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Engagement in Practice: Learning Applications of MSE for Design of Community Based Shelter for Housing Insecurity

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Community Engagement Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

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Paper Authors


Ajay P. Malshe Purdue University

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Dr. Malshe is a R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of the Materials and Manufacturing Research Laboratory (MMRL), Purdue University. His fields of academic and industrial interest are advanced manufacturing, food-shelter-clothing and related life insecurities, bio-inspired materials and designing and system integration. He has overlapping 24 years of academic plus overlapping 15 years of industrial entrepreneurship experience. Application areas of his interest are food and agriculture manufacturing, mechanical systems, and manufacturing in space. He has 225 peer-reviewed publications and has delivered 105 keynote and invited talks across the United States and the world. He has 22 allowed patents with more than 65 resulting products commercialized and launched, in a team, across many industrial sectors worldwide used by Fortune 500 companies in the energy, electric vehicle, heavy-duty trucking, railway transportation, and high performance race car sectors. Malshe has trained 67 graduate and post-doctoral students and more than 1250 undergraduate students and young professional engineers in industries. He has also worked extensively with high schools to advance student learning success. Malshe’s notable honors include: Membership in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for “For innovations in nanomanufacturing with impact in multiple industry sectors”; Society of Manufacturing (SME)’s David Dornfeld Blue Sky Manufacturing Idea Award for “Factories-In-Space”; SME-S.M. Wu Research Implementation Award; three Edison Awards for Innovation; Tibbett Award by the US Small Business Association sponsored by EPA for successful technology transfer; R&D 100 Award, (the “Oscar” of innovation); Fellowships to the International 1. Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP), 2. the American Society of Materials (ASM), 3. the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), and 4. the Institute of Physics (IoP), London, England; multiple best paper awards; NanoBusiness Alliances’ Lifetime Achievement Award and Most Influential Nanotechnology Leaders award; and Special recognition under “Discoveries” from NSF for a new process, “Electric Pen Lithography (EPL) for sub-20 nm scale machining using nanoEDM".

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Kevin M Fitzpatrick University of Arkansas

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Kevin M. Fitzpatrick, PhD, is a community sociologist with 35 years of experience as a researcher, consultant, and advocate. Kevin is a University Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Arkansas. Since 2005, he has devoted the majority of his work-focus on helping communities throughout Arkansas better understand the challenges they face, and the types of strategies they might consider adopting to address those challenges. He has published 5 books and more than 75 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters that have continually emphasized the theme that place matters. Dr. Fitzpatrick is currently working with a multi-disciplinary team to develop technological innovations to address place-based food insecurity.

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Salil Bapat Purdue University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Salil Bapat is currently a Post-doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Purdue University under the mentoring of Prof. Ajay P. Malshe since March 2020. Dr. Bapat holds a Ph.D. degree in Microelectronics-photonics from University of Arkansas with emphasis on ‘tribology and surface characterization’. He has master’s and bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and engineering with experience in semiconductors, thin films processing and materials characterization. He has been involved with Prof. Malshe in teaching the introduction to materials class at the University of Arkansas for last 5 years in the capacity of teaching assistant, co-instructor and instructor.

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Homelessness/ housing insecurity is a growing challenge across the US and the world. Students, especially Gen-Z, are about to enter the workforce where insecurities including housing insecurity are common observations in daily life. Generating engineering student’s awareness of housing insecurity was the key objective of the presented work as a part of Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering, and manufacturing (MSEM) class in the mechanical and industrial engineering curriculum. A team of a social scientist, mechanical and manufacturing engineer and materials engineer teamed in the summer of 2018 to design a project where a class of 83 students would undertake a project in the Fall 2018 semester. The goal of the project was to apply the understanding of the material’s structure-property-applications relationships to identify specific materials for meeting engineering specifications for various components of community housing in Northwest Arkansas (NWA). The housing designs were produced by architects in close collaboration with a social scientist. Examples of various housing design components included material recommendations for kitchen tents, bathroom shower flooring, outdoor community decks, common area kitchen tops, and others. Each design component was delegated to 3 groups with 3 students per group to recommend materials for very high durability, simplicity of installation and low price for frugal engineering. Through this process, students: 1) developed an understanding of a growing major societal problem in America as they were asked to visit and get familiarized with the problem; and 2) studied the architectural components for developing application-specific material/product recommendations using the structure of a material, desired properties, commercial availability, pricing and recommended vendors. This was approximately an 8-week long exercise whereby students submitted their recommendations in a team report, later submitted to the team of the social scientist and the architect. This paper would detail the results of this phase-I project and the implantation model.

Malshe, A. P., & Fitzpatrick, K. M., & Bapat, S. (2020, June), Engagement in Practice: Learning Applications of MSE for Design of Community Based Shelter for Housing Insecurity Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34536

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