Virtually Hosted by the section
November 12, 2021
November 12, 2021
November 13, 2021
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. https://strategy.asee.org/38424
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