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Universities Prepare for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Demand

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Cabe Atwell
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Re: UAVs and UNIVERSITIES
Cabe Atwell   8/27/2013 1:59:54 PM
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It's interesting to note that students from the University of Central Lancashire recently successfully tested an S&R system they developed using a series of drones that take video of an area which online users use to locate missing people. Drone design and implementation (using various academic disciplines) is on the fast-track in becoming a credited course for most universities.

Charles Murray
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Re: UAVs and UNIVERSITIES
Charles Murray   8/12/2013 7:11:55 PM
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Your comment about "if done properly" is spot-on, bobjengr. This is a good opportunity for university engineering programs to give some hands-on experience, which has often been lacking in engineering curriculums. Many engineering colleges have been looking for ways to engage students more effectively and keep them in their programs. Here'a golden opportunity.

bobjengr
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UAVs and UNIVERSITIES
bobjengr   8/12/2013 5:14:17 PM
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I think several great benefits stem from university efforts relative to UAVs BUT, the greatest immediate benefit is the excitement generated by a "new" technology provided by engineering departments for students.  If done properly, this will be as much "hands-on" as classroom work and as Charles has mentioned, the areas touched by the designs are very far-reaching.  I love the fact that commercial peace-time application; i.e. farming, mapping, photography, etc. are in the "mix" as students develop designs.  This is really what we are meant to do. Also, creation of jobs and profits for successful companies providing hardware is very exciting.  The private sector is accomplishing something the public sector has yet to accomplish with so-called stimulus.   Great post Charles.  Very informative. 

Mydesign
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Re: naperlou's comment -Introducing new syllabus
Mydesign   8/8/2013 1:18:19 AM
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"For those reasons, I'm noticing more universities offering cross-disciplinary degrees, such as "electromechanical engineering.""

Charles, most of the universities are offering cross- disciplinary or inter- disciplinary courses. Among them the most common is Mechatronics, a combination of Mechanical and Electronics. Another interesting course Is Medical electronics.

Mydesign
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Re: Introducing new syllabus
Mydesign   8/7/2013 11:59:07 PM
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Naperlou, now a day's most of the government sector R&D labs are conducting Diploma & degree course, on their own expertise areas. I feel they are the right persons to do a transfer of technology  to others because they have the expertise in similar field.



Charles Murray
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Re: naperlou's comment -Introducing new syllabus
Charles Murray   8/7/2013 8:17:47 PM
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Good points, TJ. For those reasons, I'm noticing more universities offering cross-disciplinary degrees, such as "electromechanical engineering."

William K.
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Re: The topic was? .......(mechatronics)
William K.   8/7/2013 7:07:11 PM
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Relative to mechatronics, it certainly seems that the realm has been reduced to primarily mathmatical modeling of small stuff, both hardware and software, electronics and software, and a bit of other disciplines. So if you are not invo;ved with modeling and simulations then it is not mechantronics. 

So when I design a system with electronics and mechanical stuff anf kinematic evaloations and a bit of pneumatics or hydraulics, it would not be referenced as mechatronics, but more likely "multidisipineary designing". A much older skill set.

Now how does the industry choose to use a persons skill set? Limit me to one area? Or ask me to design the entire machine? 

Thinking_J
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The topic was? .......
Thinking_J   8/7/2013 3:30:00 PM
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Good observations... got me thinking.

University (educational) roles , methods, certifications (degrees/titles),  trying to address new applications/products (like UAVs).

Compared to how industry/business actually USES engineers (thanks Naperlou).

My observation:

Larger projects and larger businesses tend to create their own bureaucracies.

Smaller projects and smaller organizations tend to avoid this.

Size distinction more often related to : product volume or resource requirements.

Very complex (across multiple disciplines) products can come from any size organization.

Larger businesses tend to get more "press" and attention from Universities.
Larger businesses with HR departments require titles with specialized responsibilities. This works and supports the bureaucracies. Universities try to create titles that support their needs . It works because it can handles the largest span of quality in the workforce (lesser engineers and great engineers - both have a place in large companies).

Smaller organizations .. the titles, specialization, bureaucracies ... all mean much less. Quality of work, span of work skills become much more important to the companies survival. There is no place to hide poor performers. It also means additional level of risk taking by the workforce.

Example of change: "Mechatronics"

An attempt to create an engineering skill set that covers a larger span of engineering skills (mechanical, electrical, electronics,etc...) Could be applied to automation/robotics/ UAVs.

Personally, I prefer to believe that:

- Not every person with a interest in engineering can do everything. Some can't even do particularly well with one specialty.

- Everyone with an interest in engineering should TRY everything related and have some knowledge in related areas. VERY easy to stagnate with specialization / even lose position because of changes in industry.

- Some people CAN be good (even great) at EVERYTHING (and it really annoys me!)

Putting a title (mechatronics) to this larger skill set.. doesn't tell me much as an employer.

It appears helpful to HR departments that don't really know enough to judge the performance of a engineer... a paradox that most bureaucracies haven't really learned to address.

 

 

Ken E.
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How about getting rid of the human?
Ken E.   8/7/2013 9:54:30 AM
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Most of the applications here are 'new', and small.  But there is a potentially huge market in one place in particular; freight.  These big (modified passenger) planes can already fly and land themselves, so not a big jump to totally autonomous flights.  And doesn't it make sense to put all those flight controls right at or in the wings?  And not pressurize the cabin?  One could use one or two highly trained ground crews covering many planes for extreme situations, the chances are slim this happens in multiple places at once.  When things go bad, they go bad fast, and it's not hard to imagine a computer thinking through all the ramifications quicker than a human anyhow.  A machine wouldn't be thinking so hard about self-preservation either, that being an attempt to land at urban airports, rather than abort in a farmers field.

And this eventually brings us to passenger planes.  It's probably more difficult to find acceptance, but let's face it, human pilots are responsible for a lot of accidents.  (Witness the recent West coast crash.)  No terrorist could take over one of these.  How much could airlines charge for first class seats with the view pilots have?  More likely they just eliminate the windows and add six rows of economy, but one can dream.

TJ McDermott
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Re: naperlou's comment -Introducing new syllabus
TJ McDermott   8/6/2013 11:14:26 PM
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Charles, cross-disciplinary education is a great way to put it.  Using a team of field-specific specialists without good oversight always causes problems.  Being a generalist has advantages.

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