Emerson and Texas A&M announced the establishment of the Emerson Advanced Automation Laboratory to be funded with the company’s donation. The laboratory will provide Texas A&M engineering students a modern, high tech, active learning environment, simulating real-world plant operations found in manufacturing facilities for the oil and gas, refining, life sciences, food and beverage, and other industries. The laboratory will be a part of the university’s new Zachry Engineering Education Complex, a 525,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility scheduled to open this fall.
“Emerson is partnering with Texas A&M not only because it’s 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. Emerson will also work with the College of Engineering to integrate and expand its industrial wireless technologies throughout the Zachry Engineering Education Complex.
“We are grateful to Emerson for its support of this facility and providing our students with next-generation automation and wireless industrial technology to prepare Aggie engineers for the future,” said M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of engineering.
The Emerson Advanced Automation Laboratory is expected to serve 1,400 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 nation.