|From left, Dean Louay M. Chamra, Dr. James P. Lentini and Dr. Betty J. Youngblood from Oakland University with Michael Mahfet of ABB Rotobics, North America.
The gift was made to Dr. Betty J. Youngblood, interim president, Dr. James P. Lentini, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, and Dr. Louay M. Chamra, dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science by Michael Mahfet, vice president and general manager of ABB Robotics, North America and an OU alumnus (MA ’97, SECS ’95).
The gift will support of the development of a four-year industrial robotics and automation program and be applied to curriculum development and related student programs. In addition, ABB will provide internship opportunities for several Oakland University students each year in programs designed to produce valuable, work-ready graduates.
"There have been strong advances in manufacturing, both in southeast Michigan and across the United States, and industrial robotics has been at the heart of much of that development," said Dean Chamra. "By focusing on applied research and cooperating with those in the industry, OU’s goal is to become the premier research center in this area. We want to put quality engineers in jobs and help industry solve their problems and challenges."
Currently, three members of ABB Robotics' executive team in Auburn Hills are OU alumni, ABB's Michael Mahfet added. "We might be a little biased, but we know OU is a highly regarded school in the engineering community. We're pleased to be able to play a part in advising the SECS on their new robotics curriculum. Ultimately, it's good for OU and it's good for companies like ours. The automation industry is changing so fast that it's important to have your finger on the pulse of what customers want.”
ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.
About ABB Robotics
ABB Robotics is a leading supplier of industrial robots - also providing robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending. Key markets include automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, machine tools, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. A strong solutions focus helps manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety. ABB has installed more than 200,000 robots worldwide.
About Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science
Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science offers instruction leading degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The programs are offered through four departments: Computer Science and Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
The school has approximately 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offers close student/faculty interaction, small classes and individualized attention.