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A Laboratory For Interactive Design/Manufacturing Projects Involoving University Students And 9 12 Students

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.31.1 - 5.31.7



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Paper Authors

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Sankar Sengupta

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Ronald J. Srodawa

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Robert P. Van Til

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Michael J. Latcha

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

Session 1526

A Laboratory for Interactive Design/Manufacturing Projects

Involving University and 9-12 Students

Robert P. Van Til, Sankar Sengupta, Ronald J. Srodawa and Michael A. Latcha

School of Engineering and Computer Science Oakland University Rochester, MI 48309

1. Introduction

It is common for products to be designed at one location and manufactured at another location(s). Hence, systems to ensure efficient communications between the design and the manufacturing facilities are required. In order to allow students to study the problems associated with this issue, a linkage between the engineering and manufacturing facilities of Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science and the engineering technology facilities of Seaholm High School in Birmingham, MI was proposed. The facilities linking these sites are called the Remote Design/Manufacturing Laboratories.

The Remote Design/Manufacturing Laboratories serve as the conduit in which Oakland University engineering students conduct interactive projects with Seaholm High School engineering technology and mathematics students. These interactive projects only involved the design and implementation of automated manufacturing systems during the pilot development phase of the laboratories. In these pilot projects, the Oakland University students were responsible for the engineering design and development of automated manufacturing systems as well as for project management. The Seaholm High School students were responsible for technical design issues as well as constructing the automated manufacturing systems in Seaholm’s technology facilities.

The purpose of the Remote Design/Manufacturing Laboratories is to allow the university and high school students to readily interact with one another while conducting a project. These interactions are conducted by e-mail, video conferencing as well as using the internet (via Sun workstation computers with video, audio and document sharing capabilities). In addition to the Remote Design/Manufacturing Laboratories, the Oakland University students use the facilities of Oakland’s S. and R. Sharf Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Laboratory and its Artificial Intelligence and Manufacturing (AIM) Laboratory to complete the their engineering design/analysis activities while the Seaholm High School students use their technology facilities.

These interactive projects emphasize two key factors that differ from most team-based projects conducted in university engineering or high school technology programs. The first difference is that the individual teams contain members with varying levels of education and experience. In traditional university or high school team-based projects, all team members have roughly the same education and experience. For example, all team members are senior mechanical engineering students. This does not reflect the reality of the "real-world" where an engineer or technician has specified responsibilities for a project and must interact with other people on the project whose job responsibilities, education and experience differ from their own.

In traditional university design projects, an individual team is usually responsible for all aspects concerning the design and implementation of the product or system. However, each Remote Design/Manufacturing project team is responsible for only a portion of the assigned project, for example, mechanical system design or control system design. Hence, the successful completion of the assigned Remote Design/Manufacturing Program project requires cooperation among the various teams.

Note that the Remote Design/Manufacturing Program’s projects place a heavy emphasis on improving communication skills across interdisciplinary/multi-educational level teams. These projects allow students to apply the engineering science or technology skills they have be studying. Students learn that "real-world" engineering and technology problems are not always readily

Sengupta, S., & Srodawa, R. J., & Van Til, R. P., & Latcha, M. J. (2000, June), A Laboratory For Interactive Design/Manufacturing Projects Involoving University Students And 9 12 Students Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8872

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