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Embedded Curriculum with Industry-recognized Certifications to Improve the Marketability of Engineering Technology Graduates

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Technology Pedagogy 1

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Immanuel Edinbarough P.E. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

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Immanuel A. Edinbarough received his B.Sc. (Applied Sciences) degree from PSG College of Technology, University of Madras, India, his B.E.. (M.E.) degree from the Institution of Engineers, India, M.E. (Production Engineering) degree from PSG College of Technology, Bharathiar University, India, and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Bharathiar University, India. He is currently a professor and director of engineering technology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). Prior to joining the UTB (A legacy university) faculty he was a visiting professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and an associate professor of production engineering at the PSG College of Technology, Bharathiar University, India, where he served as the director of the Computer Vision Laboratory and National Cadet Corps – Engineering Division Director. With over 33 years of teaching and research experience in manufacturing/mechanical engineering and engineering technology, he currently teaches in the areas of CAD/CAM/CIM, robotics and automation, product and process design, materials and manufacturing processes, machine design, renewable energy and micro-manufacturing. His current research interests include robotics, CIM, sustainable manufacturing, micro machining and engineering and technology education. He has published several papers in these areas in various national and international conferences and journals. He has worked in heavy and light manufacturing industries, manufacturing pumps, motors, and CNC machine tools in the areas of system design, production planning, and control and manufacturing. Edinbarough also served in paramilitary forces and in the Air Force. He is a Life Member of the ISTE, a senior life member of the IE (India), a member of ASEE and SME, and a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the state of Texas.

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Jesus A. Gonzalez-Rodriguez University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

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Dr. Jesus Gonzalez is currently a lecturer in the Department of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. He holds a PhD from The University of Sheffield in United Kingdom in Materials Science and Engineering. During the PhD, he received the Foster Research Prize given to the best PhD thesis related to glass technology. His research interest is in the mechanical properties of glass at room and high temperature.
Dr. Gonzalez has also a broad experience in the glass industry, specifically in fabrication of automotive safety glass. He worked for Vitro Glass Company for more than 19 years where he held different positions such as Process Engineer, Materials Planning and Logistics Manager, Production Superintendent, Manufacturing Engineer and Glass Technologist. During his time in the company, he co-authored two patents related to glass fabrication and glass coatings processing.
Dr. Gonzalez is a Six-Sigma Black Belt and has participated in numerous process improvement projects. He has been trained as well in the Methodology of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) that he applied to solve complex problems. In the manufacturing operations field, he is certified in Production and Inventory Management by APICS, which is the professional association for supply chain management.
He is a member of the Society of Glass Technology, based in Sheffield England. He is also affiliated to the alumni society of Armourers & Brasiers' Company, London UK, which is a society that promotes the study of Materials Science.

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Embedded Curriculum with Industry Recognized Certifications to Improve the Marketability of Engineering Technology Graduates

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is challenging the industries to change the way they manage and operate the manufacturing environment. This leads to the transformation of the world through artificial intelligence, next-generation robotics, automation, big data analytics, 5G technology and Internet of Things. This idea of Industry 4.0 forces the change in the industries of today and tomorrow. In this, cyber physical systems communicate with one another using the Internet of Things. The manufacturing sector takes full advantage of these technologies to produce innovative products to enhance the human experience. Contrary to the prediction of huge job loss due to these new technologies, more jobs are being created at a rapid pace. This is evident in the number of job openings growing at double-digit rates since mid-2017. This trend created a new set of problems in finding a matching workforce that will support the growing areas of advanced manufacturing in digital talent, skilled production and operational managers. The digital talent includes programming and managing a pool of computer-enabled machines and equipment.

This demands for qualified workers in key areas of technical trades. This includes technologies such as, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Computer Numerical Control, Coordinate Metrology, Industrial Robots, Mobile Autonomous Robots, Collaborative Robots and Automation. In the Recent Polls of American Distribution & Logistics Companies, 50% say that they see a critical need for these technologies to garner technology driven operational efficiencies.

According to the study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, the skills needed in the above areas may leave an estimated 2.4 million positions unfilled between 2018 and 2028, with a potential economic impact of $ 2.5 trillion. Further, the study shows that the positions relating to digital talent, skilled production, and operational managers may be three times as difficult to fill in the next three years.

The University of XXX has undertaken an initiative to address the growing needs of skilled human power in these critical areas that are very important for the local industries to sustain the competitive edge in the global manufacturing environment. Industries often look for graduates that are ready to be employed with minimum on the job training. The certifications offered by the professional institutions serve as the enabling tool for industries to assess the potential of newly minted graduate who have minimum field experience.

This paper presents the details on the innovative development of the embedded engineering technology curriculum with industry recognized certifications in the much-needed areas of Industry 4.0. This will invariably help the industries to mitigate the difficult-to-fill workforce needs in the critical areas of advanced manufacturing. Also, discussed in detail in the paper are the pedagogical aspects of the Engineering Technology curriculum and the seamless integration of industry recognized certifications that have the potential to enhance the marketability of its graduates.

Edinbarough, I., & Gonzalez-Rodriguez, J. A. (2021, July), Embedded Curriculum with Industry-recognized Certifications to Improve the Marketability of Engineering Technology Graduates Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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