Robert L. Nida has joined the Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC) as its education and workforce development director, effective April 17.
IN-MaC, a research center in the Purdue Research Park’s Indiana Manufacturing Institute facility, develops and delivers next generation manufacturing technologies and educational content via an integrated three-thrust approach: research, technology adoption, and education. Nida will lead and manage all workforce education-related activities for the center.
“Coming to Purdue is a dream come true,” Nida said. “To work with industry, education, and governmental partners in IN-MaC’s action-oriented culture will be challenging and rewarding.”
“Education and workforce development is one of IN-MaC's primary tasks,” said John Sutherland, co-executive director of IN-MaC and head of Environmental and Ecological Engineering. “Bob brings fantastic industry experience to our team.”
Nida will develop relationships with external workforce agencies, industrial partners, and workforce boards. He will work with economic development and funding agencies to determine market needs and discern Purdue’s ability to address them. He will also work with Purdue units which deliver distance learning and continuing education, including the Purdue Polytechnic Center for Professional Studies, Engineering Professional Education, Purdue NExT, and Purdue Digital and Professional Education.
“Geanie Umberger (associate dean for engagement for the Purdue Polytechnic Institute) helped get our workforce efforts started, and we’re grateful to her,” said Ronald Steuterman, managing director of IN-MaC and the Composites Manufacturing & Simulation Center. “The need to transition to a full-time person in the role became clear, and we were glad to find Bob.”
Nida was corporate vice president of organizational development at Wabash National Corporation, corporate senior-vice president at Accuride Corporation. At Honeywell, he had multiple human resource, quality, and production assignments.
Nida earned a Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Regent University, a master’s degree in total quality management from Friends University, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Bridgewater College.
In addition to education and workforce development, IN-MaC also facilitates a technology adoption program to connect industry with leading-edge research in a flexible business environment and researches methods to ensure Indiana’s long-term competitiveness in manufacturing.