University of Kentucky College of Engineering Associate Professor Fazleena Badurdeen is one of six educators selected for a national expert educator team to align higher education curricula with manufacturing workforce needs.
The team was formed by Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS). The team will collaborate with LIFT’s technology project teams to identify how colleges and universities can modify curricula and related industry certifications to meet the knowledge, skills and abilities workers will need for jobs deploying the new lightweighting technologies, materials, and processes being developed by LIFT.
Badurdeen, who oversees UK’s Manufacturing Systems Engineering master’s program and is also a core member at UK’s Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing, and five other educators were selected from APLU’s member universities and other LIFT university research partners because of their significant knowledge of manufacturing technologies and experience within the manufacturing industry.
The team began its work at a kickoff meeting in Detroit with LIFT’s technology project leaders last week. They will review several technology projects underway; identify the knowledge, skills and abilities these new technologies will require in both the design and production workforces; and begin to determine where gaps in curricula exist. Closing these gaps will provide students the right knowledge and skills needed for jobs working with new technologies. In addition to identifying those in-demand skills, the team will work to develop recommendations for effective technology-aligned education strategies and will review the LIFT technology portfolio to recommend additional education and workforce development initiatives.
NCMS will co-lead the team and provide input as the largest cross-industry collaborative research and development consortium in North America, innovating in commercial, defense, robotics and sustainable manufacturing.
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