Engineering Technology Forum - Fall 2021

The 47th statewide Engineering Technology Forum was supported by FloridaMakes at theMakeMore Manufacturing Summit in Orlando. This is the 25th year for the Engineering Technology Forums that began in 1997 at Seminole Community College. There were 31 in person and 20 virtual in attendance for the Forum, representing 20 state and community colleges. Representatives from two state universities and 6 vendors also participated. The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress hotel provided an excellent setting for the Forum and the Vendor showcase.

Sam Ajlani, Director, Engineering Technology at the College of Central Florida, facilitated the program agenda and discussion topics. 15 colleges participated in the round table providing updates about their program. Most ET programs reported stable or increased enrollments for 2021-2022 over last year. Several colleges have gotten new equipment to support advanced manufacturing and supply chain automation programs.

Bob Blevins, State Supervisor for Engineering & Technology Education; Manufacturing; Transportation, Distribution & Logistics; Career and Technical Education, FLDOE, reported that the curriculum frameworks related to all the A.S. Engineering Technology Degree programs will be reviewed 2022. The ET core and Advanced Manufacturing Specialization will be reviewed in person at the Spring 2022 ET Forum with the Specializations reviews being virtual. Bob also provided information regarding HB 1507 but warned that a lot of Florida Department of Education policies are still being developed and will be rolled in the coming months. His presentation is available on the ET Google drive.

Activity from the curriculum committee (please contact Ron Eaglin if you have any input to any of these:
  1. Start thinking about changes you and your industry partners need/want to the frameworks for 2022.
  2. A curriculum committee discussion focused on a new DOE requirement that all A.S. degree programs include at least one course from each general education category: math, communications, social science, natural science, and humanities. It was suggested that the ET programs consider developing a recommended list of courses. Anyone willing to share their general education requirements for ET Degree should send them to Ron Eaglin in the coming weeks so they can be compiled. The committee will share these and lead a discussion if it would be possible to adopt and/or recommend a common general education set of courses.
  3. FLATE will explore options to share new proposed programs so colleges that are might be interested could connect with the lead college and participate in the new program development. (This might be working directly with Bob Blevins or the Council for workforce Development, CWE).
  4. Ron Eaglin is also exploring a new marketing tactic for the College Credit Certificates: “AA+Skill” (e.g., college credit certificate). This could be a good pathway for A.A. graduates not articulating to bachelor’s degrees and will report on this next meeting. Could the ET Forum colleges suggest some ideas with the CCC’s under the A.S. ET degree?
Marilyn Barger said that there would be 3 or 4 professional development webinars starting in November as part of the ET Tech Talk series. Here is the lineup:
  • November 18, 2021 - Robots and Automation: What's Next with Cobots?
  • January 21, 2022 - An Industry 4.0 Case Study: Tool Condition Monitoring for CNC Machining
  • February 18, 2022 - Machine Learning in Smart Manufacturing
Full details and registration links can be found at

The meeting ended with Mori Toosti moderating the Industrial Panel with Peter Cirak, Director of Quality, Seal Dynamics and Kon Champavannarath, CIO, Pallet One.The panel discussed the expectations of graduates with 2-year and 4-year Engineering Technology degrees. The panel discussed the basic work ethics, the communications skills and customer service requirements of graduates. The new technologies are affecting their industry and the need for graduates to have general programming, network, and cyber security knowledge is essential. The graduates should not be afraid of failure, and they need to be team players. The graduates need to be engaged with their job and engaged to solve problems. The 4-year graduates should have a basic understanding of business and how companies operate in the business world.

The recording of this meeting and separately the Industry Panel are available in the ET google drive The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 with all attendees invited to luncheon sponsored by the MakeMore Summit and FloridaMakes.

The Spring Engineering Technology Forum tentatively will be held March 30-April 1, 2022 at a location to be determined.

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