Closing the Competency Gap in Manufacturing Processes as it Applies to New Engineering Graduates


Industry has consistently identified lack of experience in manufacturing processes as one of the key competency gaps among new engineering graduates. This paper discusses a laboratory-based course that provides realistic hands-on manufacturing experiences to students. The course uses team-based projects that help students gain hands-on experience with selected manufacturing processes. The projects start with simple components that can be made on a single machine such as a lathe or a mill, and progress to the manufacture and assembly of a fully functional mechanism. This approach introduces students to the issues involved in putting together a non-trivial assembly. Multiple evaluation tools including focus groups, surveys, and actual observations, were used to assess the effectiveness of the approach used. The results indicate that this is indeed an effective way of addressing industry concerns.

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Mukasa Ssemakula
Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan

Gene Liao
Wayne State University

Darin Ellis
Wayne State University

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