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Program Synergy: Engineering Labs Using Foundry Resources

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Building a Community in Materials

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1034.1 - 11.1034.7



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Paper Authors


Craig Johnson Central Washington University Orcid 16x16

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Craig Johnson ( is the Coordinator of both the Mechanical Engineering Technology and the Cast Metals Industrial Technology Programs at Central Washington University. He is a Foundry Education Foundation Key Professor and has a P.E. in Metallurgy. Dr. J. is also a past chair of the ASEE Materials Division. He specializes in test design, interface characterization and process optimization (forming & casting).

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Joe Fuerte Central Washington University

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Joe Fuerte is a student in the Masters of Science in Engineering Technology Program at Central Washington University. His current research involves applications of finite element analysis to actuator design and performance.

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James Protzeller Central Washington University

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James Protzeller is a student in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program at Central Washington University. He is a student member of the Foundry Educational Foundation and is employed as a lab technician.

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

Program Synergy: Engineering Labs Using Foundry Resources

C.H. Johnson, J. Fuerte*, J. Protzeller*

Central Washington University *student

Abstract Materials programs have followed trends in cost reduction by closing foundries and other expensive facilities. They have also oriented curricula to popular topics such as composites and MEMS. When partnered with other disciplines, materials curricula are even further pressured to effectively match resources to that discipline’s vision.

At the Central Washington University, Cast Metals is part of the Industrial Technology Program, and has some shared courses with Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET). With support from the Foundry Educational Foundation, and a majority of students from the MET Program, the foundry is a small but viable resource. In an attempt to utilize this resource more, it was decided to use the foundry to support MET labs. On example is the use of SOLIDCast™ in a Heat Transfer lab.

The MET Program has outcomes which stress conceptual and applied knowledge and skills. Experiments exist that guide students through predictions and experimental verification of simple transient heat conduction. Numerical analysis enables a greater depth and realism in this process. Instead of a prediction of temperature at a point, gradients can be discussed, illustrated and applied. At a cost of a few hundred dollars per year, a basic solidification tool can support a core MET course. Students showed great interest in the software, and the use of the software increased. This addressed specific program outcomes. Lab reports (the most relevant evidence) had greater scope as measured by a created metric. An added benefit was an increased use of the foundry and interaction between the programs.

Introduction Motivations for developing alternative resources fall into two categories. First, there is never enough money to satisfy typical requests for support. Second, there may be resources next door that can be used with improved awareness and cooperation. As a subject of interest, the MET Program has a Heat Transfer course that has various associated laboratories. As discussed by Feisel and Rosa, engineering laboratories support education ‘of nature that goes beyond mere theory”1. Our Heat Transfer laboratory concerns a comparison of analytical prediction of the cooling of a slab of metal, and experimental data that is determined in the lab exercise. Historically, only the lab only included these two components. With the advent of various numerical methods, it is appropriate to include an associated numerical prediction. However,

“Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2006, American Society for Engineering Education”

Johnson, C., & Fuerte, J., & Protzeller, J. (2006, June), Program Synergy: Engineering Labs Using Foundry Resources Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--550

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