CELINA — A local university is working with area companies in hopes to provide well-educated employees to fill existing voids in the local job market.
Wright State University Lake Campus now offers a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, with a focus on manufacturing. S. Narayanan, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the main campus, wanted to start the program in Celina and chose Ruby Mawasha to serve as the director of the new program at the Lake Campus.
“He (Narayanan) asked me to start the program on his behalf,” Mawasha said. “He selected me to become the founding director. Basically, I am, with the resources of the university, starting a new program.”
The program, Mawasha said, spurred from local industry.
“The main idea was motivated by the local industry in this area, that are mostly manufacturing,” he said. “If we had an engineering program, with the focus being on manufacturing engineering, then it would be easy for the local area to be able sustain the workforce base and also to generate resources.”
Mawaska said the school plans to collaborate with local businesses to create the program to fit their needs.
“The idea is that if we have the resources — of course we are going to do this and make sure it is successful - with the companies collaborating to provide jobs,” Mawasha said. “In addition to that, they will also be partners in terms of providing senior design projects.”
Seniors in the engineering program will be required to work on a design project to earn their degree. Mawasha said Lake Campus hopes to have students work with local businesses for their projects.
“When students study engineering, they are required to fulfill the curriculum requirement by doing a senior design project,” he said. “Our hope is that the industry will provide the senior design projects, and then the faculty at the Lake Campus will oversee the project to make sure that the students are making the requirements of the curriculum.”
To gain input from the local engineering industry, Mawasha will hold a breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in room 127 of Trenary Hall.
“The goal of the meeting is to introduce ourselves to the community as far engineering is concerned and to tell them specifically what we want to accomplish,” Mawasha said. “The idea is that we want to sell the program to them, but then they will in turn tell us what they think fits most, as far as manufacturing. Because manufacturing engineering is such a wide field, we are going to find a way that will benefit them by focusing primarily on things like robotics could be a possibility, we could do automation, we could do computer simulation, we could do control systems — those are all just branches of manufacturing engineering that we want to tell them that we can do with their cooperation.”
Mawasha said he would also like to invite members of the industry to serve on the advisory board for the new program.
“We also want to invite them to be part of the advisory board that we hope to start,” he said. “At that time, they would be partners with the Wright State University Lake Campus Program in Engineering.”
The new engineering program will be available to students starting this fall.
“We already have a number of students that are already enrolled beginning this fall,” Mawasha said, noting the students will be taking introductory courses.
In the future, Mawasha hopes the program grows to fill the need for engineers in the area.
“The hopes are that the program gets bigger and we are able to provide the industry with high-skilled workers for the area and also we are looking to partner with the hopes that we will be able to fulfill the positions that they need,” he said. “Ultimately if things work out, we could expand our program to include other programs in engineering, such as biomedical engineering, depending on the need of the area.”
Anyone interested in attending the breakfast Thursday may contact Carol Jones at 419-586-0355 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.