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Engineering Education, Beyond The Books

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.265.1 - 5.265.10



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Paper Authors

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Patricia Davies

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Leah H Jamieson

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Laura A Guedelhoefer

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Edward J. Coyle

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James D. Jones

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

Session 1526

Engineering Education, Beyond the Books

Laura Guedelhoefer, Jim Jones, Leah Jamieson, Ed Coyle, Patricia Davies Purdue University


This paper will focus on the process and benefits students receive through practical manufacturing experience. Included in the paper are two examples of small projects that can be completed in 1-2 hours, yet still provide a valuable introduction to the machining process. The Purdue hammer project, which is produced in a sophomore introduction to mechanical design course, is a brass hammer with a wood handle. Using hexagonal brass stock, the students learn drilling and milling, while they create the hole for the handle. The lathe is used to chamfer and to turn the work piece down to length. Other machines used are the grinder, polishing wheel, press, and a CNC mill. A more simplified project is the Purdue cardholder project. After milling a piece of aluminum bar stock into the shape of a cardholder, students learn different finishing techniques, pressing, and CNC milling. Once students completed the projects described in this paper, information was gathered in the form of a survey. The students’ opinions of machining the projects were then consolidated and included in this paper. The results showed that working in the machine shop “help[ed] to remove the intimidation of the shop itself.” Other results include: the students’ fear of using the machines declined, the extent at which they knew the machines increased from 2.4 to 3.7 and 1.9 to 3.8 on a 5 point Likert Scale, they enjoyed the opportunity to get their hands dirty, and they saw the experience as a valuable learning tool. However, the thing the students liked best was “the fact that [they] had something material to bring home and say ‘I made this in class’.” The two things that they liked the least were “only get[ting] one day in the shop” and “leaving the shop.”

I. Introduction

Since the practice of engineering began people qualified and willing were taught the skills needed to provide good engineering solutions. “In the past, most of the incoming students had considerable hands on experience, and it could be assumed that students had some experience with basic tools and common machinery. Today, however, students generally have little or no exposure to mechanical devices. Instead, students may have much more experience with computers,” [1] leaving a knowledge gap that needs to be filled. University of Michigan conducted a survey of alumni, and the results clearly showed that the majority of the respondents do not feel the University prepares them well in the areas that are most important to them, manufacturing [1]. Not only do universities need to provide graduating engineers with analytical training and training in the design process, they need to teach all the tools required to complete a design. Students have difficulties designing parts that are inexpensive and easily produced because they lack hands-on manufacturing experience. Building manufacturing experiences into the core curriculum will provide engineers that are better equipped to make good design decisions. Purdue University has implemented many projects throughout the mechanical engineering curriculum that provide hands-on experiences. The current paper will discuss two

Davies, P., & Jamieson, L. H., & Guedelhoefer, L. A., & Coyle, E. J., & Jones, J. D. (2000, June), Engineering Education, Beyond The Books Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8346

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