Kevin McDermott, of Demarest, received at the NJIT Newark College of Engineering (NCE) 12th Annual Salute to Engineering Excellence on March 25, 2010 at NJIT, the Saul K. Fenster Innovation in Engineering Education Award.
McDermott has taught at NJIT since 1982, and over that time he’s developed innovative courses on robotics and automated manufacturing. Some of those classes include industrial robotics, robotics and programmable logic controllers and automated manufacturing systems. The classes, which are popular with undergraduate and graduate students, are designed to teach the latest technology and to appeal to students with various engineering majors. His classes are commonly filled with students with different majors and interests, which makes for a marvelous mix of ideas and discussions as well as excellent group projects. Perhaps that’s why his teacher evaluations done by students are perennially glowing.
In 1990, when NJIT started its academic program in manufacturing engineering, McDermott developed a sequence of innovative graduate courses in manufacturing Systems Engineering. The courses have been continuously revised since then and still serve as very popular courses not only for manufacturing students but also students in other disciplines. In addition, since the opening of the Robotics Lab, he has served as the lab’s Director, in which capacity he’s played a central role in outfitting the lab with robots and other high-tech equipment. The lab is popular with students taking undergraduate courses. There, the students get hands–on experience in manufacturing automation. The students work individually as well as in teams to design and program lab experiments that simulate industrial processes.
Through high school student competitions at NJIT, McDermott provides leadership and innovative education to young students interested in science and engineering. In that regard, his teaching has helped create the engineers of the future, say his colleagues.