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A Pedagogical Model to Educate Tomorrow's Engineers through a Cloud-based Design and Manufacturing Infrastructure - Motivation, Infrastructure, Pedagogy, and Applications

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Design Pedagogy and Curriculum 2

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.87.1 - 23.87.41



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Paper Authors

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Srujal Patel Georgia Institute of Technology


Dirk Schaefer Georgia Institute of Technology

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Prof. Dirk Schaefer serves on the faculty of the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Dr. Schaefer was a Lecturer in the School of Engineering at Durham University, UK. During his time at Durham, he earned a Postgraduate Certificate in “Teaching and Learning in Higher Education”. He joined Durham from a Senior Research Associate position at Stuttgart University, Germany, where he earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Schaefer has conducted research on product modeling, variant design, product lifecycle management, design-with-manufacture integration, standardized product data exchange, as well as digital and virtual engineering. His current research focus concerns the highly topical area of Cloud-based Design and Manufacturing (CBDM). A passionate educator, Dr. Schaefer also conducts research on Design Education, Personalized Learning, Distance Learning, and Professional Faculty Development. He has published more than 120 technical papers on Computer-Aided Engineering & Design as well as Engineering Education, and has presented his work at numerous national and international conferences, symposia, and workshops around the world. Dr. Schaefer serves as editorial advisory board member and reviewer for several international journals in his field. In addition, he is a registered Professional Engineer in Europe (Eur Ing), a Chartered Engineering (CEng), a Chartered IT Professional (CITP), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) in the UK, as well as registered International Engineering Educator (Ing-Paed IGIP).

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Daniel P. Schrage Georgia Institute of Technology

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition – Atlanta, GA – June 23-26, 2013 Abstract submitted on 9.21.2012 A pedagogical model to educate tomorrow’s engineers through a cloud-based Design and Manufacturing Infrastructure— Motivation, Infrastructure, Pedagogy, and ApplicationsAbstractMotivating high school students to pursue a career in Engineering is crucial in building a strongfoundation for a successful future of any nation. In the United States, many Science, Technology,Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) programs engage high school students in projects whichfocus on cultivating their aptitude in a subset of the broad field of Engineering, for exampleApplied Mathematics, Robotics, Manufacturing, Computer-aided Design(CAD) etc. However,most of these discipline-focused activities or programs do not allow aspiring students to exploremore than one facet of a field prior to making a first decision toward a career choice. Also, mosthigh school students do not understand how engineering as a unified discipline operates inbuilding a product that satisfies requirements from the functional as well as manufacturer’s pointof view.To address these concerns, we propose a new teaching model which engages students in astructured project-based curriculum through an Integrated Design & ManufacturingInfrastructure (IDMI), which integrates both virtual resources, such as Computer-Aided Design(CAD) systems, as well as physical resources, such as additive manufacturing machines andLEGO kits. This model utilizes a cloud computing-based IT infrastructure for collaborative,distributed engineering and can be implemented at either high school or undergraduate freshmenlevel to introduce students to a variety of design and manufacturing related activities in a holisticfashion.In Section 1 of this paper, we provide a brief overview of the teaching model to demonstrate howvarious facets of Engineering like Mathematics, Scientific inquiry & experimentation, CAD,Robotics, Computer Science and Manufacturing are seamlessly interlaced in our project-basedcurriculum. In Section 2, we specifically address how IDMI fosters a symbiosis and integrationof virtual and physical resources to deliver the teaching model proposed in Section 1. In addition,we propose a number of potential ways of implementing this model locally at one campus or in anationwide distributed setting.In Section 3, we present an overview of a prototype implementation of our model tested in a highschool summer camp program that was conducted concurrently at two geographical locations atwhich students participated together in collaborative team-projects as outlined in section 1.In Section 4, we summarize our experiences and lessons learned from this endeavor and drawconclusions through formative assessment activities conducted during the summer camp. Wealso propose multiple solutions to rectify issues that were faced during the summer camp.In Section 5, we report on how the cloud-based design and manufacture infrastructure introducedin Section 2 as well as the prototype implementations discussed in Section 3 will be scaled up tosupport activities at five geographical locations in summer of 2013. We focus on the technicalimplementation aspects as well as the pedagogical opportunities and challenges associated withthese types of education activities.

Patel, S., & Schaefer, D., & Schrage, D. P. (2013, June), A Pedagogical Model to Educate Tomorrow's Engineers through a Cloud-based Design and Manufacturing Infrastructure - Motivation, Infrastructure, Pedagogy, and Applications Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19101

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