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Development Of An Interdisciplinary Laboratory Curriculum For Emerging Product Manufacturing

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Experiments and Laboratories in Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.422.1 - 13.422.13



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Paper Authors


Frank Liou Missouri University of Science & Technology

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Frank Liou is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (MST). He currently serves as the Director of the Interdisciplinary Manufacturing Engineering Program at MST. His teaching and research interests include CAD/CAM, rapid prototyping, and rapid manufacturing. He has published over 150 technical papers, and has research grants and contracts over $8M.

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


Abstract This paper summarizes an effort to develop an interdisciplinary capstone design project course and laboratory in manufacturing. As manufacturing laboratories are very expensive to develop, this program is designed based on distributed and integrated manufacturing processes on campus. As students can gain access to various facilities, they will be able to make various products, including some emerging products, such as EDM machines, fuel cells, etc. As this capstone design project provides opportunities for students to design, manufacture, it stimulates the students’ interest in real-world product realization. Both the program model and actual project implementation are summarized in this paper. This program can also be adapted at other institutions that have limited manufacturing process facilities.

Introduction Establishment of laboratories for a manufacturing program is typically challenging as it tends to be costly in terms of capital investment, maintenance, personnel training, and laboratory space. An innovative product-oriented manufacturing curriculum has been implemented1, 2. This project has significantly impacted two BS degree option programs in manufacturing and the MS degree programs in manufacturing. We have established an integrative and collaborative manufacturing program to reinforce and sharpen critical competencies of students. The centerpiece and uniqueness of this program is a senior- level, two-semester capstone manufacturing project course that provides students with the experience of integrating business and engineering skills toward distributed product realization. The term “distributed” is used to emphasize that the student team is expected to use facilities that are distributed at manufacturing laboratories on both campuses and the facilities of outside vendors and suppliers. This project course also provides students with the experience of integrating the technical knowledge they have learned from other courses. The objectives of this program and learning outcomes include 1) Ability for students to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data; 2) Ability for students to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs; 3) Ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams; 4) Ability for students to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems; 5) Ability for students to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice; and 6) Ability to attract industry to participate. The current development effort for emerging products for the courses and the current assessments are reported in this paper.

Capstone Project Courses The two-semester capstone project courses have been developed and offered. The two- course sequence enables the students to learn in the following subjects:

1. Acquisition of customer’s requirements,

Liou, F. (2008, June), Development Of An Interdisciplinary Laboratory Curriculum For Emerging Product Manufacturing Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3112

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