A Comprehensive Training Factory and Laboratory System for Manufacturing Engineering Education at the University of Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


A Comprehensive Training Factory & Laboratory System for Manufacturing Engineering Education at the University of Kentucky Project Summary The UK Center for Manufacturing and its industry partners propose to collaborate on an expansion of engineering education innovations to address gaps between what students now learn and what they need to learn to be more effective on the job. To focus the learning innovations we plan, we will create a facility we call the "University of Kentucky Learning Factory System" (UKLFS), based on the successful MEEP learning factory at Penn State and on UK's lean manufacturing "boot camps." The UKLFS will give students the opportunity for understanding of the following "gap" areas: Specific Manufacturing Processes, Oral communication/Listening, Problem Solving, Teamwork, Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Systems, and Quality. The UKLFS will operate as a laboratory for new and revised courses across several engineering departments, giving graduate and undergraduate students hands-on familiarity with (for example)lathes and mills, grinders,drill presses,PLCs and common - pneumatic and hydraulic devices. It will also serve as a laboratory in quality control and measurement. It will be used by UK's lean manufacturing summer boot camps where the general focus is on manufacturing systems structuring and operations while building communication, leadership, and teaming skills. It will also function evenings and weekends as a resource for engineering student organizations working on design competitions and industry projects. All partners will provide support, advice, mentoring and evaluative feedback. Industry partners will be especially important in this effort and will be expected to take the major role in providing not only (1) funding or in-kind support for long-term sustainability, but also (2) the necessary guidance and expertise to help UK plan the training and keep it relevant and on track. UK's innovative new curriculum will make the UKLFS an ideal training ground in the day-to-day practicalities of project management, teamwork, communication and other real-world necessities. We also hope to use the UKLFS facility to attract and to retain more engineering majors, by adding to the curriculum additional overlapping and reinforcing learning styles and approaches -- such as hands-on learning and learning by working with others --to help more students use their gifts and abilities when learning how to be engineers (Gardner, 1991). Already, the Boot Camp program has resulted in a cohort of 12 undergraduate students at UK pursuing their master's degree in Manufacturing Systems in the first year students in this program could enter the graduate program.. We propose to send UK's engineering graduates out into industry (or onward for graduate work) well-prepared for the real world of manufacturing and with an adventurous and entrepreneurial outlook as well.
Effective start/end date10/1/063/31/09


  • Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation: $243,695.00


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