June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.1330.1 - 10.1330.6
The University of Maine’s Advanced Manufacturing Center: Lessons Learned During the First Two Years of Operation
Thomas E. Christensen, Scott C. Dunning University of Maine Advanced Manufacturing Center
The University of Maine’s College of Engineering has created an Advanced Manufacturing Center with a student-oriented mission. This center provides a distinctive engineering approach to solving manufacturing problems and gives Engineering Technology students hands-on experience working on engineering and manufacturing projects. With much of the center’s work coming from off-campus businesses; the students gain practical experience with client communication, teamwork, business and project management and presentations in addition to technical skills.
The program provides a paid internship opportunity for undergraduate students to gain skills in machining, manufacturing processes and fabrication by being involved in these projects. Students usually start by fabricating parts under supervision, move on to training and supervising other students and by the time they’re seniors, they will likely be running projects on their own. The objective is to graduate students who have an entrepreneurial vision, combined with experience on industrial machining and fabricating equipment acquired through involvement in this unique experience of an on-campus internship in a real workplace environment.
The paper will discuss the experiences and lessons learned in the first two years of operation with dozens of students participating and hundreds of projects being completed.
The mission of the AMC program is to directly link the traditional University activities of education and research with active economic development and industrial support programs. The AMC does this primarily by operating an extremely high-level manufacturing facility on the University campus in Orono, Maine. The infrastructure provided by the AMC allows the program to provide extensive outreach programs in support of Maine’s manufacturers. Additionally, the AMC provides UMaine’s research centers with both direct manufacturing support, and targeted assistance in the commercialization of new technologies. In this sense, the AMC represents a major component of the “D” in UMaine’s collective “R&D” efforts.
The College of Engineering chose to support the AMC as a principal program initiative primarily because of the continued decline of the manufacturing sector in Maine, and in the entire country. The manufacturing industry remains the third largest provider of jobs in Maine, with most positions offering higher pay, better benefits and less seasonal variations than other industries. However, increasing competition from a global economy requires that, in order to remain viable, manufacturers
“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”
Christensen, T., & Dunning, S. (2005, June), The University Of Maine’s Advanced Manufacturing Center: Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14475
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