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A Holistic Design Approach for Integrated Learning in Manufacturing Education

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Design Experiences in Manufacturing Education

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Faisal Aqlan Pennsylvania State University, Behrend College

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Dr. Faisal Aqlan is an Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering and Director of the Master of Engineering in Engineering Management Programs at the University of Louisville. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Binghamton University in 2013. He is a Senior Member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), and currently serves as the IISE Vice President of Student Development, and holds a seat on the IISE Board of Trustees. Aqlan’s research interests are in system simulation and automation, process improvement, engineering education, and sensor-based virtual reality for manufacturing and healthcare applications. He is currently a PI on multiple NSF grants.

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Daniell DiFrancesca Pennsylvania State University, Behrend College

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Matthew Swinarski Pennsylvania State University, Behrend College

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Chetan Nikhare Pennsylvania State University, Behrend College

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Mohammad Rasouli Pennsylvania State University, Behrend College

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Qi Dunsworth Pennsylvania State University, Behrend College

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Manufacturing makes a tremendous contribution to the U.S. economy by increasing gross domestic product and creating high-paying jobs as well as supporting all other sectors. The integrated nature of manufacturing is evident in its symbiotic relationship with innovation, national security, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Moreover, manufacturing is increasingly important to the balanced education of engineers in all disciplines. However, today’s manufacturing is undergoing the greatest change in more than 100 years, and the current skills gap causes serious concerns about the ability of manufacturers to fill critical positions. Manufacturing needs a well-trained workforce that possesses skills like problem-solving and critical thinking to make effective decisions at all stages of the manufacturing process. One of the skills is to make good decisions at early stages that facilitate, not impede, the manufacturing process down the road. It is believed that traditional curricula designs tend to focus on a specific discipline, discipline creating a silo effect rather than viewing manufacturing as a connected, systemic process needed to make decisions with respect to the entire product development life cycle. This study looks to investigate this belief by 1) examining if students understand product manufacturing as a connect, systemic process, 2) which manufacturing knowledge area, if any, are students deficient, and 3) do these knowledge gaps exist for both engineering and business students. To study these proposes gaps, this research proposes a holistic design approach for manufacturing education to provide students with an integrated view of how products in the real world metamorphose from an idea into the hands of end-consumers. A dynamic decision-making framework integrating product manufacturing topics across engineering and business courses is developed. The dynamic framework focuses on the process-thinking and decision-making in the context of the entire product life cycle (i.e., product design, manufacturing process, manufacturing system, and business process). Utilizing the Understanding by Design model, we first established clear learning outcomes associated with students’ general understanding of manufacturing knowledge in connection with product development life cycle based on Bloom taxonomy (i.e., remember and understand). Next, the team created an assessment that would provide acceptable evidence for the defined learning outcomes. Finally, learning modules were created by an interdisciplinary team of instructors to introduce the related manufacturing topics. A pilot study with current engineering and business undergraduate courses was conducted and pre- and post-survey data was collected and analyzed. The results of the study and insights from the research team are provided at the end of the paper.

Aqlan, F., & DiFrancesca, D., & Swinarski, M., & Nikhare, C., & Rasouli, M., & Dunsworth, Q. (2022, August), A Holistic Design Approach for Integrated Learning in Manufacturing Education Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.

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