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New Online Courses Introduce Students to the Future of Advanced Manufacturing

Plasma cutting metalwork on an industry machine

Manufacturing isn’t what it was 50 years ago, or even a decade ago. New technologies are taking shape every day, quickly converting the landscape and ushering in an exciting era of industrial revolution, coined “Industry 4.0.” Industry, of course, needs talent and labor to make these technologies viable for all. 

It’s no secret that companies are fishing in a small pool when looking to fill new advanced manufacturing positions with qualified workers, while at the same time struggling to replace retiring employees. They also have the obstacle of attracting a new generation to the industry, many of whom have been steered away from manufacturing careers and have misperceptions of today’s and tomorrow’s opportunities.

The University at Buffalo (UB) is seizing upon this convergence of circumstances with the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) of Chicago. Together, they are creating a “101” series of online courses about digital manufacturing and design (DM&D).

The goals of this effort? There are more than one.

  • Assist in rectifying the talent void.
  • Educate the country – from high school graduates exploring career paths to business owners thirsty for knowledge about this manufacturing revolution.
  • Expose how DM&D is connecting different parts of the manufacturing life-cycle through data, and utilizing that information to make smarter, more efficient business decisions.

A series of massive open online courses (MOOCs) at UB will roll out beginning Jan. 30 on the enormously popular Coursera platform. The Digital Manufacturing and Design Technology Specialization consists of 10 courses (including a culminating project), giving learners the chance to build a roadmap for their personal goals related to DM&D while earning a specialization certificate. Topics include the digital thread, advanced manufacturing process analysis, intelligent machining, cyber security and more.

These courses were developed together by UB faculty members and industry partners. This collaboration tapped the expertise of Buffalo-based entities as well as organizations outside of the region and beyond New York State. Together, these partners will be preparing students for tomorrow’s industry, today.

Learn more and get involved

A video that better explains Digital Manufacturing and Design can be viewed below:

Those interested in Digital Manufacturing and Design journey can visit Coursera.org, create an account, and sign up for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Technology Specialization.

      Written by University at Buffalo

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