I’m currently writing an article for the September issue of Control…yes, I know I’m late…don’t remind me. This article is called “The Changing Face of Automation Engineering.” In doing the research, I took a look at the website of my alma mater, the University of California at Santa Cruz (also known as Bananaslug U. after our mascot, and the reason my other blog is called BigBananaslug’s Big Yellow Book).
It is not a big secret that I’m not a degreed engineer, although I have been practicing engineering for about 30 years now, and even have hopes of being an ISA Fellow someday. One of the reasons I’m not is that UCSC didn’t have an engineering school in the early 1970s, when I went there. Now, as a result of the explosive growth of Silicon Valley, they do.
The Baskin School of Engineering is an excellent school– unless you want to learn how to automate all those plants in Silicon Valley.
I wrote the Dean, Steve Kang, and expressed my sadness that my alma mater doesn’t support my chosen profession, even though the skill set is one that is highly saleable just across the hill in San Jose.
Here’s what he wrote me back. It is clear from what he says that Dean Kang doesn’t have a clue what industrial automation means. If the Dean of a major engineering school doesn’t have a clue what we are doing, it sorta indicates to me that we’re in trouble.
Does this profession really exist?
Thank you for this message to share your view and interest in automation.
We now have several faculty members interested in autonomous systems
in Computer Engineering (Richard Hughey, CE Chair)- Gabriel Elkaim,
Bill Dunbar, in Applied Mathematics and Statistics- Jorge Cortes, and
in Electrical Engineering- Don Wiberg (adj. professor, formerly at UCLA).
Perhaps you can visit and find more information in the web pages of Computer Engineering Dept. In fact we are working with NASA on air trafic control in a major way and plan to establish a center. The control courses are listed in the CE graduate program at www.soe.ucsc.edu/programs/ce/graduate.
Please stay in touch and I sincerely hope to see you someday.