A lot of progress has been made on the Transportation Education Center since the beginning of the year. Last week, 105 workers occupied the site in order to maintain a July 17, 2012 substantial completion date. Projects started this week include putting in wood shelving in the test cell building, cleaning up floors, mocking up windows on the east side of the education building, installing can lights, hanging air ducts, wiring temperature controls, and adjusting the sprinkler systems. So far, things are looking great!
SIU News has a great writeup on the benefits the engine test cell coming with the TEC will bring to the SIUC Aviation community. Read it here.
The College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is a leader in the transportation field. Its programs in Automotive Technology, Aviation Flight, Aviation Management and Aviation Technologies have been a source of pride for the University for half a century.
In the early 1990s, CASA instituted plans for a Transportation Education Center (TEC), a state of the art facility that would enhance Southern’s world-class transportation programs. Ground was broken at the Southern Illinois Airport in the summer of 2010 and the TEC is expected to be completed in late summer/early fall of 2012.
TEC, a $63 million project is composed of three buildings. The main building (185,910 square feet) is over two football fields long. Also included is a fleet storage building with a covered lot (31,868 square feet) and a test cell center (10,910 square feet). TEC will provide plenty of space for classrooms, faculty offices, teaching bays, meeting rooms and labs.
Southern has a proven long track record training some of the best transportation professionals in our select fields. TEC will allow us to continue this proud tradition.
This is an extremely exciting time for the automotive and aviation programs at SIUC. The efforts of former deans, current and former department chairs, faculty, staff, and many alums and supporters in the related professions along with local political and business partners have come to fruition in the construction of the Transportation Education Center (TEC). This facility will bring our world class automotive and aviation programs together in a single location by adding approximately 230,000 square feet of new space to the 130,000 square feet of existing space at the Southern Illinois Airport.
Construction of the new facilities is moving along very well and we have been given a substantial completion target of July 2012. Our goal is to have the new facilities completely operationalized for the start of the fall 2012 semester. We invite you to follow the construction by accessing the webcam at: http://www.transportation.siuc.edu/webcam/.
My academic background is in architecture, so it has been fortunate timing and a great honor for me to become so actively engaged in this project at this time. Of all of my experiences in serving as the interim dean, one thing that has made a great impression on me has been the camaraderie and support of the automotive and aviation alums. You are a very special group and the automotive and aviation programs and SIUC are fortunate to have your continued support and loyalty.
Terry A. Owens
Originating in January 1952 as one of the first two University credit granting programs in the former Vocational Technical Institute (VTI), today the Automotive Technology Department enjoys its rich heritage in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. Still housed on the Carterville Campus, as shown in this recent photograph, the campus has changed little.
SIUC Automotive Technology continues to supply the industry with highly successful graduates. Being recognized as one of the nation’s premiere automotive programs, the Department owes its success to the drive, passion, and support of its students, faculty, staff, and of course its alumni.
Honoring the hard work and dedication of many, a new campus called the Transportation Education Center (TEC) is under construction. The TEC will be replacing all of the automotive facilities in Carterville and will allow for the Department to continue its proud tradition and rich history.
Mike Behrmann and the Department faculty and staff invite all automotive alumni and friends to Carbondale on Saturday, April 9, 2011, to reminisce about their days in Carterville and to celebrate the retirement of Jack Greer. Tours of the Carterville campus will occur between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The reunion celebration will be held in Carbondale at the Copper Dragon at 2:00 p.m. with a presentation at 4:00 p.m. We are looking forward to sharing in the excitement of our new campus with all those from the past who have made the Department what it is today. If you are interested in receiving information about the event and how to register, please send an email request to: email@example.com
A major component of the $63 million Transportation Education Center is the aviation test cell. This test cell has been a long time coming. The original plan when Aviation Technologies was established in 1965 was to provide a test cell so that students could safely run engines. That original proposal was cut due to budget constraints and has lain dormant for more than 45 years until now.
The new test cell will impact the department and students in a number of ways. First and foremost is safety. Students and faculty will be able to operate engines in a safe and controlled environment. Over the years students have run engines outdoors in aircraft and on test “buggies”. There have been a number of break-aways, a number of engine fires, and always the spinning propellers and fan blades providing an extra element of danger. The new test cell, with its fire suppression systems and state of the art exhaust handling systems, will provide a level of safety never before experienced at SIUC.
Another great attribute of the engine test cell will be its capacity to deepen the knowledge and understanding of students about the engines that they operate and maintain. In the past, students have only had the aircraft on-board gages and instruments to rely on when making adjustments. They had no capacity to record multiple readings electronically, or to study airflow, pressures, and temperatures at each stage of the engine’s operating cycle. The new test cell will be packed with the most advanced instrumentation and data acquisition equipment. There will be a dynamometer for measuring horsepower and torque. For the first time, students will truly be able to make scientific observations of engine operating cycles in a safe and secure environment.
A third positive attribute of the aviation test cell will be its impact on faculty and student research. This facility will provide a research laboratory like no other. Several faculty members currently conducting research on engines are about to get an injection of high technology that will turbo charge their research agendas. This increased emphasis on research will provide more opportunities for students to get involved with research in the form of undergraduate research assistantships.