Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


Emerging technologies, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things, Skills


Beth-Anne Schuelke-Leech




New technologies can result in major disruptions and change paradigms that were once well established. Methods have been developed to forecast new technologies and to analyze the impacts of them in terms of processes, products, and services. However, the current literature does not provide answers on how to forecast changes in terms of skills and knowledge, given an emerging technology. This thesis aims to fill this literature gap by developing a structured method to forecast the required set of skills for emerging technologies and to compare it with the current skills of the workforce. The method relies on the breakdown of the emerging technology into smaller components, so then skills can be identified for each component. A case study was conducted to implement and test the proposed method. In this case study, the impacts of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) on engineering skills and knowledge were assessed. Text data analytics validated IIoT as an emerging technology, thus justifying the case study based on engineering and manufacturing discussions. The set of skills required for IIoT was compared to the current skills developed by Industrial Engineering students at the University of Windsor. Text data analytics was also used to evaluate the importance of each IIoT component by measuring how associated individual components are to IIoT. Therefore, existing skill gaps between the current Industrial Engineering program and IIoT requirements were not only mapped, but they were also given weights.