There is much talk about the Future of Work and future workspaces. What will the job look like and how will people work in these spaces? But was does that look like for manufacturing when we focus on the production floor? What does it mean to the future of work for engineering technicians working in these facilities? This paper explores the data collected in Florida from 2-year college engineering technician educators and manufacturers. Four Industry 4.0 (I-4.0) technology areas that directly impact the technicians on Industry 4.0 technologies and the skills needed to set up, operate, troubleshoot, and maintain the equipment related to these emerging technologies in the next 5 years. The paper identifies the four identified technologies that will be specifically important for technicians are: autonomous robots, simulation, Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and Fabrication (Additive and Subtractive) and Advanced Materials. The questionnaire results reveal a few significant gaps between educators and manufacturers; some skills that neither group thought would be important, as well as skills that all agreed, would be important for technicians in the near future.
This paper reports on the aggregated data results from both groups and the identified priorities. It will also report on the National Science Foundation-funded Caucus of manufacturers and educators held to better understand the identified Future of Work technician skills and what they mean in the workplace. The caucus will also review and prioritize the needed skills identified and make recommendations for the shrinking the defined gaps with additional content and activities for educational programs designed with both educators and industry partners.
Dr. Marilyn Barger is the Director of FLATE, the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center a part of the FloridaMakes Network, and previously funded by the National Science Foundation. FLATE serves the state of Florida as its region and is involved
Richard Gilbert is a Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Florida's College of Engineering . Richard is the Co-PI for an NSF grant that supports FLATE, Advanced Technological Education in Florida ,the the NSF Center of Excellence, which was founded through substantial funding from NSF. FLATE, now funded by the NIST MEP program and the Florida Department of Education, addresses curriculum, professional development, and outreach issues to support the creation of Florida's technical workforce. Richard has over 30 years of experience working with the K-14 education community. Other funded efforts include projects for the NIH and the US Department of Education. The latter was for the development of an engineering curriculum for elementary school applications. The former is for development of electric field mediated drug and gene applicators and protocols. This effort has generated over 20 patents and cancer treatment protocols completing FDA Phase III trials.
Master's degree in Industrial Systems Engineering from the University of Florida. 30 Years of Experience in Manufacturing as a technician, Maintenance Manager, Plant Engineer, Division Engineer, and Corporate Project Engineer. 17 years teaching Engineering Technology in the Two-year College System of Georgia and the Florida College System.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper? Visit the ASEE document repository at peer.asee.org for more tools and easy citations.