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On Tuesday, September 10, the UAB School of Engineering hosted an event to connect students, employers...and a handful of robots at the Engineering Fall Kickoff and Career Fair.

wick 2019kickoffInterim Dean Timothy Wick welcomes a crowd of more than 35 employers and several hundred engineering students to the 2019 Fall Kickoff and Career Fair at the Hill Student Center.The event was held over a three-hour period in the Hill Student Center Ballroom. It included more than 35 employers, as well as an automation demonstration by sponsoring company Air Hydro Power.

UAB Engineering has held similar events in recent years at to welcome students to campus, but none have been as well attended as Tuesday's event, which attracted a diverse group of industrial partners from a wide range of fields, from utilities like Alabama Power to the FBI.

“We are thrilled with the way this event has grown,” said Desland Robinson, director of Career Services for the School of Engineering. “We started off with 12 or 15 companies a few years ago, and it has grown to more than double that number. It’s a great opportunity for our students to learn about career opportunities in a wide range of fields.”

UR3Air Hydro Power's universal robots are said to be able to "automate almost anything." Some of the units will be available for demonstration at the Fall Kickoff and Career Expo on Sept. 10.Likewise, employers were able to scout talent from the students in attendance, Robinson adds. “Most of these companies hire students each year for co-ops and internships. Each year, we see several students who get a foot in the door at a company by meeting with employers in this type of informal setting.”

New to this year’s event was an the automation demonstration by Air Hydro Power Inc. The company brought several of its “cost-effective, safe, flexible collaborative robots, or COBOTS, to demonstrate how automation is helping shape the future of manufacturing.