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Innovative Manufacturing Education Experience for First-Year Engineering Students: Using a Seminar Course and Volunteerism to Enhance Manufacturing Skills

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Experinces in Manufacturing Engineering Education

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Eric Holloway Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16

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Eric Holloway currently serves as the Senior Director of Industry Research in the College of Engineering at Purdue University, where he focuses on industry research in the College of Engineering.

From 2007-2013, Eric served as the Managing Director and the Director of Instructional Laboratories in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. As Director, he was in charge of the building and implementation of the Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Laboratory, which opened in August 2008 and houses classrooms and laboratories used by the 2000 students in Purdue’s First-Year Engineering Program. He oversaw the daily operation of the i2i lab, and was responsible for the personnel, logistics, and technology used in the classroom and labs. Eric also helped build and directed the College of Engineering sponsored Artisan and Fabrication Lab (AFL), which houses a machine shop, carpentry shop, and a prototyping lab used by all students in the College of Engineering for project work. In 2009, he received a New Employee Staff Award of Excellence from the College of Engineering for his work in launching the i2i lab. Eric has served as the university representative on the Haas Technical Education Council, which is committed to developing manufacturing expertise at the high school, trade school, and university level. He received a BSEE from Purdue University in 1992. He has over 15 years of industrial experience, specializing in manufacturing and electronic controls, for which he holds 3 patents. Eric’s industrial experience includes positions at Toyota, Cummins, Woodward, and TRW Automotive. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Engineering Education from Purdue, with an expected graduation date of 2020.

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William C. Oakes Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16

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William (Bill) Oakes is the Director of the EPICS Program and one of the founding faculty members of the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He has held courtesy appointments in Mechanical, Environmental and Ecological Engineering as well as Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. He is a registered professional engineer and on the NSPE board for Professional Engineers in Higher Education. He has been active in ASEE serving in the FPD, CIP and ERM. He is the past chair of the IN/IL section. He is a fellow of the Teaching Academy and listed in the Book of Great Teachers at Purdue University. He was the first engineering faculty member to receive the national Campus Compact Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning. He was a co-recipient of the National Academy of Engineering’s Bernard Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education and the recipient of the National Society of Professional Engineers’ Educational Excellence Award and the ASEE Chester Carlson Award. He is a fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education and the National Society of Professional Engineers.

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Traditional first-year engineering curricula place a premium on education related to math, science, and often an introductory engineering course involving elements of design, analysis, and programing. While the opportunity for first-year students to gain hands-on experience is increasing, these experiences typically focus on design-related activities, while experiences with manufacturing skills and processes are limited. Yet with the “maker movement” in full swing, today’s students have a strong desire for engineering experiences where they learn manufacturing skills and build things that complement the design skills they are learning in first-year classes and beyond. This paper explores the details of how a 1-credit seminar course is being used at a large Midwestern university to provide an innovative manufacturing education experience to first-year engineering students. This is accomplished by grounding the course in the manufacturing tools and processes used in the university’s Artisan and Fabrication Laboratory (AFL) to facilitate learning about manufacturing through the technology that students have access to and can use. As part of the course, students can volunteer (and most do) to gain hands-on experience with the tools and processes that are discussed in the class through specific activities in the AFL designed to complement what is taught in class. As this class has been taught in both the Fall and Spring semesters since Fall 2013 (7 semesters), assessment data and student feedback is available and is reviewed in this paper. The overall result is a class that is in high demand from the first-year engineering student body and that greatly enhances students’ understanding of manufacturing.

Holloway, E., & Oakes, W. C. (2017, June), Innovative Manufacturing Education Experience for First-Year Engineering Students: Using a Seminar Course and Volunteerism to Enhance Manufacturing Skills Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28535

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