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An Innovative Interdisciplinary Approach For Teaching Modern Manufacturing

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Closing Manufacturing Competency Gaps I

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.179.1 - 7.179.10



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Paper Authors

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Mohamed Zarrugh

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

Main Menu Session 2463

An Innovative Interdisciplinary Approach for Teaching Modern Manufacturing

M. Y. Zarrugh Integrated Science and Technology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807


The Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT) program at James Madison University has developed an innovative, interdisciplinary course sequence that introduces the theory and practice of modern production to undergraduates in science and technology. The sequence stresses "information age" manufacturing, which capitalizes on computing and information technology as a tool for increasing labor productivity and enhancing competitiveness. Successfully blending engineering, business, science and information technology, the courses provide a balanced contemporary treatment of manufacturing resource management, design and manufacturing systems, and materials and manufacturing processes. Several laboratory modules and group projects offered throughout the sequence provide opportunities for experiential learning, hand-on experience and teamwork. The sequence addresses many of the critical competency gaps in manufacturing engineering education reported in recent national surveys of manufacturing managers and practitioners.

I. Introduction

Engineering education throughout its history has emphasized preparation for professional practice. But engineering curriculum has not kept up with unprecedented economic, technical and political changes. 1,2 The gap between what is being taught in the classroom and the skills needed for contemporary engineering practice is threatening the nation's technical leadership and its ability to compete in global markets for industrial and manufactured goods.3,4 The primary trends to which educational reformers must respond are5 1) Globalization of markets, labor and capital that requires companies to operate on a much broader scale than they have been accustomed to operate in the past. 2) Decentralized management and flattening organizations are replacing hierarchical organizational structures and centralized control. This management style requires diversified and distributed skills that promote local decision-making and control. 3) Mass customization of products and services increasingly provides the variety of choices that the customer wants and expects. 4) Responsiveness and rapid adaptation to changes in markets, technology and regulatory requirements.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Zarrugh, M. (2002, June), An Innovative Interdisciplinary Approach For Teaching Modern Manufacturing Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10619

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