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Manufacturing Workforce: Report on NSF-ATE Project Pertaining to Mechatronics Technician Development

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Progress in Manufacturing Education II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.912.1 - 25.912.15



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Paper Authors


Niaz Latif Purdue University, Calumet

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Niaz Latif is the Dean of the School of Technology at Purdue University, Calumet (PUC). He is also the Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Research and Graduate Studies at PUC. Latif served as an Assistant Dean for Statewide Technology Administration in the College of Technology at Purdue University, West Lafayette, before joining Purdue University, Calumet, on July 1, 2007. He is the Principal Investigator of the 2010 NSF-ATE grant “Meeting workforce needs of Mechatronics Technicians.”

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Mohammad A. Zahraee Purdue University, Calumet

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Mohammad A. Zahraee, Ph.D., P.E., is a professor of mechanical engineering technology and Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies at Purdue University, Calumet. Zahraee has authored and co-authored a large number of papers and conference proceedings in the areas of mechanical engineering technology education and sssessment, as well as technical papers in the areas of structural and mechanical vibrations. He is a past recipient of the ASME Ben C. Spark Medal, the SME Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award, and the Merl K. Miller Award for best paper in computers in Engineering Journal. A TAC of ABET National Chair in 2009, he served ABET as a volunteer in capacities of Program Evaluator, Commissioner, Chair Elect, and National Chair for more than 18 years.

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Aco Sikoski Ivy Tech Community College

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Aco Sikoski completed his bachelor's of science in electrical engineering in June of 1990, majoring in industrial control. After completing his course work at the University of Kiril I Metodi, Skopje, Macedonia, he transferred to the United States in 1991, where he continued his engineering education at Purdue University. He obtained a master's of science degree in engineering in 2003. In the meantime, he worked as a project engineer for an engineering consulting company and as an adjunct faculty at Ivy Tech Community College. Intermittently, Sikoski has performed consulting for various institutions and organizations. In 1997, he started his career at Ivy Tech Community College, where he stayed until present. First, he started as an instructor in design technology and then as a Dean of the School of Technology. Sikoski has worked with NSF grants and projects as a Co-PI. Sikoski also served as an ATMAE Evaluator.

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Branislav Rosul College of DuPage

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Branislav Rosul completed his bachelor's of science in mechanical engineering in Feb. of 1984, majoring in control systems. Soon after, he started to work as an instrumentation engineer in Teleoptic, Belgrade, where he stayed for three years working on the instrumentation design and as a Project Engineer. During that time, he worked on instrumentation and technology development of various industrial processes, from food to petrochemical and still industry. Academically, he continued on toward the master of science in electrical engineering at University of Belgrade. After completing his course work at the Belgrade University, he transferred to the United States in 1987, where he continued his work in the Controls area and robotics at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He obtained a master's and then a doctorate in the area of robot control and modeling of multibody systems in 1997 at the same school. In the meantime, he
worked as an instructor at Oakton Community College and the University of Illinois. Occasionally, Rosul has performed consulting for various institutions and organizations. In 1992, he started his career at the College of DuPage, where he stayed until present. First, as an instructor in electro-mechanical technology and manufacturing technology and then as a coordinator in electronics technology. In addition to practical engineering experience, Rosul has significant teaching and research background. As a PI and Co-PI, Rosul has extensively worked with NSF on several grants and projects. Currently, Rosul serves as an ABET evaluator for IEEE society.

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Manufacturing Workforce - report on NSF-ATE project pertaining to Mechatronics Technician developmentAbstract Purdue University Calumet, IN, IvyTech Community College, IN, and College of DuPage,IL jointly received an NSF-ATE grant for workforce development in the area of mechatronicsengineering technology. The project goals are: 1) augment and reorganize existing electricaland mechanical engineering technology courses into thirty-two enhanced modules at threedifferent tiers, 2) incorporate experiential learning in each module level so that the modules aremeaningful, practical, and 3) incorporate innovative delivery of lecture and laboratorymaterials. This includes: remote interactive delivery, synchronous online delivery, remotelaboratory functions, asynchronous delivery, and delivery using virtual classroom with studentshaving 24/7 remote access anytime, anywhere, and on any platform. The Innovative aspects ofthe project are: a) meet student learning needs based on their diverse educational background,b) provide multiple delivery options, c)complete modules (rather than courses) to receive creditor certificate(s), and d)provide seamless transition among partnering institutions in theirrespective degree programs. The major focus of the project are in two areas: 1) augmentingand enhancing existing courses in modular forms at various tiers and disciplines, with majorityof the material being already available from existing courses, and 2) develop and implementcontinuous improvement plan based on assessment and evaluation of learning outcomes foreach module. Deliverables from the project are: Thirty-two, 2 or 4 weeks modules that carrycrossover concepts among electrical, mechanical, and computer topics. The modules will beprogressive in level of difficulty and transferable from one discipline to another. At least fiftypercent of these modules will have experiential learning components. This paper describes the progress made in the project’s first 16 months in terms ofinnovation, module development, level of participation, industry partnership, experientiallearning, and college credits for participants. It also describes the outcomes related to theproject goals through formative measures, and subjective assessments.

Latif, N., & Zahraee, M. A., & Sikoski, A., & Rosul, B. (2012, June), Manufacturing Workforce: Report on NSF-ATE Project Pertaining to Mechatronics Technician Development Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21669

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