Training The Next Generation : Manufacturing Workforce
Thursday, February 10, 2011 7:00 am
Spartanburg, S.C. – The Computer Science department at the University of South Carolina Upstate has taken an exciting step forward in the world of manufacturing and factory automation. A new “automation” focus area in the Computer Information Systems bachelor’s degree program has been established, which utilizes an impressive array of industrial robotic equipment that includes 10 robotic arms, vision systems and other equipment.
“This is a very unique and innovative program,” said Dr. Sebastian van Delden, associate professor of computer science and director of research at USC Upstate. “Students learn how to operate and program industrial robotic equipment, but focus mainly on understanding the mathematical underpinnings of the machines and designing advanced algorithms that implement complex robotic applications.”
This 24-credit hour track of study represents collaboration among the University’s Computer Science program, the Engineering Technology Management program, and the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics. As part of the curriculum and to reinforce the classroom material, students have the option of enrolling in internship experiences with nearby companies like Stäubli and SEW Eurodrive, with whom USC Upstate has developed strong robotics partnerships.
Industrial robotic manipulators are continuously becoming more advanced computer systems with complex programming interfaces, 3D robot arm emulators, and powerful networking capabilities. Computer Information Systems graduates who focus in Automation will be solid computer programmers, have concrete IT and business skills, and also have detailed knowledge of industrial robotics and manufacturing environments and processes. According to van Delden, this robotics material is complemented nicely with several courses on manufacturing processes due to the work of Tim Ellis, coordinator of the Engineering Technology Management program at USC Upstate.
These graduates could be employed by manufacturing companies to troubleshoot existing robotic applications on the production line or develop new solutions. Furthermore, graduates could be hired by robotic integrators who work with manufacturing companies to install new solutions.
“Recent years have seen a steady immigration of manufacturing corporations to the South,” said van Delden. “This new Automation focus area will help to provide a qualified workforce which is needed to support these companies and to continue to bring such business investments to the Upstate and South Carolina.”
For more information, contact Dr. Sebastian van Delden, associate professor of computer science and director of research at USC Upstate, at (864) 503-5292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.