EET Takes State at SkillsUSA Competition

Published: May 28, 2021 | Read Time: 2 minutes

EET Takes State at SkillsUSA CompetitionEarlier this spring, the Electronics Engineering Technology program at Southern Utah University earned first place in post-secondary mechatronics at the SkillsUSA state competition, securing the University’s spot in the national competition.

A nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA serves middle-school, high-school, and college students preparing for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service occupations. The SkillsUSA Championships are career competition events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels.

SUU’s EET Program Director, Dr. Oscar Rodriguez served as the team’s faculty advisor. Students Changxiang Zeng, Bryden Holden, Ogou Ange Yannick, Ignacio Paz and
Yucheng Long worked as collaborators to official competing members Denovic Tshimpanga and Ujjwal Dahal.

“SUU has never participated in this competition category before, making this competition a historic one,” said Dr. Rodriguez.

Winning the state post-secondary competition, paves the way for future addition of mechatronics emphasis for both engineering and engineering technology students.

An emerging multidisciplinary field, mechatronics involves mechanical, electrical, computer and control systems. The competition required students to complete performance and knowledge tests.

“Students are judged on completion of the major task, the time that takes to complete the task and their knowledge of the subject of mechatronics,” said Dr. Rodriguez. “Fastest completion time and quality of work provide points toward winning the competition.”

The teams prepare by studying the specific system they will be tested on and familiarizing themselves with all the aspects of commissioning and deploying a simulated automated production machine. Due to a lack of equipment and funds, SUU’s team was required to put in extra work in order to compete. The T-Birds had to personally design and manufacture their own equipment required for the competition.

“There was an amazing spirit of collaboration to make this happen,” said Rodriguez. “Our team of seven invested over 100 hours of work over three weekends to get the system tested and ready for the competition.”

The national SkillsUSA Championship will be held remotely in June 2021. Proctors will be on-site at participating institutions to verify the process and judges will assess the teams live via zoom.

The Department of Engineering and Technology at SUU offers a learning-centered environment with ABET-accredited programs in Engineering and Engineering Technology. The Engineering Technology, Electronics Emphasis program prepares students to enter a field that is rich in career opportunities. In recent years, 100 percent of graduates from this program have been offered a position in the field before graduation.

Tags: College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Engineering

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