Graduate Certificate Programs

Automation Engineering and PLC

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

The graduate certificate in automation engineering and PLC  is a cross-disciplinary program between chemical engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. 


Required courses:

  • Chem Eng 5190/Elec Eng 5350 Plantwide Process Control 
  • Elec Eng 5340 Advanced PLC 

Choose two courses from the following:

  • Chem Eng 5140 Intermediate Chemical Process Safety 
  • Elec Eng 5345 PLC Motion Control 
  • Elec Eng 5870/Mech Eng 5478 Mechatronics 
  • Mech Eng 5449 Robotic Manipulators and Mechanisms
  • Mech Eng 5655 Manufacturing Equipment Automation

Chem Eng 5190/Elec Eng 5350 Plantwide Process Control
Synthesis of control schemes for continuous and batch chemical plants from concept to implementation. Multiloop control, RGA, SVD, constraint control, multivariable model predictive control, control sequence descriptions. Design project involving a moderately complicated multivariable control problem. Prerequisites: Chem Eng 4110 or Elec Eng 3320 or Elec Eng 3340 or graduate standing.

Elec Eng 5340 Advanced PLC
Advanced programmable logic controller (PLC) programming, function block, structured text, function chart, sequencer. Factory communications, system simulation, human-machine interface (HMI) programming. Advanced PID control. Network security and reliability. Class-wide project. Prerequisite: Elec Eng 3340.

Chem Eng 5140 Intermediate Chemical Process Safety
The identification and quantification of risks involved in the processing of hazardous and/or toxic materials are studied. Methods to design safety systems or alter the chemical process to reduce or eliminate the risks are covered. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

Elec Eng 5345 PLC Motion Control
Factory automation motion control integrated with programmable logic controllers, servo control, variable-speed drive control, PackML state model, sizing motors and drives, machine safety, and experience with commercial hardware/software. Laboratory exercises on small-scale standard applications such as coordinated motion of multiple axes and camming. Prerequisite: Elec Eng 3340.

Elec Eng 5870/Mech Eng 5478 Mechatronics
This course will introduce students to the basics of mechatronics (i.e., the integration of mechanical, electrical, computer, and control systems). Students will learn the fundamentals of sensors and actuators for mechanical systems, computer interfacing, microcontrollers, real-time software, and control. Prerequisite: Mech Eng 4479 or equivalent.

Mech Eng 5449 Robotic Manipulators and Mechanisms
Overview of industrial applications, manipulator systems and geometry. Manipulator kinematics; hand location, velocity and acceleration. Basic formulation of manipulator dynamics and control. Introduction to machine vision. Projects include robot programming, vision-aided inspection and guidance, and system integration. Prerequisites: Mech Eng 3313; Comp Sci 1970 or Comp Sci 1971 or Comp Sci 1972 or Comp Sci 1570.

Mech Eng 5655 Manufacturing Equipment Automation
Manufacturing automation at the equipment level. Topics include sensors, actuators, and computer interfacing for manufacturing equipment, dynamic modeling and control of manufacturing equipment, interpolation, coordinated motion control, kinematic and geometric error modeling, and runout. Prerequisites: Preceded or accompanied by Mech Eng 4479 or equivalent.

This graduate certificate is open to all persons holding a B.S. degree in any field of engineering from an ABET-accredited undergraduate program or a degree in a closely related technical field such as physics or mathematics.  The minimum overal GPA in the B.S. degree program should be at least 2.5.

Once admitted to the program, the student must take four designated courses as listed above.  In order to receive a graduate certificate, the student must have an average graduate grade point average of 3.0 or better in the certificate courses taken.

Students admitted to the certificate program will have non-degree graduate status.  If the four-course sequence is completed with a grade of B or better in each of the courses taken, they will be admitted to the M.S. program in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, or mechanical engineering, provided that all other program prerequisites and admission requirements are met.   The certificate courses taken by students admitted to the M.S. program will count toward their master's degrees.  Students who do not have all of the prerequisite courses necessary to take the courses in the certificate program will be allowed to take "bridge" courses at either the graduate or undergraduate level to prepare for the formal certificate courses.

Once admitted to the program, a student will be given three years to complete the program so long as he/she maintains a B average in the courses taken.

Graduate certificates are designed as a gateway to a master’s degree*. If a student earns a B or better in each certificate course they may continue for the graduate degree (in the corresponding department), without needing to submit GRE scores, or letters of recommendation. Graduate certificates were designed for working professionals who have real life work experience and may not have time to take the GRE.

This graduate certificate may act as a gateway to the following master’s programs:

(Applicants must indicate which program they wish to use the certificate as a gateway for when initially applying for the certificate).

*Completion of a graduate certificate program does not automatically guarantee admission into a corresponding graduate degree program. To continue in a master’s degree program, you must apply. Click here for details and check with academic department for program specific details and requirements.

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure

Effective July 1, 2011, the Department of Education requires that all certificate programs must disclose particular Gainful Employment information to current and prospective students. The information that is provided in the disclosure includes the estimated cost of the certificate program as well as on-time graduation and job placement rates for this particular certificate program. The disclosure information is based on data from the 2017-18 school year(defined as the period between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018)


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Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Sahra Sedigh Sarvestani
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Phone: 573-341-7505
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Global Learning - Distance Education
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