College Students Get Hands-On Experience at the Interactive Plant Environment

 Emerson recently hosted 18 college students from two International Society of Automation (ISA) college branches at our Rosemount Global Headquarters office in Minneapolis. Students were given the opportunity to work in the Interactive Plant Environment (IPE) to take a hands-on learning approach as they completed their assigned exercises. Blaine Williams, Interactive Plant Environment Manager, coordinated with three professors to plan a day of practical learning to explore plant automation through a variety of hands-on labs and exercises providing students with a “day-in-the life” experience. The collective goal was to give them a sneak peek into what their future jobs might look like. However, we skipped the unpredictable outdoor weather conditions by keeping the Interactive Plant at a comfortable 72 degrees with no precipitation.

Students learned about wireless commissioning, engineering specifications, troubleshooting techniques, device calibration, managing and configuring alerts, and best practices installation. Williams stated, “We wanted the students to have some fun so we opened the day with our Interactive Plant Environment Challenge, which is a gamification of exploring and locating devices using Process & Instrument Diagrams and device tags.” By the end of the day students walked away with a greater confidence in their skills which they will be able to take into future employment opportunities.

Scott Harris, Professor at Bismarck State College, stated “Students were able to showcase their knowledge and abilities while further developing their teamwork, troubleshooting and communication skills. This event also gave them the opportunity to meet and network with individuals who work in this industry that they may interact with in the future.”

We’re excited to continue working with ISA and preparing students as they enter the workforce. Learn more about Emerson’s training opportunities on our website,

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