This report examines Advanced Digital Manufacturing, Hybrid Vehicles, Micro-electromechanical Systems, and Computer Forensics and related core technical principles, applications, trends, implications, curriculum and potential employment of each of these four topics.
This report examines Advanced Digital Manufacturing, Hybrid Vehicles, Micro-electromechanical Systems, and Computer Forensics and related core technical principles, applications, trends, implications, curriculum and potential employment of each of these four topics. Through this research, TSTC hopes to facilitate the informed and well-considered development of new, or enhancement of existing, emerging high-tech education and training curricula at Texas Colleges. Advanced digital manufacturing represents a technology that is emerging from an existing technology-digital prototyping-that presents an effective new technique for the manufacture of items with special characteristics. Interest in and employment of MEMS devices are growing daily. The fact that MEMS production utilizes many of the skills and much of the equipment of semiconductor manufacture means that a lot of the expertise and many of the facilities developed for semiconductor curricula can be modified to provide superior training in the MEMS area. Increasing commitment to homeland security, the growing prevalence of computer viruses and identity theft, and the enhanced sophistication of law enforcement have all multiplied interest in computer forensics in both the public and private sectors. There is every indication that graduates in this field will have very attractive employment opportunities. Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in hybrid vehicles throughout the United States. However, our analysis indicates that, for various reasons, the establishment of College programs in hybrid vehicle repair does not appear to be desirable. Addition of individual courses in hybrid vehicle principles to existing auto mechanic programs does appear desirable. This example indicates the value of analyzing emerging technologies, even if they are not well suited for current College programs, because the analyses do provide information and insights that can assist in effective curricula development.
Cloud computing refers to the increasingly common practice of using virtualization to deliver scalable information computer services. The popularity of this business practice is generating new demand for technical competencies across a number of existing occupations. College IT programs should update curriculum modules to prepare students for administering cloud services in datacenter operations as well as software development within virtualized environments.
A relatively new industry, biodiesel has seen rapid growth, especially in Texas, in the past few years. As the industry grows and competes with the petroleum and chemical processing industries, it will likely create new jobs in the field that will include construction, feedstock production, industrial chemicals, maintenance and repair, and business services.