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New program seeks to train workers for industrial automation

April 14, 2019

OZARK, Ala. (AP) — A new program in southeast Alabama is aimed at training workers for careers in industrial automation that focus on electrical, mechanical and computer engineering.

The mechatronics program is aimed at preparing students for one of the world’s largest high-tech manufacturing fields, The Dothan Eagle reported . Mechatronics involves technologies such as robots, automated manufacturing equipment, and unmanned systems.

Workers in the field use a combination of electrical, mechanical and computer programming skills to design, build prototypes, manage electrical and mechanical systems, and install and test equipment.

Enterprise State Community College will offer the program at the Alabama Aviation College this fall.

“This is a degree plan that will provide the skills necessary for students to be successful in the manufacturing industries, said Danny Long, dean of instruction at the college. “Recently, our region has made several economic development announcements that include hundreds of jobs which will require our local workforce to embrace the high-tech skills necessary to fuel these expanding industries in the Wiregrass.”

Aubri Hanson, the college’s new mechatronics instructor, will be working to build partnerships between education and industry in the local area. Hanson taught engineering technology for the past seven years and was named Advanced Manufacturing Educator of the Year in Florida in 2014.

“I am passionate about teaching and making technology education attainable for everyone so that a trained workforce is steadily available for both current and future companies in the Wiregrass area,” she said.

Before entering education, Hanson worked in industry and government for more than 12 years as a research and project engineer, and as an aerospace technologist. She has worked on several projects, including many of which involve radiation detection, and rocket engine testing.

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Information from: The Dothan Eagle, http://www.dothaneagle.com