Access to technology and hands-on experience was vital for Electro-Mechanical Technology grad Andy Tysver.
Andy Tysver doesn’t hesitate when asked why he chose Fox Valley Tech.
“The hands-on training. It’s the best part,” says the 2021 graduate of the Electro-Mechanical Technology program. “Here you get to work on the actual equipment that you’re going to work with in real life. There’s only so much you can simulate on a computer or learn from reading a book. If you’re going to learn how a hydraulic valve works, you’re better off having a hydraulic pump hooked up to it with some real hoses.”
Andy has always learned best by doing, and after high school he took some electronics classes. While he didn’t finish his degree then, he always had it in the back of his mind that one day he’d go back. In 2019 he enrolled in the Electro-Mechanical Technology program.
“The lab at FVTC was a big reason why I came back,” he says. “It’s amazing. There’s equipment for just about anything you can think of—electromechanical, pneumatic, troubleshooting.” The equipment in the 8,400 square-foot Electro-Mechanical Lab is valued at $672,000 and features the most prevalent technology used by local employers, including a hydraulic lab as well as stations for programmable logic controllers (PLC) and motor control centers. (Read more about the latest updates in the Automation Labs >>)
“PLCs cost tens of thousands of dollars,” says Andy. “So with the relatively low cost of credits combined with this expensive equipment you get to learn on, it’s pretty hard to put a value on that investment.”
Andy now works as a Controls Engineer at Trident Automation, a consulting engineering firm in Kimberly that helps ethanol plants keep their production up and running. “We basically write the programs that control the pumps, valves, tanks, and so on, to keep the machinery running,” explains Andy. He likes the variety the job provides. “We work with plants of all sizes, all over the Midwest. I like being able to do something a little different all the time.”
“I’m definitely a visual, try-it-out-for-yourself type of learner.
You can only read so much information out of a book and remember it.
Reading up on something, getting a little bit of background, then putting it to use with your own two hands: that’s how I like to learn.”