June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.393.1 - 26.393.15
Conforming a New Manufacturing Engineering Curriculum to the SME Four PillarsThe Engineering and Design (ED) department at WWU was recently created with Washington Statefunding by transitioning a set of Engineering Technology programs in Electronics, Manufacturing andPlastics to their Engineering equivalents. Part of the rationale for this transition was to address thegrowing need for engineers within Washington State with a manufacturing emphasis. Though the politicaldiscourse on the importance of manufacturing may suggest otherwise, the number of formalmanufacturing engineering programs in the US, including the newly created one at WWU remains at anall-time low. Part of the need for manufacturing engineers is undoubtedly being filled by graduates fromMechanical Engineering programs. There are efforts under way to infuse these curriculums with moremanufacturing content , . However, this is a difficult strategy to follow. The advances inmanufacturing technology particularly those driven by new materials and processes, computerization, theInternet, wireless and portable computing, and globalization are transforming in ever more fast-pacedways, how goods are manufactured. Keeping up with these changes requires not only a dedicatedmanufacturing curriculum, but ones that are customizable to local and regional manufacturing influences.Curriculum 2015 ,  was an initiative by the Society of Manufacturing Engineering completed in2011 that brought together hundreds of professionals from industry, academe, and service groups. Itsprimary goal was to examine the state of manufacturing education in the US and to develop a plan forrevising and improving it. Included in the sixteen recommendations were two that encouraged the furtherdevelopment of SME’s Four Pillars of Manufacturing , and its use for curriculum design. The FourPillars identify the areas of Materials and Manufacturing Processes, Product Tooling and AssemblyEngineering, Manufacturing Systems and Operations, and Manufacturing Competitiveness as critical tothe knowledge base of a practicing manufacturing engineer. It is unclear at this time to what extentmanufacturing engineering and technology programs have embraced this template for curriculumdevelopment, though there is evidence that some have , .In this paper we will highlight the challenges in developing a manufacturing engineering curriculum thatconforms to the SME four pillars based on the experiences of the ED department at WWU. Theseexperiences are unique in a number of ways. Foremost, as mentioned already, this program has beencreated by transitioning an existing Manufacturing Engineering Technology program that included anoption in CAD/CAM. As a result, the new program was designed to incorporate the strengths of theselong established technology programs. One of these is hands-on intensive lab experiences within coursesthat require students to utilize state-of-the-art CAD/CAM technology in support of fabrication activities.Examples of this included classes in Computer-Numerical Control and Mold Making. Overviews of theCAD/CAM content and instruction strategies of these technology programs can be found in , , ,,  and . It was decided in consultation with local industry, that the preservation of theseexperiences within the new engineering curriculum was to remain a key part of the program’s and EDdepartment’s mission. It was also viewed as a way of customizing the new engineering program to theneeds of local and regional industry. This presented significant logistical challenges as the new programsalso needed to be configured to satisfy ABET’s EAC criteria and program objectives, where designexperiences are highly valued. The efforts and results of doing this will be described in this paper.Other unique aspects of these experiences that will be discussed in this paper include the impact ofintegration with other programs in the ED department in particularly a new program in Plastics andComposites Engineering, the influence of the regional aerospace industry in shaping the curriculumparticularly in the area of composites manufacturing, and the benefits and challenges of the liberal artsenvironment at WWU in broadening the experience of students.Though these experiences are unique, they will be shown to add support to the recommendation made byCurriculum 2015 that the SME four pillars be followed in developing manufacturing engineeringcurricula. At the same time it will be postulated that while the strength of a program in each of the fourpillars should avoid deficiencies, it need not necessarily be equivalent in each, and that greater strength inany area or combination thereof should reflect the local and regional emphasis in manufacturing. In doingthis we will provide our definition of what sufficiency means for each of the four pillars. We will alsodiscuss findings from a cursory review of existing manufacturing engineering programs on theirconformance to the four pillars and the impact of regional industry’s influence on their emphasis on each.References1. Mott, R., Bennett, R., Gartenlaub, M., Danielson, S., Stratton, M., Jack, H., & Waldrop, P. “Integration of Manufacturing Into Mechanical Engineering Curricula.” Proceedings of the ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, San Diego, California, November 15-21, 2013.2. Waldrop, Phillip S., and Hugh Jack. "Preparation of engineering and technology graduates for manufacturing careers." Technology Interface International Journal 12.2 (2012): 79-86.3. Jack, Hugh, et al. "Curricula 2015: A Four Year Strategic Plan for Manufacturing Education." http://www.c2015.com/. Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), 2011.4. Eng, Hugh Jack P., and Robert L. Mott. "AC 2012-3751: CURRICULA 2015: AN UPDATE FOR 2012." Paper #3751 in the Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio, Texas, June 10-13, 2012.5. Mott, Robert, Hugh Jack, Venkitaswamy Raju, and Mark Stratton. "The Four Pillars of Manufacturing Engineering." In Proceedings of the 2011 SME Annual Meeting. 2011.6. Wells, David L. "AC 2012-3113: AN EXAMPLE MAPPING OF THE FOUR PILLARS OF MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING ONTO AN EXISTING ACCREDITED PROGRAM." Paper #3113 in the Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio, Texas, June 10-13, 2012.7. Wells, David L. "Extending the Dimensions of Manufacturing Engineering." Paper #7541 in the Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia, June 23-26, 2013.8. Yip-Hoi, Derek. "Strategies for Teaching CAD Automation to Engineers and Technologists." Paper #138 in the Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky, June 20-23, 2010.9. Yip-Hoi, Derek. "CAD instruction techniques for advanced assembly modeling and mechanisms design." Paper #139 in the Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky, June 20-23, 2010.10. Yip-Hoi, Derek M. "Teaching Surface Modeling to CAD/CAM Technologists." Paper #138 in the Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 26-29, 2011.11. Yip-Hoi, Derek M., and Jeffrey L. Newcomer. "Teaching CAD Modeling Using LEGO (registered)." Paper #152 in the Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 26-29, 2011.12. Yip-Hoi, Derek M. "Curriculum Development for a CAD/CAM Option in a Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program." Paper #119 in the Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 26-29, 2011.13. Yip-Hoi, Derek M. "Using Simulation to Improve the Efficiency of CAM and CNC Instruction" Paper #6201 in the Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia, June 23-26, 2013.
Yip-Hoi, D. M., & Newcomer, J. L. (2015, June), Conforming a New Manufacturing Engineering Curriculum to the SME Four Pillars Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23732
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