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Midlands Technical College’s Mechatronics Lab Named in Honor of Michelin

Dr. Ronald L. Rhames thanks Michelin’s Mike Williams in front of the college’s Michelin North America Mechatronics Laboratory.Dr. Ronald L. Rhames thanks Michelin’s Mike Williams in front of the college’s
Michelin North America Mechatronics Laboratory.

Michelin North America donated $35,000 to provide equipment for the Mechatronics Technology Certificate program at Midlands Technical College (MTC). In recognition of the commitment, MTC has named its Mechatronics Laboratory the Michelin North America Mechatronics Laboratory.

“Michelin relies on the great employees that come from Midlands Technical College,” said Mike Williams, Facility Personnel Manager at Michelin’s US5 Lexington plant. “If we as a company expect highly competent employees, it’s important that we support programs that provide advanced technical training.”

The Mechatronics Laboratory, located in the college's Advanced Manufacturing and Skilled Crafts Center on the Airport Campus, is an ultramodern facility MTC students use for hands-on training. One piece of equipment purchased with the Michelin donation is a robot that will provide real-work simulations.

“The equipment these students use is state of the art,” said MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames. “The equipment purchased with Michelin’s generosity will go a long way toward preparing students for future employment.”

Mechatronics is an interdisciplinary area of engineering that combines mechanical and electrical engineering and computer science. The Mechatronics Technology Certificate program at MTC prepares students to work in the highly automated manufacturing environment of the 21st century. The Mechatronics Technology Certificate, a 34-credit-hour program, is designed to be completed in two semesters.

The U.S. Department of Labor has referenced mechatronics as a new and emerging growth area that is in high-demand.

“We’ve been in the Midlands community for 35 years,” said Williams. “We want to be here for many more, and supporting technical education is really an investment in ourselves.  It is with great pleasure that we are able to make this contribution.”

Modern manufacturing plants, like those at Michelin, are highly automated operations where production line downtime can cost thousands per hour in lost productivity. Mechatronics technicians keep the production lines functioning at the highest capacity.

All donations to the Midlands Technical College Foundation benefit MTC and students.

“Midlands Technical College and Michelin North America have a long history of great partnerships,” said Rhames.  “Together we are making a real impact in the economic development of the community and are improving the lives of hundreds of students who benefit from Michelin’s generosity.”

For more information about the MTC Certificate in Mechatronics Technology visit midlandstech.EDU or call Alan Grier at 803.738.7757.