Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
The emerging convergence research emphasizes integrating knowledge, methods, and expertise from different disciplines and forming novel frameworks to catalyze scientific discovery and innovation, not only multidisciplinary, but interdisciplinary and further transdisciplinary. Mechatronics matches this new trend of convergence engineering research for deep integration across disciplines such as mechanics, electronics, control theory, robotics, and production manufacturing, and is also inspired by its active means of addressing a specific challenge or opportunity for societal needs. The most current applications of mechatronics in automotive are e-mobility (electric vehicles, EV) and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV); in manufacturing are robotics and smart-factory; and in aerospace are drones, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and advanced avionics.
The growing mechatronics industries demand high quality workforces with multidiscipline knowledge and training. These workforces can come from the graduates of colleges and universities with updated curricula, or from labors returning to schools or taking new training programs. Graduate schools can prepare higher level workforces that can carry out fundamental research and explore new technologies in mechatronics. K-12 schools will also play an important role in fostering the next-decade workforces for all the STEM area. On the other hand, the development of mechatronics technologies improves the tools for teaching mechatronics as well. These new teaching tools include affordable microcontrollers and the peripherals such as Arduinos, and Raspberry Pi, desktop 3D printers, and virtual reality (VR).
In this paper we present the working processes and activities of a current one-year ECR project funded by NSF organizing two workshops held by two institutes for improving workforce development environments specified in mechatronics. Each workshop is planned to be two days, where the first day will be dedicated to the topics of the current workforce situation in industry, the current pathways for workforces, conventional college and university workforce training, and K-12 STEM education preparation in mechatronics. The topics in the second day will be slightly different based on the expertise and locations of the two institutes. One will focus on the mechatronics technologies in production engineering for alternative energy and ground mobility, and the other will concentrate on aerospace, alternative energy, and the corresponding applications. Both workshops will also address the current technical development of teaching methods and tools for mechatronics. VR will be specially emphasized and demonstrated in the workshops if the facilities allow. Social impacts of mechatronics technology, expansion of diversity and participation of underrepresented groups will be discussed in the workshops. We expect to have the results of the workshops to present in the annual ASEE conference in June.
Chen, J. C., & Liao, G. Y., & Lo, R. C., & Shankar, P. (2020, June), Workshop development for New frontier of mechatronics for mobility, energy, and production engineering Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35709
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