Lee College and Tri-State University alliance expands Foundation technology instructional opportunities
AUSTIN, Texas, April 9, 2007 – The Fieldbus Foundation announced today that two of its certified fieldbus training centers, Fieldbus Center at Lee College (Baytown, TX) and Tri-State University (Angola, Indiana), have established a license agreement for sharing fieldbus training resources. The alliance will expand Foundation technology instructional opportunities across the U.S.
As part of the license agreement, Tri-State University (TSU) will gain the right to use Fieldbus Center course materials and other intellectual property in its training curriculum. The facilities will also collaborate on future educational development work, construction of lab facilities and demonstration equipment, and scheduling of fieldbus training classes.
The Fieldbus Center at Lee College has developed a portable MicroPlant design allowing instructional courses to be conducted at remote sites using actual fieldbus instruments, and employing smaller-scale process operations.
Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney welcomed the license agreement-the first of its kind in the industry. "This agreement is a ‘win-win' situation for both facilities and will benefit automation suppliers and end users nationwide," said Timoney. "The alliance will result in a wider range of certified Foundation training opportunities, as well as enhanced instructional content and methods of delivery."
According to John Pittman, chairman of the TSU board of trustees, the license agreement will enable TSU to provide state-of-the-art fieldbus educational courses serving the Great Lakes region. The TSU Technology Center (TSU Tech) currently offers certificate, certification and degree programs in four focus areas: Applied Plastic, Computer Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Emerging Technologies.
TSU's regional Foundation fieldbus training center was started in response to rapid adoption of the technology throughout major global industrial markets. The site joined existing certified fieldbus training centers located in Beijing, China; Tokyo, Japan; Brielle, Netherlands; Baytown, Texas, USA; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Singapore.
"TSU will benefit from its alliance with the Fieldbus Center at Lee College, which is recognized for high-quality training solutions focused on Foundation technology," said Pittman. "In addition to a million dollar pilot plant, the Fieldbus Center at Lee College has developed a portable MicroPlant design allowing instructional courses to be conducted at remote sites using actual fieldbus instruments, and employing smaller-scale process operations. No other educational organization offers a comparable remote fieldbus training capability."
Pittman added, "Under our license agreement, TSU will employ the same MicroPlant equipment in its remote fieldbus training classes."
Fieldbus Center Director Chuck Carter also praised the license agreement, terming it, "another step forward in meeting the growing market demand for fieldbus education." Carter said, "We look forward to working with a respected institution like TSU to advance our certified fieldbus training programs. Our philosophy is based on the tenet that people learn best by seeing and doing. To achieve this end, our curriculum is weighted heavily in hands-on training and set in a realistic industrial environment. We are also a unique source of fieldbus training which allows end users to learn about the full capabilities the technology in a non-vendor specific setting."
For educational institutions, achieving Fieldbus Foundation certification is a multi-stage process involving rigorous procedures for gaining certified training site status, and for certifying course instructors and curriculum. Certified training centers are required to maintain multiple hosts and devices onsite in order to demonstrate competence with Foundation technology. They are also audited to ensure their course material adheres to set instructional standards.
In addition, certified instructors are audited to ensure they have achieved specified Fieldbus Foundation training goals. Instructors must demonstrate expertise in areas such as Human-Machine Interface (HMI) tools, fieldbus troubleshooting, simple device configuration, and device deployment and functionality across a fieldbus network.
About the Fieldbus Center at Lee College
Located approximately 30 miles east of Houston in Baytown, Texas, the Fieldbus Center at Lee College is recognized and was initially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Fieldbus Center's mission is to provide technical education solutions for networking, instrumentation, and electrical technologies impacted by the advent of fieldbus. The Center develops hands-on programs for teaching fieldbus and process control systems and creates and maintains an applied research center. Since 1934, Lee College has been a learning community created and supported to educate students in established and emerging technologies as well as provide the foundation for continued higher education. Learn more at www.knowthebus.org or www.lee.edu.
About the Technology Center at Tri-State University
The Tri-State University Technology Center is a university-based, nationally-recognized training center encouraging individual and business development. Located in northeast Indiana, the Angola-based technology center offers an educational curriculum in emerging fields such as Foundation fieldbus, information technology, and applied plastic and injection molding. Customized training is available for business and industry on their site or at the Angola TSU Tech Center location. Tri-State University is a private baccalaureate and master's degree-granting institution founded in 1884. Learn more at www.tsutechcenter.org and www.tristate.edu.
About the Fieldbus Foundation
The Fieldbus Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation consisting of over 350 leading process and manufacturing automation companies worldwide whose major purpose is to provide an open and neutral environment for the development of a single, international, interoperable fieldbus. In this environment, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organizations are working together to develop the technology, provide development tools, support and training, coordinate field trials and demonstrations, and enable product interoperability. Visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.