleges Guide" ranks Kettering 12th in the U.S. for best engineering programs (non-doctoral institutions) and puts the ECE department 7th in the nation.

In separate developments, two Websites aim to advance manufacturing research.

  • A recent online effort extended free listings to match companies' research needs with college student researchers. Click here to read more about that project, "Free research and development: Match projects to researchers."

  • National Instruments offers information to students and professors on funding and other benefits at the academic area of its Website . Tutorials also are available.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Edited by Jeanine Katzel , senior editor