Northwestern State University’s Department of Engineering Technology welcomed about 70 high school students from around the area to the fifth annual Engineering Technology Symposium where they discussed STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) careers, introduced students to industry partners and discussed skills necessary to pursue lucrative careers in high tech manufacturing.
Students were able to network with representatives from Beta, Crest Industries and Boise Cascade as well as faculty in the Department of Engineering Technology to learn about the future of manufacturing and the impact of collaboration. A representative from the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) was also on hand to talk about scholarships and grants.
Dr. Moftah Ali, assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, was keynote speaker.
Ali’s doctoral thesis explored work that can be employed to design energy efficient multi-carrier and multi-carrier CDMA systems for applications in LTE-4G5G networks and satellite communications.
Ali said that industry will need about 4 million high tech jobs filled over the next decade. He discussed bachelor’s and associate degree programs offered through NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology, the department’s advanced software and cutting-edge design technology, as well as career perspectives, occupational outlooks, associated salaries and projected job growth. Jobs in the automotive industry, the healthcare industry and communications are expected to grow and a degree in engineering technology is a wise investment in a rewarding career, he said.
NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology offers degrees in industrial engineering technology and electronics engineering technology with electronics and biomedical concentrations.
NSU is also affiliated with the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program, a partnership between education and industry in which students are placed with a participating industry for practical work experience while earning the AMT certification and an associate degree. The AMT program, which began in Natchitoches, is now spreading to Shreveport and other places in Louisiana.
The Engineering Technology Symposium was held in commemoration of National Manufacturing Month. Established in 2017, it is a platform to bring together academica, industry and workforce development to discuss common issues related to future needs and how issues will impact business and industry.
Dr. Nabin Sapkota chaired the symposium’s organizing committee with support from Ali as vice chairman and Dr. Jafar Al-Sharab, head of the Department of Engineering Technology.