Smart Manufacturing & Digital Integration: Taking TechEd to the Next Level

Sue Smith, Vice President for Advanced Manufacturing and Applied Sciences - Ivy Tech Community College

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Sue Smith is the Vice President for Advanced Manufacturing and Applied Sciences at Ivy Tech Community College - Indiana's largest post-secondary institution and the largest singly-accredited community college in the U.S. With 19 campuses and 41 sites, her job is to ensure there's a pipeline of skilled workers for industrial employers all over the state.

In her efforts to keep Ivy Tech's manufacturing programs current with industry trends, she's helped launch new degrees and certificate programs that are actually ahead of the game.

Graduates are entering the workforce with skills in automation, autonomous systems, digital integration and smart manufacturing that actually enable them to lead their company from Industry 3.0 to Industry 4.0.

In this episode, Sue shares her experiences leading one of the most advanced technical education programs in the country. You'll learn:

  • How a college's reputation can draw employers into the region
  • How semiconductor manufacturing is different than traditional mechatronics - and how colleges can adapt
  • How to build pathways from two-year programs to four-year degrees
  • The importance of industry credentials and why every college should embed them in their programs
  • Why integration and autonomous systems are the future of industry

3 Big Takeaways from this episode:

  1. For the first time, education is ahead of industry when it comes to technology adoption: While the big brands have entered Industry 4.0 already, most manufacturers are still in Industry 3.0. For the first time, technical education institutions that have embraced smart manufacturing are ahead of their local employers. This is great news for the workforce, as graduates from these programs can help lead their companies into the future.
  2. Industry certifications should be built into every technical education program: When certifications are built and backed by employers, students earning them have verified proof of skills. It's a competency-based approach to education that the workforce today needs. It's also a great tool to create standardized, flexible pathways when expanding and articulating programs.
  3. Want to stay on-pace with emerging technologies? Find ways to integrate them into your existing programs: Semiconductors, electric vehicles and battery manufacturing are just three emerging technologies the country has its eyes on. To make sure we don't fall behind, education should find ways to crosswalk competencies between traditional mechatronics and these technologies, then add curriculum, equipment and certifications to teach the unique aspects of each technology. The same can be said for autonomous systems, AI, etc.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Connect with Ivy Tech online:

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