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Incorporating Design In A Manufacturing Engineering Technology Curriculum

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Design for Manufacture and Industry

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.740.1 - 11.740.10



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Paper Authors


Somnath Chattopadhyay Ball State University

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SOM CHATTOPADHYAY is currently the coordinator of the Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program at Ball State University. His primary teaching interests are Design, Materials, Manufacturing, Engineering Physics and Engineering and Technology Education. He has taught mechanical design, materials and manufacturing at a number of universities in the United States and the Middle East. For one year he taught freshman engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Indiana. His areas of research are design theory and methodology, pressure vessel design and analysis, and dynamics of mechanical and electromechanical systems. He serves as a consultant to Westinghouse Electric Company, and is a registered professional engineer. He recently authored a text on Pressure Vessel Design. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.

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

Incorporating Design in a Manufacturing Engineering Technology Curriculum


The typical manufacturing technology program focuses on manufacturing processes (metals and plastics) along with computer aided design which is primarily geared to drafting; this is supplemented further by courses in automation and computer integrated manufacturing. As a part of the curriculum, there are courses on mechanics of materials and engineering materials (metals and plastics), and also on electronics and instrumentation. There is some emphasis on design for quality through courses in quality control and design of experiments. The capstone projects do however, focus on various aspects of design, namely design for manufacturability as well as design for assembly. However, the perspectives of design, as such are not uniformly and strictly emphasized in a traditional manufacturing engineering technology curriculum. Furthermore, in the program at the author’s institution, there is no course on design of mechanical elements. The objective of this paper is to propose the incorporation of design across the curriculum for a typical manufacturing engineering technology program. It is fairly easy to incorporate design concepts in the mechanics of materials course (typically in the junior or senior year), emphasizing the issues of design for strength. The other courses that the issues of design become significantly important are in the ones involving metals and plastic processing. The aspect of design with uncertainty in material properties as well as other unknown parameters may be satisfactorily incorporated in courses on quality and design of experiments. Finally, the engineering design process and the corresponding problem-solving methodology must be strictly enforced in the senior level capstone experience in a manufacturing engineering technology curriculum. The basic elements of this concept as well as “design thinking” must originate at the cornerstone freshman design course and permeate through the sophomore, junior and senior classes. All these proposed enhancements and modifications to the curriculum are highlighted in this paper.


The manufacturing engineering technology (MET) at the author's institution is accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). The ABET criteria1 require that the students graduating from an engineering technology program demonstrate "an ability to apply creativity in the design of systems, components or processes appropriate to the program objectives." Design by its very nature is broad in scope and draws on creative talents, management shills and skills and knowledge of those involved. Furthermore design problems are not truly deterministic, and that is something the students do not see in their basic courses on sciences and mathematics. Design problems could have many solutions and one has to pick the optimum solution in terms of the criteria and requirements for a given situation. The design problems are open-ended and require decisions based on incomplete information. The Manufacturing Engineering Technology program at the author's institution is currently being actively reorganized to include the elements of design and how it can be strategically implemented across the

Chattopadhyay, S. (2006, June), Incorporating Design In A Manufacturing Engineering Technology Curriculum Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1209

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