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Connecting classrooms across borders to engineer a process to manufacture a Tequila bottle

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 4 - Global South Engineering

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Paper Authors


Rodrigo Martinez-Duarte

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Rodrigo Martinez-Duarte is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University (USA) and Head of the Multiscale Manufacturing Laboratory His group’s expertise lies at the interface between micro/nanofabrication, carbonaceous materials, electrokinetics and microfluidics. Rodrigo is known as the pioneer of carbon-electrode Dielectrophoresis (carbonDEP), a technique for bioparticle manipulation using carbon electrodes and microfluidics devices with application to diagnostics and therapeutics. He is also internationally known for pushing the envelope on the use of renewable materials and non-traditional techniques such as origami and robocasting to manufacture shaped geometries that serve as precursors to architected carbon and carbide structures. At the nanoscale, his group is innovating ways to use microbial factories as nanoweavers of biofibers. A recurrent theme in his Multiscale Manufacturing Laboratory is assessing the effect of processing on the properties of carbonaceous materials and structures at multiple length scales, towards tailoring their performance. At Clemson University he teaches manufacturing processes and their application, as well as fundamentals of micro/nanofabrication. His pedagogical approach emphasizes teamwork, flipped classrooms, and project-based learning.
Besides the US, Rodrigo has lived and worked in Switzerland, Spain, India, Mexico and South Korea and has a track record of service and leadership. He is currently the Chair of the Clemson University’s Commission on Latino Affairs, Chair of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences (CECAS) Committee on Global Engagement, Chair of the Organizing Committee of Dia de los Muertos at Clemson, and Guest Editor and an active Reviewer for leading journals in his field. He is also a Past President of the AES Electrophoresis Society. He is or has chaired several sessions and international meetings on Carbon and/or Electrokinetics within the Electrochemical Society, Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers and AES. He was the recipient of the Public Impact fellowship at UC Irvine in 2010, in 2019 both Junior Faculty Eastman Award for Excellence in Mechanical Engineering, and the Esin Gulari Leadership and Service Award in CECAS at Clemson University, and in 2021, the Impact Award from the Hispanic Latinx Heritage Month at CU.

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Magda Guerra-Ayala

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Maggie Guerra- Ayala specializes in international agreements, global partnerships, and multilateral international negotiation. Born in Guatemala, she speaks 5 languages and has lived in multiple countries including Guatemala, Mexico, Italy, Argentina, and the U.S.

She arrived in Clemson University in 2017 and currently works in the Office of Global Engagement (OGE) in the Global Learning, Partnerships, and Initiative (GPLI) where she oversees and processes International Agreements in coordination with partners and campus stakeholders, as well as the logistics for different initiatives within OGE. She is also part of a select group in Clemson University who are Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a well-recognized tool to assess intercultural development.

Before coming to Clemson, Maggie was a Diplomat for Guatemala. She began her Diplomat career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Guatemala in 2006 where she served for 6 years in different positions, including the Deputy Director for Bilateral Policy with Europe and Acting Chief of Staff to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. During this time she also coordinated the official visits to Guatemala of different world delegations including the Presidents of Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ecuador in 2007; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in 2010; and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2011. She then served as Consul General at the Guatemalan Embassy to Argentina and as Counselor for the Interamerican Budgetary Commission and for Interamerican Council of Sustainable Development at the Guatemalan Permanent Mission to the Organization of the American States (OEA) in Washington D.C. At D.C. she served in leadership roles within OEA, including Vice-Chair of the Working group on General Standards and Programs of the Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs in 2015-2016; and Chair of the Committee on Partnership for Development Policies of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development in 2016-2017.
In her free time, Maggie enjoys traveling, learning different languages, crochet knitting, trying new and exciting dishes and boat rides with her husband and dogs.

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Jaime Molina-Verdugo ITESO University

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International teamwork is a skill valued by employers with a global footprint. Development of the engineering workforce to meet the demands of an increasingly global industry includes skills beyond the mastering of the technical content. In this project, we connected groups from Clemson University (CU) in the US and ITESO Guadalajara in Mexico in a 9-week project to engineer a process to manufacture a commemorative Tequila bottle. We picked a Tequila bottle to emphasize its cultural background, degree of spread around the world, and familiarity to the students. All activities were online, and the project was framed as COIL. The course in CU, of 34 mechanical engineering majors, was Manufacturing Processes and their Applications; the course at ITESO, of 22 students total with 14 industrial engineering and the rest business administration majors, was Manufacturing Services and Strategies. The course was required for graduation for all engineering majors and optional for business majors. The project was split into 5 major team deliverables, mapping a COIL framework as follows: in week 1, emphasizing team building and the development of trust; in weeks 2, 3 and 5, comparative discussion, team organization; and in week 9, collaborative project work. Different speakers from industry facilitated discussion on international teamwork and supply chain. There were individual reflections in week 1 and 9, before and after the project. Assessment was done through these student reflections; as well as student reflections and course evaluations at the end of the semester when they compared the international project to other aspects of the class. In this presentation, we will report the analysis of the perspectives from the students, lessons learned, and plans to make this type of project scalable to larger classrooms, given the expected increase in size of the groups in the near future.

Martinez-Duarte, R., & Guerra-Ayala, M., & Molina-Verdugo, J. (2022, August), Connecting classrooms across borders to engineer a process to manufacture a Tequila bottle Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.

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