NEIT lab puts charge in student training – Providence Business News

Fantastic story from the Providence Business News about how New England Tech is training students for today’s manufacturing jobs.

STATE OF THE ART: New England Institute of Technology assistant professor Michael Eggeman and NEIT sophomore Gillian Eminger of Scituate examine the FMS- 200 in the newly completed automation lab for the school’s electrical engineering program. PBN PHOTO/ MICHAEL SALERNO

Source: NEIT lab puts charge in student training – Providence Business News

(Updated Jan. 19)

Stephen Koester, 23, prepared last fall to intern this academic quarter at the Providence office of Woodard & Curran, by using equipment in New England Institute of Technology’s updated electrical engineering lab.

The Portland, Maine-based environmental engineering firm is one of a handful that has a longstanding relationship with the school and hiring NEIT graduates, said NEIT alum and Woodard & Curran controls engineer Jeff Souza.

“When we go to the job fair, we look for people with good technical background [and] hands-on experience,” Souza said. “The equipment in the new lab is very up to date. The graduates come in and can do more things than graduates from other programs at other schools right off the bat.”

Launched about four years ago, the revamped Electrical Engineering Industrial Automation Lab has been upgraded with equipment to give practical, real-world experience, said assistant professor Michael Eggeman. Koester, a senior, has used the lab and is eager to see what he can do.

“We got to see the different type of controllers, like the Proportional Integral Derivative, [in which] the system tries to recalibrate back to a set point number,” explained Koester, likening the effect to that on a cruise-control system in a car. “The lab has a lot of up-to-date, relevant technology; it just gets us more used to what we might see when we graduate.”

NEIT installed equipment for the lab’s second phase of development last spring, and Koester was one of the first students to use a so-called process-control training rig, in which he and his peers could learn how to control the pressure, flow and level of fluids.

While the students use water in the hands-on lessons for safety, the control rig has applicability in such areas as pharmaceuticals and water treatment systems, where chemicals are used, Eggeman said.

About 50 students a year are enrolled in NEIT’s 18-month electrical engineering bachelor’s degree program, which is undertaken following completion of the 18-month electrical technology associate degree, the professor said.

In addition to the process control training rig, Eggeman said, there are six workstations that give hands-on experience, and four others called the Flexible Manufacturing System, or FMS 200.

Up and running in fall 2014, the six workstations provide real equipment, like a motor, for instance, instead of so-called “trainer cases,” which hold devices in a suitcase-like container and only simulate the effect of correct electrical engineering coding.

So, when a student correctly writes and programs electrical code to control the function of a pump or motor, instead of a light turning on the way it does in a trainer case to show it’s working properly, the pump or motor at a workstation will kick into action, he said.

While the trainer cases are still in use, Eggeman said, “Slowly but surely, we’re rolling the workstations into the classes and the curriculum.”

Students also learn how to communicate over several industrial automation networks.

Built about eight years ago, the FMS 200 more realistically simulates the manufacturing environment in which component pieces are assembled into a final, though still simulated, product. It is used primarily for troubleshooting exercises by testing for 48 different potential bugs, Eggeman said.

Originally located on the Warwick campus, these stations were underutilized by associate degree students and consequently moved to the East Greenwich campus in early 2015, he said.

“It completed the lab,” he explained. “It allowed us to have a system in there so I could go in as the instructor and flip a couple of switches behind a locked door and all of a sudden the system doesn’t work anymore and students have to troubleshoot why.”

Eddie DiPasquale, 22, of Mahopac, N.Y., is an NEIT senior who has been writing code for programmable logic controllers, where a computer controls product production. The lab provides experience, not just textbook knowledge, he said.

“It gives you a real-world application in a classroom setting,” DiPasquale said. “We’re using equipment that gets used in the field. I think it gives us a competitive edge, because we actually get to use the equipment hands-on.”

Souza’s firm and Eric Freitas, president of the Control Automation Group in Warwick, say they’ve hired several NEIT graduates over the past few years. Souza has hired 20 for a staff that numbers about 40, while Freitas has hired five for a staff of about 20.

“All the components I use to design a machine, [NEIT students] are exposed to that in the lab, so they already know what it is and what it does,” Freitas said. •

Join us for TECHXPO 2016!

pic for blog

Please join us for TECHXPO 2016, our annual Technology Career Expo, on Thursday, March 10, 2016. This event will be held on all three levels of Tech Way on the East Greenwich Campus from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. This is a private event, open only to NEIT students and graduates, with many companies set to attend. So take advantage of this great networking opportunity! Be sure to have your resumes ready and to dress in appropriate business attire. Current students from all quarters and graduates from the following technologies are encouraged to attend: Business Management, Criminal Justice, Cyber Security, Digital Media Production, Electrical Technology, Electronics Systems, Electrical Engineering, Game Development/Simulation Programming, Graphics/Multimedia/Web Design, Information Technology – Network Engineering/Software Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Video Game Development/Design. If you have any questions, contact the Career Services Office at 401-739-5000 x 3458.

List of attending companies (as of 2/9/2016):

Automation Lab Features New Training Equipment

12-Automation LabThe Electrical Engineering Technology department has completed the installation of its new Lab-Volt® 3531 Process Control Training System.  The equipment, which was purchased through a $117,000 grant from the Champlin Foundations, was installed in the department’s Automation Lab located in room S351.  The training system will be used by both Electrical Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology students for process measurement and control classes in the respective Bachelor of Science degree programs.  The courses will prepare students for today’s high-tech methods of process control techniques in the areas of flow, pressure and level.  The equipment installation completes the second phase of the Automation Lab.  Faculty from both departments completed a two-day training session provided by Lab-Volt®.

For more information on NEIT’s Electrical Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology degree programs, contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744, by email at NEITAdmissions@neit.edu or visit www.neit.edu.

Student Tutors Hard At Work

4-Student Tutors

Travis Wilson, left, and Eddie Dipasquale with their test stand.

Travis Wilson is a 6th quarter student in NEIT’s Associate in Science degree program in Electrical Technology (ELY). Eddie DiPasquale is a 3rd quarter student in the Bachelor of Science degree program in Electrical Engineering Technology.  Both ELY tutors, Travis and Eddie designed a Power Factor Correction test stand to be used for lab demonstrations to NEIT students. The test stand will also be used during Electrical Technology’s Tech Nite presentations to prospective students and their families.

Power factor measures the percentage of electricity that is being used to do useful work and determines whether energy is being wasted.  Power factor monitoring is a demand-side energy management usage issue important to states, utility companies, and businesses to ensure safe and efficient use of power. Students in ELY’s 2nd quarter use trigonometry to study power factor as well as inductive and capacitive circuits.  This test stand allows students to see a real time power factor issue and learn how to correct it through the use of capacitors that reduce the electrical current drawn from a power supply and increase a system’s capacity.

Incorporating a one-horsepower motor, controls, wiring, lumber, and a ladder, Travis and Eddie worked together to design and build the test stand. They researched and sized all components and re-used various materials available in the lab.  Michael Petit, Department Chair of the Electrical Technology program stated, “This project demonstrates another way in which our ELY tutors help support our program, and we are all very grateful for the time they spent completing this project.”

Career Exploration Series

This is an awesome new series to help potential students get a taste of what these careers in these fields would be like.  All Career Exploration Days are FREE of charge.  To RSVP or learn more, visit www.neit.edu/careerexploration or call Admissions at 401.467.7744 ext. 3357.

New England Tech Career Exploration Days

 

 

Report: Job Market for College Grads Improves | Inside Higher Ed

New England Tech’s Career Services Office has seen similar trends for New England Tech graduates. Recently, Career Services received an email from a local engineering firm seeking Field Service Engineers for Industrial Automation Controls stating that “We need to hire 5 Field Service Engineers over the next year. THREE by January of 2016.”  This is very exciting news for students and graduates in our Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology as well as for those who are considering career opportunities in the engineering fields.

Source: Report: Job Market for College Grads Improves | Inside Higher Ed

The job market for college graduates is in for a third straight year of “explosive” growth, according to the largest annual survey of U.S. employers. Michigan State University’s Recruiting Trends report projects a 15 percent jump in hiring across all degree levels, driven primarily by growing companies and employee turnover. “Most signs point to another explosive year of growth in the job market for college graduates,” said Phil Gardner, director of the collegiate employment research institute and lead author of the nationwide survey of 4,700 employers. “Even if the economic headwinds strengthen, the college job market should withstand a bump in the road.”

Starting salaries are more of a mixed bag, though. They should grow between 2 and 5 percent over all, and some fields, like engineering and information technology, are likely to see even bigger hikes. But others may see starting salaries drop or lag behind inflation, and most employers, 61 percent, say they will not change them at all this year.

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 50 Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and online degree programs, including Electrical Engineering Technology. 

More Information | Apply Now

RI FIRST Tech Challenge Call for Volunteers

FIRST Res QThe 10th season of the Rhode Island FIRST Tech Challenge (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) hosted by New England Institute of Technology(NEIT) is underway.  NEIT is looking for technical professionals, educators, parents and all others interested in volunteering. Each season approximately 45 R.I. middle and high school robotic teams design, build and compete in the RI FIRST Tech Challenge.

We need you!

Adult volunteers are assigned key roles to keep the qualifiers and tournament on track.  No need to be an expert in robotics or engineering, just a willingness to support our R.I. students in their interest in technology.

Volunteer at a Qualifier!

Teams in R.I. advance to the state tournament by participating in a qualifying tournament.  The dates for the qualifiers are 11/14, 12/5, 12/19and 1/9/16.  Qualifiers run from 7:30 am until 4 pm. The work is fun and lunch is provided!

Volunteer at the State Tournament!

32 R.I. FTC teams will advance to the RI State Tournament out of 48 teams. The R.I. State Tournament is a held on 1/30/16 with set-up and prep on 1/29/16. Volunteers for State Tournament must have volunteered at one qualifying tournaments.

Hurry! Register with FIRST!

If you are interested in joining in the FIRST fun, you must register as a volunteer through the FIRST system. This information will be sent directly to the RI FIRST Affiliate Partner, Erin Flynn.  https://my.usfirst.org/FIRSTPortal/Login/VIMS_login.aspx

For more information on FIRST and the FTC Challenge go to www.usfirst.org. For more information on NE Tech go to www.neit.edu

Erin Flynn, RI FIRST Affiliate Partner at New England Institute of Technology                           800-736-7744 ext. 3462 or by e-mail at eflynn@neit.edu

Steps to register with the FIRST VIMS Volunteer Program

  1. Go to the Volunteer Information Matching System (VIMS) – https://my.usfirst.org/FIRSTPortal/Login/VIMS_login.aspx
  2. Create an account
  3. Apply to an event
    1. From Left Hand Navigation, click “Volunteer Role Applications”
    2. Click the button that says “Apply for an Event”
    3. Select “FTC”
    4. Select State/Province – “Rhode Island”
    5. Press “Find Event”
  4. You will find the qualifier dates of 11/14, 12/5, 12/19 and 1/9 as well as the 1/29-30 state tournament date listed.
  5. Select the event and fill out the application.
    1. Select roles in preference order you would like to apply to (1 being most preferred)
    2. Select days you are able to volunteer.
    3. Remember to add additional comments if you have specific restrictions on your time
    4. Click “Submit”
  6. You will be returned to the “Volunteer Role Applications” page.
  7. Repeat steps 3-5 to apply to multiple events.

Attached are in the instructions that can be found on the website as well. They provide screenshots of each of these steps.

FIRST 25

 

Report: Good Jobs Are Back | CEW Georgetown

This is great news for people concerned about the affordability of a college education. This report shows that a college education does matter when it comes to landing a “good” job that is likely to include health benefits and retirement plans.

College Graduates Are First in Line analyzes the production of jobs since 2010 and defines the components of a good job.

The growth of U.S. jobs and wages during the recovery is analyzed in Good Jobs Are Back: College Graduates Are First in Line. The findings show that since 2010, the economy has produced 6.6 million employment opportunities. Out of these career opportunities, 2.9 million are considered good jobs. The key finding revealed that 2.8 million good jobs went to college graduates. Some of the largest growing professions seek high-skilled workers and offer large benefits packages. Most good jobs are full time and twice as likely to provide health insurance and retirement plans. The competitive wages and good benefits of these good jobs offer created a healthy job market during the recovery.

Key Findings

Benefits
Eighty-six percent of workers in good jobs are full-time; 68 percent of good jobs provide health insurance; and 61 percent of good jobs include an employer-sponsored retirement plan

Occupation
Managers, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and healthcare professionals account for the majority of growth in the good jobs tier.

Listen to Podcast

Source: Good Jobs Are Back | CEW Georgetown

Congratulations, Dr. Sherman!

Douglas ShermanThe New England Tech community extends sincere congratulations to Douglas H. Sherman, Ed.D., Senior Vice President and Provost. Doug recently earned his doctorate degree in education from Northeastern University. Previously, he received both a Master of Science degree as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rhode Island.  We wish him continued success as he carries out his duties leading the Office of Teaching and Learning.

NEIT grad helps bring Solar Company to RI

New England Tech Grad, Stephen Zariczny is helping Rhode Islanders go Solar!

From Providence Journal:

Starting in 10 R.I. communities, Calif.-based SolarCity will install residential systems and offer financing, providing a way around the large upfront costs that can deter homeowners from investing in systems.

The Rhode Island business will be headed by Stephen Zariczny, a regional operations manager and Glocester native. A graduate of the New England Institute of Technology and a carpenter by training, he says he’s typical of the company’s hires.

Source: Solar-panel company sets up shop in R.I. – News – providencejournal.com – Providence, RI