June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
One of the ABET outcomes for engineering students is that they have the ability to apply engineering principles to solve problems. In addition, students should have the ability to analyze and synthesize results that meet desired constraints within a problem. Early in a student’s career, as they begin to acquire the analysis tools and methods, there may be few opportunities for application to real world projects with consideration for complex problems or situations. However, in the junior or senior level courses, students should be afforded more and more opportunities to incorporate engineering analysis, design and synthesis. An undergraduate finite element analysis (FEA) course provides an excellent opportunity to do so through project based learning. This experience is further enriched with industry collaboration to develop a project with real-world design objectives and constraints.
This paper discusses a semester finite element project developed by Accuride Corporation, in which students are asked to design and analyze an aluminum commercial truck wheel. The students were given a generic model that provides limits of the physical design space as well as guidance on boundary conditions to account for inflation pressure, tire interface loads, and vehicle loading. They had a goal to minimize vehicle weight given constraints on maximum stresses and deformation. In addition, they were encouraged to develop attractive styling as with hand hole geometry and placement. Students presented their final designs in writing and orally before a panel which included faculty members and Accuride engineers. They were evaluated on final weight, style, presentation, and analysis, with the latter making up the bulk of the score.
The project provided several opportunities for students to connect directly with real world design issues in a way that wouldn’t have been possible without the industry partnership. For one, students felt the pressure of competition to achieve the lightest wheel, just as Accuride must keep pace with industry competitors to maintain or grow their market share. In addition, they were held accountable for weaknesses in their analysis process. For example, the industry panel quickly identified sharp corners and other unnecessary stress concentrations as design flaws when a student’s finite element analysis failed to detect them. Finally, students were pressed on how they validated their analyses. Finally, the project revealed areas for improvement for the finite element course itself, particularly to help students synthesize FEA with concepts and tools from earlier courses.
Davis, J. L., & Smith, N., & McLeod, M. (2017, June), Collaborating with Industry Partner within an Undergraduate Finite Element Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28046
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015