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Implementing A Sophomore Level Materials, Manufacturing & Design Laboratory

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.247.1 - 1.247.7



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Paper Authors

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Andrew Wilhelm

author page

Edmund Tsang

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

Session 1626

Implementing A Sophomore-Level Materials, Manufacturing & Design Laboratory

Edmund Tsang and Andrew Wilhelm Mechanical Engineering Department, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688


A one-credit hour, sophomore-level laboratory course was implemented in Fall Quarter, 1995 to integrate materials, manufacturing and design. The course meets once a week for three hours, and is team- taught by two faculty members, one with background in materials science and the other with background in manufacturing and design. Course activities aim to create a discovery-oriented learning environment, and the weekly activities are geared towards helping students to successfully carry out a design project involving press-forming/press-shaping. Students engage in hands-on activities to investigate the relationship between structure, properties and processing of materials. They apply some general concepts of manufacturing to design the dies for press-forming/press-shaping, and use AutoCAD and a model computer-aided milling machine to cut a prototype die. They use statistics for product description, tolerance, and properties. Students also make final design project presentation. Details of the course and results of student evaluation are described in the paper.


The faculty of the Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department at the University of South Alabama (USA) began, in Fall 1993, an evaluation of the undergraduate program to meet the challenge of engineering education for the 21st Century. Restructuring of the mechanical engineering curriculum at USA is also prompted by the changing ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) requirements for design. Under the current criteria, design is defined as "an experience that must grow with the student's development," and "the design experience is developed and integrated throughout the curriculum"1. In addition to the development of student creativity, formulation of design problem statements and specifications, consideration of alternative solutions, and feasibility considerations, ABET suggests that design should also include "production processes and concurrent engineering design."

A new curriculum, which provides greater flexibility to upper division students to meet their diverse interests and which enhances the design experience for lower division students, was implemented in Fall, 1995 as a result of that effort. A new, one-credit hour, laboratory course, ME211 "Materials, Manufacturing and Design," was implemented in Fall Quarter, 1995 to introduce students to production processes and to provide continuity in design experience in the sophomore year, and is the subject of this paper. Other lower-division curriculum enhancements include the following three, new courses: (a) a 4- credit hour "Introduction to Mechanical Engineering," which replaces a one-credit hour course to provide substantial design experience in the freshman year, was implemented in Winter Quarter, 1996; (b) a 2-

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Wilhelm, A., & Tsang, E. (1996, June), Implementing A Sophomore Level Materials, Manufacturing & Design Laboratory Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6099

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