Jack, H., Mott, B., Raju, V., Wells, D., “Manufacturing Education Leadership Forums”, ASEE Annual Conference, Austin, TX, June 14-17, 2009.
Hugh Jack, Professor, Grand Valley State University, Venkitaswamy Raju, Professor, Farmingdale State College: SUNY, David Wells, Professor, North Dakota State University, Robert Mott, Professor Emeritus, University of Dayton
Two invited forums were held during 2008 to explore the future directions for educational programs that include manufacturing as a major content feature. The forums were organized and conducted by the Manufacturing Education & Research Community of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and many of the planners and participants are also active members of the ASEE Manufacturing Division. The recent activity builds on significant work done during the 1990s that resulted in documents that have made large impacts on manufacturing education. This paper will summarize the goals, agendas, and results from these forums. Topics included are:
There has been massive change in global manufacturing professions. Many skills taught a decade ago are now obsolete and have been replaced by a number of new demands that are as yet inconsistently addressed by educators. These changes have resulted in a new urgency to keep manufacturing education healthy and forward focused as the core of the manufacturing engineering field continues to be essential to the success and growth of industries worldwide.
In the first SME meetings on manufacturing education strategies in more than a decade, invited delegates examined key issues for post-secondary learning in manufacturing for the 21st century. The Forums assessed progress and changes in manufacturing education since the landmark "Curricula 2000" 1 and "Curricula 2002" 2 workshops held in 1989 and 1994. They had set the crucial groundwork for a) widespread improvement in both content and access and b) a future comprehensive conference on manufacturing education. Building on the assessment the group decided to move forward on expanding the discussion and formalizing the results.
The first forum "Manufacturing Education Leadership Forum: Vision for Progress" was held June 26-27, 2008 at Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA 3 with the purpose of examining the current state of manufacturing education, and deciding what steps should follow. The next forum " Manufacturing Education Leadership Forum; Moving Forward" 4 was held at Farmingdale State College: SUNY, Long Island, NY, November 13-15, 2008 with the purpose of examining curricular and technology issues. From these forums has emerged the upcoming "Manufacturing Education Transformation Summit 2009" 5 to be held at the University of Texas: Austin, June 18-19, 2009 with the purpose of expanding the group involved in the discussions of manufacturing education. All of these activities have been tracked through a Wiki site 6, that is used by the group as a focal point for activity, and a place for others to contribute and steer the process.
Key objectives of this Forum were to illuminate critical linkages among manufacturing education, a vibrant industrial sector and a healthy economy, and development of guidance for vitalizing college and university manufacturing education programs. Invited keynote speakers and panelists provided perspectives and challenges for delegates to deliberate. The principal business of the Forum was conducted through a series of invited panels, discussing emerging manufacturing technologies; research-to-instruction bridging; methods of delivery; program design; curriculum content; manufacturing education for other disciplines; attracting students. The Forum resulted in the groundwork for educators, administrators, industry planners, and public policy makers.
The forum began with a review of the previous work done in the Curricula 2000 and Curricula 2002 documents and a challenge to assess the current state of manufacturing education and set the stage to move forward. The following were designed to lead to a final set of conclusions. In brief the sessions were;
Session 1: Addressing Emerging Technologies in Manufacturing Education: The focus was manufacturing in the 21st century and identifying topics that define the manufacturing curriculum of the 21st century. Panelists explored emerging manufacturing technologies and their integration into manufacturing curricula and other disciplines in engineering and engineering technology education.
Session 2: Bridging Research-to- Classroom: Recommend ways in which research in manufacturing can be quickly and effectively transferred from research projects or industry developments into manufacturing curricula.
Session 3: Emerging Methods of Educational Delivery: Alternatives to lecture-based instruction; activity- based learning; project-based learning; case-study based learning; role of laboratories - projected changes, distance learning - Web based; distributed hybrid; role of cooperative education; internships; industry-based education; continuing education, etc.
Session 4: Manufacturing Topics in Other Engineering Disciplines: Manufacturing immersed in other (non-manufacturing-named) engineering curricula (mechanical, industrial, electrical, etc.) including the essential principles and practices of manufacturing; discipline-specific aspects of manufacturing (Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical, etc.); curriculum design to ensure that all engineering graduates obtain adequate knowledge and skills in manufacturing along with their primary discipline, and; global education for manufacturing professionals.
Session 6: Manufacturing Education Programs (Three parallel working group sessions in different rooms): Developing an outline of a plan (an agenda) for revising the curricula 2002 plan through future MER Community events including conferences, workshops, forums, webinars, etc. This included developing new strategies, replacement strategies, and definitions. The 'first-level topics' would set the basis for a more in-depth examination in the later forum.
The forum hosted representatives from manufacturing industry, government, educational community and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. A total of about 60 people participated in the forum over three days. The objectives of the forum were:
The forum included two workshops, three key note addresses, three sessions on the integration of advanced manufacturing technologies, and two working group sessions on manufacturing education and strategies for future. The workshops covered the following topics: a) nanotechnology and b) dental manufacturing. The keynote addresses discussed the following issues: a) Measurements, instruments and standards for nanotechnology, b) Concepts in Energy Manufacturing, and c) Globalization: A Vision of a New World. The sessions on the integration of advanced manufacturing technologies covered the following topics: a) Biotechnology and Manufacturing, b) Nanomanufacturing and c) Electronics Manufacturing. The two working group sessions covered the following subjects: a) strategies for outreach to K-12 student population, and b) curricular models for manufacturing.
The workshops provided an insight into the recent developments in nanotechnology and dental manufacturing. The nanotechnology workshop presented the scientific and engineering foundations needed to work with nanomaterials, nanomanufacturing processes, and nanometrology. It also presented the issues pertaining to product design, manufacturing processes, and the forces that will drive the use of nanotechnology in the future. The workshop on dental manufacturing presented the nature of the industry and its evolution, a study of the meterials used to create dental structures, an overview of fabrication technologies employed in creating dental structures, the relationship that exists between traditional manufacturing techniques and the biocompatible material processing, and the challenges that exist in dealing with dental manufacturing at the macro, micro and nanoscale level. This workshop also included a tour of an engineering facility dedicated for dental manufacturing.
The keynote address on Measurements, Instruments and Standards for Nanotechnology made a strong case for the application of metrology in developing and implementing nanotechnology. It discussed the ramifications of establishing standards and developing measuring instruments on manufacturing at the macro, micro and nano scale. It also discussed the evolution in microscopy that has resulted in better measuring devices and the emerging standards for nano-scale products. The keynote address on energy manufacturing dealt with the use renewable energy sources and the technologies available to harness those. The address focused on the use of algae to produce biofuel. It presented the scientific principles and the process used to manufacture the fuel. Algae need water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to grow. The oil they produce can then be harvested and converted into biodiesel. The algae’s carbohydrate content can be fermented into ethanol. Both are considered to be cleaner-burning fuels than petroleum-based diesel or gas. The keynote address on globalization dealt with the challenges and opportunities for manufacturing. It made a case for exploiting the opportunities and strengthening manufacturing.
The sessions on the integration of advanced manufacturing technologies presented the current and future needs for skills and competencies in the areas of bio, nano and electronics manufacturing, and the role of education in preparing graduates to meet those needs. Specifically, the following were the recommendations from the three areas:
develop skills in process design, validation, metrology, upstream processing, downstream processing, quality control microbiology, quality control biochemistry, quality assurance, facilities, environmental health and safety
A program-driven summit is planned, presenting a mix of invited speakers, contributed peer reviewed presentations, and panel discussions. Participants from outside academia are an integral part of these activities in helping to identify new problems and opportunities that shape the direction of the transformation. The summit is structured to build upon the forums, encourage additional discussion and interaction, and empower decision makers to implement improvements in manufacturing education. The key themes of the summit are;
The summit will provide a select number of presentations and keynote addresses to inspire and charge the summit participants for action. Within the summit and through follow-on efforts, prepare, present, and promulgate a designed interdisciplinary road-map to guide manufacturing education stakeholders to meet the post-secondary workforce needs of the global enterprises of the future. Stakeholders include society-at-large, industry, academia, government, economic development groups, professional societies, and industry associations.
The Summit is expected to engage a broad group of manufacturing educators and professionals and senior managers from industry and government who want to enhance manufacturing education globally. Activities will explicitly examine the needs of industry and integrate those needs into educational programs. The conference invites individuals who are in positions to make an impact on manufacturing and education. Expected attendees and stakeholders are from academia, industry, government, professional organizations. It is expected that several professional societies having an interest in manufacturing education will be represented among the attendees.
The manufacturing forums have helped energize the membership base. They have
1. Arther, A. A., Wells, D., Demers, P.J. (editors), " Ideal Models in Manufacturing Education; Curricula 2000 Workshop Proceedings ", Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 1990. (http://www.sme.org/cgi-bin/get-event.pl?--001779-000007-home--SME-)
2. Wells, D. (editor), " Manufacturing Education for the 21st Century - Volume I: Curricula 2002 Report ", SME, 1995. (http://www.sme.org/cgi-bin/get-event.pl?--001779-000007-home--SME-)
3. Jack, H. (editor), " Manufacturing Education Leadership Forum: Vision for Progress ", Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 2008. (http://claymore.engineer.gvsu.edu/~jackh/sme/pittsburgh08/Program.html)
4. Jack, H. (editor), " Manufacturing Education Leadership Forum; Moving Forward ", Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 2008. (http://www.merconline.net/wiki/index.php?title=Farmingdale_Forum_Program)