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Whether Mechatronics or PLC, the Course Should Be Accepted by Both EECS and EET

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session


Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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William T. Evans PhD PE P.E. University of Toledo

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Dr. William Evans earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering in 2005 and his M.S.E.E. in 1975, both from the University of Toledo. He earned his B.S.E.E. in 1971 from UIUC. Dr. Evans has fifteen years experience as a controls engineer for industry, 27 years experience as a professor of Electrical Engineering Technology at U. of Toledo, and experience as a consultant to industry continued through PLC programming.

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Nicole L. Kamm University of Toledo Orcid 16x16

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A course in Programmable Controller Applications needs to help the student find good employment. The course should also support subjects taught in the digital sequence as well as networking and programming.

The paper develops a list of topics that would possibly be covered in any PLC course. Rational for inclusion of various topics will be discussed as well as the name change to Mechatronics from PLC if desirable.

The instructor has been responsible for teaching and developing texts in the area of PLCs and teaching their content to EET majors for a number of years. One class also included EECS students while their instructor was on a sabbatical. The same instructor is now also responsible for teaching the EECS students in their own PLC course.

Experience while in industry shows that the PLC is an expectation that the EE or EET major would be willing to embrace. It is commonly accepted that 90% of the jobs in the mid-west require proficiency in the use of PLCs. The same could be said of EET majors. One person who had hired over 20 EET majors in the past few years said that the EET majors all had some PLC experience and knew how to ‘hit the ground running’. Most companies today do not want to spend money trying to convince the recent graduate that programming the PLC is something worthwhile. They want the student to already be convinced.

A course for EECS as well as EET using the PLC should be taught by someone with experience and the willingness to stay abreast of trends in the market. It would not have the same impact if taught by a part-timer or professor without a passion for this course.

Evans, W. T., & Kamm, N. L. (2017, June), Whether Mechatronics or PLC, the Course Should Be Accepted by Both EECS and EET Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29122

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