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Critical Thinking in Manufacturing Engineering Education

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Manufacturing Division Technical Session 5

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Paper Authors


Arif Sirinterlikci Robert Morris University Orcid 16x16

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Arif Sirinterlikci is a University Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and the Department Head of Engineering at Robert Morris University. He holds BS and MS degrees, both in Mechanical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University in Turkey and his Ph.D. is in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Ohio State University. He has been actively involved in ASEE and SME organizations and conducted research in Rapid Prototyping and Reverse Engineering, Biomedical Device Design and Manufacturing, Automation and Robotics, and CAE in Manufacturing Processes fields.

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John M. Mativo University of Georgia

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Dr. John Mativo is Associate Professor at the University of Georgia. His research interest lies in two fields. The first is research focusing on best and effective ways to teaching and learning in STEM K-16. He is currently researching on best practices in learning Dynamics, a sophomore engineering core course. The second research focus of Dr. Mativo is energy harvesting in particular the design and use of flexible thermoelectric generators. His investigation is both for the high-tech and low tech applications. In addition to teaching courses such as energy systems, mechanics, mechatronics, and production, he investigates best ways to expand cutting edge technologies to the workforce.

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According to A.B. Steyn, engineering education cannot be solely based on memorization and technical calculation. It is imperative that the engineering students develop critical thinking skills for better understanding and reasoning of problems they may face professionally in the future. Critical thinking is the process of conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information obtained by observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication (Jessop, 2002). The introduction of this paper covers the necessary framework for engineering critical thinking including intellectual traits necessary for understanding the subject and stages of the critical thinking development, along with a literature review on its applications in engineering education. Multiple cases are used in presentation of analyzing engineering design including ego-centric and user-centric design examples, analyzing engineering documents including engineering research work, and ethics.

This paper focuses on applications of critical thinking in manufacturing engineering education at the author’s institution. A series of undergraduate courses including Rapid Prototyping and Reverse Engineering, Safety and Methods Engineering, and Integrated Engineering Design (the capstone course) along with a masters level course in Engineering Management Cases are studied using critical thinking concepts and associated tools. Role of engineering decision making in engineers’ careers is another focal point of this paper including human error as demonstrated by Safety and Methods and Engineering Management Cases courses. Evaluation of student work in some of these courses is also presented.

The paper is concluded with a design proposal of a senior level elective on critical thinking in manufacturing engineering.

Sirinterlikci, A., & Mativo, J. M. (2019, June), Critical Thinking in Manufacturing Engineering Education Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32569

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