Donation made for mechatronics lab at university

Omron Foundation made a donation to California State University, Chico (Chico State) for an expanded mechatronics laboratory and classroom space.

By Omron Automation February 12, 2020

Omron Foundation, the charitable arm of global technology and factory automation company Omron, made a monetary gift along with state-of-the-art robotics equipment to California State University, Chico (Chico State) for a new and expanded mechatronics laboratory and classroom space.

The planned 2,505-sq-ft learning environment will feature mint-condition industrial equipment of the type being used in next-generation factories worldwide. Chico State seeks to interest more engineering students in robotics studies and provide them with the skills necessary to succeed in a changing portion of the workforce.

“Omron’s mission is to improve lives and contribute to a better society, and a large part of this effort involves educating today’s students to help solve tomorrow’s problems,” said Nigel Blakeway, chairman and CEO of Omron Management Center of America and president of Omron Foundation in a press release. “We are honored to be able to help the next generation of robotics talent gain the skills necessary to innovate and thrive in the future.”

“We saw a strong opportunity with Chico State to give a bright and hardworking group of students the opportunity to work directly with state-of-the-art automation equipment, the sort that they will likely encounter in their first engineering jobs right out of school,” says Robb Black, president, CEO and COO of Omron Automation Americas. “It has been a great pleasure for us to work with the university and their exceptional engineering department.”

Chico State has the first accredited program in mechatronics engineering in the nation. Laboratory construction began in summer 2019 and opened for classes in the spring 2020 semester.

Chico State president Gayle Hutchinson said, “The Omron Mechatronics CoLab at Chico State will enable the University to build an exciting leading-edge lab where we can prepare students as the next generation workforce. It will be a collaborative space that will inspire research and have a transformative impact on our students, faculty, region, state and country.”

Nick Repanich, a lecturer from Chico State’s Department of mechatronic, engineering and sustainable manufacturing, said, “We need a place where when you’re an engineering student and you think mechatronics and robotics are cool, there’s a place you can come to be inspired, work on projects, and learn about it. You need a place where mechatronics is all around you. We don’t currently have a place like that.”

– Edited from a press release by CFE Media. See more stories from Omron below.