University receives grant for connected systems institute

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee announced a $1.7 million gift from Rockwell Automation to support a Connected Systems Institute (CSI) at UWM, which will focus on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
By Rockwell Automation November 2, 2017

A configuration of a connected electronic assembly factory. Courtesy: Adel Nasiri, University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeThe University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee announced a $1.7 million gift from Rockwell Automation to support a Connected Systems Institute (CSI) at UWM. The institute will be the first of its kind in the state.

"I am thrilled to partner with Rockwell Automation on this groundbreaking endeavor, and I am deeply grateful for their visionary support," Chancellor Mark Mone said. "This gift builds on the many different partnerships we have with Rockwell Automation, and we value that involvement. Connected systems—or the Internet of Things (IoT)—is a technological evolution that is infiltrating every facet of our lives, and it has powerful implications for all industrial sectors. I believe this institute will be a game-changer for businesses in southeastern Wisconsin and the entire state."

The multidisciplinary Connected Systems Institute (CSI) will focus on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which uses sensors to gather data from equipment, machines, and manufactured products through secure data networks. The CSI will build on existing collaborations between UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science and its Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business, along with other academic units at UWM and other UW System universities. By providing undergraduate, graduate, professional, and executive education, research and programs, the institute will develop talent, expertise and solutions to lead companies to greater productivity through IIoT technologies and applications.

Blake Moret, Rockwell Automation president and CEO, said that the wide range of disciplines at UWM makes it ideal for this partnership. "The Connected Systems Institute is a multidisciplinary program that will enable students to learn skills not only in technology but also in business, and the breadth of courses and research at UWM makes it a perfect fit," Moret said. "We are looking forward to continuing our relationship and working with other members of this institute. I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of our work together."

Adel Nasiri, associate dean for research and a professor in UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science, has headed up the planning phase for the institute. A planning grant from Rockwell Automation allowed Nasiri and the UWM planning team to study firsthand leading IoT institutes and centers in Germany, China, Taiwan, Singapore and the United States.

"There’s currently a gap between industry on the one hand and research and education on the other," Nasiri said. "The Connected Systems Institute will serve as a central point where industry representatives and scholars can collaborate on industrial IoT technologies. As a global manufacturing center, Milwaukee is an ideal location for this consortium."

The CSI is to be centrally located at UWM and will house state-of-the-art IoT simulation, emulation, test bed and test plant facilities, where participating companies may test end-to-end production solutions.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM)

www.uwm.edu 

Rockwell Automation

www.rockwellautomation.com 

– Edited from a Rockwell Automation press release by CFE Media. See more Control Engineering IIoT and Industrie 4.0 stories.