103: How Illuminate STEM is Sustaining Talent and Elevating Minds with Terrence Southern

The worlds of robotics and automation have been picking up speed for some time now. But the pandemic has only fast-tracked the need for the next generation of talent to wield these tools.

Organizations such as Illuminate STEM are leading the way for young blood to gain knowledge and fly the flag for robotics for decades to come.

Terrence Southern, Founder, CEO & Executive Director at Illuminate STEM, joins this episode to explain how he taught budding robotics workers, how he started his company, and more.

Plus, Terrence outlines his predictions for the future of robotics and automation. He explains that, however excited younger generations are about robotics, the eagerness to get involved in the industry still has a long way to go.


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. Cobots will become widely used in the manufacturing industry in the future.
  2. COVID boosted the need for and the progress of automation.
  3. The industry needs to become more appealing to young people, so they view it as a viable career choice in the future.

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “I see ‘cobots’ becoming more accessible and more widely used.”
  • “There’s so much to look forward to in the robotics industry.”
  • “I hate to say it, but the pandemic was the perfect storm to open the floodgates for automation.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

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What We Discuss with Terrence

  • How Terrence got started in robotics
  • How he teaches students and helped a student who now works for one of world’s largest companies
  • How Illuminate STEM was first started
  • Why Terrence aims to make robotics a more viable career choice
  • How the pandemic sped up our reliance on automation
  • What Terrence thinks about the future of ‘cobots’
  • Why, despite excitement around robotics, people don’t want to work in the industry
  • The negative associations people have with robotics
  • Terrence’s predictions for the future of robotics

Recommended Resources

  • Illuminate STEM, learning programs to encourage, empower, and equip students to innovate the technical future of tomorrow
  • Northland Roller Rink, Detroit’s largest, oldest, and world-renowned skating rink

Connect with Terrence Southern

LinkedIn | Instagram