Mechanical Engineer Adds to Skillset with OFTC Robotics Classes
After obtaining a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Central Florida in Mechanical Engineering, Joshua Kish started his career in Fla. and eventually landed an engineering position at Parker Aerospace. It was through this position that Kish saw an opportunity to improve his current skillsets.
He enrolled in Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s (OFTC) Robotics Technician Technical Certificate of Credit program in April and is months away from completing it.
“The courses in this program fit perfectly with industry needs, future improvements we want to make at Parker, and my personal passion and enjoyment of working in the area of mechatronics,” Kish said.
“These skills are a growing need in industry and are key in helping myself and Parker get where we want to be with improving current processes, developing new capabilities, and overall innovation within our business,” he added.
At Parker Aerospace, Kish is a part of a team that manufactures Electro-Hydraulic Servo Valves (EHSV) that are used in commercial and military aircrafts. EHSV’s are the devices that take the electrical signal from the pilot and convert it into hydraulic motion that makes the actuator raise or lower flight surfaces on the aircraft, Kish shared.
“I’m responsible for finding opportunities for improvement in both current and future processes and bringing in the technology or other resources to meet those opportunities. Additionally, I provide manufacturing feedback to our design engineering group for new designs to ensure our capabilities match the need.”
And by taking robotics technician courses at OFTC, Kish knows his newfound skills will aid him in his current position with Parker. “These skills are going to allow me to bring in new technology and resources, to support it, and to develop new processes in the future.”
These added skills will also expand Kish’s knowledge of manufacturing controls. “I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the programming and planning that go into mechatronic systems,” he said. “This will also allow me to improve or bring in new machines, capabilities, or resources within Parker’s facility.”
Reflecting on his decision to pursue robotics training, Kish is glad he chose OFTC. “My instructor, Lee Radney, and the rest of the team within the mechatronics program have always been welcoming and supportive of the students while helping them succeed,” he said. “It’s also been really helpful that they have extended lab hours that allow working professionals, like me, to be able to get course work done outside of normal business hours.”
With the unique perspective of receiving educational training from both a four-year university and a technical college, Kish said the value of his education at OFTC has “definitely been more cost effective.”
“Based on the hands-on experience, technical information you receive, and cost of tuition, it’s definitely an easier method to gaining new skillsets,” he said.
“I’m a big fan of education, but I also don’t think everyone needs to go to a four-year college to improve themselves or their career,” Kish added. “There are plenty of technical jobs out there, but not enough people have the technical skillset to fill them. Going to a technical college is one way to improve your career and future salary, whether or not you decide to continue to a four-year college afterwards.”
His experience at OFTC has also been more personal, something that’s left an impression on Kish. “From the very beginning, the ease of getting in contact with the program instructor before registering for classes, making sure I was informed of the courses I wanted to pursue, and the support received during courses, has really stood out to me,” he said.
“OFTC is a conveniently located resource that can help a person, in any number of career paths, improve their skillsets and future career options. I just want to thank the college, Lee Radney, and the rest of the instructors for helping me improve my mechatronics skills,” Kish added.