Voices: McMillan & Control Talk

Hands-on labs build real skills

New Missouri S&T process control programs put engineers through paces

By Greg McMillan
Oct 24, 2018

*Greg:* Students spend four or more of their formative years and possibly a hundred thousand dollars on a university education that, hopefully, prepares them for future career. Our profession is particularly challenged by the lack of university degrees in industrial process automation and optimization. One school addressing this need is the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) by having professors with industry experience teach courses with practical, hands-on labs using industrial instrumentation and controls supplemented by simulations. In the Control Talk column, “University Labs round out theoretical education[articles/2017/getting-ready-for-the-future/]," we got the inside story on how Dr. Kelvin Erickson, a Monsanto graduate like me, has developed nationwide reputation for preparing students for industry. Missouri S&T is expanding this effort by adding lab-oriented courses taught by Dr. Peter Ryan, a Bayer graduate, and with the virtual wet labs and virtual plants setup by Chris Toarmina, a Mallinckrodt graduate. Peter and Chris bring extensive industrial process perspective to Missouri S&T.

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