Partnering with Carnegie Mellon University and Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU Poly), this project creates a product design/mechatronics technology center (MTC) that will provide hands on training in emerging mechatronics product design. Technician education must be aligned with industry practice in order to maintain global competitiveness in the new and growing field of mechatronic product design and development. The MTC provides students a framework of fundamental design knowledge with hands on cross disciplinary activities that allow them to develop an interdisciplinary understanding and integrated approach to product design. This project engages and prepares students by adapting the well established Robotics Academy of Carnegie Mellon University curriculum and teaches the various aspects of mechatronic product design with embedded systems using a concurrent engineering approach. More than 360 post secondary students are to be educated in concurrent design through three programs: mechanical engineering, electro-mechanical engineering, and industrial design. Fifteen faculty members undergo extensive professional development in robotics curriculum development that incorporates elements of the CMU Robotics Academy. The project also provides robotic training for 300 high school students and fifteen teachers at the partnering schools through summer, certificate and after school programs. The robotics laboratory housed in the MTC builds on technology adopted by FIRST Robotics because of its open architecture and the use of the LabVIEW programming language. City Tech students who have been taught with FIRST technology serve as mentors to local high school students. MTC also works with the Division of Continuing Education at City Tech to create a certificate program in mechatronics/robotic technology for incumbent workers and high school technology teachers. The project articulates with four year programs in Computer Engineering Technology, industrial design technology, and career and technology education at City Tech and other institutions. In addition, NYU Poly extends opportunities for qualified graduates of the program to pursue baccalaureate engineering degrees. By leveraging strong industry partnerships, this project expands internship opportunities for participating students.
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