Fostering Innovation and Sustainability in Engineering and

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Session ETD 425
Fostering Innovation and Sustainability in Engineering
and Engineering Technology Education
Walter W. Buchanan
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas
Introduction
Examples are covered for fostering innovation and sustainability in engineering and engineering
technology education. The Florida Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence is
working to respond to the state’s interest in 2-year graduates who are prepared for jobs that
support industry’s focus on sustainability. At Middle Tennessee State University their
engineering management program is molding future engineers that are prepared to take on
complex problems with innovative solutions. At the University of Hartford a new major based
upon a synthesis of two disciplines has been introduced to address a need in the recording
industry. Colorado Mesa University has entered into an innovative partnership to deliver a
mechanical engineering program on its campus. And at Purdue University the suitability of lean
six sigma for SME and large scale implementation is being studied.
Integrating Environmental Sustainability Concepts and Practices into Florida’s
Engineering Technology Education System
Engineering Technology education in two-year A.S. programs is an ever-evolving area given the
many new technologies that have become vital to the success of manufacturing and advanced
technology companies across the state of Florida. Over the last three years, FLATE, the Florida
Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence, together with the Florida Energy
Systems Consortium (FESC) and its community college partners, has worked diligently to
respond to regional and statewide industry interest and needs focused on energy. Industry
workforce needs center around 2-year degreed technicians prepared for a variety of jobs
supporting industry’s emerging focus on sustainability, energy efficiency in their industrial and
commercial facilities, and implementation and integration of alternative energy technologies.
Here will be reviewed the development process and strategies used to develop the industrydriven programs for industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy technologies within the
context of “engineering technologies.” Also will be outlined the state review process that
requires industry review of the benchmarks and standards that define statewide curriculum. This
process provides the opportunity to integrate sustainability concepts and practices into technical
standards.1
Proceedings of the 2014 Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration Copyright
@2014 American Society for Engineering Education
Session ETD 425
Engineering Management Creating Strong Partnerships between Future Graduates and
Local Industry
The Professional Science Masters (PSM) is an interdisciplinary degree that educates students in
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) while familiarizing them to the
logistics of the business industry. At MTSU this degree takes form as the Masters of Science in
Professional Science (MSPS) program; at its inception the program housed concentrations in
biotechnology and biostatistics. Due to the renowned success of the program and its graduate’s
the MSPS program at MTSU has been recognized on both the national and international level
and now includes additional concentrations such as actuarial sciences, health care informatics,
geosciences, and engineering management. The Engineering Management concentration is
designed to reinforce the ideal of the symbiotic relationship between science and industry.
Creators of the curricula worked closely with local industry partners in order to insure that future
Engineering Management graduates would be prepared for the challenging job market.
Engineering Management is an integration of two integral colleges that teach students the
importance of leadership, management, and engineering skills needed for success in
manufacturing, industry, and business. The program requires students to take courses focusing
on project management, safety planning, research methods, and technology trends. Additionally
the students gain credit towards their Project Management Institute (PMI) and gain full
certification in both Lean and Six-Sigma methodologies. The objective of the Engineering
Management program is to create individuals that are ultimately prepared for the job market. The
hope is that this degree will mold future engineers that are prepared to take on complex problems
with innovative solutions.2
Audio Engineering Technology at the University of Hartford
In 1994, the University of Hartford introduced a new major based upon a synthesis of two
disciplines in which the University already had a demonstrated expertise and significant human
and physical resources. The program was given the appellation “Audio Engineering
Technology,” and drew upon the faculty, laboratories, studios, and existing courses in two of its
nine colleges: the Samuel I. Ward College of Technology and the Hartt School of Music. It was
innovative in that it crossed collegiate lines (a difficult task in many universities) and addressed a
need in the recording industry that at the time was being met by a relative paucity of institutions.
Its sustainability is attested to by the fact that, some eighteen years later, it is one of the highest
enrolled programs in the University, having produced tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and
simultaneously provided hundreds of students with employable skills and the opportunity for
upward mobility in their profession. In an era in which many institutions struggle to maintain
enrollments in traditional engineering technologies, despite the well documented needs for
technically educated graduates in the marketplace, it is believed that the educational philosophy
underlying this program of studies could serve as a model for other innovative curricula.
Examples will be presented of other majors with a technological base that may be combined with
selected departments outside engineering technology that would be academically defensible, cost
effective, and render students highly employable upon graduation.3
Proceedings of the 2014 Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration Copyright
@2014 American Society for Engineering Education
Session ETD 425
Innovative Partnership Collaborations in Engineering Education
Colorado Mesa University and University of Colorado Boulder are entering the sixth year of a
partnership to deliver a mechanical engineering program in its entirety on the Colorado Mesa
University campus. The partnership enables students to earn a 4-year engineering degree from
the University of Colorado Boulder by completing the entire program in residence at Colorado
Mesa University. To complement the partnership, Colorado Mesa University is now offering a
4-year mechanical engineering technology program. Significant portions of the first two years of
the curriculum associated with both the mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering
technology programs are the same, providing flexibility to students who might be unsure of their
career path. A snapshot of the management and evaluation of the programs, and of the
collaboration between the mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering technology
programs is discussed. Specifically, the following aspects of the programs are described:
Accreditation, Administration, Budget, Curricula, Enrollment, and Staffing. The purpose here is
to provide a template for future collaborations between similar institutions in other states.4
The Suitability of Lean, Six Sigma, and Lean Six Sigma for Small, Medium and Large
Scale Firms
Lean six sigma uses a combination of lean thinking and six sigma project methodology called
DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control) to achieve high performing business
results. The DMAIC approach is proven to help organizations achieve on time delivery of the
right quality and quantity to satisfy customers. Lean thinking is based upon the reduction of
waste and focused on added value. An important decision for an organization is to choose
between lean, six sigma, or some combination of these concepts. Here is studied the most
relevant characteristics of the three methodologies based upon an original research study. A
review of literature describes how organizations differ greatly in terms of scale and are
categorized as small, medium (SME) and large. Based upon a maturity model concepts, here will
be studied the characteristics of these organizations and proposes the best methodology among
lean, six sigma, and lean six sigma. Maturity models represent the spectrum in which
organizations operate process management and quality principles. The result of this study should
help the organization represent the most suitable methodology based on the comparison of
characteristics and requirements of the firm. The interaction of lean and six sigma methods and
the environment in which lean, six sigma, or both, are implemented does not preclude analysis
and pre-assessment of which method to adopt. Here will be compared these methodologies on
the basis of the goals and the context of the firm and help organizations choose the right
approach.5
Bibliography
1. Barger, M., Gilbert, R., & Stokes, N., “Integrating Environmental Sustainability Concepts and Practices into
Florida’s Engineering Technology Education System,” Proceedings 2014 ASEE Conference for Industry and
Education Collaboration, pp. 325201-207, Savannah, Georgia, February 2014.
Proceedings of the 2014 Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration Copyright
@2014 American Society for Engineering Education
Session ETD 425
2. Foroudastan, S., “Engineering Management Creating Strong Partnerships between Future Graduates and Local
Industry,” Proceedings 2014 ASEE Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration, pp. 325301-310,
Savannah, Georgia, February 2014.
3. Hadad, A., et. al., “Audio Engineering Technology at the University of Hartford,” Proceedings 2014 ASEE
Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration,, pp. 325401-406, Savannah, Georgia, February 2014.
4. Brower, T.L., “Innovative Partnership Collaborations in Engineering Education,” Proceedings 2014 ASEE
Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration, pp. 325501-510, Savannah, Georgia, February 2014.
5. Sareen, S., Laux, C., & Marshall, B., “The Suitability of Lean, Six Sigma, and Lean Six Sigma for Small,
Medium and Large Scale Firms,” Proceedings 2014 ASEE Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration,
pp. 325601-609, Savannah, Georgia, February 2014.
Proceedings of the 2014 Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration Copyright
@2014 American Society for Engineering Education
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