Basler Electric Pledges $100K in Equipment to SIUE School of Engineering

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The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering’s (SOE) development of a first-class power engineering program is being bolstered by the industry support of valued and long-standing partner, Basler Electric Company. Basler has contributed $100,000 in equipment for the SOE’s Basler Electric Power Systems Lab. With this donation, Basler will bestow the naming rights of the 545-square foot lab, located in the Engineering Building.

Basler Electric's Bill Basler, Greg Basler and Ken Rhodes stand in center, with SIUE's Cem Karacal, PhD; Chris Gordon, PhD; Andy Lozowski, PhD, and Lisa Smith on either side.
"This is a mutually beneficial collaboration that will help both parties, as well as our region, in expanding a highly prepared talent pool in technology fields.”

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering’s (SOE) development of a first-class power engineering program is being bolstered by the industry support of valued and long-standing partner, Basler Electric Company.

Basler has contributed $100,000 in equipment for the SOE’s Basler Electric Power Systems Lab. With this donation, Basler will bestow the naming rights of the 545-square foot lab, located in the Engineering Building.

“Industry partnership is extremely important for us to produce competent engineers who not only know the theory, but also the practical side of engineering,” said SOE Dean Cem Karacal, PhD. “The Basler Electric Power System Lab is an important component of making this happen. Through their support, we will maintain and advance our name recognition for producing the next generation of leaders in electrical engineering.”

“Basler’s donation is greatly appreciated, as it comes at a time when state support is diminishing, and we need the support of our industry partners to maintain and enhance our state-of-the-art laboratories. This is a mutually beneficial collaboration that will help both parties, as well as our region, in expanding a highly prepared talent pool in technology fields.”

The Basler Electric Power Systems Lab features state-of-the-art power system equipment, including Basler protective relays for current and voltage protection for power distribution applications, motor applications and generator applications. In addition, it includes innovative motor controls utilized in applications ranging from water and wastewater treatment, power production, mining and other industrial applications.

The lab is used by both undergraduates and graduate students. According to Andy Lozowski, PhD, chair and professor in the Department of ECE, power engineers are in huge demand nationwide. SIUE power engineering students’ job placement rate is nearly 100%.

“Basler’s donation will furnish the lab with instrumentation used in the field,” noted Lozowski. “Power systems, which is the technology to produce and deliver electrical power, has become sophisticated and computerized in recent years. There is a need to add modern equipment to the lab and have students exposed to it.”

“It is important to support the educational process of the next generation of engineering talent,” said Ken Rhodes, President and Chief Operating Officer of Basler Electric Company. “Having equipment in the Basler Electric Power Systems Lab that is available for students to experience real-world applications offers an invaluable piece of education for the power industry. Individuals who are able to apply theory to application are critical thinkers. Laboratory experience helps students adapt much faster to the challenges of integrating into the workplace within this rapidly evolving field.”

Basler has a history of closely collaborating with and supporting the SOE. The family-owned business, headquartered in Highland, previously provided $40,000 toward the construction of the School’s Fowler Student Design Center (FSDC). The FSDC provides creative collaboration and workshop space for students involved in senior design projects, collegiate competition teams, clubs and organizations. The two-story, 14,000-square-foot addition to the SOE Building includes design team workspaces, design labs, an engineer’s alley to showcase projects, and the Grady Family Foundation Innovation Loft.

Additionally, Basler employs multiple SOE graduates as engineers, and helps develop the skills and knowledge of aspiring industry professionals through internship opportunities.

Several Basler staff members have taught engineering classes at SIUE. Mike Basler is a respected instructor within the Department of ECE, and currently serves as chairman of the Industrial Advisory Board, which plays a critical role in maintaining the department’s status with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

“Mr. Basler is an exceptional power engineering expert, and an extremely valuable instructor for SIUE power engineering,” noted Xin Wang, PhD, associate professor in the Department of ECE and director of the Power Systems Lab.

“The Basler family believes in higher education,” Rhodes said. “This includes the offering of tuition reimbursement for our employees. I am a product of that support having once experienced working full-time and finishing school at night.”

“A high education level and strong work ethic are qualities that we commonly find in SIUE students and graduates,” he added. “Individuals that have applied their knowledge and training have done well at Basler, and within the industry as a whole.”

About Basler Electric Company: Headquartered in Highland, Ill., Basler Electric is a family-owned business with a global presence. That global presence helps us identify the needs of specific markets and applications worldwide and provide solutions with quality products and services to meet our customers' requirements. In 2012, Basler acquired a full-service plastic molding company to provide a stable supply base for plastic parts and expand its product offering. Basler Plastics is a full -scale, ISO certified, UL approved custom plastics injection molder located in San Marcos, TX. To further expand its service and capabilities, Basler acquired E2 Power Systems in 2017. With this acquisition, Basler Electric now offers engineering services and turnkey installation for its excitation line, positioning us to truly offer the best support possible.

The SIUE School of Engineering is one of the largest engineering schools in the region. It offers comprehensive and affordable engineering programs with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and two cooperative doctoral programs. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research, and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities, which often turn into permanent employment. Students gain hands-on experience in the School’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the new Fowler Student Design Center.

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