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Reinventing Manufacturing Engineering: Refocusing And Exploring Future Opportunities For Students

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Conference

2005 Annual Conference

Location

Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

New Frontiers in Manufacturing Education

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

10.1068.1 - 10.1068.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/15166

Download Count

34

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

Session 1163

Reinventing Manufacturing Engineering: Refocusing and Exploring Future Opportunities for Students Beverly J. Davis, Purdue University Hugh Jack, Grand Valley State University

Abstract

Open any newspaper today, search current news service websites, or turn on the television and one finds negative images of outsourcing, the closure of factories, and the loss of manufacturing jobs in our country. Many corporations find it profitable to move operations overseas seeking less expensive labor. There is outrage in our nation as we see manufacturing and product design careers and opportunities disappear. In addition, many Manufacturing Engineering and Technology programs in this country are seeing an alarming decline in enrollments. In most cases (if not all), the remaining twenty five ABET accredited manufacturing engineering programs in the U.S are shrinking as the numbers of incoming students dwindle.

If our students are indeed basing their academic choices on negative information and images promoted by mass media, it is up to educators to appeal to students and revitalize the image by promoting the positive future of manufacturing education and prepare for the opportunities of outsourcing. Educators must be prepared for this phenomenon and prepare students adequately for the new world that faces them. Moreover, we must revise our programs to reflect the new reality of manufacturing as a global enterprise where our graduates are likely to design products locally to be produced in another part of the world.

Introduction

Many Manufacturing Engineering and Technology programs in this country are seeing an alarming decline in enrollments. There are twenty-five ABET accredited manufacturing engineering programs, however there are only approximately twenty still actively recruiting students. In most cases, if not all, the programs shrinking as the numbers of incoming students dwindle. For many Americans, the word “outsourcing” and "globalization" conjures up images of manufacturing job decline [5]. Airwaves are abuzz of late with talk about the loss of manufacturing jobs, the offshoring of tech jobs, immigration, and general alarmism about the “outsourcing” of the American worker [4]. If potential student academic choices are based on negative information and images promoted by mass media, it is up to educators to appeal to students and revitalize the image by promoting the positive future of manufacturing education and prepare for the opportunities of outsourcing. Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, warned

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition. Copyright © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education

Davis, B., & Jack, H. (2005, June), Reinventing Manufacturing Engineering: Refocusing And Exploring Future Opportunities For Students Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/15166

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