Newport News has historically and famously been connected to transportation. You may assume (incorrectly) it has all been water-related, but that reveals the flexibility and beauty of Newport News. The region is a major rail hub, is dotted by air fields both military and commercial, and sees immense truck traffic, too. No, Newport News is not only about shipbuilding (though it very nearly has a corner on that market); it is about transportation in general. Being flexible is advantageous, both for regions and professions. A degree in mechatronics is not so much a ticket to a single career path, but a toolbox to many avenues of professional work, many of which can be found in Newport News.
Mechatronics in Newport News
The major rail yard of CSX in Newport News is part of the rail network that also connects sea to land at the Newport News Marine Terminal (NNMT). Together these two transportation giants generate millions of dollars in job revenue, moving millions of tons of freight annually. Some of those jobs involve the skills of electrical engineers with concentrations in mechatronics. Though rail and sea transportation is hundreds of years old, innovation is always about tomorrow, and both CSX and NNMT work for efficiency, cost-savings, and improved productivity.
The backbone industries of the area are not always those garnering front page headlines. Mechatronics engineering technicians may be working at any number of Newport News plants with little or no fanfare:
- Advanced Technologies
- CTR Corporation
- Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.
- Liebherr Mining Equipment
- Rockwell Collins
- Stihl Inc.
- Swisslog Logistics
All of these companies have posted job openings in recent weeks for mechatronics, advanced manufacturing, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering technologist positions.
Not Ignoring Shipping!
We certainly do not want to overlook the huge economic impact companies related to Newport News shipyards and maintenance facilities provide the area. With modern shipbuilding techniques now weaving electronics and traditional methods, a worker trained as an electronics engineering technician can find not just gainful employment but a career along the James River. Your skills could be applied to construction of vessels for our own or foreign navies. You could be troubleshooting a weapons system one day and an information visualization system the next.
Behind These Doors
Another entire avenue of mechatronics work in Newport News is related to industries that would prefer to go unnoticed. Many companies have contracts with major federal agencies for work that looks upward and outward. Newport News Industrial Corporation, for example, does work for NASA, the Department of Energy, and Department of Defense.
In the region, the skills a mechatronics technician brings to prototyping, problem-solving, and maintaining cutting-edge systems can find outlets with NASA Langley Research Center, the CIA, the NSA, and Langley Air Force Base, to name a few.
Local Mechatronics Training
To gain expertise and sufficient background in mechatronics technology through a local school, you need to consider ECPI University, with its outstanding Bachelor of Science program. In 2.5 years of study at the Newport News campus, you can get your degree in electrical engineering technology with a concentration in mechatronics. You need not cast your net far and wide to find a mechatronics technologist job upon graduation, either. Attend ECPI University, perhaps begin your job search while still acquiring skills, and make a smooth transition from classroom to job site without having to relocate or move your family.
Many companies with local presence team with ECPI University to provide real-world experience to our students, so you could be working while learning at any of these companies:
- Zel Technologies-creators of SynerVizion, a data visualization tool, and other services for military, intelligence and space services
- Insignia Technology Services-A leading provider of instructional design, collaborative environments, information technology, and software engineering
- Electronic Systems-the Mid-Atlantic region's largest provider of customized, scalable, end-to-end information technology solutions
- Ball Corporation-Metal and plastic packaging innovations
As an ECPI University student, you gain exposure to some of the groundbreaking work these businesses are performing, bringing new ideas first to the lab and then to the market. The companies provide feedback to ECPI University to help your professors and instructors hone their curriculum. You also create valuable business networks that can prove useful upon graduation.
Mechatronics Technicians Job Outlook & Growth
An electrical engineering technician, with skills in advanced manufacturing and mechatronics, will see opportunities arise in and around Newport News as other fields, unrelated to space, railroads, shipping and other transportation industries arise. Medical science and its vast new horizons of noninvasive test methods, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and data processing will all call for generalists who can work fluently in computers, mechanical design, and prototyping.
If you grew up in Newport News, you may have noticed the rich past, but you may not have noticed the future rising all around you. Contact ECPI University today to learn how you can gain the skills and knowledge to stay close to home while still moving ahead in a great career with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering Technology with a concentration in Mechatronics.