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Using the Four Pillars of Manufacturing Engineering Model to Assess Curricular Content for Accreditation Purposes

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Teaching and Assessment Methodologies

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Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1350.1 - 24.1350.16



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Paper Authors


Chris Plouff Grand Valley State University

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Chris Plouff, Ed.D., P.E., is the Assistant Director of the School of Engineering and the James R. Sebastian Chair of Engineering Cooperative Education and Educational Development at Grand Valley State University. He is an Assistant Professor and coordinates assessment efforts for the School of Engineering, including for the mandatory cooperative education program. His research interests include effective assessment of engineering education, cooperative education, transition to and from the engineering educational environment, and first-year engineering program development. Prof. Plouff has a Doctorate in Education from Eastern Michigan University, a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Tech University, and is a registered Professional Engineer in Michigan.

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Christopher P. Pung P.E. Grand Valley State University


Hugh Jack Grand Valley State University Orcid 16x16

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Professor of Product Design and Manufacturing Engineering at Grand Valley State University. Has a background in Electrical and Mechanical engineering with a special interest in automated systems.

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Title: A Sample of Manufacturing Engineering Outcomes Assessment for AccreditationAuthors: Plouff, Pung, JackManufacturing programs are accredited as part of their parent education institutions, normallycolleges and universities. Many of these programs seek separate, professional, accreditationfrom ABET (formerly The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) and ATMAE (TheAssociation of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering). Both ATMAE and ABETdevelop accreditation standards that are used for self assessment by manufacturing programs.On a regular basis ABET and ATMAE will review the documents and visit the institutions toreview the assessment process and the program outcomes. Although voluntary, mostmanufacturing programs welcome the external review to validate their efforts.The four pillars of manufacturing engineering model was developed in 2011 [3]. It provides aclear graphical outline of the core content of manufacturing programs. The four pillars model hasbeen adopted by the accreditation groups in ATMAE, and in ABET, through the SME [4]. The fourpillars model groups specific topics and methods into topics groupings. The content of the modelhas been related to industry practices including a recent study by Nutter [5]. Therefore, aprogram assessment that maps their curriculum to the four pillars can directly establish anindustry relevance.This paper outlines an outcomes process for programs using the Manufacturing EngineeringAccreditation Criteria (EAC) of ABET. The method could be easily modified for programs usingthe Technical Accreditation Criteria (TAC). The process includes forms for collecting courseassessment data [6], input from industry stakeholders [7], and more. These related results to thefour pillars data. The results are used to simplify compilation of accreditation data. Programs thatchoose to use the four pillars model for accreditation will be able to use this paper to simplify thedevelopment of internal documentation, and final outcomes assessment.References:1. ABET. http://abet.org2. The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering. Wikipedia, “Four Pillars of Manufacturing Engineering”, Bennet, R.,, “Workforce Imperitive: A Manufacturing Education Strategy”, 2012,­%20Workforce%20Imperative%209­10­2012.pdf5. Nutter, P, “Survey of Manufacturing Topics Based on the SME Four Pillars of ManufacturingKnowledge”, 2013 ATMAE Conference, New Orleans, LA.6. Course Assessment Form, Stakeholder Assessment Form,­NLS­NsUoY5fwYyaGwKLSudoA/edit

Plouff, C., & Pung, C. P., & Jack, H. (2014, June), Using the Four Pillars of Manufacturing Engineering Model to Assess Curricular Content for Accreditation Purposes Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23283

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