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Instruction Of Manufacturing As A Honors College Seminar

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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

4.318.1 - 4.318.4

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Paper Authors

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S. Kant Vajpayee

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

Session 1463

Instruction of Manufacturing as an Honors College Seminar S. Kant Vajpayee The University of Southern Mississippi


As elsewhere, our Honors College attracts in its programs some of our brightest students. A major component of its curriculum is HON 403: Honors Seminar. Most students in this course are liberal arts major. Driven by my fascination of manufacturing’s impact on modern living, I suggested manufacturing as a possible topic for the seminar. The College liked the idea, and soon I found myself facing the question: How to teach manufacturing to a group of bright college students whose knowledge of manufacturing may be rudimentary? This article presents an account of my efforts. One-fourth of the available time was used on the basics of manufacturing, especially of discrete manufacturing, and on current developments and trends. The remaining time was devoted to group-supervising the enrollees toward self-initiated projects that culminated in individual reports and class presentations. The projects covered a wide variety of topics, namely powder coatings, breast implants, baseball bats, the Harley Davidson company, ISO 14000 at Ford, nanotechnology in medicine, and robot-aided surgery. The instruction of manufacturing as a honors college seminar proved to be a unique experience.


Like several institutions of higher learning, The University of Southern Mississippi offers an honors program for its bright students. An important component of the honors curriculum is HON 403: Seminar. Driven by my fascination of manufacturing’s role in everyday life, I suggested manufacturing as a possible seminar topic. My proposal to the Honors College described the course as:

The seminar examines the world of manufacturing and challenges students to comprehend its role in our lives. The impact of manufacturing on present civilization is the theme. Possible seminar topics are: Can we continue to pursue growth in manufacturing indefinitely, or is there a limit to growth? Will environment degradation (pollution and natural resources’ depletion) prove to be the stumbling block? Is manufacturing following in the footsteps of farming? What will be the ramifications of computer-based automation such as robotics on society? Can we remain a superpower even when our economy is becoming service-based?

The college approved the proposal, which enabled me to instruct a group of very talented, mostly liberal-arts-major students on manufacturing. This article presents an account of my efforts.

Vajpayee, S. K. (1999, June), Instruction Of Manufacturing As A Honors College Seminar Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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