June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.15.1 - 12.15.15
Engineering Education Thorough a Collaborative Technology Transfer Project
Aaron K. Ball and Duane D. Dunlap Western Carolina University Abstract
Western Carolina University, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (ABTCC), and Sci-Cool, Incorporated contributed resources and support for the design, fabrication, and testing of a new Water Heating and Dehumidifying (WHD) appliance. The project goal was to develop a viable energy saving product by carrying out a collaborative technology transfer initiative through Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). This creative and applied engineering project provided each institution with the opportunity to integrate applications of theoretical concepts into course and laboratory exercises and direct engineering applications. Additionally, the purchase of new equipment, tooling and software allowed for the enhancement of engineering and technology laboratories at each educational institution. Faculty and graduate students gained technical knowledge of current products and processes in subjects that may have otherwise remained uncultivated. In turn, this new knowledge and experience provd to be valuable in the development of engineering technology curriculum and future engagement projects.
The project helped to build stronger ties with industry, better community relations, and stronger relationships with government agencies. Both educational institutions look forward to future engagement projects so that they may continue to serve the local community, students and industry. Partnerships among government agencies (ORNL), regional industry and regional educational institutions offer an excellent opportunity for advancing professional development, enhancing student learning and promoting economic development. The foundation for potential economic development in western North Carolina has been demonstrated through collaboration with Sci-Cool, Incorporated and coordinated by ORNL.
This paper provides a general description of the project relative to technology transfer and further explains the mutual benefits of collaborative efforts. Emphasi iss placed on educational merit and opportunities for advancing graduate education through applied engineering experiences.
Introduction and Background Western Carolina University is committed to supporting economic development through engagement and partnerships within its region. The university established a campus-wide mandate for engagement with regional business and industry and has provided support to schools and departments active in the commitment to foster the implementation of new and emerging technology. Engagement activities focus on sustaining economic development and boosting entrepreneurial startups through innovative and creative projects that develop both intellectual capital and technology transfer.1,2
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