Contact us today:
Universities and technical schools trying to keep up with advances in digital manufacturing often find themselves behind industry. However, I was privileged to visit one university, the University South Carolina, which will now be an important exception. Founded in 1801, USC is one of the oldest universities in the US with a history of creating the most innovative learning programs dating back to its first curriculum obtained from Oxford University. Today, USC is establishing a one of a kind Digital Factory Lab that combines technology and coolness to inspire and educate its students.
This past week, Siemens announced a partnership to help the University of South Carolina to accomplish this goal with an in-kind grant of hardware and software. “Welcome to Brain Power USA! Siemens is investing $628 million in high tech training for 4th industrial revolution jobs in South Carolina,” said Henry McMaster, South Carolina Governor. By providing students with this hands-on experience on software and hardware across USC’s engineering curriculum and in research programs, Siemens is helping prepare a highly-skilled STEM workforce for the advanced manufacturing industry, including the aerospace industry, which has experienced an 11.4% employment growth rate in South Carolina since 2010.
Ramy Harik is one of the professors at USC and he told me that these new resources will be put to good use. Already his students have been involved in working with composites, designing new ways of analyzing data for the helicopter AH-64 Apache airframe and developing insights into that aircraft’s mechanical operation for the Army. More innovations are sure to come. For instance, beginning this fall students will also be able to pursue a major in aerospace engineering.
In recent years, the state of South Carolina has become a magnet for sophisticated manufacturing particularly in aerospace, automotive and tire. As a result of working with these companies to deploy high-tech manufacturing and by supporting vocational learning in the state through USC’s College of Engineering and Computing and the McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research, USC has grown into a major research university. Specifically, the McNAIR Center is aligned with two dozen educational and government partners, and a group of industry partners that include The Boeing Company, Fokker Aerostructures, KUKA Robotics, Ingersoll Machine Tools, Gulfstream and more.
The recent gift by Siemens to University of South Carolina will contribute to the state’s overall goal to become the smartest manufacturing state in the United States. I know this is not only important to the Governor of South Carolina, but also to the USC President Harris Pastides who said, “We’re proud that our researchers and students at the College of Engineering and Computing, McNAIR Aerospace Center and the entire USC system, will play a role in discovering new manufacturing technologies and will be better prepared to take on the jobs of tomorrow in South Carolina and beyond.”
To date, South Carolina’s business, education and state government partnerships have created jobs for more than 55,000 South Carolinians in the larger aerospace industry. As Raj Batra, President, Siemens Digital Factory Division, U.S., said, “Aerospace companies throughout South Carolina are heavily reliant on automation and digitalization as well as well-trained employees. Our partnership with the University of South Carolina will provide valuable experiential training with both software and hardware, providing the next generation workforce with the skills they need to be successful.”
Far from lagging, educators in South Carolina are working hard to stay out front. While I was at dinner, USC’s Hossein Haj-Hariri, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, told me “We are going to work very hard to make this the best investment that Siemens has ever made.” I am proud to be part of a company that will match that enthusiasm and make this a program known for enabling students to be competitive for jobs throughout the world.
Governor Henry McMaster, we are ready to help you build the workforce of tomorrow.
Siemens Industry, Inc.
About Siemens USA
Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 348,000 employees in more than 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $86.2 billion in fiscal 2015. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $22.4 billion, including $5.5 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.