OSWEGO — A combination of emerging opportunities, experienced faculty and cutting-edge equipment added up to the creation of a technology minor at SUNY Oswego.
SUNY Oswego technology chair Mark Hardy said course options in the minor and new high-end, high-tech equipment in Wilber Hall and soon in Park Hall should attract students from sciences, engineering, theatre, art and others with interest in materials, fabrication, multimedia systems, energy technology and other industry-current offerings.
The college has two new state-of-the-art laboratories up and running in a 2012 addition to Wilber Hall, with eight more on the way in Park and two others in the older portion of Wilber.
“We have talented faculty with a lot of high-end skills — everything from materials processing to design and electronics — different skill and content areas that are useful to students across campus,” Hardy said.
Hardy emphasized the customizable nature of the 21-credit technology minor, featuring a selection of 20 course offerings that include electronics technology, computer-aided design, several courses in materials processing, digital electronics systems, architectural drawing, mechatronic systems, and energy and power technology, to name a few.
The minor features “flexibility, openness to student interests — in fact, good opportunities for any student on campus,” he said.
Freshman Joan Bristol of Oswego, a studio art major specializing in sculpture, has signed on as the first student to add the technology minor, with the encouragement of Hardy and art faculty member Benjamin Entner.
Emphasizing that she sees many applications for her art, Bristol spoke about her choice of minor in the new wood-processing lab, adjacent to the polymers lab in the Wilber Hall addition — full of such innovative equipment as an industrial 3D printer, a computerized laser engraving and cutting machine and a precision router the size of a Ping Pong table.
“I work in metals and woods,” she said. “I did a metals class in high school, but I was concentrating more on the finer stuff, working the metal. It’s nice to know more of the production side, working with lasers and other new equipment.”
Hardy, a 1991 SUNY Oswego alumnus and nine-year faculty member, said the new laboratories in Park Hall are scheduled to open in spring 2014, and renovated and re-equipped manufacturing and metals labs in Wilber Hall for later next year.
“I think Joan is a good example of a student who can benefit, with her very focused interest in sculpture,” Hardy said. “She will be able to extend her interests and skills to materials and processes she would haven’t been exposed to otherwise.”
The technology department anticipates up to 12 students enrolling in the new minor each year, with about 50 pursuing it within five years.