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A Successful Collaboration Between Engineering And Technology

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Industrial Collaborations

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.125.1 - 8.125.4



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Paper Authors

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Raymond Thompson

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

Session 3248

A Successful Collaboration Between Engineering and Technology

Raymond E. Thompson Purdue University


The Aeronautical Technology major of the Aviation Technology (AT) Department of Purdue University developed significant partnerships with Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. This includes classes with joint classroom and lab meetings, sharing of laboratories, and partnering of students for senior design classes and design-build-test projects.

This initiative for this partnership is multifold. It is driving by industry pressure for engineering students to increase their application skills. Furthermore, tight budgets and a significant change in university culture provide significant reward opportunities for participating departments and faculty.

The advantages of collaboration are numerous. Engineering students are able to learn about manufacturing, service, and repair issues that enhance their ability to truly design for manufacturing. Technology students are able to better understand design constraints and create improved manufacturing and repair techniques. The sharing of facilities allows each group to build on its strengths and not waste resources on materials or equipment that are redundant.

These activities were started by the initiative of interested faculty. A more formalized structure is emerging with the offering of five new minors from Aeronautical Technology in materials and propulsion combined with a joint plan of study for a dual major under development


During the past five years, a tremendous change in relationship has occurred between Aeronautical Engineering and Aviation Technology (specifically Aeronautical Technology) at Purdue University. Previously, the departments coexisted with little interaction. The major laboratory facilities for both departments are located adjacent to each other at the university airport. While many of the faculty and staff knew colleagues in the other department, the relationship did not extend beyond that.

The change began to occur when several informal, low-key relationships between faculty began to assume a more formal structure. Aeronautical Technology (AOT) is a combination of application based and engineering technology education. A major strength is expertise in fabrication and repair of aircraft structure. Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (AAE) is more concerned with design. Students in AAE have opportunity for application of design into practice on a limited basis compared to AOT. This has become increasingly evident in the AAE design courses.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Thompson, R. (2003, June), A Successful Collaboration Between Engineering And Technology Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11442

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