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An Effective Industry-University Partnership to Develop Tomorrow’s Workforce

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

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Paper Authors


Reg Recayi Pecen Sam Houston State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Reg Pecen is currently a Quanta Endowed Professor of the Department of Engineering Technology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Dr. Pecen was formerly a professor and program chairs of Electrical Engineering Technology and Graduate (MS and Doctoral) Programs in the Department of Technology at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Dr. Pecen served as 2nd President and Professor at North American University in Houston, TX from July 2012 through December 2016. He also served as a Chair of Energy Conservation and Conversion Division at American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). Dr. Pecen holds a B.S in EE and an M.S. in Controls and Computer Engineering from the Istanbul Technical University, an M.S. in EE from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wyoming (UW, 1997). He served as a graduate assistant and faculty at UW, and South Dakota State University. He served on UNI Energy and Environment Council, College Diversity Committee, University Diversity Advisory Board, and Graduate College Diversity Task Force Committees. His research interests, grants, and more than 50 publications are in the areas of AC/DC Power System Interactions, distributed energy systems, power quality, and grid-connected renewable energy applications including solar and wind power systems. He is a senior member of IEEE, member of ASEE, Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society, and ATMAE. Dr. Pecen was recognized as an Honored Teacher/Researcher in “Who’s Who among America’s Teachers” in 2004-2009. Dr. Pecen is a recipient of 2010 Diversity Matters Award at the University of Northern Iowa for his efforts on promoting diversity and international education at UNI. He is also a recipient of 2011 UNI C.A.R.E Sustainability Award for the recognition of applied research and development of renewable energy applications at UNI and Iowa in general. Dr. Pecen established solar electric boat R & D center at UNI where dozens of students were given opportunities to design solar powered boats. UNI solar electric boat team with Dr. Pecen’s supervision won two times a third place overall in World Championship on solar electric boating, an international competition promoting clean transportation technologies in US waters. He was recognized as an Advisor of the Year Award nominee among 8 other UNI faculty members in 2010-2011 academic year Leadership Award Ceremony. Dr. Pecen received a Milestone Award for outstanding mentoring of graduate students at UNI, and recognition from UNI Graduate College for acknowledging the milestone that has been achieved in successfully chairing ten or more graduate student culminating projects, theses, or dissertations, in 2011 and 2005.

He was also nominated for 2004 UNI Book and Supply Outstanding Teaching Award, March 2004, and nominated for 2006, and 2007 Russ Nielson Service Awards, UNI. Dr. Pecen is an Engineering Technology Editor of American Journal of Undergraduate Research (AJUR). He has been serving as a reviewer on the IEEE Transactions on Electronics Packaging Manufacturing since 2001. Dr. Pecen has served on ASEE Engineering Technology Division (ETD) in Annual ASEE Conferences as a reviewer, session moderator, and co-moderator since 2002. He served as a Chair-Elect on ASEE ECC Division in 2011. He also served as a program chair on ASEE ECCD in 2010. He is also serving on advisory boards of International Sustainable World Project Olympiad ( and International Hydrogen Energy Congress. Dr. Pecen received a certificate of appreciation from IEEE Power Electronics Society in recognition of valuable contributions to the Solar Splash as 2011 and 2012 Event Coordinator. Dr. Pecen was formerly a board member of Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development ( and also represented UNI at Iowa Wind Energy Association (IWEA). Dr. Pecen taught Building Operator Certificate (BOC) classes for the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) since 2007 at Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri as well as the SPEER in Texas and Oklahoma to promote energy efficiency in industrial and commercial environments.

Dr. Pecen was recognized by State of Iowa Senate on June 22, 2012 for his excellent service and contribution to state of Iowa for development of clean and renewable energy and promoting diversity and international education since 1998.

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Faruk Yildiz Sam Houston State University

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Faruk Yildiz is currently an Associate Professor of
Engineering Technology at Sam Houston State University.
His primary teaching areas are in Electronics,
Computer Aided Design (CAD), and Alternative Energy Systems. Research interests include: low power energy
harvesting systems, renewable energy technologies
and education.

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Iftekhar Ibne Basith Sam Houston State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Iftekhar Ibne Basith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, USA.
Dr. Basith has a Ph.D and Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Windsor, ON, Canada with concentration on 3D IC, MEMS and Testing.
Dr. Basith has published several IEEE transactions, articles and conference proceedings over the last few years. His research interest lies on Tesing of 3D IC, MEMS, Analog/ Mixed-Signal Devices, RF circuits, Low Power CMOS and Wireless Communication.

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Matt Albrecht Quanta Services

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As the technology innovates quickly, a pro-active industry-university partnership has constituted a backbone to the future workforce including engineers, engineering technologist and technicians who can adopt the technological innovations promptly and effectively in the industrial environments. An industry-university partnership has many outcomes; industrial personnel may have an opportunity to become a pro-active member in a specific academic program and departmental industrial advisory boards, the company provides internships and part-time job opportunities to the students and establishes scholarship programs to honor the company, allows students to develop their senior design/capstone projects in the industrial environments, opens an effective way of reaching academic programs and students by expert-speaking opportunities, provides part-time and honorary teaching opportunities that positively impact both student team members and the company’s project development efforts and finally the partnership may help academic departments to access corporate equipment grants or use the company’s equipment surplus programs. Department of Engineering Technology (ET) at ___________________State University has signed an executive endowment agreement with Quanta Services Company that has already started to establish a fruitful business relationship and implement a workforce development program between two entities. The university’s recent strong partnership with a major energy services company also makes electrical power transmission and renewable energy curriculum central to the University and College’s strategic planning that will produce future engineering technology graduates who are ready for implementing conventional and renewable energy technologies and applications on their areas of concentrations. This strategic partnership targets to support current and future academic program developments, enhances curriculum based on company’s needs and finally establishes a pro-active relationship to prepare ________________State University students for the future workforce needs. This paper presents _________State University and Quanta Service Workforce Development (QSWD) Program as a significant initiative to bring together higher-education and the business world, a symbiotic workforce development relationship. The paper also describes a unique industry-university partnership example that included industry-site course offerings to develop job specific skills that expand the project manager level workforce. The students who stayed at a remote industrial site during the summer classes have had mentors and experienced interacting with experts from the largest specialty contractor in North America, Quanta Services Company. In turn, through the partnership, Quanta will have an easy access to the qualified candidates upon their graduation from ______________State University. A Quanta Endowed Professor position was also established and a new faculty member was hired by a funding provided initially by Quanta Services to serve as a _________State University- Quanta workforce development coordinator to handle summer minimester courses, internship and course enhancement programs, and future program endeavors. The pilot program is offering modified courses from the engineering technology curriculum, a minimester and an internship program. The operating unit and the Quanta managers advised to faculty members on what would make a “good candidate for employment” and a unique list of 22-competency areas were developed for a special minimester course. This paper will report the details of these competency areas.

Pecen, R. R., & Yildiz, F., & Basith, I. I., & Albrecht, M. (2018, June), An Effective Industry-University Partnership to Develop Tomorrow’s Workforce Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29777

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