K-State Olathe Adds Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chain Offerings to Meet Area Workforce Demands

June 5, 2024

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K-State Olathe's advanced manufacturing and supply chain curriculums combine robust discussion of theory along with practical, hands-on learning with real equipment and systems.

As a Top 15 U.S. industrial market, the Kansas City region already employs 190,000 manufacturing and logistics workers, with many more needed to meet growth projections. To address those needs, K-State Olathe is building a workforce skilled in advanced manufacturing through its new industry-focused training programs. This focus on advanced manufacturing and supply chain industries is part of the campus’s Next-Gen Strategic Plan .

Training programs are designed to further educate and upskill employees through a combination of robust discussion of theory along with practical, hands-on learning with real equipment and systems. Each course includes classroom time and industry tours through active factories. The courses are designed to build off each other for stackable learning, but any course may be taken as a standalone program to provide guidance, support and insight for learners who want to improve their knowledge in a specific area.

Courses include Processing and Handling of Bulk Solid Materials; Dust Collection and Safety; Materials Properties Testing and Applications; and Basics of Pneumatic Conveying. They cover industry-specific topics, including gravity flow and storage, bin and hopper design, mass flow and funnel flow, as well as segregation concerns. The first course was offered in early 2024 and, due to demand, additional courses are planned.

In addition to bringing in industry expert guest lecturers to teach advanced manufacturing training courses, K-State Olathe is hiring talent to lead instruction.

Engineering professor George Yang will lead on-campus and online programs for degree-seeking engineering students, and Jonathan McPherson will join the campus as the director of the bulk solids center. In this role, McPherson will be responsible for the overall leadership and management of the advanced manufacturing research and training program.

The campus also will begin construction in July 2024 to complete 7,500 square feet of unfinished space. This new space will provide room for the delivery of engineering technology bachelor completion degrees, as well as a bulk solid handling research facility. Estimated completion is Spring 2025.

Through JCERT funding, K-State Olathe offers a range of undergraduate degree-completion programs, graduate-level degrees, certificates and professional development programs.