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Inclusivity in Engineering Curriculum in the Age of Industry 4.0: The Role of Internet of Things

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Technical Session 1

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College Industry Partnerships

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Paper Authors


Shuvra Das University of Detroit Mercy Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Shuvra Das started working at University of Detroit Mercy in January 1994 and is currently Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Over this time, he served in a variety of administrative roles such as Mechanical Engineering Department Chair, Associate Dean for Research and Outreach, and Director of International Programs in the college of Engineering and Science. He has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and Master’s and Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics from Iowa State University. Dr. Das teaches a variety of courses ranging from freshmen to advanced graduate level such as Mechanics of Materials, Introductory and Advanced Finite Element Method, Engineering Design, Introduction to Mechatronics, Mechatronic Modeling and Simulation, Mathematics for Engineers, Electric Drives and Electromechanical Energy Conversion. He led the effort in the college to start several successful programs: an undergraduate major in Robotics and Mechatronic Systems Engineering, a graduate certificate in Advanced Electric Vehicles. Dr. Das’s areas of research interests are modeling and simulation of multi-disciplinary engineering problems, modeling multi-physics problems in manufacturing, engineering education, and curriculum reform. He has authored or co-authored five books on these topics.

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David Pistrui University of Detroit Mercy

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David Pistrui, Ph.D., is an executive, entrepreneur, and educator with over 30 years of experience serving the corporate, nonprofit, and education sectors. In 1993, David founded Acumen Dynamics, LLC, a global advisory firm that serves the public and private sectors.

David has held faculty appointments at University of Detroit Mercy, Fayetteville State University, and Illinois Institute of Technology, He has co-authored over 60 publications in the areas of growth strategies, family business, and engineering.

David has held corporate leadership positions with VideoCart, MediaOne, Parade Publications, Time Inc., and Purex Industries. He has worked with a wide range of organizations including Tenneco, KPMG, Motorola, Wrigley, IBM, Comarch, GrubHub, Minnetronix, Cleversafe, Siemans, and Dentsu, among many others.

David holds a Ph.D. (Cum Laude) in Applied Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, a Ph.D., in Sociology from the University of Bucharest, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from DePaul University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration, in Marketing and Economics from Western Michigan University.

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Darrell K. Kleinke P.E. University of Detroit Mercy

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Dr. Kleinke has over 25 years of industry experience in the design and development of electro-mechanical systems. As a tenure-track faculty member and Chair of the University of Detroit Mercy Mechanical Engineering department, he has developed a program of instruction that promotes student-lead design of assistive technology products for people with disabilities. The guiding principle is that student project work is more meaningful and fulfilling when students have the opportunity to experience interaction with real live "customers." Dr. Kleinke is currently the Director of the Graduate Engineering Professional Programs, emphasizing Systems Engineering and Graduate Product Development programs.

In addition to academic work, Dr Kleinke continues his involvement in industry as he conducts seminars on innovation which are tailored to the needs of industrial product companies. Dr Kleinke's work with the Detroit-based technology hub, Automation Alley, is engaging academia in the dissemination of Industry 4.0 knowledge to support the regional industrial ecosystem.

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Eric T. Gehrig Target Training International, Ltd.

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Dr. Eric Gehrig is currently Vice President of Research and Development for Target Training International, Ltd. Dr. Gehrig's educational background includes bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in pure mathematics from Arizona State University. Since 2003, Dr. Gehrig has held various consulting and research roles in areas of supply chain management, banking, finance, economic modeling, and psychometric assessment research and development.

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Ron Bonnstetter

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In the absence of digital technology, the cost to operate an inclusive education system is prohibitive. Prior to the digital revolution of industry 4.0, the evolution of the education system resulted in limited access and limited accommodation for underprivileged populations. In this paper we provide case studies that illustrate how students that are economically disadvantaged and students with atypical learning styles have suffered the most. We then describe how the application of digital technology, in particular we explore the Internet of Things (IoT), is making inclusion possible and affordable.

The case studies will show that the evolution of the education system, driven by economic efficiency, has resulted in two types of exclusion. Without technology, the “affordable” education system has been delivering programs designed for a limited range of learning styles, and only to those students and societies with the economic means and physical infrastructure to afford it. Instead of education operating as a vehicle to close the economic gap between the haves and have-nots, a lack of global access has widened the gap. In addition, when education programs are delivered as if all students have identical learning styles and needs, the students with unique learning styles are put at a disadvantage. Fortunately, with the proliferation of digital technology, access has expanded to the masses and education programs can be tailored to the needs of the learners.

Despite economic and social disadvantages, non-traditional learners can be given equal access through IoT enabled technologies. We do not accept the premise that the way to deliver affordable education is to only accommodate an exclusive population of students while the less conventional students are forgotten and left behind. Instead, we show how IoT can be used to bring the outlier students into the system. IoT can also be used to provide substantial educational assistance. IoT creates opportunities for vicarious and virtual inclusion. IoT is the tool, and now is the time to build an education system for all students, not just those that fit academia’s cost-efficient model of mass education. The paper includes cases where IoT is being successfully used to democratize education.

Keywords: Education 4.0, Industry 4.0, IoT, Remote learning, Inclusive education.

Das, S., & Pistrui, D., & Kleinke, D. K., & Gehrig, E. T., & Bonnstetter, R. (2021, July), Inclusivity in Engineering Curriculum in the Age of Industry 4.0: The Role of Internet of Things Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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