College of Technology
Innovation within the College of TechnologyThe College of Technology offers innovative programs that have a direct impact, both locally and nationally, through education, technology development, and research. Signature programs include Mechatronics Engineering Technology (first of its kind), Computer Information Technology (nationally recognized in information assurance and cyber defense), and Environmental Health and Safety concentration (designated as a qualified academic program).
Connected to Business and Industry
The college impacts economic development in northwest Indiana by meeting industry needs, as well as workforce development. Faculty members and students work to provide solutions to specific industry problems while providing students with experiential learning opportunities. Under the mentorship of Lash Mapa, professor of industrial engineering technology, projects during 2016-17 included Lean Six Sigma approach to streamline production and eliminate waste in a robotic welding operation for the railroad industry, and development of an internal tracking system for an integrated power systems manufacturer.
Grants in support of workforce development were received from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Center of Workforce Innovations, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These grants supported customized education and advanced training opportunities aligned with employer needs. More than 400 participants were trained
in workshops during 2016-17.
Mutually beneficial partnerships with industry resulted in resources from endowments and significant cash gifts. In 2016-17 the college awarded $112,000 in scholarships and received $450,000 in support of its programs.
The college, through its undergraduate capstone projects and graduate directed projects, helps improve industry competitiveness and productivity. Several of these projects have resulted in scholarly publications by faculty and students.
The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have designated Purdue University Northwest a Center for Academic Excellence for Information Assurance and Cyber Defense. As a designated Center, Purdue Northwest, under Assistant Professor Manghui Tu and through its department of Computer Information Technology and Graphics, is furthering research and education in information assurance and cyber defense.
The Environmental Health and Safety concentration in the Organizational Leadership and Supervision program, under Associate Professor Shoji Nakayama, deals with the prevention of incidents/accidents, illnesses, fires, explosions, and other events that harm people, property, and the environment. The program has been designated as a Qualified Academic Program by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. This means students who graduate from the program will be eligible to apply for the Graduate Safety Practitioner designation; making them more marketable when applying for safety-related positions.
The Engineering Technology department, led by Assistant Professor Maged Mikhail, has incorporated knowledge covering the mechanics, electronics, and computer control needed to design and operate robotic devices into their courses. Industry-supported lab environments are equipped with articulated robotic arms, mobile robot-bases, and machine vision systems. From autonomous vehicles to sensor-driven manufacturing systems, robotic innovations are at the forefront of technology advances today.
Improved Learning Environments
By partnering with regional industry, the technology laboratories are maintained at state-of-the-art levels. The college has invested more than $300,000 in facility enhancements to its laboratories. Improvements include the development of a “flipped classroom,” which flips instruction from lecture to in-class activities to better engage students. Dedicated technology labs provide application-oriented learning experiences with “real-world equipment,” making the graduates career-ready and attractive to prospective employers.
No Longer Can Business and Industry exist without Technology
The Technology graduate program has the fifth largest enrollment in the nation. The program prepares students to become leaders in technology by focusing on leadership skills, understanding global issues, and advancing knowledge in the technology field. The program graduated 87 students in 2016-17. Outstanding graduates recognized in 2016 for their achievements include Tanima Zaman, program chair, Ivy Tech Community College and Joseph J. Uzubell, CIO, RailWatchers.
International collaboration activities included hosting 12 faculty members from China for a faculty professional development workshop, led by Professor Mohammad Zahraee; and 24 students from South Korea, mentored by Professor Lash Mapa, Associate Professor Masoud Fathizadeh, and Professor Ed Vavrek, for project-based learning with industry partners. PNW students and faculty members benefited through such collaborations by gaining understanding of different cultures and communication styles, thus preparing them to work in a global environment.
In 2016-17, college faculty members published 43 scholarly articles, and 10 new book editions were authored by Professor J.P. Agrawal, Associate Professor Jean Jiang, and Professor Sham Tickoo. Assistant Professor George Stefanek and Professor James Higley received three patent awards, and collaborative research efforts resulted in grants and contracts totaling more than $1.5 million. The college received research grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health, National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. Associate Professor Magesh Chandramouli, PI, received an NSF Advanced Technological Education grant of $880,000 to support development of an affordable, virtual reality framework in response to the demand for well-trained, digital manufacturing technologists.