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The School of Engineering announces the region’s first robotics engineering program.

Robotics engineering is an emerging discipline that crosses over a wide variety of industries from automotive and electronics to pharmaceutical and transportation. It is on the cusp of impacting every aspect of the way we work and live.

Widener University is among a few pioneering institutions to offer a major in robotics engineering nationwide. The new undergraduate major offered by the School of Engineering is the first in the region.

"Our robotics engineering degree will prepare students for a career on the cutting edge of technology in one of the most innovative regions in the U.S.," Dr. Fred Akl, dean of the School of Engineering, said.

The overarching goal of robotics engineers is to create systems that can pursue missions that are dangerous or not suitable for humans, or perform tasks with speed and accuracy that are otherwise unachievable.

Widener University is well positioned to introduce this new major, as the engineering faculty have already teamed up with leaders from the robotics community to host an Engineering Robotics Camp, as an opportunity for high school students to learn about robotics systems and to develop their science, technology, engineering, and math skills.

"The camp is an integral part of the robotics program moving forward, as it allows us to introduce the major to high school students," said Karl Nelson, a research engineer.

High school and middle school teachers agree that there is a need for a focus on robotics and technology education in higher education. "It's an immensely growing field," Akl said. "Job growth for robotics engineers is anticipated to rise rapidly to meet the demand to invent, research, design, manufacture, sell, and service robotics systems and components. Our program will help fill the increasing need for robotics engineers."

The School of Engineering will also host a VEX Robotics Competition on November 10, which will be a regional tournament in Pennsylvania.