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Omron Chair Tateishi visits NIU engineering lab

November 5, 2014

Omron-TourOmron Chairman of the Board Fumio Tateishi visited the Northern Illinois University College of Engineering and Engineering Technology for several hours on the morning of October 30, meeting with the college’s leadership and faculty, staff and students in addition to receiving a tour of the college’s facilities, including the Omron Robotics and Mechatronics Lab.

“In every one of our businesses, our philosophy and our mission is to make sure we are contributing to society and we’re building a sustainable business for the future,” said Nigel Blakeway, CEO of Omron Electronics LLC Industrial Automation Company for the Americas. “Our partnership with NIU allows us to continue to build that sustainable business, ensuring that we are contributing to the new engineers of the future, and, of course, the new engineers of the future are contributing to our success.”

Omron-Lab-TourNIU’s lab—one of only two Omron named labs in the United States—opened in April 2013 and has provided endless opportunities for students in the robotics and mechatronics departments.

Senior mechatronics major and Omron Lab Manager James Mortell was among the students who got to spend time with Tateishi during his visit. He’s worked in the lab since it opened and has seen the great benefits that the lab has provided for students and faculty alike.

“It’s influenced a lot of student Senior Design projects because it provided them with a workspace that wasn’t there before, in order to do mechatronics related projects and research,” Mortell said of the Omron Lab.

He’s worked in the lab since it opened and has seen the great benefits that the lab has provided for students and faculty alike.

“Since I got involved, I’ve just seen the [lab’s] progress, and it’s awesome,” Mortell added.  “I just want other students to be involved, especially since I graduate in May. I want it to continue.”

“We are extremely grateful for what is a ‘win-win’ partnership with NIU,” said Blakeway. “We were able to establish the mechatronics laboratory with tremendous help from all of the faculty, and to be able to take that to the next dimension…It is Omron’s intention here in the Americas to continue our partnership with NIU and to continue to help you in developing the engineers we need to have for the future.”

Omron-Lab-Group-PhotoTateishi echoed his sentiments, noting, “I strongly hope our good relations will continue in the future.”

Some of the plans discussed during Tateishi’s visit were expanding the lab to increase the amount of equipment and further promotion of the lab and its abilities so that undergraduate students can and will utilize it more. The chairman also extended an invitation for NIU representatives to visit the global offices in Japan.

“I hope that the students I mentor have an interest in mechatronics so that I can help them grow and learn different things that wouldn’t necessarily be taught in other classes,” Mortell said.