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A Competency Gaps Study For A Manufacturing Sequence Curriculum

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Manufacturing ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.22.1 - 10.22.8



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Paper Authors

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Kenneth Stier

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Competency Gaps Study for a Manufacturing Sequence Curriculum

Kenneth W. Stier

Department of Technology Illinois State University


This study was built on prior competency gap research conducted by the Society for Manufacturing Engineers to provide a foundation for the development of the Department of Technology’s new Integrated Manufacturing Systems (IMS) laboratory at Illinois State University (ISU). The objectives of the study were to: a) investigate to what extent small and mid-sized Illinois manufacturing companies feel it is important for newly hired manufacturing engineering or technology graduates to possess specified basic personal skills, technical skills and business professional skills, b) compare the skills identified as important in this study with the SME competency gaps listing, and c) use the results of this study as one criteria to revise curriculum and update a laboratory in the IMS Sequence at ISU. The methodology for this project consisted of randomly selecting small and mid-sized Illinois manufacturers from the 2004 Illinois Manufacturers Directory. The participants in the study completed a survey consisting of questions with regard to demographics, basic personal skills, technical skills, and business/professional skills. A 5 point likert scale was used. The results of this study are being used to help modify a manufacturing curriculum and to renovate an existing laboratory with high technology automation hardware and software. A 1.2 million dollar donation from a manufacturing company is being used to help finance a major part of the initiative.


This study sought formal funding for a line of research designed to enable the Integrated Manufacturing Systems (IMS) Sequence in the Department of Technology at Illinois State University (ISU) to maintain a strong contemporary focus. Maintaining contemporary laboratories and curriculum is critical to the advancement of the program and future of its graduates. The author has worked cooperatively with faculty in the sequence over the years to advance the curriculum and laboratories within the sequence. This work has resulted in several publications and presentations on rapid prototyping and lean manufacturing. Additionally, a $135,000 grant from ABB Robotics was received to help improve an existing laboratory. Undergraduate and graduate students have worked with faculty on the rapid prototyping and robotics equipment to research alternatives to the implementation of this technology in the curriculum.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Stier, K. (2005, June), A Competency Gaps Study For A Manufacturing Sequence Curriculum Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14638

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