Rockwell Automation Selects UWM as Site for Internationally-Attended Conference

UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science partnered with Rockwell Automation to bring to a U.S. university, for the first time, the company’s annual Laboratory Educator Conference.

More than 120 representatives—from 36 universities and colleges in North America, Europe and Asia—met at UWM Aug. 2-3 to discuss how to prepare their students to succeed in the rapidly changing, increasingly digitally-connected world of advanced manufacturing. Students from Homestead High School also attended.

Universities represented included Georgia Institute of Technology, Purdue University Northwest, Humber Institute of Technology (Toronto), Guangxi Polytechnic University (China). Companies that sent representatives included Rockwell Automation, Cisco, FANUC, Festo Didactic, Rexnord, Gener8tor, Lab Midwest and APT Manufacturing Solutions.

The focus of the conference, previously held in Asia, was how to prepare students in engineering, information science and business for positions in advanced manufacturing and connected systems. This emerging area hinges on the connectedness of physical devices, big data, industrial internet of things, analytics, and remote monitoring in order to make improvements in areas including mass production of highly-customized products, responsive supply chains, safety and maintenance of factory equipment in order to decrease expensive downtimes.

“This is the future of manufacturing,” says Wilkistar Otieno, Associate Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. Otieno and Naira Campbell-Kyureghyan, Professor and Department Chair, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, took the lead to bring this conference to UWM.