ISA leads efforts to develop an Automation Engineering Degree Program
"Our goal is to develop curriculum content for a 4-year automation engineering degree program," said committee chair Randy Buchanan of the University of Southern Mississippi. "Once we have that in place, we'll work with universities to implement programs and with ABET to get the programs accredited."
"There is no doubt that our industry needs a program like this," said Ray Spangler, President of Central Automation, Inc., a rapidly growing automation engineering firm in California. "We're trying to hire 10 experienced automation engineers in the next two months that can quickly begin to work with clients, and even though we're offering premium salaries, we're having a hard time finding them. So much of the technology needed in automation is missing from current engineering curriculums that new graduates of those programs are not candidates."
Many of the automation engineers lost to retirement or made redundant by restructuring in the past decade have now fully retired. At the same time, demand in automation is increasing faster than for some other types of engineers and because of the older average age, a large influx is needed to just maintain the workforce size. Therefore, ISA estimates that 15,000 new automation engineers are needed annually. Engineers knowledgeable in automation are critical for keeping U.S. manufacturing competitive in the world market, according to industry leaders.
U.S. schools do not teach automation as an undergraduate engineering discipline, and automation technology is advancing so rapidly that it takes one to three years for graduates of other engineering disciplines to perform at a professional level in automation. In the past, manufacturing companies and large engineering contractors funded the automation training of new engineers. During that era, engineers could be expected to remain with the company for decades.
Today, however, few companies can afford extensive training, and engineers are more mobile. Since colleges in other countries have automation engineering programs, some companies are importing engineers.
"We recently hired five new automation engineers from India because we could not find them in the U.S.," said John Lake, Director of Automation and Control for DPR Construction, an ENR top 10 construction company in high technology and pharmaceuticals.
"We've spent a lot of time talking to industry leaders about their issues and concerns, and over and over again, we've heard them talk about finding the next generation of automation engineers for their companies," said ISA President Steve Huffman. "Engineering construction firms, system integrators, manufacturers and suppliers alike are facing the same problem - they need to find capable automation engineers to replace their aging staff. ISA is committed to leading the way in development of programs and building an automation talent pipeline to industry."
The committee is made up of the following volunteers:
Founded in 1945, ISA is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts the largest conference and exhibition for automation professionals in the Western Hemisphere. ISA is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation.
- Posted in:
- Related Portals:
- Automatic Identification, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) Software, Building Automation, Machine Safety, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Process Instruments, Field Devices & IO, Electrical & Control Panels, Valves & Pumps, HMI & Operator Interfaces, Industrial Computers, Programmable Controllers, Robots & Robot Controllers, Test, Measurement & LIMS Portal, OPC & OPC UA Interoperability, Sensors & Industrial I/O, Industrial Networks, Process Automation, Factory Automation
MORE INDUSTRY NEWS
Fluke products named finalists for Plant Engineering 2016 Product of the Year Awards
Fluke Condition Monitoring and the Fluke 279 FC Thermal Multimeter are finalists in the Maintenance Tools and Equipment category. The awards honor...
Fuji America chooses Saki's automated optical inspection system
Saki's inspection and measurement systems will be used to ensure that the printed circuit boards produced at Fuji adhere to the standards of...
SWEMCO chooses FactoryLogix MES for factory visibility
As a provider for Fortune 500 companies, government entities, and privately-held businesses throughout North America, SWEMCO has used Aegis...
Cognex announces acquisition of two 3D machine vision companies
On October 27, 2016, Cognex acquired EnShape GmbH, a maker of advanced 3D vision sensors and software based in Jena, Germany. On August 30, 2016,...
Abaco Systems announces Kevin Campbell as Vice President of Engineering
Campbell’s appointment is the latest addition to the company’s growing pool of talent, which has seen Abaco grow from ~600 employees in...
CADENAS software used to automate LUCAS' robot quote generation
The assemblies of LUCAS are modular and built with numerous variable properties. The primary goal therefore was to automate the preparation of...
Why KPIs Help Take the Guesswork Out of System Integration
By Glenn Johnson, Magic Software Americas
KPIs can be used at multiple levels for system integration projects to evaluate their success at...
Microscan announces free machine vision training course
The course will be held in Microscan’s Northeast Technology Center in Nashua, New Hampshire, from December 6-8, 2016 at 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM daily....
EtherCAT Technology Group publishes EtherCAT P technology specification
EtherCAT P is a new industrial Ethernet technology that combines EtherCAT communication and power lines into one standard 4-wire Ethernet cable.
Honeywell's control and safety systems selected for Turkish natural gas pipeline
The system will ensure safe operations of compressor stations along the entire length of the pipeline. The Southern Gas Corridor is a critical part...