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  1. In this paper, we summarize the outcomes of the two workshops aimed at speeding up the transition of research-based advanced manufacturing knowledge into course curriculum for technology and engineering programs. Advanced manufacturing technologies have opened up the realm for new products that only a decade ago were considered unproducible. For example metals 3D Printing has almost no geometric limitations, which allows engineers to develop mesh–based products. Unfortunately, the educational system that serves to educate the majority of manufacturing technicians and engineers still utilizes many of the same curriculum resources for these emerging areas (textbooks, traditional lectures, etc.), frequently creating an unsuitable or inappropriate learning environment for state-of-the-science technician and engineering training. This is especially true for the development of manufacturing materials and laboratories to maintain currency in advanced manufacturing. With funding from NSF, two workshops were conducted that generated great enthusiasm for the concept of a teaching repository for advanced manufacturing technology. More than 50 advanced manufacturing instructors have attended the workshops, and a community of instructors has been created. Results from faculty and student perceptions on shared teaching materials for advanced manufacturing are also shared.
  2. Background: Project management and other professional skill training is often lacking in graduate student education, typically as a result of limited resources, lack of faculty buy-in, and narrow focus on thesis research. To address this need and with support from NSF, we are developing the Graduates for Advancing Professional Skills (GAPS) program at Iowa State University. To aid the initial development of this program, we conducted a literature review to understand the current context of the development and implementation of professional skills in higher education curricula, with specific interest in STEM fields. Purpose: The purpose of our study was to identify best practices related to implementing professional development skills into an academic curriculum. The goal was to utilize this information in the development, planning, implementation, and assessment of our GAPS program. Design: We engaged in a systematic literature review. We focused on the curricular and pedagogical approaches to implementing these skills, results of the initiatives, and methodologies used to assess their effectiveness. Results: Our literature review uncovered the “messiness” of teaching and learning of skills such as project management. There is often not one approach or definition of project management – it may change based on scope of project andmore »context. Successful implementation requires adaptability, mentorship, problem solving, creativity, and communication. Additionally, project management has been referred to as a “threshold concept” and requires a certain level of intuition that cannot necessarily be gained through traditional classroom education. Conclusions: There appears to be an agreement on the importance of implementing project management skills at the postsecondary level. Our work illustrates the difficulty associated with undertaking this endeavor and provides guidance on approaches that can make these initiatives more beneficial. Although this literature was conducted to aid in the planning for our specific project, the synthesis of the extant works can inform other faculty and industry leaders who are interested in teaching and applying project management techniques in their courses or companies.« less
  3. Assessing creativity is not an easy task, but that has not stopped researchers from exploring it. Because creativity is essential to engineering disciplines, knowing how to enhance creative abilities through engineering education has been a topic of interest. In this paper, the event related potential (ERP) technique is used to study the neural responses of engineers via a modified alternative uses task (AUT). Though only a pilot study testing two participants, the preliminary results of this study indicate general neuro-responsiveness to novel or unusual stimuli. These findings also suggest that a scaled-up study along these lines would enable better understanding and modeling of neuroresponses of engineers and creative thinking, as well as contribute to the growing field of ERP research in the field of engineering.
  4. This paper presents the development and preliminary implementation of a multi-scale material and mechanics education module to improve undergraduate solid mechanics education. We experimentally characterize 3D printed and conventional wrought aluminum samples and collect structural images and perform testing at the micro- and macro- scales. At the micro-scale, we focus on the visualization of material’s grain structures. At the macro-scale, standard material characterization following ASTM standards is conducted to obtain the macroscopic behavior. Digital image correlation technology is employed to obtain the two-dimensional strain field during the macro-scale testing. An evaluation of student learning of solid mechanics and materials behavior concepts is carried out to establish as baseline before further interventions are introduced. The established multi-scale mechanics and materials testing dataset will be also used in a broad range of undergraduate courses, such as Solid Mechanics, Design of Mechanical Components, and Manufacturing Processes, to inform curricular improvement. The successful implementation of this multi-scale approach for education is likely to enhance students’ understanding of abstract solid mechanics theories and establish links between mechanics and materials concepts. More broadly, this approach will assist advanced solid mechanics education in undergraduate engineering education throughout the country.