Opto 22 Donates $108,000 to STEM Education

Jan. 1, 2000

University of Utah's Department of Chemical Engineering receives sponsorship for control system tools and software.

In part of its ongoing support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, industrial automation and control hardware and software manufacturer Opto 22 awarded the University of Utah's (UU) Department of Chemical Engineering with a $108,000 sponsorship.

Chemical engineering students taking laboratory courses will see new state-of-the-art control system tools and software installed in the classrooms.

The founder of Opto 22, UU engineering alumnus Robert Engman, is well-known for modern solid-state relays and programmable controller innovations. Each year, roughly 70 chemical engineering students at UU examine a process with Opto 22 instrumentation as part of a senior design graduation course, according to the company. The capstone course gives students exposure in a hands-on environment with industrial-grade data acquisition and control.

"The experiments students perform using Opto 22 equipment greatly enhance the presentation of a wide variety of chemical engineering principles, including separations, heat transfer, and process control," says Milind Deo, professor and chair of chemical engineering at UU. "Most students cite this class as the most important part of their curriculum. It's clear these educational experiences make a long-lasting impact on our students and serve them throughout their careers."

Not only undergraduate students, but also chemical engineering graduate students at UU will benefit from the Opto 22 hardware and software enhancements to the laboratory.

"At Opto 22, we think it’s important to support STEM curriculum in our schools," says Mark Engman, CEO and president of Opto 22. "A great way we can do this is to provide our made-in-the-USA, advanced automation electronics and software to the University of Utah's Department of Chemical Engineering. We want to see today’s young engineers use these tools to develop the next generation of processing and manufacturing systems for the U.S."