The College of Aeronautics and Engineering Secures Tech Funding for Areas Across University
On June 1, Kent State University was approved to move forward with the purchase of $143,233 worth of equipment through the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS 4) program.
The RAPIDS initiative allows for equipment investments that support postsecondary institutions’ workforce development efforts, fostering students’ career aspirations and economic growth of businesses in the region. The College of Aeronautics and Engineering led the Kent State proposal, which also included equipment for the new Design Innovation (DI) Hub and Kent State University at Stark’s renovated computer lab.
“Kent State University will be one of the first institutions in the country to own FANUC’s new CRX Collaborative Robot,” said Jackie Ruller, assistant dean of Kent State's College of Aeronautics and Engineering. “The college consistently provides state-of-the-art technology to our students. They graduate ready to lead in their new career.”
The College of Aeronautics and Engineering at Kent State will purchase the newest, state-of-the-art FANUC collaborative robot (cobot) with its awarded funds. The college already owns five robots by FANUC, the leading supplier of robots, computer numeric control systems and factory automation. Instruction on the cobot will be included in the college’s FANUC Industrial Robots course that is required for the Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics Engineering Technology program and offered as a technical elective in other engineering programs. Labs using the cobot will also be incorporated into the non-credit, four-day FANUC Robot training offered by the college for those who are looking to improve their skill and receive the FANUC Robotics Cert I industry credential.
As manufacturers strive to stay competitive, they are converting their facilities to automated systems favoring reduced labor costs, increased precision, accuracy and quality products and safety for workers. Kent State's College of Aeronautics and Engineering offers the programs and equipment to help companies make this transition.
The symbiotic relationship between Kent State's College of Aeronautics and Engineering and the Design Innovation (DI) Initiative continues to create proven results for student education and industry partners. The new DI Hub will be complete by fall 2020 and benefit from the RAPIDS 4 program with the purchase of a Universal Laser Systems laser cutter.
“In our case, these funds will help purchase rapid manufacturing machinery for the new DI Hub that can be made accessible to our students and leveraged to provide workshops and training for workforce development in the region,” said J.R. Campbell, executive director of Kent State's DI Initiative.
Kent State Stark, which will receive a portion of the funds, hosts a cybersecurity RAPIDS project supporting the CYBER-Ohio priority, which aims to help Ohio’s businesses fight back against cyberattacks, as part of the governor’s Innovate Ohio Initiative.
“During a time when society’s reliance on technology may be at its highest, receiving the Ohio RAPIDS grant is such an incredible honor,” said Angela Guercio, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science at Kent State Stark.