Miami University receives a RAPIDS grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education to advance manufacturing and robotics in the region
Miami University has been awarded a $308,750 RAPIDS grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education to advance manufacturing in the region.
OXFORD, Ohio - (November 2022) Miami University has been awarded a $308,750 grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education to advance manufacturing in the region.
Through the Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) grant, Miami will focus on developing more course offerings in smart manufacturing, an industry concept that combines advanced and additive manufacturing, robotics, and other technologies.
Miami, along with Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and the University of Cincinnati, created the Southwest Ohio RAPIDS grant program proposal targeting three key industries prominent in the regional — healthcare, cybersecurity, and smart manufacturing.
“The RAPIDS program continues to be a successful way to create a pipeline of skilled workers for regional employers while strengthening Ohio's economy,” Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner said. “This latest round of funding will help Miami bolster its course offerings in advanced manufacturing and prepare its students for careers in robotics and other manufacturing fields. I'm pleased that Governor DeWine and legislators continue to support this important program.”
Miami will purchase equipment with the grant to accomplish three goals toward enhancing smart manufacturing education:
- To augment the new Industrial Automation Laboratory in the Department of Engineering Technology (ENT) at the Miami University Regionals. This will provide workforce training on industrial automation with a focus on Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Human Machine Interface (HMI) systems. The equipment included in this project will be used to establish and complement the new smart manufacturing labs currently being developed at Miami University Regional campuses.
- To assist in the transformation of the existing manufacturing program in the Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Department (MME) on the Oxford campus. The goal includes incorporating more content related to the operation of a smart factory so that graduates are well-qualified for Ohio industry needs across multiple sectors including aviation, consumer products, and materials.
- To acquire two additional industrial robots to expand the Industrial Robotics Laboratory in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) on the Oxford campus to accommodate additional students. Miami University now offers Ohio’s only Bachelor of Science in Robotics Engineering program which prepares students for the robotics and smart automation industries
“Miami University is excited to receive these funds from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), which will enable us to modernize our manufacturing engineering curriculum for our current students,” said Beena Sukumaran, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing. “It will also support us in our efforts to provide upskilling opportunities to manufacturing industries in our communities through the Ohio TechCred program.”
Qihou Zhou, professor and chair of Miami’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said, “The equipment to be purchased through the grant will significantly augment our existing facilities. Two industrial robots will allow students to become certified in robotic systems. The milling machines will be part of the new smart manufacturing and automation labs in the Oxford campus as well as at Miami Regionals. The grant will train students to meet workforce needs in the critical areas of robotics and advanced manufacturing.”
Faculty members involved in the implementation of the grant are:
- Dave Hartup and Qihou Zhou - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Oxford)
- Reza Abrishambaf, Mert Bal - Department of Engineering Technology (Regionals)
- Fazeel Khan, Giancarlo Corti, and Karl Reiff - Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (Oxford)