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MTSU engineering tech student gizmos featured at April 27 event in Smyrna

MTSU student projects and Experimental Vehicle Program competition projects will be at the forefront of the Engineering Technology Poster and Project Presentation, to be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the Nissan Training Center, 663 Ken Pilkerton Drive, in Smyrna, Tennessee.

The event is open to the public and MTSU campus community.

Jamshid Farzidayeri, left, a former mechatronics engineering student now pursuing a doctorate in computational mathematics, and December 2016 graduate Michael Kimble work on their "Magic Bot" robot in this November 2016 file photo. Engineering technology students will showcase their projects April 27 at the Nissan Training Center in Smyrna, Tenn. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Jamshid Farzidayeri, left, a former mechatronics engineering student now pursuing a doctorate in computational mathematics, and December 2016 graduate Michael Kimble work on their “Magic Bot” robot in this November 2016 file photo. Engineering technology students will showcase their projects April 27 at the Nissan Training Center in Smyrna, Tenn. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

This marks the first time the department has taken the event, which has been an open house, off campus.

In addition to posters, hands-on engineering technology, mechatronics engineering and other projects on display include:

  • A solar cellphone charger.
  • A solar drinking water filter.
  • Mail delivery system.
  • A coffee cup fetcher.
  • Society of Manufacturing Engineers robot projects.
  • Solar boat.
  • Lunar rover.
  • A Pack Bot military-style robot.

Representatives from industry — Nissan, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Murfreesboro Electric, Automation Nth and more — are planning to attend.

Refreshments and free T-shirts will be available while they last.

Engineering technology is one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments. To learn more, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/engineering/

and http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/mechatronics/.

For more information about the event and engineering technology, call 615-898-2776.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

ET poster and project presentation

MTSU rover teams place, earn major awards at NASA annual event in Huntsville

One MTSU student engineering team placed in the top 10 in the world while a second team earned two major technical awards at the 2017 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

Held March 31-April 1 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the event requires student teams to design, build, test and race human-powered rovers, driven by one male and one female.

MTSU Team 1 members accept the Drivetrain Technology Challenge Award at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge April 1 in Huntsville, Ala. (Submitted photos)

MTSU Team 1 members accept the Drivetrain Technology Challenge Award at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge April 1 in Huntsville, Ala. (Submitted photos)

The obstacles throughout the nearly three-quarter-mile course simulate terrain found on Mars as well as other planets, moons and asteroids throughout the solar system.

Assembly at the start/finish line, time to negotiate the course and incurred penalties factor in each team’s final time.

MTSU Team 2, which has earned the nickname “The Beast” because of its previous successful performances, placed ninth overall and was sixth best in the United States during the competition. Metal chain issues slowed its best race time.

MTSU Team 2 lunar rover drivers Mathilde French, left, and Jason Baker guide their four-wheeled craft along the course path during the NASA Human Explorer Rover Challenge. The team placed ninth overall.

MTSU Team 2 lunar rover drivers Mathilde French, left, and Jason Baker guide their four-wheeled craft along the course path during the NASA Human Explorer Rover Challenge. The team placed ninth overall.

With a new rover, MTSU Team 1 received the first-time Drive Train Technology Challenge Award and the Safety System Award.

Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, adviser for the Experimental Vehicles Program teams, said he was “proud of all of our students” at the competition.

Team 1 had been designing and building the new rover in the machine shop since the conclusion of the April 2016 competition. Team 2, which had a modified rover, began its efforts this January.

“They worked two days nonstop to finish the new rover,” Foroudastan added. “We were one of only a few schools where just the students worked on the rover.”

Foroudastan said race officials told him the new rover “was the best design and both were the best-looking rovers” at the event.

The University of Puerto Rico-Humacao Team 1 earned first place in the university division based on its penalty-free run in 4 minutes, 21 seconds.

Rhode Island School of Design earned second place with a 6:44 time, and Puerto Rico-Mayaguez placed third with 7:14. MTSU Team 2, which was penalized two minutes, finished in 9:28, just ahead of the Tennessee Tech Team 1’s 10:07 entry.

MTSU Team 1 placed 26th overall. Once the body was assembled in the machine shop, team members encountered issues with new wheels days before the race as well as with a rubber belt during the competition. It finished in 11:27, but encountered more than 34 minutes in penalties.

Murfreesboro’s Central Magnet School teams placed ninth and 25th, respectively, in the high school competition.

For more about the rover challenge, visit www.nasa.gov/roverchallenge.

For results, visit www.nasa.gov/roverchallenge/teams and click on the “college display report.”

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Team 1 drivers Emma Gist, left, and Braxton Harter maneuver their lunar rover through the cours at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

MTSU Team 1 drivers Emma Gist, left, and Braxton Harter maneuver their lunar rover through the course at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

MTSU's lunar rover teams are shown during a break in the action at the 2017 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

MTSU’s lunar rover teams are shown during a break in the action at the 2017 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

 


MTSU teams take aim at lunar rover world event at NASA-Huntsville

Two MTSU teams are setting their sights on potential high finishes at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2017.

The event will be held Friday and Saturday, March 31-April 1, at NASA’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center course in Huntsville, Alabama.

MTSU Team 2 drivers Jason Baker, front, and Mathilde French begin a test run just outside the Voorhies Engineering Technology Building March 30, two days before competing in the annual NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Viewing their progress are team captain Tony Cheatham, left, and Rhea Harrison. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

MTSU Team 2 drivers Jason Baker, front, and Mathilde French begin a test run just outside the Voorhies Engineering Technology Building March 30, two days before competing in the annual NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Viewing their progress are team captain Tony Cheatham, left, and Rhea Harrison. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

The challenge will focus on designing, constructing and testing technologies for mobility devices to perform in environments in the solar system family — planets, moons, asteroids and comets — and it will provide valuable experiences that engage students in the technologies and concepts that will be needed in future exploration missions.

MTSU’s Experimental Vehicles Program lunar rover entries are an annual top-10 finisher, placing third in the world and best in the U.S. twice in recent years.

Junior Brad Hobbs, senior Kelly Maynard and graduate student Thomas Kinney are captains for MTSU Team 1, which has a new aluminum body, wheels designed by Maynard for the second year and will utilize a belt system instead of a metal chain. Drivers are seniors Braxton Harter and Emma Gist.

“We’re confident we should be in at least the top three,” said Hobbs, acknowledging strong international competition from Russia, Germany, India and Puerto Rico, not to mention MTSU Team 2.

Captain Tony Cheatham, a junior mechatronics engineering major from Knoxville, Tennessee, guides Team 2, whose rover is nicknamed “The Beast.” Team members made the required 50 percent modifications required since it is not a totally new entry. Drivers are Jason Baker and Mathilde French.

“We were seventh in the world last year. With modifications, we think we can do better than that,” said Cheatham, who mentioned all the hours the volunteer team members spent preparing the rover.

Team 2 modifications include adding a camera system, a modified wheel design and an adapted breaking and drivetrain system.

MTSU Team 1 captain Thomas Kinney, right, receives help in making adjustments to the lunar rover from Mohammed Aldahloos, left, and Syed Bukhari March 30 before the team leaves for Huntsville, Ala., site of the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge March 31-April 1.

MTSU Team 1 captain Thomas Kinney, right, receives help in making adjustments to the lunar rover from Mohammed Aldahloos, left, and Syed Bukhari March 30 before the team leaves for Huntsville, Ala., site of the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge March 31-April 1.

Rovers will be human-powered and carry two student drivers, one male and one female, through the half-mile obstacle course of simulated extraterrestrial terrain of craters, boulders, ridges, inclines, crevasses and depressions.

As part of the challenge and before going onto the course, unassembled entries must be carried by the drivers to the course starting line with the unassembled components contained in a specific area. At the starting line, the entries will be assembled, readied for racing and evaluated for safety.

The top three winning high school and college/university division teams will be those having the shortest total times in assembling the rovers and negotiating the course. Each team is permitted two runs on the course. The shortest course time (including penalties) will be added to the assembly time for the final total event time.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams in both divisions. Schools compete for 11 additional awards. MTSU teams have earned various awards through the years.

Saeed Foroudastan, associate dean in the College of Basic and Applied Science, is the teams’ adviser.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Siemens officials tour MTSU mechatronics, engineering facilities

Representatives from Siemens and other interested parties visited MTSU March 22, touring the Department of Engineering Technology’s mechatronics and other lab facilities as it considers building on the current partnership.

Dana Soukoup, vice president of Siemens Building Technologies Division in Chicago, Illinois, was joined by fellow Siemens officials Judith Bevels of Murfreesboro and Sara Mould of Nashville; Jimmy Davis of Murfreesboro-based The Davis Groupe; and Keith Hamilton, who retired in 2016 from Bridgestone Americas Inc. and continues to promote mechatronics engineering at all levels.

MTSU junior mechanical engineering technology major Tony Cheatham, left, discusses information about one of two lunar rover entries the Experimental Vehicles Program will have in an upcoming NASA-sponsored world competition March 22 in a Voorheis Engineering Technology building lab. Obsrving are, from left, Dana Soukoup, vice president of Siemens Building Technologies Division; Jimmy Davis of The Davis Groupe; Judith Bevels and Sara Mould of Siemens; and Keith Hamilton, a 2016 Bridgeston Americas retiree who promotes mechatronics engineering at middle school, high school, community college and university levels. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

MTSU junior mechanical engineering technology major Tony Cheatham, left, discusses one of two lunar rover entries the Experimental Vehicles Program will have in an upcoming NASA-sponsored world competition in a Voorheis Engineering Technology building lab March 22. Observing are, from left, Dana Soukoup, vice president of Siemens Building Technologies Division; Jimmy Davis of The Davis Groupe; Judith Bevels and Sara Mould of Siemens; and Keith Hamilton, a 2016 Bridgeston Americas retiree who promotes mechatronics engineering at middle school, high school, community college and university levels. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Mechatronics engineering is a multidisciplinary field of engineering with a combination of systems in mechanical, electrical, telecommunications, control and computer engineering.

Mechatronics is based on a three-level international certification program created by Siemens, a German engineering company. To date, MTSU is the only Siemens-certified Level 3 four-year mechatronics program in the world.

Engineering Technology Chair Walter Boles led the entourage on the tour of mechatronics and engineering facilities. College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer joined them for tours of the new Science Building and just-renovated Davis Science Building.

In a hands-on lab, MTSU graduate assistant Joel Clements of Murfreesboro and junior mechanical engineering technology major Tony Cheatham of Knoxville, Tennessee, shared about the Experimental Vehicles Program in engineering technology.

The group had a business lunch with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, interim Provost Mark Byrnes and other MTSU officials.

Later, they toured the mechatronics facility at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Smyrna, Tennessee, and met with state officials in Nashville.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU junior Tony Cheatham demonstrates how the Experimental Vehicles Program's lunar rover collapses for storage. Department of Engineering Technology graduate assistant Joel Clements, back left, Jimmy Davis of The Davis Groupe, Judith Bevels and Sara Mould of Siemens and Keith Hamilton, a Bridgstone Americas Inc. retiree who promotes mechatronics engineering at all levels, watch and listen March 22 at MTSU. Siemens officials, including vice president of BT Americas Dana Soukoup (not pictured), learned more about MTSU's mechatronics and engineering technology facilities.

MTSU junior Tony Cheatham demonstrates how the Experimental Vehicles Program’s lunar rover collapses for storage. Department of Engineering Technology graduate assistant Joel Clements, back left, Jimmy Davis of The Davis Groupe, Judith Bevels and Sara Mould of Siemens and Keith Hamilton, a Bridgstone Americas Inc. retiree who promotes mechatronics engineering at all levels, watch and listen March 22 at MTSU. Siemens officials, including vice president of BT Americas Dana Soukoup (not pictured), learned more about MTSU’s mechatronics and engineering technology facilities.

Jimmy Davis, left, of the Murfreesboro-based Davis Groupe, shares how his company utilizes MTSU mechatronics graduates March 22 at MTSU. Listening are, from left, Sara Mould and Judith Bevels of Siemens, MTSU Department of Engineering Technology chair Walter Boles and Dava Soukoup, vice president of Siemens Building Technologies Division. Siemens visited MTSU's mechatronics engineering and other facilities.

Jimmy Davis, left, of the Murfreesboro-based Davis Groupe, shares how his company utilizes MTSU mechatronics graduates March 22 at MTSU. Listening are, from left, Sara Mould and Judith Bevels of Siemens, MTSU Department of Engineering Technology chair Walter Boles and Dava Soukoup, vice president of Siemens Building Technologies Division. Siemens visited MTSU’s mechatronics engineering and other facilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program earns national recognition

The Middle Tennessee State University Experimental Vehicles Program has received national acclaim with the 2016 Clips & Clamps Industries Educational Institution Award from the Precision Metalforming Association.

MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program adviser Saeed Foroudastan, left, accepts the 2016 Clips & Clamps Industries Educational Institution Award from company president Jeffery Aznavorian. (Submitted photo)

MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program adviser Saeed Foroudastan, left, accepts the 2016 Clips & Clamps Industries Educational Institution Award from company president Jeffery Aznavorian. (Submitted photo)

The Department of Engineering Technology program, which gives students extensive hands-on experience by creating and assembling vehicles to compete in collegiate competitions, earned the organization’s sole educational recognition in its Awards of Excellence in Metalforming.

Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, adviser for the program and associate dean in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, accepted the award and a $1,500 grant in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Jeffery Aznavorian, president of Clips & Clamps.

“This is a very prestigious award because Precision Metalforming Association is a nationwide organization with more than 900 member companies and represents $137 billion of the metal forming industry in North America,” Foroudastan said.

MTSU students in the EVP program “are devoted to excellence and working as team members to prepare their projects for competition,” Foroudastan added.

The program includes four experimental vehicle projects that divide students into peer-led teams, where they must research, design and manufacture original vehicles. On average, 70 to 80 students per semester participate in the program.

Students use the skills they gain from the program, including problem-solving, innovation and resourcefulness, in their careers in the metal forming industry.

Engineering Technology logoForoudastan said students learn valuable job functions, including tensile forming and bending and shearing, and are exposed to fabricating machinery while they manufacture and develop the experimental vehicles.

Students in the program also must present their design reports and technical work, which allows them to learn communication skills alongside their technical expertise.

MTSU’s NASA lunar rover team placed first nationally and third in an international competition, earning the Safety Award and Neil Armstrong Outstanding Design Award in 2015. That year, the MTSU solar boat team placed second in the nation and earned Outstanding Workmanship, Outstanding Electrical System Design and Outstanding Drive Train awards.

More than 90 percent of MTSU engineering technology students involved with experimental vehicles have a job lined up in the metal forming industry when they graduate or soon thereafter, Foroudastan said, adding that the students are in demand by metal forming industry recruiters because they need less training and have more knowledge and problem-solving ability learned in the program.

The MTSU program receives financial support and mentoring from companies in the industry.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU lunar rover drivers Zack Hill, left, and Nichole Wanamaker pedal toward the finish line at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Huntsville, Ala., in this April 2015 file photo. MTSU placed third in international competition and was best in the U.S. (Submitted photo)

MTSU lunar rover drivers Zack Hill, left, and Nichole Wanamaker pedal toward the finish line at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Huntsville, Ala., in this April 2015 file photo. MTSU placed third in international competition and was best in the United States at the event. (Submitted photo)

60 places remain for Feb. 24 MTSU ‘Girl Day’ for aspiring engineers

Only 60 openings are available for the 2017 MTSU “Girl Day,” part of the worldwide campaign to introduce high school girls to the world of engineering.

MTSU’s free event will be held Friday, Feb. 24, in the Voorhies Engineering Technology and Davis Science buildings and Wiser-Patten Science Hall, organizers said. Girl Day is held during Engineers Week, Feb. 19-25.

Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross

Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross

Girl-Day-logo-webGirls will attend two workshops, have lunch sponsored by Texas Instruments and participate in a panel discussion.

Attendees should register through their high schools. For more information, visit http://mtsu.edu/et/includes/GirlDay.pdf

“At MTSU, we want to encourage girls to explore engineering and technical careers,” said Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, an award-winning chemistry professor and director of the campus’s Women in STEM (WISTEM) Center, a sponsor along with the Department of Engineering Technology.

MTSU has opportunities for girls in engineering technology, mechatronics engineering, aerospace and computer science, Iriarte-Gross added.

To learn more about Girl Day on a national level, visit www.discovere.org/our-programs/girl-day.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Oakland High School students Megan Carmichael, left, and Reagan Ross make connections with wires used to create a cellphone charger in a metal mint canister at MTSU in this February 2014 file photo,. The hands-on project was one of two they performed during Girl Day to promote engineering and tech-driven careers. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Oakland High School students Megan Carmichael, left, and Reagan Ross make connections with wires used to create a cellphone charger in a metal mint canister at MTSU in this February 2014 file photo,. The hands-on project was one of two they performed during Girl Day to promote engineering and tech-driven careers. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

MTSU, Motlow pitch mechatronics programs in workforce training

MTSU’s Walter Boles loves all the attention the Department of Engineering Technology’s mechatronics engineering program suddenly is receiving.

The chair of one of the state’s fastest-growing programs joined Motlow College’s Fred Rascoe for an “Inside Workforce Development” taping Tuesday, Sept. 6, at WTVF-TV in Nashville.

The show will air at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, and Saturday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 a.m. — plus encore airings — on NewsChannel5+ on Comcast channel 250, Charter channel 182 and digital 5.2. It also can be viewed via www.newschannel5.com.

Boles participated in the seventh Tennessee Department of Education’s Technical Education Cluster Collaborative Wednesday, Sept. 7, at the Northfield Workforce Development & Conference Center in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

“Inside Workforce Development” host Chris Cannon, left, Motlow College’s Fred Rascoe and MTSU’s Walter Boles discuss mechatronics programs at both schools during a television taping Sept. 6 in Nashville. (Photo by Rick Casebeer)

“Inside Workforce Development” host Chris Cannon, left, Motlow College’s Fred Rascoe and MTSU’s Walter Boles discuss mechatronics programs at both schools during a television taping Sept. 6 in Nashville. (Photo by Rick Casebeer)

Mechatronics engineering is a multidisciplinary field of engineering with a combination of systems in mechanical, electrical, telecommunications, control and computer engineering.

Mechatronics is based on a three-level international certification program created by Siemens, a German engineering company. To date, MTSU is the only Siemens-certified Level 3 four-year program in the world.

MTSU Wordmark
Boles said that his goal for the “Inside Workforce Development” TV taping is to share how “automation and robotics have grown tremendously over the past 40 years, and the growth/applications has exploded in recent years with no sign of slowing down.”

motlow-state-logo-horizontal“Many existing engineers say that they obtained a traditional engineering degree and had to learn the basics of a different discipline on their own in order to do their job as it evolved to include more automation,” Boles continued.

“For mechatronics graduates, they will of course need continuous lifelong learning as technology changes, but they will at least have the basics of the discipline(s) needed for automation covered.”

Rascoe, dean of Career and Technical Programs at Motlow, said the Middle Tennessee region is seeing a growth in advanced manufacturing industries from automotive to appliances to food manufacturing and more.

“These companies employ the most advanced manufacturing technologies available, and it is crucial to be able to supply the industries with a well-educated and trained workforce to meet the stringent demands today,” Rascoe said. “Training in the mechatronic technologies is vital today. From the maintenance personnel to the engineers, all need to understand these technologies and how to maintain, build and design them.”

Rascoe said that from his perspective, the Motlow and MTSU programs “are addressing the needs of today and tomorrow to prepare students for a rewarding career.”

“It is a great program that serves industry and the student,” he added. “It fits Middle Tennessee and the growth of the area.”

MTSU mechatronics engineering students will be utilizing state-of-the-art Siemens equipment. The students in the background include Dustin Taylor, left, Bryan Armstrong and Paul Major. (MTSU photo)

In this 2015 file photo, MTSU mechatronics engineering students will be utilizing state-of-the-art Siemens equipment. The students in the background include Dustin Taylor, left, Bryan Armstrong and Paul Major. (MTSU photo)

Boles said both schools “are fulfilling a critical need … for students, companies and economic development efforts for the region” through both Motlow’s Associate of Applied Science degree and MTSU’s bachelor’s degree levels.

“Many companies make facility location and relocation decisions based on the availability of a technically educated workforce,” he added. “Middle Tennessee can take advantage of the current lead we have and expand capacity further.”

Bridgestone Americas, Nissan North America and General Motors are among area companies waiting to employ mechatronics graduates.

Mechatronics logoAt the Technical Education Cluster Collaborative, Boles and other experts addressed 50 high school teachers who teach in clusters of STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — classes,  information technology, advanced manufacturing, architecture and construction, transportation, distribution and logistics at the Technical Education Cluster Collaboration.

In addition to sharing information about their programs, experts fielded questions about 21st-century skills and other areas.

Organizers said they wanted the teachers to gain a clear understanding of the vision of career technical education instruction, find ways to develop strategies and learn the expectations of future employees, and determine how that can be shared in the classroom.

Motlow has produced mechatronics graduates from its two-year program since 2010. A $3.2 million federal/state grant is allowing Motlow to expand mechatronics at satellite campuses.

MTSU’s first 13 mechatronics grads earned their degrees in December 2015. Professor Ahad Nasab coordinates the MTSU program, which has grown to more than 250 students.

To learn more about the MTSU mechatronics engineering program, visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/mechatronics or call Nasab at 615-898-2052.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Aug. 26 MTSU engineering golf event aids student projects

Participate in MTSU’s third annual Engineering Technology Golf Classic … and you will be helping fund nationally recognized student projects including the solar boat and lunar rover.

The event will be held starting at noon Friday, Aug. 26, at Champions Run Golf Course, 14262 Mount Pleasant Road, in Rockvale, Tennessee, near Eagleville.

In this April file photo, MTSU engineering technology student Kelly Maynard is shown with wheels she helped design for the 2016 lunar rover competition in Huntsville, Ala. Funds raised from the golf classic will benefit student projects. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

In this April file photo, MTSU engineering technology student Kelly Maynard is shown with wheels she helped design for the 2016 lunar rover competition in Huntsville, Ala. Funds raised from the golf classic will benefit student projects. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

A light lunch will kick off the activities at noon, followed by a 1 p.m. shotgun start. A silent auction will be held during the day. Following the end of play, awards will be presented and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Sponsorship levels will include platinum ($2,000 for two teams/8 golfers), gold ($1,000) and silver ($500). Hole sponsorships are $250 and the fee for individual golfers will be $125.

Dr. Walter Boles

Dr. Walter Boles

Prizes will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place teams.

RSVP by calling Jennifer Tweedie at 615-898-5009 or email Jennifer.Tweedie@mtsu.edu.

Walter Boles, Engineering Technology chair, said thousands of dollars are needed annually to defray expenses incurred by the various team projects, which gain the department and university considerable recognition when competing against other colleges and universities.

The Davis Groupe of Murfreesboro is a primary sponsor. Engineering Technology is one of 11 departments in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

To learn more about Engineering Technology’s offerings, including mechatronics engineering, visit the department website above and http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/engineering/.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

[WATCH] First 13 MTSU mechatronics grads pursue jobs

With Tennessee Board of Regents and Tennessee Higher Education approval, MTSU’s Department of Engineering Technology began a mechatronics engineering program nearly three years ago. In August 2013, Michigan native and Michigan State transfer Dallas Trahan became the program’s first student. Others followed, and the trickle has ballooned to a fast-growing 250 majors as the spring semester winds down.

During the university’s May 7 morning commencement ceremony, 13 seniors will become the first MTSU mechatronics graduating class. Here’s a recap about the 13 graduating seniors, their projects and the prospects for high-paying jobs.

— Video by Randy Weiler

Fast-growing MTSU mechatronics program sees first grads [+VIDEO]

With Tennessee Board of Regents and Tennessee Higher Education approval, MTSU’s Department of Engineering Technology began a mechatronics engineering program nearly three years ago.

In August 2013, Michigan native and Michigan State transfer Dallas Trahan became the program’s first student. Others followed, and the trickle ballooned to a fast-growing 250 majors as the spring semester wound down.

During the university’s May 7  morning commencement ceremony, 13 seniors will become the first MTSU mechatronics graduating class.

Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering that includes a combination of systems, mechanical, electrical, telecommunications, control and computer engineering. The program is based on a three-level international certification program created by Siemens, a German engineering company.

Lei Miao, left, MTSU assistant professor in Engineering Technology's mechatronics engineering program, shoots video of the H-bot laser printing wipe board project Zach Hunter and others were involved with during the 2015-16 academic year. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Lei Miao, left, MTSU assistant professor in Engineering Technology’s mechatronics engineering program, shoots video of the H-bot laser printing wipe board project Zach Hunter and others were involved with during the 2015-16 academic year. (MTSU file photo by Randy Weiler)

Mechatronics-logo-300x297Program coordinator Ahad Nasab said he and the faculty are very excited about the first group to graduate.

“They are very sought-after from our industry. Most of them already have jobs offered to them.” Nasab said.

“We have really focused on this group. They have accomplished amazing things so far.”

Senior and student veteran John Sivilaylack, who has been an intern with a Manchester, Tennessee, auto parts supplier, is negotiating a full-time job after graduation.

“Being ahead of technology and where this program is going, it feels good to be one of the first ones to graduate,” Sivilaylack said.

“This was all new. Back in high school, I never thought I would be an engineer at all. We didn’t have computers and programmers like we do now.”

Senior Joshua Greer said Nissan North America in Smyrna, Tennessee, which helped with the start of MTSU’s program, “has quite a bit of positions open” for prospective employees.

For Nathan Simpkins, 22, who grew up on a farm outside Ashland City in Cheatham County, Tennessee, a starting salary of $65,000 sounds very appealing.

“That’s more money than I’ve ever had and more money than my parents ever made. That’s exciting,” he said.

To learn more about the MTSU mechatronics program, visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/mechatronics or contact Nasab by calling 615-898-2052 or emailing Ahad.Nasab@mtsu.edu.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Dallas Trahan, right, of Midland, Michigan, the first student to enter the MTSU mechatronics engineering program, views his group’s “Skittle Sorter” senior project in action as Nick Pazych of Levittown, Pennsylvania, observes. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Dallas Trahan, right, of Midland, Michigan, the first student to enter the MTSU mechatronics engineering program, views his group’s “Skittle Sorter” senior project in action as Nick Pazych of Levittown, Pennsylvania, observes. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Mechatronics projects shine at engineering technology open house

Mechatronics engineering senior projects were highlights of the annual MTSU Department of Engineering Technology Open House and scholarship awards ceremony Thursday (April 28).

Murfreesboro residents Carter, 7, front left, Jennifer, Adele, 4, and Charlie Smith check out the BR-8 Star Wars-type robot being built by MTSU Engineering Technology students. They were attending the April 28 department open house featuring student projects and awards in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Murfreesboro residents Carter, 7, front left, Jennifer, Adele, 4, and Charlie Smith check out the BR-8 Star Wars-type robot being built by MTSU Engineering Technology students. They were attending the April 28 department open house featuring student projects and awards in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

The mechatronics senior projects included two “Skittles Sorters“ and two H-bot laser printing wipe board projects.

The open house was held in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. It was open to the public and campus community.

In addition to poster presentations with hands-on projects, student work on display will include the solar boat, Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and lunar rover. Student awards for the 2015-16 academic year were presented.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Lei Miao, left, MTSU assistant professor in Engineering Technology's mechatronics engineering program, shoots video of the H-bot laser printing wipe board project Zach Hunter and others were involved with during the 2015-16 academic year. They were attending the annual Engineering Technology Open House April 28 in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

Lei Miao, left, MTSU assistant professor in Engineering Technology’s mechatronics engineering program, shoots video of the H-bot laser printing wipe board project Zach Hunter and others were involved with during the 2015-16 academic year. They were attending the annual Engineering Technology Open House April 28 in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building.

ET Open House flyer

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