Columbia Tech’s Test Engineering Team recently visited Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) to help develop a new Robotics Program with their Engineering Department. Quinsigamond Community College, located in Worcester, MA, has over 13,000 students enrolled in Associate Degrees and certification programs. Professor Longacre, of the Electronics Engineering Department, is responsible for leading and creating a curriculum for the new program. He was interested in Columbia Tech’s input based on their experience in designing, manufacturing and globally fulfilling a wide variety of robotics technologies and automated systems.

The meeting took place with Professor Longacre and four other professors of the QCC Engineering Department, as well as a group of Test and Manufacturing Engineers from Columbia Tech. Bruce Metcalf, Director of Test Engineering at Columbia Tech, said “It was great to see QCC initiate this program and we are excited to be a part of it. This is our way to give back to the community and help provide students with skills that will make them successful in the real world.” The team completed a tour of QCCs Electronic Engineering Lab, had engaging conversations with students and received a demonstration of a robotic arm.

For decades, Columbia Tech has designed, tested and manufactured complex electromechanical systems for innovators in the 3D printing, life sciences, robotics, energy, semiconductor, LED, data storage, homeland security, and defense industries, which brought a unique perspective to the meeting. The teams discussed the curriculum and resources that would be beneficial in teaching students core engineering concepts. They examined the difficulties encountered while developing appropriate test methods for automated programs and were also able to offer suggestions on design standards and cabling and signal management.

Discussions mostly centered around what engineering disciplines needed to come together to create a successful robotics program. Both teams agreed the curriculum should incorporate Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering disciplines with robotics as the focus. They reviewed possible subject ideas for a robotics-specific curriculum as well as the importance of providing opportunities for students to have hands-on experience.

The visit was a tremendous success! The QCC Engineering Team was pleased with the knowledge they had gained and the Columbia Tech Team was impressed with the quality of the laboratories and variety of automated equipment that QCC had for the students to study. Columbia Tech looks forward to working collaboratively with Quinsigamond Community College in creating a high-quality robotics program for its students, and hopefully welcoming many as future Caring Associates!