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Implementing A Design And Manufacturing Track In A Mechanical Engineering Program

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Manufacturing Division Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.693.1 - 14.693.9

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Paper Authors


Xiaolin Chen Washington State University, Vancouver

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Dr. Xiaolin Chen is an Assistant Professor of School of Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University Vancouver. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati and her M.S. and B.S. from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. Her teaching and research interests include computational mechanics, finite element and boundary element methods, advanced materials modeling & characterization, and manufacturing process simulation.

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Dave Kim Washington State University, Vancouver

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Dr. Dave (Dae-Wook) Kim is an Assistant Professor of School of Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University Vancouver. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington, Seattle, and his M.S. and B.S. at Sungkyunkwan University, Korea. His teaching and research interests include manufacturing processes, composite materials, and mechanical behavior of engineering materials.

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

Implementing a Design and Manufacturing Track in a Mechanical Engineering Program

Washington State University Vancouver Mechanical Engineering Program provides students with a solid foundation upon which they can build to meet the challenges associated with their individual career paths and to adapt to the rapidly changing technologies. To that end, the creation of cohesive course sequences as an opportunity to implement the reform was identified. Three cohesive course sequences, so called “track”, have been offered to the students. The Design and Manufacturing track provides seven closely-integrated courses to help students learn how to apply engineering fundamentals to practical design and manufacturing problems. The track courses include: Engineering Materials, Numerical Analysis, Manufacturing Processes, Machine Design, Computer-Aided-Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing Engineering, and Manufacturing Systems. The track courses will not only cover basic principles in product design and manufacturing, but will also instill problem-solving skills, teamwork skills, and hands-on experiences. Both software technologies (CAD/CAE/CAM) and modern hardware tools (RP, CNC, etc) have been implemented into the track courses. Upon completion of the seven track courses, students can receive the certificate from the school. This paper presents details of planning and implementation of such a curriculum development activity in design and manufacturing within the mechanical engineering curriculum. Overall student experience and lessons learned in developing such a curriculum are also discussed.

1. Introduction

Current mechanical engineering curricula are originated from a century-scale “grand scientific paradigm”: mechanics in the 17th and 18th centuries and thermodynamics in the 19th century. These origins have been reflected for well over a century in Mechanical Engineering (ME) curricula [1]. In January 2002, The National Science Foundation chartered a workshop on “Redefining Mechanical Engineering” to explore new possibilities for ME education. Recommendations were made to streamline and update ME curricula by introducing emerging knowledge related to micro/nano technology, product design and realization and etc. and exposing students to computational methods and design practices employed by practicing engineers [2]. To keep up with the national trend in ME education, we plan to implement three track areas in the program: (1) Mechatronics; (2) Design and Manufacturing; and (3) Micro/Nanotechnology. With the completion of a track area, the graduates can earn the certificate of completion from the chair of the school.

Manufacturing is strategic for the United States’ global competitiveness and relates to national wealth indices. According to Industry Week on-line magazine, manufacturing generates 4.5 times more jobs than retailing and represents 80 percent of all world trade. The economic success of manufacturing; however, hinges on successful engineering designs. Today, mechanical engineers face the challenge of realizing a product design with increased complexity and a shortened life cycle under intense global competition. Studies [3-6] suggest that a career in product design and development has been one of the major goals for students choosing mechanical engineering majors. Seamless design, analysis, and manufacturing capabilities are rapidly being adopted by industry as a part of standard engineering practice. However, mechanical engineering curricula tend to overlook design and manufacturing relationships until the senior capstone course sequence [6]. A track area of Design and Manufacturing offered in a mechanical engineering program may provide a viable solution to augment a conventional ME

Chen, X., & Kim, D. (2009, June), Implementing A Design And Manufacturing Track In A Mechanical Engineering Program Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas.

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