June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
13.1245.1 - 13.1245.9
THE METROLOGY TRAINING CRISIS: INDUSTRIAL / EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS MAY CLOSE THE GAP
Traditionally, metrology education from the entry level through the technician level was provided through the military. Technical training as well as on the job training for a 4 to 6 year commitment, provided the technical community with a pool of mid-level, broad-scoped, and high-level specialized applicants. As the military outsourced the metrology jobs to the civilian sector, the need to continue training programs began to diminish and the pool slowly dried up. The supply of qualified technicians was unable to keep up with the demand. An ever-growing need for these skills across a broad scope of industries only worsened the situation. This paper explains the decline in military Metrology training, the attempt to integrate the needed training into colleges and Universities, and Sypris Test & Measurement Inc.’s (ST&M) partnership efforts with Central Georgia Technical College and University of Central Florida to meet its Industrial Metrology needs.
“Metrology” is the Science of Measurement. It is a small field that is obscure from mainstream Science and Engineering but shares the same principles and theories taught at any institution of higher learning. The function of this small group touches almost every action we do and every transaction we make in our day to day existence. Two such examples of this that are easily related to are grocery shopping and the purchase of gasoline. Nearly every item that is purchased at the grocery store is sold by measurement. The measurements deal with weight and volume. Gasoline is sold by volume. Imagine if these measurements were not controlled or traceable to a National Standard. Let’s take that one step further, since the majority of our oil is purchased on the foreign market, and take the National Standard up to a Global Standard. This consistency is what Metrology ensures and the chain of measurements is what Metrologists perform.
History: Metrology Technicians Trained by U.S. Military
This small niche in of technicians received the majority of their training through the military. A major training facility was opened in April 1959 at Lowery Air Force Base (AFB), Colorado1. Training was conducted there for all branches of the service and many allied foreign nationals. The facility is said to have graduated some 50,000 Metrology students between that date and it’s closing in March of 19942. At that time the curriculum was approximately 37 weeks long. This major Department of Defense (DOD) School transferred the course to Keesler AFB, Mississippi and opened its doors to students again 1995. Once again the school was opened as a multi- service school but was training primarily Army and Air Force Students. The Navy and Marine trainees were co-Located on Keesler AFB but they formed a separate facility targeted toward their own needs. In the years between 1995 and 2000 the flow of students continued but at a far reduced rate from that of the Lowery AFB facility.
Lapinskes, M. (2008, June), The Metrology Training Crisis: Industrial / Educational Partnerships May Close The Gap Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4457
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