The Automation Academy 2.0

All the way back in January 2020 (seems like a long time ago and a different world), I wrote a post about my plans for the Automation Academy. I was in my old facility and had planned to have multi-disciplined classes starting at the end of March.

I had the Mini-Factory, all of my Fischertechnik models, a nice training area, and even some fun IIOT plans with my Arduino and Raspberry Pi stuff.


Tornado on March 3, followed by everything shutting down due to Covid-19 a couple of weeks later.

Since March I have had 1 student for four days of training, and visited my customer in Miami for a couple of weeks. I also worked out of my house for four months before moving into my new place.

I do have a class for Automation Training up in Kentucky next week. Ironically it is for the same students I had for my last class back in March, right after the tornado. I have at least one more job up near DC the week after, but the days of traveling around the country and doing classes are probably done for the foreseeable future.

Want to take a class at my new place or even online? Sure, I’m pretty available. But people aren’t exactly willing to travel with the current situation either. And my new place can handle maybe four students at a time comfortably and with social distancing.

The New Academy

I have really had to rethink exactly what I am doing. Since March, I have created a full course for Udemy and recorded lots of videos. Most of you know I have written a couple of books, and I have been publishing on this blog since 2011, with over 350 posts at this point. So I have a LOT of content.

But what do do with it? Of course I still plan to teach, and I am working on a couple of new book ideas. But as I mentioned in my online business post last week, I have also spent a lot of time learning about internet based business.

Where the original Automation Academy was a monthly in-house class, the 2.0 version will be a membership site. Originally I conceived of it as a place where people would just take my video courses and have access to lots of PLC programs and useful pdfs of technical information. After joining the Membership Academy I have expanded my plans.

What Do People Need Most?

Free unlimited cash and good health, great relationship, a family….

I can’t help you with any of that, and neither can a website. But there is another thing people do need.

Fulfilling jobs.

The picture at the top of this post shows career path of many of the people that I know. Since I am in the field of industrial automation, I work in a lot of manufacturing facilities. The main path shown is that through basic schooling, an entry level job, and into non-service or retail employment

I also showed branches into trades such as electrician or machinist, industrial sales, systems integration, machine building, and even online entrepreneur. Why these choices? Because I have done all of them.

These are some of the resources I am putting on the site.

But back to the jobs part. The image above shows the general dashboard layout of the site, with some of the resources that will be available. I have made a lot of progress on the resources.

But notice the My Goals and My Plan icons. These are courses that will assist members with finding out what they are most interested in and have aptitude for. I am mostly done with the My Goals part, and it’s pretty awesome so far. I did a lot of research on how people find out their calling, and drew heavily from Ken Coleman’s material at

I have started the My Plan course, it involves determining the steps to get members where they want to go, including a lot of assessment tools, again found from online sources.

An idea of how to organize stuff…

Organization of the Library and other Resources is an ongoing thing that will be updated constantly. The diagram above is just a wireframe with some initial ideas.

The Community and Forums are an important part of the site, both where I can communicate with members and where they can post topics and talk to each other.

I will also be teaching online Mastermind sessions on different topics within my area of expertise, have regular live Q&A Sessions, and hopefully have guests.

Founding Members

This is a very long term project. I truly can’t do it alone, but I will be spending all of the available time I have working on it.

Fortunately my daughter owns a branding company and does website work. She manages my business website, which is where this will be hosted. I also use other resources where I can.

But I need to get people involved from outside. I plan to give away some lifetime memberships to key people, and will need to eventually partner with people to help fund this. It has already gotten much more complex and can get expensive.

If you are interested in this project add your name to this list and I will get in contact with you. This has the potential to be an awesome site, and I would love to turn this into a place with lots of people all helping each other from around the world. Since I haven’t finalized everything I am not releasing pricing and other details publicly yet, but this is a good opportunity to get on board early.


Electrical Engineer and business owner from the Nashville, Tennessee area. I also play music, Chess and Go.

2 Comments on “The Automation Academy 2.0

  1. Hello,
    I’m a recent graduate with an Electrical Engineering degree unfortunately I’m having such a challenge securing a job. I’ve started to develop an interest about industrial automation and started a LinkedIn page documenting videos about my learning experience. (Link down below) I Would love to be a part of this project while gaining more experience.