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National Sponsored Design Project Initiatives For Mechanical Engineering Students

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.303.1 - 2.303.5



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Paper Authors

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Alan K. Karplus

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

Session 1225

National Sponsored Design Project Initiatives for Mechanical Engineering Students

Alan K. Karplus Western New England College

Over several years the second semester Junior Mechanical Engineering Laboratory program has emphasized formal team building activities. A project format is used which requires the completion of an entry into a National Design Competition. For the 1995/96 year the Student Safety Engineering Design Contest sponsored by the Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis Division of ASME, National Institute For Occupational Safety and Health, Bridgestone/Firestone Trust Fund and Factory Mutual Research (1) was chosen. Four suggested topics were offered:

1. Guarding of PTO's (Power Take Offs), 2. Guarding of infeeds of harvesting equipment, 3. Use of high strength composites in removable guards for equipment exposed to rugged field conditions; and, 4. Develop a system that permits a wider range of protected motion than conventional seat belts for operators of tractors equipped with ROPES (Rollover Protection Structures).

At the first meeting of the 1996 Spring Mechanical Engineering laboratory course an introduction to team and team member dynamics was presented following which each of the four teams was directed to select a topic. Outside the laboratory was a large industrial Ford tractor that was shown to the students. Then each team selected a topic and at the end of the first meeting submitted a plan of action listing the activities each team member would undertake. At the end of the semester each team presented its work orally to the Junior Laboratory class and faculty. Team written reports were received and assessed by an external engineer and the best two reports were forwarded to the competition. This realistic experience created novel solutions and several 'touchy' issues with respect to protection of ideas (as often the work was saved on a networked computer system).

The titles of the completed reports are: Team A - Design of a Safety Device for a Power Take Off system (PTO's) on Farm Tractors Team B - Power Take Off Design Alternative Team C - Design of a Seat Belt Restraining System for Agricultural Farm Equipment Team D - Design of a Safety Restraint System for an Agricultural Tractor

Karplus, A. K. (1997, June), National Sponsored Design Project Initiatives For Mechanical Engineering Students Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6702

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