June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.892.1 - 12.892.9
Infusing an Interdisciplinary Automation Experience in Engineering Technology Education.
This paper will address the advantages; experiences and lessons learned in infusing an interdisciplinary Robotic, Automation and Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) course into the B.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology, B.S. Computer Engineering Technology and B. S. Technology/Manufacturing curriculum. Industry today desperately needs skilled engineers and manufacturing professionals that can modernize and improve manufacturing processes and product designs for manufacturability to be able to compete in the “global economy” of today. Therefore automation skills need to be introduced to the student in all three of the above degree programs. The author’s describes how his industrial experience helped him shape an interdisciplinary course that challenges the student to be creative and build on the strengths of his/her fellow students in four degree fields. The student of today needs to be more “Job Ready” and not just “know the theory” if he/she is to compete for the jobs of tomorrow. This includes being able to work in interdisciplinary groups to accomplish project goals. The use of self directed laboratory experiences can keep the students engaged and active in learning the course objectives. The use of laboratory teams made up of the different degree programs more closely simulates the reality of autonomous interdisciplinary design teams in industry today.
The paper will relate how the course has become one that the students not only come willingly to formal lab hours, but insist on having expanded access to make their project come to life. Employers today are also looking for employees that can accomplish smaller automation projects without having to hire a consultant that leaves as soon as the start button is pushed. The paper will relate examples of industrial alliances and how students have stated that the experience in the classroom has translated to the student being more “Job Ready” and actually receiving job offers due to these laboratory experiences. Finally the paper will give the authors lessons learned and reflections for the future of the course to respond to a changing industrial landscape.
Industry today desperately needs skilled engineers and manufacturing professionals that can modernize and improve manufacturing processes and product designs for manufacturability to be able to compete in the “global economy” of today. The student of today needs to be more “Job Ready” and not just “know the theory” if he/she is to compete for the jobs of tomorrow. This includes being able to work in interdisciplinary groups to accomplish project goals. Traditionally each discipline in engineering education has been taught in a “walled off” experience of students in only one particular discipline. Not only have we isolated the disciplines form each other but often the students from each other. The “you need to be able to do this on your own” attitude has been ingrained to a fault. True, students need to be able to master and solve problems in their course work on their own but, this has been carried to the exclusion of learning the value of team work. Further traditionally the student never works with members of a different discipline. There is little wonder then why the young engineer has difficulty
Richter, D. (2007, June), Infusing An Interdisciplinary Automation Experience In Engineering Technology Education. Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2325
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