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Integrating Project-Based Learning through Machine Design, Fabrication and Testing

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Technology Curriculum Innovations.

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.914.1 - 22.914.13



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Paper Authors


Aaron K. Ball Western Carolina University

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Dr. Aaron K. Ball is a full Professor in Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. He holds a B.S. and an M.S. from Appalachian State University, and earned his doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His areas of interests include fluid power, advanced machining, prototyping systems, and applied research.

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George D. Ford Western Carolina University

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Dr. Ford is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Construction Management at Western Carolina University. Dr. Ford worked for over fifteen years in the corporate world in plant engineering and environmental engineering positions and managed numerous construction projects as a plant engineer in the paper, plastics and rubber industries including warehouses, manufacturing buildings and utilities infrastructures.

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Frank Miceli Asheville Bucombe Tech Community College

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B.S.E.E. Ohio State University,
Graduate Study, Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, M.S.E.T Western Carolina University.

Chairperson, Asheville Bucombe Tech Community College

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Integrating Project Based Learning Through Machine Design, Fabrication and Testing Aaron K. Ball, Western Carolina University Frank Miceli, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community CollegeAbstractProject Based Learning (PBL) has re-emerged as an effective method of teaching applied engineering principlesand provides opportunities for engineering and technology students to develop foundational engineering skills.Supporting essential skills such as sound engineering design, efficient fabrication methods, and analyticaltesting procedures PBL is a solid method for vertical and interdisciplinary integration across engineeringtechnology levels and programs. Specifically, this publication will describe a relative low cost CNC Plasmaproject developed by Western Carolina University and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community Collegethrough a joint partnership. This paper will present a logical approach to developing such a system and describehow applications have been integrated into curricula at both the two year and university level. Emphasis will beplaced on the structural design, control methods, testing and how the project is being integrated into a valuablelearning experience for two-year post secondary students, four year university students, and graduate students inEngineering Technology. Educational merit and approaches will be described relative to respective educationallevels.

Ball, A. K., & Ford, G. D., & Miceli, F. (2011, June), Integrating Project-Based Learning through Machine Design, Fabrication and Testing Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18243

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