Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute (Purdue Polytechnic) is receiving support from major technology companies for the college’s Smart Manufacturing program and facilities. Microsoft, Rockwell Automation, PTC, Endress+Hauser, Foundry Educational Foundation, International Society of Automation, and the US-DoE Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) are collaborating to support faculty and staff of the Polytechnic as they transform learning to prepare the next generation of graduates specializing in 21st-century manufacturing technologies.
The cornerstone of this university-industry collaboration is the development of a first-of-its-kind Smart Manufacturing undergraduate program in North America. The program is designed to better prepare Purdue’s engineering technology graduates to lead the systemic transformation of the manufacturing industry consistent with the technologies and core capabilities of Industry 4.0. This initiative involves the design of a Bachelor of Science degree within the Polytechnic’s ABET-accredited manufacturing engineering technology program that addresses manufacturing from the perspective of maximizing benefits through the implementation of data-driven products, processes, and services for optimizing key business drivers through the use of IoT, data, AI, machine learning and integrated enterprise operations.
“This initiative, through the strong support of our industry partners, will result in a unique learning experience for our students and prepare them to be leaders in Industry 4.0 technologies,” said Gary Bertoline, distinguished professor and dean of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.
“This collaboration allows for us to work with our manufacturing partners to support Purdue’s vision of bridging the worlds of advanced technology and more traditional engineering disciplines, offering a new approach to learning,” said Anthony Salcito, global vice president of education at Microsoft.
“Advanced manufacturing is driving demand for a new type of technology-intensive manufacturing skillset,” said Becky House, senior vice president, chief administrative & legal officer at Rockwell Automation. “To meet the needs of tomorrow’s workforce, collaborations between business and academia such as Purdue’s Smart Manufacturing program will enable us to build a diverse pipeline of critical thinkers and problem solvers needed for careers that evolve as fast as technology itself. We applaud Purdue’s differentiated approach, which directly speaks to needs in the manufacturing industry. This program will increase the diversity of student disciplines, background, and thinking required to produce prepared graduates with key skills.”
Convened by Purdue faculty, the collaboration leverages thought leadership, technical expertise, resources, and practical manufacturing scenarios from leaders in the Industry 4.0 domain to include the most relevant business problems and technologies in the curriculum. These efforts have resulted in the development of curriculum, labs, student activities and both physical and digital infrastructure to support this innovative program. Additionally, the initiative has focused on supporting Purdue Polytechnic’s blended learning approach, with a focus on collaboration and delivering lab activities outside of the traditional lab environment.
A distinctive feature of the Smart Manufacturing program is the use of a cloud platform to democratize access to Industry 4.0 applications, offering scalability and flexibility while also giving students access to a comprehensive set of IoT, AI, and ML tools. In their courses, students will learn to apply these advanced technologies to address of-the-moment scenarios in manufacturing, preparing them to help solve the problems that companies are facing. The participants in Purdue Polytechnic’s Smart Manufacturing program look forward to creating a future-ready educational program to accelerate the preparation of industry-ready talent who are educated and empowered at Purdue University, while also creating a model that can be leveraged by other universities throughout the world.
About Purdue Polytechnic Institute:
The Purdue Polytechnic Institute, one of 10 academic colleges at Purdue University, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in aviation, computing and graphics, construction management, engineering technology, technology leadership, and technology education. In addition to Purdue University’s main campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue Polytechnic offers select degree programs in nine Indiana communities.
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Purdue University Polytechnic Institute