Michael Mielke joined Macomb’s Mechatronics and Robotics faculty in 2015, bringing with him the experience of both an industry veteran and a former Macomb student.
“I was uncertain about what I wanted to do career-wise, so it was a logical choice to start with some general classes. Macomb provided me the necessary skills to enter the workplace and overall become successful in industry,” says Mielke, who earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Automotive Technology from Macomb and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Technology from Sienna Heights University. “The bonus was almost all of my credits transferred, saving me time and money.”
Starting out in the automotive field proved to be a wise choice for Mielke, although it didn’t seem like it when the school where he was teaching, MoTech Automotive Education Center, closed in the 1990s.
“I found an opportunity to continue my teaching career with Kawasaki Robotics. The robotics industry was still relatively small, and they viewed my automotive background as a good fit as I was knowledgeable about electronics and mechanical systems,” says Mielke. “It was a simple evolution from automotive technology to mechatronics and robotics.”
During his 20+ years in industry, Mielke has earned training certifications in FANUC Robotics. Siemens Level 1 Mechatronics, PMMI (a trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers) Mechatronics, Rockwell RS-Logix 500 and 5,000, and General Motors (GM) Global Common Controls, Hardware, Software and Networks. As a trainer for Kawasaki Robotics, he instructed employees of companies that included Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and GM. Before joining Macomb’s faculty, he was a senior trainer for FANUC America.
“What I enjoy most about teaching at Macomb is being able to share my knowledge with the students, and seeing their enthusiasm about what I am teaching,” says Mielke. “I have a few (former) students stop in to tell me their success stories. Some have obtained contract jobs with Ford and have interviews with Chrysler.”
In addition to his classroom duties, Mielke is currently working on the development of an associate degree program in robotics and certificate programs in Allen Bradly PLC and Industry 4.0. He is also involved in renovating the robotics lab on South Campus.
“All of this will help align our program with industry,” says Mielke, “and help our students become more employable.”