Blog: SL Controls Develop First of its Kind Masters Programme at UL
Skills Shortage in the Manufacturing Industry
A fortuitous introduction by a mutual colleague and a conversation about the serious skills shortage within the manufacturing industry in Ireland was the catalyst that led to developing the new Masters in Mechatronics with Dr Seamus Gordon at University of Limerick (UL).
The first of its kind in Europe, the programme was developed along with industry expert Shane Loughlin of SL Controls to address a serious skills shortage within the manufacturing industry across Ireland and Europe.
Technologies such as automation, autonomous robots, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing have recently evolved and transformed the way manufacturing facilities are designed and supported. This innovation, known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), has led to a skills shortage that until now was not addressed in third level institutions.
Having recently welcomed our 54th team member we know first-hand how difficult it is in the current climate to find graduates who have the range of skills that are necessary to work in the industry today. We are passionate about ensuring the future of engineering in Ireland and maintaining Ireland’s reputation for educating top quality engineers.
The one year Masters programme is aimed at engineering graduates and those already working in automation and manufacturing who want to upskill in a rapidly changing professional landscape. The M.Eng in Mechatronics course at University of Limerick is the first of its kind in Europe and has responded to the changes within the industry and addresses the gaps between the education system and current industry needs.
Along with the University of Limerick, we have designed a state-of–the-art automation laboratory featuring four manufacturing lines where the course is delivered. Unique to this programme, 60 per cent of the modules are delivered by industry experts like SL Control’s Shane Loughlin; practitioners who have real world experience in automation and systems integration. The students have the opportunity to work on a replica manufacturing line, to integrate complex data and run tangible work scenarios in the automation lab under his expert tuition – an innovation that puts UL graduates ahead of the Industry currently in Ireland.
Course Director, Seamus Gordon has told us that the programme has been extremely well received by the students. They are enjoying the hands on, practical approach and the real life experience that they are gaining in the labs. Another unique aspect to the course is the Management modules for example ‘Global Business Strategy’ to ensure that the graduates are equipped for the international market.
Engineering in a Global World
Students can choose to specialise in automation or software paths. This is really exciting as graduates will be ready to hit the ground running in companies like SL Controls and other multinational companies which will open up endless opportunities to those with the correct set of skills.
SL Controls have several initiatives to encourage students of all ages to develop their engineering skills including the ESE Academy™ & ECubers™.
If you are interested in gaining a Masters in Mechatronics check out the course page on UL’s website. We also have exciting opportunities for graduates here at SL Controls and you can learn more about them by following this link.