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Stimulating Interest in First-Year Mechanical Engineering Students through Design Modeling/Analysis and CNC Manufacturing

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30994

Download Count

38

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Paper Authors

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Todd Letcher South Dakota State University

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Todd Letcher is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at South Dakota State University. His research is related to additive manufacturing.

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Gregory J. Michna South Dakota State University

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Gregory Michna is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at South Dakota State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006, held positions as a Lecturer at Iowa State University and as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and joined the faculty at SDSU in 2009. He teaches courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and energy systems.

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John D. VerSteeg South Dakota State University

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John VerSteeg has been an instructor in the Mechanical Engineering department of South Dakota State University for five years. He primarily teaches the undergraduate thermodynamics and fluid mechanics courses.

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Sarah M. Michna South Dakota State University

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Sarah M. Michna is an instructor at South Dakota State University. She completed her bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and her master's degree in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Champaign - Urbana. She has taught dynamics, thermodynamics, materials science, metallurgy, and production and fabrication processes courses.

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Abstract

Before a recent curriculum change for 1st and 2nd year students, Mechanical Engineering students at South Dakota State University did not see Mechanical Engineering faculty and did not necessarily attend courses with only mechanical engineering students until their 4th semester. Most courses taken during this time fulfilled either general science and mathematics course requirements for engineering students or general university requirements. Problems with retention and gaining student interest early in the program led to the creation of three new courses for 1st and 2nd year Mechanical Engineering students. In the first semester, students take the course “Production and Manufacturing Processes”. The goal of this course is to teach the basics of manual milling and turning, CNC milling and turning, welding, and injection molding/casting. Each student gets hands-on experience working with shop/lab equipment. In the 2nd semester, students enroll in “Mechanical Engineering Design Technologies”. This course focuses on developing skills in 3d CAD modeling (Solidworks), spreadsheet calculations (Excel), and scientific computations (Matlab). The last new course, “Engineering Design Methods”, taken in the 4th semester, focuses on design projects specifically formulated to allow the students to practice new skills gained in courses from the first three semesters. While enough data is not yet available to quantify changes in retention rates, anecdotal evidence shows that the students retained to the 3rd year are more engaged in coursework and extracurricular activities, more knowledgeable, and, most importantly, have good attitudes and are ready to learn in future courses.

Letcher, T., & Michna, G. J., & VerSteeg, J. D., & Michna, S. M. (2018, June), Stimulating Interest in First-Year Mechanical Engineering Students through Design Modeling/Analysis and CNC Manufacturing Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30994

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