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Green Energy Tent-Light with GPS Locator: A Real Product for a Real Customer

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2017 Mid-Atlantic Section Fall Conference


Penn State University - Berks Campus - Reading, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

October 6, 2017

Start Date

October 6, 2017

End Date

October 7, 2017

Conference Session

Mid Atlantic Papers

Tagged Topic

Mid-Atlantic Section Fall Conference

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Paper Authors


Peter Raymond Stupak Raritan Valley Community College

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Peter Stupak is an Assistant Professor of Engineering and Physics at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC). His interests focus on exposing students, under "authentic engineering" conditions, to vital skills and practices used by professional Engineers. Prior to joining RVCC in 2014, Peter enjoyed a 22-year career in the fiber-optics manufacturing industry, living, and working in 7 countries. Peter’s work involved him in R&D, Engineering, and Manufacturing culminating in the construction, start-up, and operation of an optical fiber factory in Suzhou, China where he remains the Chief Technology Officer. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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(Submitted for 6 Page Paper) In late January of the Spring 2017 semester, a Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) Authentic Engineering Experience Team of three engineering and one computer science student sophomores received a request from a Customer, an avid backpacker, for a tent light which provides readable light for two people for thirty minutes without the use of batteries. In addition, the tent light would also function as a GPS receiver/Cell transmitter sending location coordinates to a phone or web-site at the Customer’s home. Other constraints, such as weight, dimensions, and water resistance were defined, but the Customer did not indicate or suggest how to achieve the required product performance – those decisions were left entirely to the student Team. The Customer required a finished product by the delivery date of May 1, 2017. The student Team members were treated as Professional Engineers in an Engineering-Solutions company – not as students. Although guided by industry-experienced staff, the overwhelming emphasis was for the student Teams to reach their own designs, experience their own failures and successes, resolve their own communications conflicts, and respond to critical Customer comments. The objective is for students to be exposed early in their academic careers and under "authentic engineering" conditions, to vital skills and practices used daily by professional Engineers. Most importantly students are taught – and experience first-hand – that success comes from never giving up. These experiences differentiate students and gives them an authentic story to relate to potential internship and professional employers.

Stupak, P. R. (2017, October), Green Energy Tent-Light with GPS Locator: A Real Product for a Real Customer Paper presented at 2017 Mid-Atlantic Section Fall Conference, Penn State University - Berks Campus - Reading, Pennsylvania.

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