With more employers looking for specialized skill sets, the University of Connecticut's Operations and Information Management (OPIM) Innovate initiative is working to give students real-life experience with 3D printing, internet of things, virtual reality and microcontrollers. In 2018, the program started to work with the university's Spring Valley Student Farm to deploy sensors and data analytics to help monitor real-time conditions in its aquaponics greenhouse.
During this semester, Jon Moore, an instructor at U Conn's School of Business and program head of OPIM Innovate, is teaching a course where students are beta testing sensors developed with Splunk.
"Over the summer, we built different sensor systems to create a proof of concept in the aquaponics center," Moore said. "We connected with the Splunk Mobile team and ended up flying out to the San Jose office and talking to them about the project that they are working on — and how we could help them beta test it and see how it would work in an environment like a greenhouse."
"We know exactly how hot it is in different areas around the greenhouse — which matters for the plants and fish," Moore said. "We have sensors on the fan systems as well so we can track how much electricity the system is pulling, whether the fans are on or off, the doors are open or closed."