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Quarterly Progress Report
February, 1996

ENGINEERING ACADEMY OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND
PROGRESS REPORTS

Project Title: Development of New Freshman Engineering Program
Project Number: UMA-UGC2-5
Category: Curriculum
Date: February 1, 1996
Principal Investigator: Dr. Corrado Poli

Abstract

This report describes a new two semester freshman course whose objectives are to introduce engineering concepts and develop an appreciation of manufacturing. The use of team-oriented design for manufacturing projects and the development of high level communication skills are emphasized.

Objectives and Deliverables

  1. Increase student interest in engineering.
  2. Promote communication skills (graphical, written, and oral).
  3. Introduce students to design and manufacturing problem solving through team project activities.

Current Project Status

The new first semester freshman course was offered to all freshman for 1995-1996. In total, their were 13 sections taught with almost 300 students. An evaluation of the results of the expanding the offering to the entire freshman class is underway and should be completed next semester.

Materials Available for Distribution

"Engineering design and design for manufacturing - a structured approach," by J. Dixon and C. Poli, Fieldstone Publishing Conway, MA. 1995. The freshman program is based on Chapters 3 and 22 of this book.

Presentations Made or Pending and Papers Published or Accepted for Publication

"Engineering communication skills and design for manufacturing - a freshman engineering course," by C. Poli, to be presented at the SME International Conference on Education in Manufacturing, San Diego, March 1996.

Additional Comments and/or Remarks



Project Title: Product Realization Curriculum Support
Project Number: UMA-UGC2-PR1
Category: Curriculum
Date: February 1, 1996
Principal Investigator: Dr. Corrado Poli

Abstract

The curriculum support needed to sustain a new integrated mechanical engineering design curriculum based one coherent theme of product realization is described. The curriculum support requested includes production of a video documentary of the product realization process, development of a mentoring program, an electronic design library, prototyping capabilities, animation and virtual prototyping material and a two semester product realization course with a library of video taped modules to support the course.

Objectives and Deliverables

  1. To provide students with a realistic understanding of the entire product and process development cycle.
  2. To insure that students design groups use best practices in project work.
  3. To give students quick access to professional level design information for project work.
  4. To provide both students and faculty with an integrated manufacturing education and practice.
  5. To provide prototyping capabilities for student designs.

Current Project Status

  1. Video documentary - During this time period two companies , Polaroid and Spalding were identified and have agreed in principal with collaborating with the production of the video documentary. A production company, WGBH, has also been identified. Viable sources of funding for actual production of the tape is now underway.
  2. Development of the mentoring program - During this period the course material was studied and a draft syllabus and schedule were put together. Guest lecturers were located and scheduled which involved key management personnel from local companies. The course was heavily advertised prior to the pre-registration period for the spring semester.
  3. Development of the electronic design library - During this period the location of and necessary equipment for the physical design library and studio at the UMass Amherst campus was identified and ordered. The development of the electronic design library was initiated and is not approximately 70% completed. The library can be accessed by EASNE participants at http://www.ecs.umass.edu/mda/dlib/dlib.html
  4. Development of prototyping support

Materials Available for Distribution

"Engineering design and design for manufacturing - a structured approach," by J. Dixon and C. Poli, Fieldstone Publishing, Conway, MA. 1995. Four courses in the department are centered around various chapters in this book. Among the courses are MIE 213 ( a sophomore course in design), MIE 313 ( a junior course in design), MIE 375 (a junior course in manufacturing), and the freshman course.

Presentations Made or Pending and Papers Published or Accepted for Publication

Additional Comments and/or Remarks

Plans for the next period (February 2, 1996 to May 31, 1996) include:
  1. Video documentary - To investigate possible sources of funding for the documentary
  2. Mentoring program - To explore ways to make the proposed course more flexible in terms of fulfilling degree requirements.
  3. Design library - Refurbish the design studio space, install necessary equipment, provide access to the library for spring 1996 design and manufacturing courses, and improve the library based on feedback from users.
  4. Prototyping support - To continue developing the necessary prototyping support necessary for design classes.


Project Title: Design for Quality
Project Number: UGC2-DFQ
Category: Curriculum
Date: February 1, 1996
Principal Investigator: Dr. Richard Giglio

Abstract

Three one-credit modules will be developed in conjunction with several companies and professional societies to provide a systematic overview of manufacturing through the concepts and tools of Design for Quality (DFQ). Emphasis is on the role of quality in the total production cycle, including customer inputs, competitive benchmarking, performance specifications, product and process design, manufacturing variability and product reliability. Students will learn software tools and complete DFQ exercises and industry-based projects, with emphasis on teamwork and problem solving. The modules can be offered at upper levels, or combined as a stand alone course for freshman and sophomores. All modules will be taught in the 1995/1996 academic year.

Objectives and Deliverables

Three one-credit modules are being developed in conjunction with several companies and professional societies to provide a systematic overview of manufacturing through the concepts and tools of Design for Quality (DFQ). Emphasis is on the role of quality in the total production cycle. At UMass Amherst we are developing a module which deals with variability by instructing students in principles of experimental design. Students will learn software tools and complete DFQ exercises and industry-based projects, with emphasis on teamwork and problem solving.

Current Project Status

Materials Available for Distribution

Presentations Made or Pending and Papers Published or Accepted for Publication

Additional Comments and/or Remarks



Project Title: Intelligent Tutor Development
Project Number: UMA-UGC2-4
Category: Curriculum
Date: February 1, 1996
Principal Investigator: Dr. Beverly Woolf

Abstract

We are developing three-dimensional interactive computer environments of several manufacturing processes to help students understand the complexity of manufacturing design and the need for expertise to reduce tooling costs. We are working on the module for injection molding and intend to have that ready for testing by Summer and Fall of 1995. The module for die casting is also almost complete. In Fall 1995 we will begin the module for stamping and possibly in the following year the module for sand casting.

Objectives and Deliverables

To build, test and evaluate a set of four Design for Manufacturing computer modules which instruct students on efficient procedures for designing manufactured parts.

Current Project Status

We have nearly completed the Injection Molding Tutor and have evaluated it with 50 undergraduate students. The 3-dimensional computer representation allows a student to add a constrained set of features (e.g., ribs and slots) to manufactured parts (e.g., L-bracket and soon boxes). The tutor demonstrates required injection molding tooling using stored 3-dimensional animation of the tooling and showing the parting surface. The tutor also evaluates the student's design and advise him/her about internal and external undercuts, inefficient and costly designs, as well as inappropriate tooling and parting directions resulting from the design.

The Injection Molding Tutor has been demonstrated at several national conferences including an NSF Meeting of Manufacturing Engineering Consortiums in Michigan (Sept. 1995), a DOD ARPA meeting of Technology Reinvestment Program (TRP) Awardee in San Diego in July 1995, and a DOD SISTO (Intent Systems) Meeting in Washington, D.C., in August, 1995. It has also been presented at invitational talks at the Naval Academy at Annapolis and at Bolt Beranek and Newman, Cambridge, Mass.

Major Milestones accomplished:

  1. CAD component complete
  2. Interface with student complete
  3. 3-D Machine Tooling Library (showing the mold) complete
  4. Tutoring interface/dialogue with student complete
  5. Formative evaluation complete

Results during the period:

We have evaluated the Injection Molding tutor, scored pre and post-tests and made the following tentative conclusions:
  1. Everyone likes the software and believes it helps them understand the tooling involved in injection molding. They want it to be easier to rotate the part.
  2. The software as it currently exists does not help students with the exam! Students are probably concentrating on the animation and not on what we want them to focus on.
  3. We need to adjust the software so students focus on those things which help with the exam! We also need to have a couple of 'test' questions where they can determine if they did in fact focus on what they should have and then permit them to return to 'designing' a part.

The animations were quite successful in showing the complexity of the mold necessary to produce given user designs. The animation library appears large enough to allow users to freely explore designs allowed by the system.

The design critique mechanism seems to help smoothly integrate the animations into the environment. The direct reference to design specifications of the user's design -- undercuts, mold closure directions, and parting surfaces -- all of which are directly observable in the corresponding animation of the mold, seems to be helpful. The critique helps make sense of the animations and the relation of one animation to another.

Work for the Next Period:

We will use the formative evaluation to dictate refinement of the tutor before sharing it with participant universities. The Injection Molding Tutor will be distributed in Spring 1996 to the University of Connecticut and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. We intend to build three additional tutors within the domain of manufacturing engineering including ones for die casting, stamping and sand casting. We have begun to design the stamping tutor and have begun discussions about the sand casting module.

One of our best programmers, Erik Haugsjaa, will leave at the end of January. He has the lead graduate student on this project and we hope he can work with us a limited amount of time during the spring to train new people. We intend to hire two new programmers to complete the next two modules.

Materials Available for Distribution

Presentations Made or Pending and Papers Published or Accepted for Publication

Additional Comments and/or Remarks



Project Title: Manufacturing in a Senior Computer Design Lab
Project Number: UMA-UGC2-IM1
Category: Curriculum
Date: February 1, 1996
Principal Investigator: Dr. Wayne Burleson

Abstract

The objective of this proposal is to update senior-level Computer Systems Lab courses with modern design techniques, in particular design for manufacturability, testability, reliability and quality. Digital systems designers are working at higher and higher levels of abstraction, using tools such as hardware description languages (HDLs), programmable logic and software on microprocessors and digital signal processors. University labs need to move beyond just teaching prototyping (e.g. breadboards) and simulation and give all senior level students exposure to real manufacturing techniques that they will encounter in industry. This needs to be emphasized in all aspects of a computer systems design, from software to programmable logic to processor and memory selection and finally printed circuit boards. While emphasizing manufacturability, we also want to preserve the element of "hands-on" design and test which has already made these courses quite successful in preparing students for the job market and graduate research. Each module has a laboratory component involving the use of software tools and actual hardware assembly and test. The final design project allows the students to develop interesting and tangible functionality, most likely in control and signal processing applications.

Objectives and Deliverables

  1. Develop portable teaching materials on computer manufacturing in the form of a videotaped lecture series and 5 laboratory exercises.
  2. Collaborate with local industry for guest lectures and real world manufacturing examples.
  3. Use new electronic design software and hardware techniques in lectures and labs.
  4. Develop synergy between design and manufacturing of computers in final design project, culminating in cross-institutional design forum.

Current Project Status

  1. Course was offered to 24 UMass ECE seniors, highlighted by 5 industrial guest lectures on ECE manufacturing.
  2. Acquisition and integration of new equipment and software for design lab.
  3. Development of VIP short courses and Web page for dissemination
  4. Mid-semesters and end-of-semester student evaluations were administered.
Plans for next period include (12/2/95 to 3/1/96)
  1. Shoot one more videotape of student design projects.
  2. Bundle teaching materials on WWW for short course
  3. Plan design forum with G. Fischer at URI.
  4. Complete evaluation process..

Materials Available for Distribution

  1. 11 Videotapes
  2. Written materials or Web page

Presentations Made or Pending and Papers Published or Accepted for Publication

  1. Paper submitted to Frontiers in Education conference, November 1996

Additional Comments and/or Remarks

Summary

A new version of ECE 551, Computer Systems Lab, with a new Manufacturing Component, was successfully offered to 24 UMASS ECE students. The objective of this course was to present novel manufacturing techniques for computers and electronic components and how they impact the design of computer systems, both hardware and software. A lab taught students how to work in groups using new CAD software and programmable hardware donated by industry.

Innovations

Using EASNE, UMASS and industry funding, several novel approaches were integrated into this course: 1) video-taped lectures on manufacturing 2) guest lecturers from industry, 3) new hardware and software in the design lab, and 4) a final design project to apply the new concepts in a collaborative design format. The course is composed of a design lab, 5 manufacturing modules and a final design project. The design lab uses the 68000 microprocessor and Altera PLDs, PADs, PCB design software and Microchip PIC microcontrollers to study various aspects of hardware and software microprocessor systems design. Each module consisted of two lectures, one by Professor Burleson and one by a guest lecturer from the computer industry. The lectures included discussion of manufacturing topics such as design economics, reliability, quality, test, and time-to-market. The industrial guests spanned a wide range of topics listed below.

Industrial Collaboration

Five guest lecturers from the Computer Industry visited UMASS and presented industrial examples of computer systems emphasizing manufacturing issues. The lectures were videotaped by the Video Instructional Program and are currently advertised as a VIP short course for use both on- and off-campus.
  1. Bill Larkins, DEKA, Manchester, NH. DEKA manufactures electro-mechanical systems for medical applications.
  2. Richie Paine, Analog Devices, Norwood, MA. This lecture describes the manufacture of micromachined accelerometer chips for use in automobiles.
  3. John Day, Microchip, Framingham, MA. Microchip manufactures a family of low-cost microcontrollers and support chips.
  4. Dyilip Bhavsar, Digital Equipment, Hudson, MA. Dr. Bhavsar discussed design-for-test methods used in the latest ALPHA microprocessor from DEC.
  5. Tom Kuchta, Cadence Design Systems, Chelmsford, MA . Cadence provides CAD tools for the design and manufacture of a wide variety of electronic systems and components.
In addition, donations from Microchip and Altera provided hardware and software for the lab.

Dissemination

The lecture series is now available as a short course through the VIP. It will be available for use in other UMASS and EASNE courses. The course has a WWW homepage from which various course materials can be downloaded. Students have participated in the development of this Web page, each group presenting an HTML page for their final report. The page will be further updated by myself and the TA in January. The URL is: http://www.ecs.umass.edu/ece/vspgroup/burleson/course/551/html/551.html

Design Forum with URI

Still to be completed is the collaboration with University of Rhode Island. Professor G. Fischer will be offering a similar course this Spring and will have access to our tapes, software and teaching materials. I plan to visit them to demonstrate some of our final design projects as well. Video-conferencing is also being considered for this purpose.

Selected Comments from Student Evaluations

Selected Comments from Industry



Project Title: Partnership in Recruitment of Anglo/Minority Girls
Project Number: UMA-DIV-1
Category: Diversity
Date: February 1, 1996
Principal Investigator: Dr. Nancy Hellman

Abstract

Project 1999: A partnership in association with public schools, industry, a state organization and a university to target the recruitment of Anglo and minority girls into engineering.

Objectives of the Project

To increase the pool of anglo and minority girls eligible to attend two and four year colleges, majoring in engineering and ultimately working in manufacturing engineering positions.

Approach (methods)

Project results

  1. Identified and hired a new Project 1999 coordinator.
  2. Held meetings with Holyoke High School teacher-coordinator and new Project 1999 coordinator to map out strategies and activities for spring semester.
  3. Sent letters to parents of students continuing to participate in Project 1999 to garner their continuing support for their daughters education. Obtained assistance from high school guidance counselor in identifying additional girls to fill spaces left by girls who went to vocational school.
  4. Held reunion meeting of summer project students; solicited suggestions from students for activities and workshops for the spring semester.

Recommendations for future efforts

The plans for the next period are to implement workshops on preparing for the PSAT, selecting appropriate college prep courses in math and science, and a day program on the UMA campus with the SWE students.

APPENDIX

Guidelines for implementing similar projects

Materials created


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