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Curriculum Development For An Interdisciplinary Manufacturing Engineering Program

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Course Innovation

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.384.1 - 11.384.12



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Paper Authors


Frank Liou University of Missouri-Rolla

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Dr. Frank Liou is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR). He currently serves as the Director of the Manufacturing Engineering Program at UMR. His teaching and research interests include CAD/CAM, nano-technology, rapid prototyping, and rapid manufacturing. He has published over 100 technical papers and has research grants and contracts over $7M.

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

Curriculum Development for an Interdisciplinary Manufacturing Engineering Program

Abstract This paper outlines the curriculum development effort for improving the interdisciplinary engineering program at the University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR). UMR currently offers two BS degree option programs in manufacturing, one in Mechanical Engineering and the other in Engineering Management, and MS degree programs in manufacturing are also offered. As the manufacturing engineering program is relatively expensive to run, especially the manufacturing laboratories, a strategy to integrate various campus resources in materials and processes on campus to improve the curriculum has been implemented. The collaborations with manufacturing companies and other partnering institutions to enhance the program are discussed. Also included in this paper are the major curriculum development and outreach activities, including an interdisciplinary capstone design project to provide opportunities for students to design, manufacture, and actually market a product, which can stimulate students’ interest in real-world product realization, the summer manufacturing workshop for high-school teachers and students, and research programs to develop laboratory facilities and support graduate programs.

Introduction To live well, a nation must produce well. U.S. manufacturing is a critical area that cannot afford to be lost, but it is facing a great challenge. When the industry’s manufacturing jobs are out-sourced, engineering and design jobs will follow, as an engineer cannot design a product well without knowing how to manufacture a product. Although outsourcing could be just a part of globalization, it may permanently hurt the U.S. industry’s competitiveness and product innovation capability if the trend continues. In order for the U.S. to stay competitive, product innovation is the best strategy so that consumers will continue to purchase higher priced yet higher value products. It is critical to educate our future engineers about the importance of manufacturing1.

To respond to the need for the enhancement of manufacturing education, the Coordinating Board for Higher Education in cooperation with the Missouri State Board of Education prepared a Missouri State Plan for Post-Secondary Technical Education, and this has culminated in UMR’s mission to establish new programs in manufacturing. As a result, the UMR Manufacturing Engineering program was initiated in year 2000. It offers interdisciplinary Master of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in Manufacturing Engineering, BS Mechanical Engineering with Manufacturing Option, and BS Engineering Management with Manufacturing Option.

This paper summarizes the challenges, program structure, resources seeking efforts, and major curriculum development activities of this interdisciplinary manufacturing engineering program.

Liou, F. (2006, June), Curriculum Development For An Interdisciplinary Manufacturing Engineering Program Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--85

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