Motlow instructor wins science grant

Omar Tantawi, Motlow Mechatronics Instructor {Photo Provided}

Regionally, there’s a shortage of qualified, well-trained robotics technicians. Thanks to a recent $108,000 National Science Foundation Grant, Motlow College and Principal Investigator Omar Tantawi plan to change that. The award is the second federal grant that Motlow’s Mechatronics department has received in the last two years, bringing the total federal funds granted to more than $650,000.

The money will fund train-the-trainer workshops on intelligent industrial robotics at Motlow’s Smyrna campus and will fund a collaborative robot unit.

“We are very pleased to work with other community colleges and universities to offer this robotics training to support our high-technology industries,” said Fred Rascoe, dean of career and technical programs. “I am very excited to be a part of a wonderful consortium of educators and technology experts in robotics. The delivery of this training is exactly what industry needs to continue its delivery of products and processes in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”

Motlow’s lasered in on becoming a leading institution in mechatronics and robotics on both the state and the national levels as well as leading the charge in regional workforce development.

The project is a diverse collaboration of four academic institutions: Motlow, UT Chattanooga, Chattanooga State, and Lawson State. It impacts major manufacturers in the eastern and central regions of Tennessee and Alabama through training for high-demand skills to sustain the development of the regions’ manufacturing industry.

Work within the project includes developing intelligent robotics curricular modules, train-the-trainer workshops for educators, identifying skill sets needed for handling next-generation robotics, developing a knowledge base of next-generation robotics for secondary and post-secondary educators, and providing awareness of next-generation robotics. Peer-reviewed publications are expected by the end of the project.

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