Machine Tool Technology Program Receives National Science Foundation Grant
Date: Sep 04,2015
A grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will fund advanced Computer Numerical Control (CNC) programming and machining training for Machine Tool Technology instructors at Athens Technical College.
Athens Technical College is currently the only two-year college in Georgia to hold an active Advanced Technological Education grant from the NSF. Grant funding was awarded to the Machine Tool Technology program to help increase CNC training opportunities. The grant will allow Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) instructors to develop a 21st century advanced certificate in multi-axis machining and programming.
“The grant proposal was designed to address the lack of advanced CNC training available throughout the United States – specifically here in Georgia,” according to Stuart Rolf, Athens Technical College Machine Tool Technology program chair. “There is a demand for well-trained machine tool operators in our area and throughout the state.”
With this new award, Athens Technical College, as the lead institution, in conjunction with Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering & Engineering Technology at Kennesaw State University (KSU), will work to:
- Sponsor professional development opportunities for TCSG Machine Tool Technology instructors. Instructors will receive cutting-edge Multi-Axis CNC training at Vincennes University in Indiana.
- Collaborate on a Multi-Axis CNC Programming certificate to be standardized and adopted by Machine Tool programs statewide. This will allow Georgia to become one of the first states to offer Advanced Multi-Axis CNC training on a state-wide basis.
- Promote an articulation pathway allowing students to obtain an associate degree in Machine Tool Technology and then continue their education at KSU in a Bachelor of Applied Science in Manufacturing Operations with the possibility of pursuing graduate studies.
Machinists hold about 476,200 jobs nationally. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this area is projected to increase by nine percent through 2022. With the demand for graduates of the Machine Tool Technology program increasing, faculty members are also promoting the career opportunities in manufacturing to new students.
“Today, products are completely designed on computers as 3-D virtual models. Next, robotic CNC machining equipment is programmed to transform raw stock into precision parts or the tools required to make them – all in clean, climate controlled areas,” said Edward Kiszka, Athens Technical College Machine Tool Technology instructor.
Mentor-Connect, a leadership development and outreach initiative for the NSF Advanced Technological Education program, assisted Athens Technical College faculty in preparing the grant proposal.
Machine Tool Technology courses are currently offered on the Walton County Campus of Athens Technical College. For more information about the Machine Tool Technology program at Athens Technical College, contact Stuart Rolf, program chair, at (770)207-4139 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partial support for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program under Award No. 1501872. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Photo caption: Machine Tool Technology students train on CNC machines at the Walton County Campus of Athens Technical College. The National Science Foundation recently awarded the college an Advanced Technological Education grant to support advancing education and training for instructors in the Machine Tool Technology program.