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Teaching Design And Manufacture Of Mechanical Systems Part Ii

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Course Innovation II

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1156.1 - 13.1156.13



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Paper Authors

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William Waldron Grand Valley State University

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Pramod Chaphalkar Grand Valley State University

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Shabbir Choudhuri Grand Valley State University

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John Farris Grand Valley State University

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

Teaching design and manufacture of mechanical systems using multidisciplinary teams-Part II Introduction

A lot of progress has been made in recent years in improving engineering education, e.g., emphasizing communication skills, working in teams, integration of computer-aided engineering (CAE), and capstone/senior design projects. Previous work by the authors has focused on improving the integration of CAE1,2 into mechanical engineering programs. Noble3 writes that there is “a need for a broad based individual that is capable of working in an integrated fashion in a team environment.” According to King and Lin4, “Industries need engineers who are versed in streamlining processes from design to planning to manufacturing.” Tsang and Wilhelm5 developed a one-credit laboratory to “integrate the disciplines of materials science and engineering, manufacturing and design.” Noble3 also notes that “little is done to provide any synthesis between the courses.”

The goal of this paper is to document efforts to improve the experiences of students working in integrated design project teams and the synthesis of the designs and between the courses. Part I of this paper discussed the experiences of Machine Design II students during the Winter 2006 semester with non-integrated projects and also the early experiences of students with integrated projects in Winter 2007. The authors worked on a NSF sub-grant provided by faculty at Kettering University using their model for the horizontal and vertical integration of interdepartmental courses. Vertical integration involves students in the same discipline but different class years, e.g., juniors have the opportunity to learn from the seniors. With horizontal integration, project teams are created with students in the same class year, but different disciplines, e.g., Mechanical Engineering and Product Design and Manufacturing Engineering. This allows students to collaborate with people with other specialties and be introduced to integrated system design and manufacturing. It also helps them visualize the complete system and the big picture throughout the project. Integrated or multidisciplinary teams allow learning from faculty to faculty, faculty to students, and students to students. Comparisons can be made between integrated and non-integrated teams. There is also an opportunity for the administration to develop strategies for scheduling classes so that the students from each class are able to find common times to work together.

Another consideration was that machine design courses tend to be focused primarily on machine component design. A second goal was to increase the emphasis on the design of machine systems, e.g., an automotive engine instead of just the crankshaft. To accomplish this, a just-in- time approach was used for component design so that students could focus more on the topics that were needed for their projects. Students could also outsource work to other classes, e.g., finite-element analysis might be done by students in a graduate course.

There were a large variety of projects integrated with students from EGR 367 (Manufacturing Process), EGR 409 (Machine Design II), and EGR 480 (Advanced Product Design). The results were mostly good, but there were some teams that either had poor math models, prototypes, or their prototype satisfied the design requirements but did not require significant effort. One major difficulty was that many of the students were involved in three or more projects during the

Waldron, W., & Chaphalkar, P., & Choudhuri, S., & Farris, J. (2008, June), Teaching Design And Manufacture Of Mechanical Systems Part Ii Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4211

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