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Closing Competency Gaps In Manufacturing Through Student Learning Factories One Approach

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.270.1 - 6.270.11

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Paper Authors

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Vikram Cariapa

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Joseph Domblesky

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James Rice

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

Session 3563

Closing Competency Gaps in Manufacturing Through Student Learning Factories - One Approach

Joseph Domblesky, James Rice, Vikram Cariapa Marquette University


In the traditional model of manufacturing education, the manufacturing processes course has been offered with a lab component while other manufacturing related courses are offered as lecture only. Linkage between courses is often not implemented in the curricula. A second issue is the growing movement towards closing competency gaps that have been identified by educators and industry. This paper discusses an approach being taken at Marquette University to help close competency gaps and incorporate a higher level of horizontal integration between manufacturing courses using the Learning Factory approach. Rather than limiting usage of the manufacturing lab to one course, it instead forms an integrated environment for hands-on learning across the manufacturing curriculum using a variety of manufacturing technologies. As one means of assessing this approach, the impact of the methodology is being measured using a quantitative index (ν-function) which was developed at Marquette University for measuring the quality of soft indices.


Over the last decade, engineering education has undergone a number of significant reforms. One of the most far-reaching has been the movement towards integrating a larger practice-based component within the undergraduate curricula. This response has been triggered in part by industry criticism that engineering students are entering the workforce with significant competency gaps, which has necessitated remedial training on the part of the employer. While much of the focus has been centered on competency gaps related to design experience, similar concerns have been identified in graduates with respect to manufacturing related skills1. In

"Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education"

Cariapa, V., & Domblesky, J., & Rice, J. (2001, June), Closing Competency Gaps In Manufacturing Through Student Learning Factories One Approach Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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