Automation competition grows for a second year

October 12, 2020 | 09:16
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Automation Competition 2020 has just taken place at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education (HCMUTE), marking its second edition after the success of last year's event.
automation competition grows for a second year
Two students from Danang University of Technology took the competition's grand prize home

With the aim of nurturing highly-skilled human resources for the automation industry in Vietnam, USAID BUILD-IT, Rockwell Automation, First Solar, and a growing consortium of educational and industrial partners has provided support and training for over 50 students from five local technology-focused universities during the competition.

Automation Competition 2020 witnessed 30 student pairs from five universities competing to design control programme, performing the assigned tasks on Rockwell Automation device kits that simulate basic to complex automation functions.

A panel of professional judges ranked each team’s innovation, teamwork, logical problem solving, and task throughput. By surpassing their competitors, two students Nguyen Dac Quy and Nguyen Vo Khanh Toan from Danang University of Technology won the competition’s grand prize, including two fully-paid $500 Rockwell Advanced Online Courses, $500 educational electronic vouchers and a four-month professional internship supporting automation engineers at First Solar’s solar panel factory in Ho Chi Minh City.

During the four-month span of the competition, Rockwell Automation, BUILD-IT, and university partners, and industrial sponsors, First Solar, Servo Dynamics, Vinh Hoan, and Qui Long provided training kits, staff time, and learning materials to encourage students to master Rockwell Automation technologies. They also motivated and encouraged faculty members to bring these advanced tools into their automation lessons.

To be competitive and able to succeed in the current automation market, the graduates need both stronger technical competency and relevant soft skills, such as teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving, and English.

To be competitive and able to succeed in the current automation market, graduates need both stronger technical competency and relevant soft skills, such as teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving, and English.

Sustained industry-linked competitions synergise the expertise of industry leaders and the capacity of universities to shape Vietnam’s next generation of engineers.

“Having the profound experience in providing automation solutions to thousands of businesses around the world, Rockwell Automation is committed to sharing practical tools and advanced technology to help students build a well-rounded set of skills relating to industrial automation, contribute to the transformation of smart manufacturing and processing industry in Vietnam,” Le Van Hai, country manager for Rockwell Automation Vietnam, shared at the event.

The competition marks a milestone in the event’s sustainability. Despite on and off social distancing, the faculty members remained committed to preparing their students for the competition.

First piloted in 2019 by USAID BUILD-IT, implemented by Arizona State University, this year’s 2020 round of the Automation Competition saw HCMUTE take a lead role in stakeholder, finance, and event management.

HCMUTE’s peer and industry connections can confidently sustain the competition into 2021 and beyond. Further university ownership and an ever-growing consortium of industry sponsors is a testament to the value this competition continues to offer to students and employers.

Rockwell Automation, Inc. is a global leader in industrial automation and digital transformation. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rockwell Automation employs approximately 23,000 problem solvers dedicated to serving customers in more than 100 countries.

First Solar, Inc. is an American photovoltaic manufacturer of rigid thin film modules, or solar panels, and a provider of utility-scale PV power plants and supporting services that include finance, construction, maintenance, and end-of-life panel recycling. First Solar opened its first factory in Vietnam in 2018.

By modernising technology and engineering higher education in Vietnamese universities, the BUILD-IT Alliance is helping Vietnamese model universities to provide their graduates with the skills that Vietnam’s increasingly sophisticated economy demands. BUILD-IT leverages diverse government, industry, and academic partners to directly link higher education to the needs of the private sector.

By Anh Duc

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