A unique two-day event called “Take Flight with Rockwell Collins” has given MSOE students a look into the world of avionics and beyond. For the fifth time, MSOE and Rockwell Collins partnered to offer this event, where both students and the company reap numerous practical and educational benefits.
On the first day, representatives from Rockwell Collins traveled to MSOE’s campus to be featured as guest lecturers for classes within the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department. The guests tailored their technical presentations to cover topics that were currently being discussed in the various classes, such as embedded systems.

Rockwell Collins also sponsored lunch on campus during the day. At this time, students were able to provide the representatives with updates on projects and student organizations that Rockwell Collins has funded. The day concluded with a dinner that 70 students attended. Technical talks on cybersecurity, avionics and the impact of avionics on engineering were presented. This first day of “Take Flight” was filled with the sharing of information and knowledge that is beneficial to all.

The second day provided students with the opportunity to visit Rockwell Collins’ headquarters, located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Twenty-five students interested in a career in aviation and professors loaded a bus for the trip to Iowa. While in Cedar Rapids, students were able to experience a virtual reality set-up that showcased the manufacturing of parts, a flight rig that enabled users to virtually fly an airplane, a tour of the company’s manufacturing facilities, and more. A lunch was also provided where current students were able to connect with MSOE alumni who are now employed at Rockwell Collins.

“This is an example of an academic-industrial relationship. [Rockwell Collins] is willing to show off their facilities as much as they are willing to come to MSOE and share their knowledge,” said Dr. Walt Schilling, an associate professor in the EECS department and coordinator of the Take Flight program at MSOE.