Episode 16: Cross-Cutting Skills in Advanced Manufacturing for Medical Devices

Matthew Carter,  Vice President, Cook Medical, Winston-Salem, NC
August 2020 | 00:21:01
Episode 16 Transcript and Show Notes

What are the cross-cutting skills–the skills vital for all future STEM technicians, regardless of discipline, to practice in order to be successful?  Matthew Carter from Cook Medical, a manufacturing company, shares that it is vitally important for technicians to be able to gather data, present information, and balance the technical aspects of a project with its business considerations as well as perform what are considered more traditional technical skills. They also must be able to work in cross-functional teams. He notes that medical device manufacturing is not different from other industries in at least one regard:  as quality demands continue to increase,  the consistency of the product is very important. In this episode, we talk about how the data, the technology, and the people work together like gears interacting with one another to maintain process efficiency and product quality.

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Episode 15: Working “Remotely”

Jill Zande,  Associate Director and ROV Competition Coordinator for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center at Monterey Peninsula College
May 2020 | 00:25:21
Episode 15 Transcript and Show Notes

Even in the best times, it can be a challenge keeping employers engaged and interested in supporting your college technical programs. We know that it is important for programs to maintain strong industry partnerships, but what does that look like in a rapidly changing business and education environment? For starters, it means cultivating a champion within companies, a champion who shares information about your program and its graduates and who can envision the return on investment from engagement. That ROI might be as simple as increased community visibility from event sponsorship or as multifaceted as future employee recruitment. In this episode, Jill Zande, Associate Director at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center in Monterey, California examines how professional societies—in this case the Marine Technology Society—and companies can be champions for educational initiatives. She also discusses how sponsoring the ROV (underwater remotely operated vehicle) Competition World Championship each year provides both types of ROI.

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NSF Grants Put Lane Community College Programs Ahead of the Curve

Brenda Cervantes, Project Specialist, Water & Energy Programs, Lane Community College, Eugene, OR

Technical careers require hands-on educational experiences and with an online curriculum the challenge is to provide students with that experiential component. In the past decade with funding through two NSF ATE grants, Lane Community College (LCC) transitioned its traditional classroom Energy Management program into an online instructional program with hands-on lab experiences available. The Independent Learner Energy Education Design project provides instruction in LCC’s online Energy Management (Building Controls Option) program coupled with fieldwork facilitated by regional power utility mentors.

Of particular interest, however, in this time when classrooms are going virtual to meet the needs of social distancing, is their transformed Water Conservation Technician (WCT) program, which has been moved to a completely online instructional environment.

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GeoTech Center Goes Virtual for Professional Development Conference

Vincent A. DiNoto Jr., Director and Principal Investigator of the National Geospatial Center of Excellence, Jefferson Community and Technical College, Louisville, KY

In response to COVID-19 restrictions on in-person gathering, the National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence (GeoTech Center) has modified its conference and regional professional workshop delivery for the remainder of the year. This year, GeoTech will hold its annual GeoEd’20 Conference on June 9th and 10th in a virtual format for the first time in conference history, while keeping many of the features of past conferences.  There will continue to be sessions on a variety of topics in geospatial technologies.  Over the two days multiple concurrent sessions will be offered in two-hour blocks through interactive desktop video.  While the conference is entirely virtual, it will still have valuable content and pedagogy presented, cutting edge technologies discussed and times allocated for networking. In addition to the learning sessions, there will be keynote speakers during “a virtual luncheon” and a “virtual happy hour” session designed for participant networking.

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Episode 14: Delivering Automation at UPS

David Ayala, Western Region Buildings and Systems Engineering Training Manager for UPS
April 2020 | 00:18:56

Episode 14 Transcript and Show Notes

As the Western Region Buildings and Systems Engineering Training Manager at UPS, David Ayala has seen the company go from humans manually sorting packages by zip code—way back in 1999—to today’s increasingly automated processes. Moving from standard motor control to PLCs, camera scanners, and mechanical devices has increased efficiency, leading to increased capacity and the need to double their staff of automation technicians and maintenance mechanics in some cases. New hires need to be multi-skilled, with troubleshooting, mechanical, and welding experience preferred. Most importantly, they need to be able to perform reliably under pressure in an industry where time is a make-or-break factor. Predictive maintenance is one of the keys to successful operations at UPS.

UPS is a trademark of the United Parcel Service of America, Inc. and is used with the permission of the owner.


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