From the Executive Director's Desk

FLATE is pleased to welcome Jorge Monreal to our team as the project manager for our FESC (Florida Energy Systems Consortium) project. Jorge brings extensive project management experience. His first immersion into project management stemmed from serving as an officer in the US Navy. Thereafter, in industry, he held the roles of both team member and team leader in the introduction of several new products at Fortune 500 companies such as John Deere and General Electric.

His involvement in renewable energy started with an idea on hydrogen storage for fuel cell vehicles pitched to researchers at UF and FSU. He has since obtained provisional patents for renewable energy products regarding hydrogen production/storage, thermoelectrics and cogeneration systems. Jorge holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from FSU, an MBA from Georgetown University and a Masters in Engineering from MIT.

The FLATE Focus has featured articles in support of various energy technologies and skill sets. FLATE’s partnership with FESC is part of the statewide initiative to support industries in the existing and emerging energy sectors in the state by defining the knowledge and skills required of their technician workforce. During 2009, we worked with many Florida community colleges to define curriculum standards for alternative energy that support industry needs, made several presentations both within and outside of Florida, and look forward to working with Brevard Community College for a fall implementation of the Alternative Energy Systems Certificate. (More information at With the industry support of the FESC Advisory Committee and their community outreach programs for energy efficiency, our partnerships with the Florida Department of Education, and the Banner Centers for Energy, Alternative Energy, Manufacturing and Construction we hope to build a comprehensive and cohesive educational and industry pathway for Florida’s new energy workforce under Jorge’s leadership.
Enjoy our shorter spring break issue with information on our upcoming summer camp program, the implementation of the Alternative Energy Specialist Certificate at BCC, and our Baldrige-grounded evaluation plan by Phil Centonze. The 2010 FLATE award nominations are open and there are opportunities for faculty to participate in the Hi-TEC conference as FLATE Fellows.

Summer Fun with Robots

Gone are the days when robots meant a funky looking character out of a sci-fi movie. FLATE’s robotics camps are a BIG hit among students, parents, and educators, and have successfully repositioned robots as “COOL”.

This year FLATE is offering five robotics camps at the HCC Brandon Campus for middle school students with a special, first-of-its-kind "girls only" offering! The initiative represents a cohesive partnership between FLATE and Hillsborough Community College—host of the camps, and sponsors Jaeger Corporation, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and Bay Area Manufacturers Association.

Camp 1 from June 21-25 and Camp 2 from June 28-July 2 are introductory level camps open to everyone. Camp 3 from July 12-16 is for girls only. These three sessions provide a basic overview of robotics technology, and its applications in industrial and everyday settings. To compete in daily challenges, participants have to program and reconfigure Lego® Mindstorms® Robots, and learn to integrate concepts of the “design phase” of modern manufacturing using SolidWorks software and 3D printing technology.

Camps 4 and 5 are advanced camps which will be offered July 19-23 and July 26-30, respectively. These offer bigger challenges, build on what students learned during camp one, and require previous attendance at an HCC robot camp. After a quick review of programming skills, the advanced camps will focus on building a robot from scratch to solve a specific design-related problem.

In addition to offering students an exciting opportunity to experience the different facets of modern technologies, each of the camps will educate students about the basic principles of mathematics, physics, manufacturing processes, automation and machines through hands-on learning within a fun and friendly team environment. Participants will also be engaged in hands-on SolidWorks design and 3D printing projects, and will tour a modern manufacturing facility or a scientific laboratory to witness robotic applications at work.

FLATE’s robotics camps also enjoy widespread popularity. They are fun, challenging and bring an exciting dimension to learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics. FLATE will offer two introductory level camps in Pinellas County at D.L. Jamerson Elementary School in July. As part of the partnership, DLJ will provide facilities to host two camps at no cost allowing FLATE to keep its pricing structure consistent in the Tampa Bay area. The camps are scheduled for week of June 28 and July 12. The latter is a "girls only" session. With support from FLATE, Central Florida Community College will host two level one camps at its Ocala campus the week of July 12 and July 19. The latter is for "girls only".

For more information visit, or contact Dave Gula at 813.259.6581,

Snapshot of the 2009 Robotics Camp at HCC. More at

sTEm at Work: Puzzle 6

The operational status of a robotic arm that does precision welding for Tampa Armature Works is determined by the relationship between the voltage applied across the arm's control circuit and the current that flows through that control circuit. One of the first operations the tech does is examine those two signals.

It is also very typical for this signal display to be shown as a two channel recording similar to the cartoon version shown below. It may also be the case, that the signals (one the voltage, the other the current) traced on the screen are not identified on the screen. However, the tech does know Ohm's relationship between these two signals: The current response signal is equal to the applied voltage signal divided by the circuit impedance, and that impedance value is always greater than one.

The current signal is shown on Channel B? (Yes or No). Submit your answers at

A New Approach for Center Management and Evaluation: The Malcolm Baldrige-Style Model for FLATE

When it comes to continuous improvement on an organizational scale there is no better model than the Malcolm Baldrige-style model for high-performing organizations. FLATE has adopted and is implementing this model, in the form of the Florida Governor’s Sterling criteria for managing and evaluating the Center. This is an innovative approach that differs from every other Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center across the country.

The FLATE mission, focusing on meeting Florida manufacturers’ current and future needs for a capable and skilled workforce, mandates that the Center be effective. The mandate also comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) grantor and all of FLATE’s stakeholders. What better way to satisfy the mandate than using the Florida Sterling management model, based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Criteria for Performance Excellence. This model focuses on helping companies answer three basic questions: What’s most important to accomplish; how do we know we’re being successful, and do we have systems in place to sustain us into the future?

This management and assessment system guides organizations to world-class performance and improvement. It is an acknowledged driver of effectiveness among manufacturers in Florida and across the nation. Florida manufacturers continue to use the Sterling model to improve performance to better serve their customers and markets. Since 1992, hundreds of Florida companies and organizations have used the Sterling model, and over 60 have received the Governor's Sterling Award in recognition of high performance. Some of these include Honeywell Military Avionics Guidance & Navigation Operations in Clearwater, and Motorola iDEN Subscriber Supply Chain Operations in Plantation.

FLATE’s continued use of Sterling serves to enhance the Center’s understanding and its effectiveness in serving the needs of manufacturers in Florida. At the same time, FLATE gains the confidence of Florida manufacturers that it is different from other “government” organizations by holding itself to the same standards of high-performance as do for-profit companies.

Contributed by Phil Centonze,
External Evaluator for FLATE
Pos-Impact, Inc.

Road to Florida's Future in Alternative Energy

Florida ranks highest in the country in per capita residential electricity demand, and is a top consumer of petroleum-fired electricity in the nation. (Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration). The present scenario calls for immediate action, and legislators, educators and industry leaders are joining hands to design sustainable initiatives that support the 21st century energy age.

The Alternative Energy Systems Specialist college credit certificate, for example, is a new specialization that will be offered as part of the A.S./A.A.S degree in Engineering Technology at Brevard Community College in Fall 2010. The program is a direct response to a 2008 legislative action directing the Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC), and the State’s University and State College systems to conduct applied energy-related research, and develop specific technical education pathways that will allow Florida to meet its 2020 energy generation and demand criteria.

As part of this effort, FLATE was commissioned by the Florida Legislature to determine expected skills that are needed to support this new energy reality. FLATE’s will find common skills that cross various alternate energy technologies, and assess the current and projected status of curriculum for such engineering and technical education. Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE says “As the need for optimizing energy generation and investment in renewable energy technologies intensifies, the need for engineering and technical professionals is emerging as part of a new reality.”

Indeed, the new Engineering Technology Alternative Energy Systems Specialization Certificate program was developed with input from industry and academic stakeholders from across the state, and is targeted to help students acquire industry-specific skills needed by technicians in the new and emerging alternative and renewable energy fields. Sheryl Awtonomow, director of career and technical programs at Brevard Community College is excited about the potential impact. “We are truly gearing up for the future as movement is made toward reducing green house gas emissions and oil dependency in our state and the nation as a whole.”

Course content is largely solar, and interwoven with laboratory work for hands-on experience. The program also provides supplemental training for persons previously or currently employed in occupations related to energy production, distribution and storage.

The road ahead looks promising. Graduates have a variety of career options (electrical/industrial engineering technicians, solar photovoltaic installer, solar power plant technician, energy auditor, and smart grid technician etc) that are transferable across industries. Moreover, construction of a large system at TECO farms in Polk County, a proposed solar/biomass system for Harmony, FL, a 10 MW system and a 100MW farm in Brevard county is likely to create jobs where graduates can find employment.

Curriculum frameworks for the Alternative Energy Systems Specialist certificate are posted on the Florida Department of Education Career Website, . Several other community colleges are also exploring the possibility of adopting the program. For more information contact Sheryl Awtononow at For information on the ET degree and ongoing FLATE-FESC energy initiatives contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at, or visit

FLATE Fellowship Opportunities at HI-TEC 2010

FLATE and the National Science Foundation recognize the importance for faculty to keep current with advances in their field and expand their expertise; therefore, FLATE is offering fellowships for faculty to participate in professional development opportunities at the HI-TEC conference. FLATE FELLOWS are individuals who are interested in attending the HI-TEC conference sessions on July 28-29.

This FLATE Fellowship is valued at over $710. The Fellowship includes (1) Conference Registration ($450) for conference sessions on July 28-29 (includes continental breakfast and lunch on both days) and (2) Two nights lodging ($260) at the Omni Champion’s Gate, arriving July 27 and departing July 29. (Lodging will not be provided for Fellows who live within 50 miles of the HI-TEC event at the Omni at Champion’s Gate, Orlando, FL.) Visit for session details.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS                                     
1.Full time faculty in secondary or post-secondary public institutions who teach courses in the technologies above

2. Submit signed application for agreeing to participate in post conference surveys and curriculum development activities.

NOTE: Fellows are required to attend sessions both days and report on sessions attended (July 28-29). Transportation is not included. By accepting a FLATE Fellowship, the Fellow or Fellow’s institution agrees to pay for travel, any additional meals and incidentals associated with attending HI-TEC, and any additional lodging beyond the nights specified above.

Complete and submit the application posted below, including a paragraph describing what you hope to gain by attending the HI-TEC conference and its related workshops. The application deadline is April 30, 2010. Applications are reviewed on a first come, first served basis. There are a limited number of fellowships available, so be sure to apply early!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Upon acceptance as a Fellow
1. Register for the conference with the registration code provided with your acceptance notification by May 20, 2010. No workshops or tour costs are covered by this fellowship.

2. Make your hotel reservations by May 20, 2010. If eligible for hotel rooms, FLATE will ONLY pay for Tuesday and Wednesday nights (7/27 and 7/28) on a master account. Any additional nights as well as incidentals are not covered.

3.Attend the entire two-day HI-TEC conference July 27-28 (all Fellows), arriving by 4:00 pm Tuesday.

4.Attend the Florida Welcome Session on Tuesday July 27 at 4:45-6:00 pm and bring materials for a table top display of your college’s technical programs inclusive of any listed on the first page. Leave materials for display during the open exhibit hours July 28-29. (Tables will be moved from the Welcome Session to the exhibit hall).

5.Complete all required conference and session evaluations for the conference and individual sessions.

6. Complete and return short surveys regarding potential usage of the HI-TEC materials after the conference and during the year,

7. Submit at least one classroom activity, lesson, or module created as a result of attending HI-TEC to FLATE for dissemination.

NOTE: Registrations or reservations altered by the Fellow or Fellow’s institution for which charges are incurred, will be the responsibility of the Fellow or Fellow’s institution. Hotel reservations are subject to the hotel cancellation policy. HI-TEC conference and preconference workshop registrations are subject to the HITEC cancellation policy.
HI-TEC is a national conference on advanced technical education where technical educators, counselors, industry professionals and technicians can update their knowledge and skills in the following technology areas: Advanced Manufacturing Technologies • Agricultural, Environmental & Energy Technologies •Biomanufacturing • Biotechnology • Chemical & Process Technologies • Engineering Technologies • Geospatial Technologies • Information, Communications, and Security Technologies • Learning and Evaluation • Micro- & Nanotechnologies.

Addtionally the event uniquely explores the convergence of scientific disciplines and technologies like:
• Geographic Information Systems and Agricultural Technology
• Information and Communications Technologies, Biotechnology, and Cybersecurity
• Manufacturing, Engineering Technology, and Telecommunications
• Microsystems, Nanotechnology, and Biotechnology

Visit for event information. For specific questions, contact Marilyn Barger, or 813.259.6578.

Application Form