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IllumiNUT Shake-Light Manufacturing: An Engineering/Business Interdisciplinary Supply Chain Project

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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) An innovative inter-disciplinary project was launched at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in Fall 2016 where Engineering and Business students participate hands-on in the operation of a supply-chain manufacturing business. The product, the “IllumiNUT”, is a customized green-energy shake-light that provides battery-free light just by shaking it. Originally developed by a group of four RVCC Engineering students in Fall 2015, the IllumiNUT product was a result of the RVCC “Authentic Engineering Experience” course where students are tasked with designing and developing a real product for a real customer. The Engineering-Business collaboration began in Spring 2016 when the RVCC chapter of the international student-business organization, Enactus, saw the potential in the IllumiNUT as an entrepreneurial venture. Made entirely by students on-site at the RVCC campus, no part of the IllumiNUT manufacturing is outsourced. Manufacturing emphasis is on product quality and process improvement using Lean Manufacturing methods to elimination of waste. Sales are done personally and face-to-face to directly learn the customer needs and to build the IlluminNUT brand at the same time. All manufacturing and business metrics are tracked to follow the health of the business. Leadership and participation for each part of the IllumiNUT “business” is provided by students. Engineering and Business students literally work side by side breaking down traditional and persistent interdisciplinary communications barriers. A total of 78 student-made IllumiNUT products were sold as of April 2017, generating just over $1000 in revenue. The IllumiNUT profit was donated to a Local Food bank to demonstrate the positive impact of business on the community.

Stupak, P. R. (2017, October), IllumiNUT Shake-Light Manufacturing: An Engineering/Business Interdisciplinary Supply Chain Project Paper presented at 2017 Mid-Atlantic Section Fall Conference, Penn State University - Berks Campus - Reading, Pennsylvania.

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