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Industrial Collaboration In An Undergraduate Computer Aided Design Course

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.312.1 - 4.312.10

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Brett Barraclough

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

Session 3325

Industrial Collaboration in an Undergraduate Computer Aided Design Course

MAJ Brett A. Barraclough

United States Military Academy


For the past two years, the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy has been improving a multi-disciplinary design course called EM370, Computer Aided Design (CAD). Based on student feedback and advances in technology, goals were established to ensure the computer design tools were compatible with the top-down design process and that the course content and Engineering Design Problems (EDPs) were linked by a common theme. In 1998, the department began coordination with the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) to use the weapon as a thread of continuity to show how all the topics taught in EM370 are related to real-world problems. The new series of ATACMS EDPs demonstrated how design information could be shared in a collaborative engineering environment. Moreover, the course improvement project included an opportunity to incorporate the way the Department of Defense (DoD) uses top-down design in the acquisition process. Simulation Based Acquisition (SBA) is a proposed system to apply top-down design and ensure that product data can be transferred across all the phases of the acquisition process. One of the main goals of the SBA initiative is to develop collaborative environments to speed the design process. In order for the initiative to succeed, the engineers across all disciplines must understand its goals and work to improve the way we develop weapon systems. Student assessments showed that the collaboration effort including the ATACMS and SBA improved the course content, instructor performance and student outcomes. Additionally, EM370 could serve as an educational baseline for other multi-disciplinary undergraduate CAD courses and the Defense Acquisition University curriculum.

I. Introduction

This paper documents the impact of collaboration with industry on EM370 and shares lessons-learned about SBA and the connectivity of leading commercial software tools. First, the goals and an overview of EM370 will be discussed. The parallel development of methods to improve EM370 and recommendations made by the SBA Joint Task Force will be presented. Then, the improvements made to the course by collaboration with the ATACMS Project Office and Lockheed Martin Vought Systems

Barraclough, B. (1999, June), Industrial Collaboration In An Undergraduate Computer Aided Design Course Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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