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Emerson helps build automation laboratory

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Future classes of undergraduate engineering students studying at Texas A&M University will have access to advanced automation technologies as a result of a US$1.5 million donation by Emerson.

Emerson and Texas A&M announced the establishment of the Emerson Advanced Automation Laboratory, which will be funded with the company’s donation. The laboratory will provide engineering students with a modern, high-tech, active learning environment, simulating real world plant operations found in manufacturing facilities for the oil and gas, refining, and other industries.

“Emerson is partnering with Texas A&M not only because it is one of the leading engineering schools in the country and has a great research component, but also because we are impressed with its efforts to enroll and graduate higher numbers of underrepresented groups in engineering, especially women,” said Mike Train, executive president of Emerson Automation Solutions. “This investment builds on Emerson’s commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and training aspiring engineers and manufacturing workers to join the ‘digital workforce’ that is in demand around the world.”

In addition to the new advanced automation laboratory, Emerson will provide the process control equipment for a fully functional distillation column to facilitate hands-on teaching. Next door to the distillation column, students and faculty can meet to study and problem solve in the new Emerson Collaboration Room. Emerson will also work with the College of Engineering to integrate and expand its industrial wireless technologies throughout the Zachry Engineering Education Complex.

The Emerson Advanced Automation Laboratory is expected to serve 1400 engineering students each year. Throughout the next eight years, Texas A&M projects its engineering enrollment to increase from 19 000 students to 25 000 students as part of the College of Engineering’s 25 by 25 initiative. In addition to growth through retention, a key focus of the initiative is to provide increased inclusion of underrepresented groups in STEM education, and this past fall, Texas A&M boasted the largest entering class of female engineering students in the US.

The laboratory will include the company’s DeltaVTM control system hardware and software, FisherTM control valves, RosemountTM measurement devices, AppletonTM field components, Micro MotionTM Coriolis meters and integrated simulation software. The laboratory will also feature maintenance training simulator equipment that will be fabricated by students studying at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, Missouri, which has a manufacturing education and training partnership with Emerson.

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