Over the last six months, a number OSU Institute of Technology programs have received several donations of equipment, machinery and materials from industry partners and companies.
Donations include a natural gas compressor skid, 225 feet of pipeline, about a dozen engines, a tractor, several automobiles, an excavator, generators, control systems and network servers.
“You don’t see this kind of industry support at many universities,” said Dr. Greg Mosier, vice president of academic affairs. “We couldn’t teach the programs we teach without this corporate support. It’s just too expensive.”
Equipment donations can include highly valuable new, slightly used or loaned items that are exchanged when machinery is updated.
The new excavator donated from Komatsu is valued at $250,000 alone. The natural gas compressor skid from Devon Energy is worth $225,000, the new John Deere tractor on loan is worth about $80,000 and Koch Industries’ donations and delivery of pipe was worth about $15,000.
All the recent donations combined have a total value of nearly than a $1 million.
By having equipment donated, it gives students an opportunity to train on the same machines and technology that is being utilized in the field, said Roy Achemire, Heavy Equipment and Vehicle Institute division chair.
“It’s critical for us to have the newest technology, newest on-board systems and engines, for the students to train on,” Achemire said. “So students are up to date and current, we need to have the latest versions for them to work on, not the old antique pieces.”
The companies and industry partners benefit from the equipment donations as well when new employees from OSUIT are already trained on the equipment.
“It gives the students a real leg-up when they go out to the dealerships or out in the field. They aren’t afraid of these new systems, they are ready to go,” Achemire said.
The recent donations are a combination of requests from programs as well as companies offering equipment, Mosier said, and industry partners are always generous when a need arises.
“At our advisory committee meetings, we go over what our needs are or what we have that’s out of date or not reliably working and the hands go up and they offer to help. Our partners are always so giving,” he said. “When new products come out or when programs grow, we need that additional equipment.”
If it weren’t for donations of new and updated equipment and technology, many programs couldn’t function at the high level they are now, Mosier said.
“It speaks highly of our students and faculty and what they’re doing in the classrooms and labs. That quality of education is apparent in many ways, but one of the ways in through donations,” he said.
Mosier said he has been in technical higher education for 23 years and he has never seen this kind of level of public and private partnership like the one that exists at OSUIT.
“I’m still amazed on a regular basis about the donations we’ve received or are about to receive,” he said. “It’s uncommon in higher education, but it shows the strength of what we’re doing here.”