More than 300 Michigan students learned about careers in heavy equipment technology through Ferris State University’s “Diesel Days” event, hosted at its Big Rapids campus’ Heavy Equipment Center on Wednesday, Sept. 29 and Thursday, Sept. 30.
Presented by the university’s College of Engineering Technology, the event offered high school, vocational school and community college students a closer look at educational options and career paths in the rapidly growing heavy equipment field. School districts with students in attendance included Alma, Dowagiac, Huron, Ionia, Kent, Lakeshore, Mecosta-Osceola, Montcalm and Traverse Bay. A group from Northwestern Michigan College, based in Traverse City, also attended.
“Diesel Days attendees were provided a great opportunity to explore both career opportunities and the cutting-edge technologies that the Heavy Equipment program at Ferris State University provides for its students,” said Daniel Meyers, associate professor and coordinator of Ferris’ Heavy Equipment Technology program.
In addition to receiving a tour of the university’s Heavy Equipment facility, students viewed equipment and information displays provided by 20 of the program’s industry partners, highlighted by interactive training sessions by AIS Construction Equipment and Alta Equipment. Students also met with university faculty, Admissions office staff and current Heavy Equipment program student ambassadors.
“Ferris State University takes pride in producing work-ready graduates and in the impact they have on industry,” said College of Engineering Technology Dean Michael Staley.
“Our faculty are scholar-practitioners with both the academic qualifications to teach and significant industry experience. This advanced knowledge and real-world experience of our faculty is leveraged in a unique theory-to-practice environment to develop work-ready graduates who are ready to tackle real-world problems on day one. Our hope is that events like Diesel Days will help expose visiting students to our unique educational philosophy and workforce preparation,” said Dean Staley.
Ferris offers the only Bachelor of Science in Heavy Equipment Engineering Technology in the nation. The program provides hands-on training and instruction that develops the knowledge and skills required to test, diagnose, service, and repair heavy machinery used in such industries as agriculture, construction, forestry, stationary power and trucking.