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Industrial Projects In Manufacturing Engineering Education

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Industry-Based Projects

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.727.1 - 9.727.8



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Paper Authors

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Richard Rothaupt

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Richard Rothaupt

Technology Department University of Wisconsin-Stout Menomonie, WI 54751

Abstract – Presentation will describe the requirements of an industrial project for UW-Stout manufacturing engineering students and illustrate the process used to screen and select industrial projects for the senior design course. An industrial project recently completed by students will be described.

Introduction Since 2001 the capstone courses in the Manufacturing Engineering (MfE) program at University of Wisconsin-Stout has focused almost exclusively upon industrial sponsored projects. The capstone course is a two semester sequence where the first semester course focuses upon research and design of a product and the building of a mock-up. The second semester is to design and build a functional automated machine to produce a product. Projects are managed by teams of students, industry contacts and faculty advisors. Projects completed in the past have varied from food production to robotic welding cells. In order for the students to complete these extensive projects the curriculum at UW-Stout has been designed to provide the students with a ‘technical toolbox’ which emphasizes practical engineering experiences in industrial applications.

In teaching manufacturing engineering principles, the Stout MfE faculty believes that it is important students learn the techniques of manufacturing processes so they may more fully appreciate the complexities of production methods. It is not sufficient to only expose the student to theory and textbook learning they must also have practical experience in setting up and operating production machines. These basic experiences allow the students to derive a deeper understanding of manufacturing and also a greater appreciation of the work done by a typical industrial worker whom they most likely will be supervising once they are on the job. This curriculum was designed in response to criticisms leveled at engineering schools by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in their Curricula 2000 Report1 and the Manufacturing Education Plan: 1999 Critical Competency Gaps2 document and in other papers which alleged that schools offer too few “practical” and “hands-on” courses. Stout has a rich tradition of teaching students technical skills that can only be taught in laboratory experience. By integrating theory and

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Rothaupt, R. (2004, June), Industrial Projects In Manufacturing Engineering Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12704

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