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An Inter University Collaborative Undergraduate Research Learning Experience For Product Platform Planning

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Teaching Team Skills Through Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.187.1 - 10.187.19



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Paper Authors

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Steve Shooter

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Soundar Kumara

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Robert Stone

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Timothy Simpson

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Janis Terpenny

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

Session XXXX

An Inter-University Collaborative Undergraduate Research/Learning Experience for Product Platform Planning

Timothy W. Simpson1, Robert B. Stone2, Steven B. Shooter3, Janis P. Terpenny4, and Soundar R. T. Kumara1 1 The Pennsylvania State University / 2University of Missouri- Rolla / 3 Bucknell University / 4Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Product Platform Planning is an emerging philosophy that calls for the planned development and deployment of families of related products. It is markedly different from the traditional product development process, which focuses on optimized designs for individual products. Product family planning places a much higher demand on management of information of multiple types and from multiple sources. In response, researchers at four universities are collaborating on the development of an information technology infrastructure to support product platform planning. This is a relatively new development in engineering design that is typically not part of the undergraduate education; therefore, we see an intrinsic relationship between the need for integrating the development of research directly with educational enhancements to teach students about these concepts. This paper describes an undergraduate research/learning experience where students from each of the participating institutions worked collaboratively in support of the overall research project. To enhance the students’ education, they spent several weeks in a focused experience at two of the universities with visits to the others. The intent was to broaden their perspectives on the operations at different schools and promote interest in graduate school while learning about product platform planning. We describe the structure of the program along with the activities undertaken by the students. We also include an assessment of the program by the students and plans for improving our future offering of this program.


BOM Bill of Materials DSM Design Structure Matrix EBOM Enhanced Bill of Materials FCM Function-Component Matrix JSP Java Server Pages ITR Information Technology Research PSU Penn State University PVM Product Vector Matrix REU Research Experiences for Undergraduates UMR University of Missouri-Rolla WCN Weighted Customer Needs

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Shooter, S., & Kumara, S., & Stone, R., & Simpson, T., & Terpenny, J. (2005, June), An Inter University Collaborative Undergraduate Research Learning Experience For Product Platform Planning Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14668

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