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Gov. Lee celebrates MTSU’s Ready-to-Work majors, S...

Gov. Lee celebrates MTSU’s Ready-to-Work majors, Siemens partnership [+VIDEO]

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee joined Middle Tennessee State University’s president and trustees Wednesday, April 3, to underscore several of the institution’s ready-to-work degree programs that have been tailored to fit the needs of the state’s workforce.

Students in one of those programs, Mechatronics Engineering, are getting state-of-the-art training through an in-kind grant from Siemens Digital Industries Software, one of the corporate partners of MTSU’s College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

The software gives students access to the same technology that companies around the world depend on every day to develop innovative products in a wide variety of industries.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, left, chats with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee Wednesday, April 3, at the Miller Education Center on Bell Street. Lee visited campus to tout the ready-to-work programs offered at MTSU such as mechatronics engineering, as well as recognize the in-kind software grant from Siemens Digital Industries Software that provides hands-on training for MTSU mechatronics students. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, left, chats with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee Wednesday, April 3, at the Miller Education Center on Bell Street. Lee visited campus to tout the ready-to-work programs offered at MTSU such as mechatronics engineering, as well as recognize the in-kind software grant from Siemens Digital Industries Software that provides hands-on training for MTSU mechatronics students. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Board of Trustees Chairman Stephen Smith, President Sidney A. McPhee and Siemens’ Nashville General Manager Sara Mould showed the governor how students are being trained on software used to develop robotic systems for automotive, aerospace, machinery and high-tech electronics companies.

“MTSU continues to offer high-quality education and prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow with their mechatronics program,” Lee said.

“The partnership with Siemens is a key part of pairing industry needs with education opportunity. And I’m pleased that this partnership is happening right here at MTSU.”

Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field 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, an innovation leader in automation and digitalization.

MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer, left, shakes hands with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee as they meet for the first time while MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee watches. The exchange occurred Wednesday (April 3) at the Miller Education Center as MTSU recognized the Siemens company for its generous grant of computer-aided design software for the mechatronics engineering program. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer, left, shakes hands with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee as they meet for the first time while MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee watches. The exchange occurred Wednesday (April 3) at the Miller Education Center as MTSU recognized the Siemens company for its generous grant of computer-aided design software for the mechatronics engineering program. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

“Mechatronics engineering has grown from zero to 400 students in only 5½ years — one of the state’s fastest-growing degree programs literally from imagination to accreditation,” McPhee said. “This degree program was shaped through the partnership with Siemens that we celebrate today.”

MTSU offers the only Level 3 certification program offered by Siemens in the U.S. Graduates earn $65,000 to $75,000 average salary yearly and have found senior positions at Boeing, Insequence Corp., CalsonicKansei and other companies. About 60 students will graduate in May with the degree.

Siemens Corporation, a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, is one of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies. For more than 160 years, Siemens USA has innovated and invented technologies to support American industry spanning manufacturing, energy, healthcare and infrastructure.

Sara Mould, Siemens Nashville, general manager

Sara Mould

“Siemens is committed to providing students with the opportunity to learn the tools used by many leading manufacturers and technology companies,” said Mould.  “Through our academic partnership with Middle Tennessee State University, we can empower the next generation of digital talent with the skills today’s employers need.”

Smith thanked Siemens for helping MTSU develop the Mechatronics degree and underscored the competitive advantage that students can receive from the recent software grant.

“What this means is that students in our engineering technology and mechatronics programs are training on the most advanced software for computer-aided design, modeling and systems simulation,” he said.

Dr. Walter Boles, chair, Department of Engineering Technology

Dr. Walter Boles

Walter Boles, chairman of MTSU’s Department of Engineering Technology, echoed that point.

“This grant allows our students to practice on software used by over 140,000 customers globally,” he said.

McPhee said MTSU launched mechatronics in partnership also with Bridgestone and Nissan in response to their workforce needs.

The president also noted several of MTSU’s other ready-to-work programs developed with industry partners, including:

  • Tourism and Hospitality Management, which will begin accepting students this fall.
  • Concrete and Construction Management, for which the governor recommended in his proposed state budget for a $40 million, 54,000-square-foot building.
  • Aerospace, which recently partnered with Delta Airlines as one of eight Propel Program universities in the nation that recruits enrolled students with qualified job offers.
  • Criminal Justice Administration, which will soon be housed in a $38 million building set to open in the summer of 2020 that will feature state-of-the-art emergency management facilities.

“One in five college graduates in greater Nashville holds an MTSU degree, making us the No. 1 provider to the region’s workforce,” McPhee said.

“Our strong technical and experiential learning, combined with our broad-based liberal arts offerings, prepares students not only for their first job, but for jobs that have not yet been created.”

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee poses for a photo with MTSU mechatronics engineering students Wednesday (April 3) in the Miller Education Center following the university event recognizing Siemens company’s generous grant of computer-aided design software to the program. From left are Saeed Foroudastan, faculty adviser and associate dean for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Kevin Pan, Edward Thomason, Lee, Sarah Zakaria, Noah Bright and Brandon Soundara. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee poses for a photo with MTSU mechatronics engineering students Wednesday, April 3, in the Miller Education Center following the university event recognizing the Siemens company’s generous grant of computer-aided design software to the program. From left are Dr. Saeed Foroudastan, faculty adviser and associate dean for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences; Kevin Pan; Edward Thomason; Lee; Sarah Zakaria; Noah Bright; and Brandon Soundara. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee discusses the ready-to-work programs offered at MTSU, such as mechatronics engineering, during an event Wednesday, April 3, recognizing the in-kind software grant from Siemens Digital Industries Software that provides hands-on training for mechatronics students. The event was held at the Miller Education Center on Bell Street. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee discusses the ready-to-work programs offered at MTSU, such as mechatronics engineering, during an event Wednesday, April 3, recognizing the in-kind software grant from Siemens Digital Industries Software that provides hands-on training for mechatronics students. The event was held at the Miller Education Center on Bell Street. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)


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