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Additive Manufacturing Applied to Authentic - Industry Micro-Fluidic Systems for DNA Sequencing: A product realization experience at the community college level

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2021 Fall ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Meeting


Virtually Hosted by the section

Publication Date

November 12, 2021

Start Date

November 12, 2021

End Date

November 13, 2021

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Paper Authors


Dimitrios Stroumbakis P.E. City University of New York, Queensborough Community College

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Dimitrios Stroumbakis, holds a BSME / MSME from Polytechnic University (Summa Cum Laude), and Columbia University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in NY. Prior to transitioning to Academia, Dimitri acquired 24 yrs of experience in the undersea photonics industry contributing to the development of over 50 electro-optic devices for commercial and military markets. He served on two national industry standards groups and as core Team member, received two industry awards "Cisco's Optics Supplier of the Year" Award and "IBM's Quality Partner of the Year" Award.

Dimitri is an Assistant Professor at Queensborough Community College (CUNY) and has a strong interests in Hybrid learning, leveraging instructional technology (lightBoard) Flipped Class Room Learning, and Online Student-Centered Pedagogy. He is a strong advocate of authentic industry student experiential learning, for making students job-ready upon graduating. Recently, Dimitri has undertaken an a strong interest in the interdisciplinary field of micro-fluidics, and instructional design for LightBoard lesson delivery.

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John Migniuolo Mig-Tech Fluidics Design

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John Migniuolo received his BSME from Manhattan College (Riverdale, NY) , and has extensive industry experience in the design and development of thermal-fluidic-pneumatic system designs and components during his 25 year tenure in automated medical diagnostic instruments and ultra-centrifuges for vaccine production. Consulting to domestic and international corporations in industries such as IVD/biotech and analytical instrumentation, water quality instruments, beverage dispensing/inline carbonation systems, and other medical fluidic processing systems.
The vast majority of his experience has been in the development of automated medical diagnostic instruments within a fully FDA/cGMP/ISO regulated environment, working for Fortune 500 companies such as Bayer HealthCare now Siemens Healthineers where he was instrumental in realizing systems such as the Immuno-1, Opera, and Advia product family, receiving technical achievement awards for his innovative solutions on these product lines. Mr. Migniuolo operates as a recognized expert industry consultant helping start-ups, and established bio-fluidic companies augment their system designs, with emphasis on innovation, reliability, cost control, system forensics and full design services as executive director.

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Bernard Hunter

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>> Bernard Hunter is the general lab manager of QCC 3D Printing Laboratories, responsible for additive manufacturing machines such as the Stratsys J750, Fortus 450 , Object 30 and UPRINT
Dimitrios Stroumbakis

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Employers demand higher education institutions to prepare engineers with a relevant array of industry skill-sets aligned to the current and rapidly evolving needs of the technology work place. As is well known, professional, interdisciplinary, and critical thinking skills developed under authentic-industry learning experiences makes for a highly preferred and desired job candidate.

In this paper, we present a mixed-method, undergraduate research case study for an authentic-industry, product development experience with two main objectives: 1) determine the viability of using additive manufacturing (AM or 3D printing) to produce the high count, 32-channel micro-fluidic dispenser module, a critical component in DNA sequencing technology offerings, and 2) develop the professional and business soft skills in working with industry partners under real meetings as well as role playing. Our third objective was to create an outreach effort to raise awareness of the bio-technology sector as viable employment sector often overlooked for traditional engineering majors, (ie, electrical , mechanical , computer science) majors. Our outreach effort took the form of building a demo showcase of automated robotic micro-fluidic liquid handler, which was outside the original scope of this study but graciously funded with by our industry partners.

Spanning over three semesters, we surveyed N=49 students in thermodynamics, AC circuits, and Control Systems for the purpose of building and estimating self-awareness to the DNA instrumentation industry and to create a framework for an authentic product development effort with industry partners over an 8 week duration by leveraging our under graduate (UR) research program at our school.

Successful outcomes included 3D printing verification of a complex 32-channel micro-liter dispenser, and raising awareness and attitude by 55 % and 65% respectively, with correlations of interest in these three majors (incidental). Through periodic interviews, reflective expositions, oral discussion and a final deliverable to our industry partners and a final "corporate-like" presentation to our UR committee, this demanding performance provide to be a transformational learning experience. Self-efficacy, enhanced discernment in technical and business negotiations, planning contingencies against potential design & manufacture risk were evident and highly valued. Adaptability, increased professional and interdisciplinary skills were also pointed out as increasing self-identity of the meaning of being engineers in the rapidly evolving soft skills. Experiencing the product developing effort---even only after an 8 week span was enough to demonstrate this case study as a significant, accountable and realistic experience not often experience regularly at two year schools and it is hoped that this experience will prove useful in cultivating a sense of responsibility and professionalism in future schooling.

Stroumbakis, D., & Migniuolo, J., & Hunter, B. (2021, November), Additive Manufacturing Applied to Authentic - Industry Micro-Fluidic Systems for DNA Sequencing: A product realization experience at the community college level Paper presented at 2021 Fall ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Meeting, Virtually Hosted by the section.

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