Students at Millersville University will be better prepared for the job market thanks to a donation of robots from Rixan Associates, Inc. of Dayton, Ohio. The company recently donated $618,000 worth of new Mitsubishi Robots outfitted with Cognex vision systems to the Department of Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology (AEST).
The 78/22 matching grant is part of a larger initiative by the company to increase the development of hands-on robotics and automation engineers in today’s workforce. The total value of the 12 SCARA industrial robotic arms with integrated machine vision systems and accessories is $794,512.
“This donation will help Millersville stay at the forefront of developing engineers for today’s workforce needs,” says Dr. John Wright, robotics and controls professor, and recipient of the grant at Millersville.
Recently, Wright developed a new Bachelor of Science degree in Automation & Intelligent Robotics Engineering Technology. It is the first of its kind in the country blending computer science with hands-on automation and controls applied engineering courses to create an “Automation Super Programmer.” The new degree is one-year old and is the second robotics-related degree for the AEST Department. The first, a Bachelor of Science in Applied Engineering & Technology Management degree with a Robotics & Control Systems Concentration, was developed in 2005.
“We choose Millersville University as beneficiary of this grant because of the excellent work Dr. Wright has been doing preparing students to fill the shortage of applied engineering jobs in the industrial market. This state-of-the-art equipment will enhance this mission, with graduates finding immediate employment,” says Stephen Harris, President/CEO of Rixan Associates, Inc.
Rixan is a long time supporter of the AEST Department and the Association of Technology, Management, and Technology (ATMAE), the organization that accredits the Department’s Applied Engineering & Technology Management degree programs. In 2005, Rixan donated $107,000 of equipment to the department to develop an “Advanced Robotics Center for Undergraduate Education” as part of a $212,757 Public/Private Partnership Grant.
“The recent donation is a significant investment/upgrade that will ensure that students will have hands-on advanced training in machine vision and industrial robotics. We are so fortunate to have an industrial partner like Rixan at Millersville” says Wright.
To provide the funds necessary to meet the matching grant requirements, the Office of the Provost and the College of Science and Technology garnered approximately $177,000 through various funding mechanisms in order to acquire this instrumentation that will be housed in Osburn Hall.
Established in 1959, RIXAN Associates, Inc. has a long history of excellence and innovation. RIXAN is a robust, growing company – providing robots, turnkey automation, engineering services, components, software and educational training systems. They specialize is providing robotic solutions using Denso, Fanuc, Mitsubishi and Staubli industrial robotics.
To date, Rixan has supported schools such as Bowling Green State University, Indiana State University and Kent State University in addition to Millersville.