University of Utah’s Department of Chemical Engineering has received $108,000 in state-of-the-art control system tools and software from industrial automation company Opto 22. This generosity is the most recent example of the company’s ongoing support of the university’s chemical engineering students in their laboratory courses.
Opto 22 develops and manufactures hardware and software for applications involving industrial automation and control, energy management, remote monitoring, and data acquisition. The company, founded in 1974 by University of Utah engineering alumnus Robert Engman, is highly regarded in the automation and control industry for its innovation in modern solid-state relays and programmable controllers. Engman’s pioneering work in solid-state relay development first enabled communication between industrial equipment and computers using standard, commercially available technologies.
Currently, approximately 70 chemical engineering students each year at the university conduct experiments or examine a process with Opto 22 instrumentation as part of a senior design capstone course. This exposure provides students with a unique opportunity for hands-on experience with industrial-grade data acquisition and control in a laboratory setting before entering the workforce.
In addition to undergraduate students, University of Utah chemical engineering graduate students also benefit from a pilot-scale combustion and gasification facility that is fully automated with Opto 22 hardware and software.
Filed Under: Student programs, Factory automation