Day: September 17, 2020

Dan Fuhrmann Contributes Paper to Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology in Industry Report

How should companies prepare in 2020 and beyond for the worldwide digital transformation and position themselves for long-term strategic success?

Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology in Industry Report, “Seeing Industry 4.0 Through a 2020 Lens,” recently published, explores this question in a series of new case studies and white papers that explore new trends in Industry 4.0, with the aim of helping businesses stay informed about all things digital. The articles in the report were written in collaboration with academic and industry leaders.

An article contributed by Dan Fuhrmann, interim chair of the Department of Applied Computing, “Michigan Tech Launches New College of Computing,” is included in the report. View and download a PDF of the article below.

Fuhrmann’s paper shares the history and rationale for Michigan Tech’s new College of Computing, and discusses recent College outreach that encourages and facilitates a holistic vision of computing across the disciplines that mirrors the reality of today’s Industry 4.0 workplace.

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“I am impressed by Automation Alley’s vision to bring Industry 4.0 thinking to manufacturers in Michigan and the upper Midwest,” notes Fuhrmann. “They have identified eight key technologies that they believe will revolutionize business as we know it: artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, cybersecurity, modeling and simulation, robotics, the Internet of Things, and additive manufacturing.” ()

“Many of these topics are being pursued in the College of Computing and elsewhere at Michigan Tech,” Fuhrmann notes. “In fact, Automation Alley has a graphic depicting these technologies that I have ‘borrowed’ liberally for my own presentations about where we are headed.”

“The opportunities associated with Industry 4.0 are enormous,” agrees Adrienne Minerick, dean of Michigan Tech’s College of Computing. “The technological advancements of recent decades provide industry with great opportunities for growth, but this is also a time of profound uncertainty for business leaders and the global workforce as we face new challenges, including the enormous amounts of data we are collecting, disruptive and sophisticated cyber threats, and the impact and fallout of coronavirus, the worst pandemic of our lifetimes.”

The relationship between Michigan Tech and Automation Alley is also important to Michigan Tech’s strategy to expand research and development at the University that enhances and supports the capabilities of the U.S. manufacturing industry, says Jacob Manchester, associate director of corporate research in the Vice President for Research office at Michigan Tech.

“In addition to the potential to solve specific challenges through direct partnerships with Automation Alley membership, the connections to these manufacturers provides valuable networking opportunities for our faculty and researchers,” Manchester explains. “This can be key to building successful collaborations on federal research funding opportunities that address broader societal challenges as we embrace a future manufacturing environment defined by Industry 4.0,”

Fuhrmann says that the COO of Automation Alley, Pavan Muzumdar, visited Michigan Tech in 2019 to help facilitate early conversations about forming the College of Computing. More recently, Automation Alley has expressed interest in serving on a College of Computing external advisory board.

“There are tremendous opportunities for Michigan Tech in engaging with the Automation Alley and their network of small- and medium-sized Michigan manufacturers,” Fuhrmann says. “I will continue to pursue those relationships in my role in Applied Computing and as part of the Tech Forward initiative.

Automation Alley is a World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (MHUB) and a nonprofit Industry 4.0 knowledge center located in Troy, Michigan.

Michigan Tech is a member of Automation Alley.

The full Automation Alley 2020 Technology in Industry Report is available for purchase and download here; an executive summary can be downloaded on the same page.


Computer Science, Software Engineering B.S. Programs Granted ABET Accreditation

The Computer Science and Software Engineering bachelor of science programs in the Michigan Tech College of Computing have recently been granted ABET accreditations through ABET’s Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) and its Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC), respectively.

ABET accreditation, which is voluntary, provides assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards of the profession for which that program prepares graduates.

The Computer Science and Software Engineering ABET accreditations join two additional College of Computing ABET-accredited undergraduate programs: Computer Network and System Administration and Electrical Engineering Technology.

The announcement follows an 18-month ABET accreditation process, which included an in-depth self-study and report and an on-site visit from the ABET review team, which occurred in fall 2019. A lengthy readiness review was also prepared by the Computer Science department prior to the start of the accreditation process.

“I am grateful to all the faculty, staff, and students, as well as our alumni and advisory board members, who participated in this process,” says Department Chair Linda Ott, Computer Science. “It is time-consuming, but well worth the effort, to give our students even greater assurance that they are getting the quality education that they deserve and expect from us.”

“Linda, Nilufer Onder, Chuck Wallace, and so many others contributed to this accomplishment,” says College of Computing Dean Adrienne Minerick. “This accreditation status is one of many quality indicators that potential employers can use to assess the breadth and depth of our graduates’ knowledge.”

Associate Professor Nilufer Onder is the undergraduate program director for the Department of Computer Science. Associate Professor Charles Wallace, Computer Science, is the College of Computing’s Associate Dean for Curriculum and Instruction.

“With these accreditations, prospective and current students and their parents know that our programs are rigorous, and that our high quality curricula embrace continuous improvement,” says Minerick. “It reaffirms that as the Computing fields evolve, so do College of Computing academic programs.”

“The self-study process at the heart of accreditation is laborious and no one’s idea of a good time,” shares Wallace. “But the results of that intensive reflection have already led to constructive changes in our Computer Science and Software Engineering curricula. I appreciate the extraordinary efforts of my colleagues Nilufer Onder, Zhenlin Wang, Gorkem Asilioglu, and James Walker in pushing the process through to completion.”

“It is fantastic to see that ABET has recognized what we have known all along: Michigan Tech’s Computer Science and Software Engineering programs meet the highest quality standards and are committed to continuous improvement,” says Leonard Bohmann, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering. “Students, and the companies that hire them when they graduate, can be confident that their Michigan Tech education meets exacting global standards in these high-tech fields.”

“Our graduates have always been in high demand by industry,” Ott confirms. “The ABET focus on continuous quality improvement, core to the accreditation process, further ensures that our graduates’ knowledge and skills will continue to meet industry’s expectations into the future.”

The Computer Science and Software Engineering undergraduate programs were offered through the College of Engineering prior to the establishment of the College of Computing in July 2019.

“ABET accreditation demonstrates the direct involvement of faculty and staff in the self-assessment and continuous quality improvement processes, and validates that the pedagogical practices used in Computer Science and Software Engineering courses–and in all courses in ABET-accredited programs–are based upon learning outcomes, rather than teaching inputs,” Bohmann says.

ABET is considered the gold standard of accreditation in engineering and related programs. ABET accreditation has been granted to exceptional academic programs since 1932. (https://www.abet.org)

The Michigan Tech College of Computing, established July 1, 2019, offers undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs in Computer Network and System Administration, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Electrical Engineering Technology, Health Informatics, Mechatronics, and Software Engineering.