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Academia and Industry Partnership: Building a State-of-the-Art Industrial Control and Automation Laboratory

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Robotics, Automation, and Product Development

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.137.1 - 26.137.12



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Paper Authors


Aleksandr Sergeyev Michigan Technological University

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Aleksandr Sergeyev is currently an Associate
Professor in the Electrical Engineering
Technology program in the
School of Technology at Michigan Technological
University. Dr. Aleksandr
Sergeyev earned his bachelor degree in
Electrical Engineering at Moscow University
of Electronics and Automation in
1995. He obtained the Master degree
in Physics from Michigan Technological
University in 2004 and the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering
from Michigan Technological University in 2007.
Dr. Aleksandr Sergeyev’s research interests include high
energy laser propagation through the turbulent atmosphere,
developing advanced control algorithms for wavefront sensing
and mitigating effects of the turbulent atmosphere, digital
inline holography, digital signal processing, and laser spectroscopy.
Dr. Sergeyev is a member of ASEE, IEEE, SPIE and
is actively involved in promoting engineering education.

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Nasser Alaraje Michigan Technological University

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Dr. Alaraje is an Associate Professor and Program Chair of Electrical Engineering Technology in the School of Technology at Michigan Tech. Prior to his faculty appointment, he was employed by Lucent Technologies as a hardware design engineer, from 1997- 2002, and by vLogix as chief hardware design engineer, from 2002-2004. In 2009, Alaraje was awarded the Golden Jubilee by the College of Engineering at Assiut University, in Egypt. He has served as an ABET/IEEE-TAC evaluator for electrical engineering technology and computer engineering technology programs. Dr. Alaraje is a 2013-2014 Fulbright scholarship recipient at Qatar University, where he taught courses on Embedded Systems. Additionally, Dr. Alaraje is recipient of an NSF award for a digital logic design curriculum revision in collaboration with College of Lake County in Illinois, and NSF award in collaboration with University of New Mexico, Drake State Technical College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College, the award is focusing on expanding outreach activities to increase the awareness of potential college students about career opportunities in electronics technologies.

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James O. Frendewey Michigan Technological University


Mohsen Azizi Michigan Technological University Orcid 16x16

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M. Azizi received the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, in 2010. From 2010 to 2013, he was a R&D engineer at Pratt & Whitney Canada Inc. and Aviya Tech Inc., Longueuil, Canada. Since 2012 he has been an adjunct assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering at Concordia University. In 2013 he joined Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, where he is currently an assistant professor in electrical engineering technology. His research interests include cooperative control and networked estimation in multi-agent systems, distributed and decentralized control of large-scale systems, and fault diagnosis, isolation and recovery (FDIR). He is specifically interested in the application of control systems and diagnostics in jet engines, unmanned vehicles, aircraft, and power systems.

Dr. Azizi was the recipient of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postgraduate Scholarship Doctoral 2007-2010, and Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FQRNT) Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Government of Quebec 2011-2012.

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Academia and Industry Partnership: Building State-of-the-Art Industrial Control and Automation LaboratoryProgrammable Logical Controller (PLC) is an integral part of nearly all today’s industrialprocesses. A PLC is a digital computer used for automation of electromechanical processes andis designed for multiple inputs and output arrangements, extended temperature ranges, immunityto electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact. The most up-to-date PLCs haveendless functionality including programming using functional blocks, multitasking, andcommunication capabilities, and therefore are widely employed by the industrial sector. It is alsovery common that PLC systems are integrated with robotic solutions to enhance automationprocesses. As a result, the skills of newly employed industrial workers must include theknowledge of PLC, controls, and robotics. In addition, the knowledge on integration of all thesetools in one efficient automated process suiting the requirements of modern industrialenvironment is crucial.UNIVERSITY prepares the graduates with the skill sets which are up-to-date and relevant to themodern technologies widely employed by the modern industrial world. We strive to train ourgraduates on the most up-to-date laboratory equipment so they can implement their knowledgeon the day one once employed. UNIVERSITY collaborates with NUCOR Steel to update thecurrently outdated PLC laboratory with the state of the art equipment with the goal of providingour students with the best training solution possible. The EET program at UNIVERSITYcurrently offers two PLC courses: EET 3373 Introduction to Programmable Controllers and EET4373 Advanced Programmable Controllers. The ECE department offers EE3261 ControlSystems and EE 4262 Digital and Non-linear Control. The EET courses have a significant labcomponent and stress hands-on use of PLC’s, while ECE courses have more of a mathematicalflavor and also include a lab experience. The new lab facility would allow EET 3373 and EET4373 to be revised and enhanced to make the courses appropriate for both ECE and EETstudents. Students from both disciplines would benefit from using the most current PLCtechnology and would have the opportunity to interface the PLC’s with a new and muchexpanded set of digital and analog devices that are used in industry. In addition, the newequipment will allow us to develop industry-relevant learning materials, and provide state-of the-art knowledge and experience to students utilizing the facility. This knowledge and experiencewill result in a well-educated graduate with practical hands-on experience designing,configuring, and troubleshooting industrial control systems, with an obvious benefit toemployers of these graduates.In this articles we discuss the benefits of academia and industry collaboration, the structure ofnew industrial control and automation laboratory, state-of-the art PLC and mechatronics stationsintegrated with FANUC robots, and resulting curriculum modifications.

Sergeyev, A., & Alaraje, N., & Frendewey, J. O., & Azizi, M. (2015, June), Academia and Industry Partnership: Building a State-of-the-Art Industrial Control and Automation Laboratory Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23476

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