Mechatronics engineering technology students make first industry visit
Nine sophomore and junior mechatronics engineering technology (MXET) students from Texas A&M University took their first industry field trip to Fort Worth, Texas, to visit and tour Bell Helicopter. Glenn Isbell ’96, vice president of rapid prototyping and manufacturing innovation, and Glenn Rodriguez, quality operations manager, hosted the students visiting from the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution.
Isbell provided an introduction to Bell Helicopter including an update on their newest aircraft the V-22 (Vertical Take Off and Landing) Osprey and the Bell Air Taxi, a joint project with Uber. Through this overview and discussions, it became very clear that the MXET curriculum, which integrates mechanics, electronics, embedded computers, control and communications, is a perfect fit for entry level positions and rewarding careers at Bell.
Students then toured the Bell manufacturing facilities. Of particular interest was the production and testing of composite helicopter blades and other major components used to manufacture advanced military and commercial aircraft.
The group then visited the Bell Training Center. Here students had the opportunity to learn about the different levels of simulators that Bell has to train and certify helicopter pilots. Afterwards, students visited the aircraft maintenance training facility where Bell provides hands-on training for maintenance personnel from around the world.
The trip allowed the first cadre of MXET students to see the types of entry-level positions that will be available in the aerospace industry segment when they graduate. Having the opportunity to interact with these bright and inquisitive young men and women also generated interest in Bell engineers and managers to engage in the new undergraduate program in mechatronics established by Dr. Reza Langari, department head of the engineering technology and industrial distribution department.
MXET faculty and students are hopeful that Bell will be ready to sponsor the first MXET capstone project in fall 2018 and take a leadership role in the development of the MXET industry advisory committee.
The MXET program will continue to visit and interact with the private and public sectors so students get a better idea about opportunities in other industry segments such as oil and gas and automotive.
To learn more about the mechatronics program contact Dr. Joseph Morgan.