Energy and Power Program Expands to Include Robotics and Mechatronics Focus - Meridian Tech
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Energy and Power Program Expands to Include Robotics and Mechatronics Focus
July 10, 2020

Meridian Technology Center has expanded training in the area of Energy and Power with the addition of instructor Cody Erwin.

Erwin will teach courses in controls, instrumentation and robotics within the school’s Energy and Power program. Erwin brings education and industry experience in the areas of automation, mechatronics and industrial electronics.

The Sapulpa native was first introduced to energy and power as a high school student in the Electromechanical Technician program at Central Tech in Drumright. Upon graduation, he immediately moved into industry, putting his talents to work as an industrial maintenance technician at Webco Industries in Kellyville.

While at Webco, Erwin worked with and maintained various mechanical drive systems, electrical control systems and high-powered laser welders that are needed to help transform raw sheet metal into precision welded tubing. His work helped deliver supplies to a variety of industries ranging from agriculture to oil and gas to chemical processing.

When the opportunity to teach at Tech became available, it wasn’t something Erwin thought he could pass up. “I loved working in mechatronics,” he explained. “I knew this opportunity would allow me to share that passion on to someone else.”

His experience will also expand the course offering of Meridian’s Energy and Power program. Students will now have the opportunity to learn advanced skills in robotics and mechatronics. Mechatronics is a subset of robotics, a branch of technology that focuses on the design of automated machinery. Mechatronics is a diverse field that includes elements of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science.

Students in the advanced program will focus on clean energy systems, advanced controls, instrumentation and robotics, as well as electric power technology, workforce staging and safety in the energy industry. Program graduates will have the skills they need to move into manufacturing as well as careers in the energy industry.

“There’s no end to a career in mechatronics,” Erwin noted. “You’ll always be learning new ways for automation to improve. Mechatronics has been called ‘Industry 4.0’ or the second industrial revolution of automation.”

With the advances of computerization in a variety of industries, employers are looking for individuals who have both advanced technical skills as well as problem-solving skills. This diversity was a draw for Erwin, and one he hopes students will have as well.

Energy and Power at Meridian

Erwin and Energy and Power instructor Jeff Littau plan to team teach the program’s beginning and advanced curriculum. With this framework, regardless of which program of study students take, they will have the opportunity to learn from both instructors.

Students in the Energy and Power program learn about energy and power as well as the interplay of the generation, distribution and use of energy. Through hands-on work in small groups, students research, design, build and evaluate solutions to real-world problems. The Energy and Power program covers mechanical, heat, chemical, electromagnetic and nuclear power. Courses include energy and power foundations, controls, instrumentation and robotics, energy transmission and distribution, automation and technology and workforce connection.

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