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University Of Northwestern Ohio Diesel Degree - University Of Diesel

Have You Done Your Diesel Power Homework?

Photography by Ray T. Bohacz

It's said that what people do to make a living is directly linked to their happiness and contentment. If you can find a career that pays well, has opportunities for advancement, and is something you have a passion for, then you've won life's lottery.

Regardless of your age or experience, if you're a diesel enthusiast, the thought of making a career out of working with compression-ignition engines is intriguing. To accomplish this dream requires the proper training that can't be found just anywhere.

University Of Northwestern Ohio
Located in Lima, Ohio, the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) was founded in 1920 and is a private, nonprofit institution on a 120-acre campus. UNOH is a coeducational institution authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Associations of Colleges and Schools to grant Master of Business Administration degrees, several Bachelor of Science degrees, and associate degrees in applied science along with certified diploma programs. In addition, there's also a commercial driver's license (CDL) program that students can participate in, and there are numerous sports teams at UNOH. Enrollment in the entire university averages 3,500, with approximately 1,280 students living on campus in residence halls. A gymnasium, a restaurant, student lounges, and picnic areas are available for enjoyment along with the university-owned Limaland Motorsports Park, a fully functioning racetrack only a few miles from campus.

Courses Of Instruction
The diesel technology associate degree in applied science requires a total of 106 credits, with 66 being directly related to diesel engines. The program is made up of traditional college courses to complement the technical education students receive in math, English, science, computer skills, and so on. The following is an overview of the diesel-specific classes.

Diesel Engine Diagnostic And Repair
This course covers the theory and operation of two- and four-stroke diesel engines and the related components. The systems that are covered include lubrication, cooling, fuel, intake, and exhaust. In this class, engines are disassembled, measured, and assembled to original specifications. Troubleshooting and failure analysis are also included. Detroit Diesel, Caterpillar, Cummins, Mack, Case, International, and the GM Duramax engines are all used in this course.

Diesel Engine Electronic Controls
This course covers diesel electronic controls, tune-ups, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), engine braking, and diagnostic procedures. The curriculum is centered around running engines that are common in the marketplace today. The students perform horsepower and torque testing using engine dynamometers. Electronic troubleshooting using handheld electronic devices and computer programs is an important element of the syllabus. The program includes use of Cummins Insite, Detroit Diesel DDDL, and Caterpillar Electronic Technician diagnostic tools. Handheld OE tools such as Cummins Quickcheck, Prolink, Detroit DDEC, Cummins Celect, Celect Plus, Interactive, Caterpillar ADEM II and III, and Mack V-MAC are used in this course.

Diesel Performance Diagnosis
Discussion of compression-ignition engine principles and operation of mechanical and electronic fuel systems and turbochargers are the main points of this course. The students disassemble, inspect, discuss, assemble, and test diesel fuel-injection pumps, nozzles, injectors, and governors. Testing includes the use of the Bacharach injection pump and nozzle test bench. Students learn to diagnose, repair, and program current electronic-controlled diesel engines used on highway, agricultural, industrial, and other applications. A laboratory session that includes working on live vehicles and engines is part of the class.

Heavy Equipment and Vehicle-Integrated Electronics
This course is an in-depth study of electronic components and how they work in truck and agricultural applications. The use of meters, scan equipment, and oscilloscopes is employed.

Truck Air System, Brakes, And Preventive Maintenance
In this program, the students will identify air systems, air brakes, and antilock brake systems while learning failure analysis and the proper service procedures.

Truck Drivetrain
In this course, the operating principles of the components in truck drivetrains are examined. Students will remove, disassemble, inspect, assemble, and install an Eaton/Fuller 9-, 10-, 13-, or 18-speed transmission, a two-plate clutch, a rear drive axle with power divider, universal joints, and slip yokes along with other components. While performing these tasks, the use of micrometers and dial indicators will improve troubleshooting skills and diagnosis.

Theory And Techniques In Welding
This class is a complete study of oxyacetylene-, braze-, MIG-, TIG-, and arc-welding as well as plasma- and flame-cutting techniques.

A World Of Opportunity
Even though UNOH offers diploma programs, what separates the university from a traditional trade school is that students can achieve either an associate or bachelor's degree in diesel technology. That opens doors for employment that would normally be closed to mechanics with a lesser education and leads to a crossover of opportunities that are in the upper end of the diesel community.

For example, UNOH diesel graduates have found rewarding careers with maritime industries, railroads, mining companies, electric-power generation plants, and research and the development facilities of Chrysler, Cummins, and Caterpillar.

All too often, a career in the diesel community is thought of as only working as a truck mechanic. Although there is nothing wrong with that calling, there are other exciting openings that are very rewarding with the proper education. Many graduates are sought after by nondiesel companies such as Copeland Corp., a large manufacturer of refrigeration equipment. The company employs UNOH alumni as laboratory technicians. This is due to the science theory that is taught at UNOH as part of fully understanding diesel engines. Countless numbers of other graduates have continued their educations and used their diesel backgrounds to enjoy careers in mechanical engineering or to start their own businesses.

Many students in the diesel program have had previous careers and have chosen to make a move to the diesel sector. There is no age limit on admission at UNOH, and tuition assistance, scholarships, and grants are offered.

Employment growth within the diesel and associated fields is very strong, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. UNOH has approximately a 95 percent placement rate for every graduating class. According to federal government statistics, the agricultural equipment/diesel field currently employs 411,000 people. Employment by 2012 is expected to grow by 10 and 20 percent for the agricultural and diesel sectors, respectively. That calculates to the country requiring 67,800 more highly trained diesel technical people within the next five years. If you or someone you know has an interest in really learning about diesel engines, tell him about UNOH before he's left in black smoke.

SOURCES
University of Northwestern Ohio
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