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Pr Ism A Team Based Approach For Teaching Manufacturing

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.786.1 - 6.786.9

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Paper Authors

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Marvin McKimpson

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

Session 1463

PrISM—A Team-Based Approach for Teaching Manufacturing Marvin McKimpson Michigan Technological University


PrISM—the Program in Integrated, Sustainable Manufacturing—is a new manufacturing engineering education option being offered to students at Michigan Technological University. It provides students hands-on experience with different manufacturing processes, as well as a more complete understanding of the inter-relationships between engineering, manufacturing and business activities. The class is structured as a “team of teams” which works together to design, manufacture and market at least one new product each academic year. This provides a rich environment for students to develop and practice necessary skills such as team and individual communication, integrated product/process design, environmental awareness, quality control, project management, problem solving, design, and marketing. Engineering students join the program as sophomores, and continue to participate during their junior and senior years, earning up to a maximum of 16 semester credits.

This paper will describe the objectives, structure and operation of the PrISM class, as well as lessons learned about implementing a manufacturing-oriented course built around the “team of teams” concept. It will also review experiences with incorporating business students into the program, and discuss integration of PrISM into the novel Engineering Enterprise initiative being developed at Michigan Technological University.

Program Overview

The Program in Integrated, Sustainable Manufacturing (PrISM) is an innovative new program at Michigan Technological University in which teams of students work together to design and produce commercially-oriented products using on-campus manufacturing facilities. It involves both hands-on project work and a series of new, multi-disciplinary instructional modules focused on manufacturing- and business-related topics. This program currently involves personnel from five University units—the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics department, the School of Business and Economics, the Materials Science and Engineering department, the College of Engineering and the Institute of Materials Processing. Funding for the development of PrISM has been provided by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the National Science Foundation and six industry partners—C. Thorrez Industries, DaimlerChrysler, GM Powertrain, Johnson Controls, Inc., the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, and the John Deere Product Engineering Center.

It is well recognized that there is an urgent and growing need for engineering graduates to have a more comprehensive understanding of both professional and technical elements of

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

McKimpson, M. (2001, June), Pr Ism A Team Based Approach For Teaching Manufacturing Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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