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LTU opens new $500,000 industrial engineering lab and honors Siemens as Corporate Partner of the Year

Release Date: November 11, 2019

Lawrence Technological University (LTU) unveiled its new Siemens Electro-Matic Industrial Engineering Laboratory at a Nov. 8 ceremony. The new lab is located in the Engineering Building on the LTU campus in Southfield. 

Industrial engineering deals with the optimization of complex processes and systems. Industrial engineers work to eliminate wasted time, money, energy and materials. LTU offers fully accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in industrial engineering. 

Siemens Corp, a subsidiary of the German industrial automation giant Siemens AG, was also honored as LTU’s Corporate Partner of the Year. The award was presented to Raj Batra, an LTU alumnus and president of Siemens Digital Industries US.

“We are a proud partner of LTU, and we are grateful for this recognition. It’s truly great to see how LTU is driving the education of the next generation of digital talent. High tech jobs in manufacturing in the United States have a great growth potential. To reach this potential, our education and training must address the demand for digital skills. The opening of this first Industrial Engineering Lab is a milestone putting top-notch technologies into the hands of manufacturing’s next generation,” Batra said.

Batra is a 1990 LTU graduate, with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He received the university’s Alumni Achievement Award in May 2017.

Lawrence Tech alumnus Raj Batra, president of Siemens Digital Industries US, receives his alma mater’s Corporate Partner of the Year award from Lawrence Tech President Virinder Moudgil and Dean Nabil Grace of LTU’s College of Engineering. Photo by Eric Pope.

“Our mission is to produce engineers who will be the leaders of tomorrow. Our graduates hit the ground running in their professional careers thanks in large part to LTU’s partnerships with Siemens and other forward-thinking companies that provide invaluable support to the University,” said Nabil Grace, dean of LTU’s College of Engineering.

“Raj Batra’s career serves as an inspiration for our engineering students and recent graduates,” LTU President Virinder Moudgil said. “They will set their sights higher after seeing what he has accomplished.”

Siemens Corp was the founding sponsor of the new lab with a donation that included software and equipment, and Farmington Hills-based Electro-Matic Products Inc. was also instrumental in the creation of the new lab. Other support has come from 1955 LTU alumnus Henry Horldt, P.E., Detroit-area locations of French auto supplier Faurencia, Cintas Corp., Sylvania Osram, SAS Automotive Systems, Valeo, and FCA. 

Through in-kind and cash donations, these contributors have provided more than $500,000 in industry-donated hardware and software, allowing LTU industrial engineering students to study everything from the human factor of production-line fatigue to the optimal placement of robots, sensors, and parts bins on the factory floor. The new facility includes:

  • An industry-grade conveyor line and programmable robot capable of simple assembly operations, pick-and-place inventory functions, and loading and unloading. Students can design the best assembly line operation sequence to accomplish various assigned tasks. 
  • Programmable Logic Control (PLC) units used to simulate setting up industrial automation systems.
  • The instrument panel of a RAM 1500 truck, which students can program to create various displays and functions. 
  • An industrial work station, provided by Faurecia, where students perform various mechanical functions using several tools on various objects.
  • An assembly area where students manually assemble LEGO race cars, with the blocks required for assembly stored in 200 bins.
  • A coordinate measurement machine used for quality inspection of parts.

The industrial engineering lab is another step in a longstanding relationship between Siemens and LTU. Since 2013, LTU has received two major in-kind software grants from Siemens. The university now uses the Xcelerator portfolio of software including NXTM software for computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering; Tecnomatix®, the industry-leading digital manufacturing software; the FibersimTM portfolio of software for composites engineering; SimcenterTM STAR-CCM+ and Simcenter Amesim, a robust suite of simulation software and test solutions; and Solid Edge® software, a hybrid two-and three-dimensional CAD system. 

Lawrence Tech Associate Professor Ahad Ali, director of the university’s new Siemens Electro-Matic Industrial Engineering Laboratory, discusses the industrial-grade conveyor line with programmable robotic functions at the lab’s grand opening on Nov. 8. Photo by Eric Pope.

Siemens is a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. For more than 160 years, the company has innovated and invented technologies to support American industry spanning manufacturing, energy, healthcare and infrastructure. In fiscal 2018, Siemens USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Siemens participates with hundreds of educational institutions across the country through the Siemens Cooperates with Education (SCE) program, in which schools partner with Siemens on leading edge industrial technologies in their classrooms, research projects and workforce development initiatives. 


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