Purdue University Gives STEM Students a Modernized Education

I've been working with National Instruments (NI) on an upcoming quarterly column that you will soon be introduced to in our March issue. The article will discuss how recent graduates in the automation and controls field used web-based tools to find their first jobs out of college and how those same tools are helping them overcome on-the-job challenges at their new positions.

In one of the later articles to come this year, I will be discussing what educators and employers can do to better prepare students for their futures. In light of National Engineers week, NI sent us a success story that gives a clear demonstration of collaboration efforts between an educator and employer that took actions toward helping science, technology, engineering and math students (STEM) better prepare for the real world.

Purdue University (PU) School of Mechanical Engineering needed to redesign its required Automatic Control Systems course that teaches controller design theory because it was being taught with an outdated analog-computer method. PU introduced NI LabVIEW software and NI CompactRIO to modernize its laboratory and transform the way it was teaching STEM programs. This solution allowed students to become more proficient in newer programming technology and implement automatic control theories in real-time.

Due to the success of the partnership, students were able to gain greater understanding of automatic control methods for their senior design projects and future careers in STEM. This is just one example of many ways organizations and educators are taking initiatives to better prepare students for careers in STEM. Read the full case study.

If you know of other success stories, we want to know about them! If you are currently working with others in collaboration on STEM initiatives, we want to know about those too. 

Sarah Cechowski is the associate digital editor for Control Design and Industrial Networking. Email her at scechowski@putman.net or check out her Google+ profile.