Engineering students graduating today face a fast-paced, competitive marketplace where the push to reduce cycle times for product time-to-market, to reduce part count, part cost and assembly time and improve quality and reliability seems to increase almost daily. New Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools to help the engineering, design and manufacturing team accomplish these goals also seem to be introduced at a phenomenal rate. Considering the facts that CAE technology is advancing at such a rapid rate and that the global marketplace pressures are also expanding at a rapid rate, engineering educators today face the challenges of preparing their students for that global marketplace, integrating the new CAE tools and concurrent engineering into the curriculum and maintaining the integrity of the basic engineering and engineering technology programs. This paper describes the efforts in the Department of Engineering Technology at Western Washington University to integrate design, concurrent engineering and microcomputer applications into the manufacturing and plastics engineering technology programs.

In their freshman year, students complete two courses in engineering graphics where solid modeling, traditional Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CAD), and sketching have largely replaced manual drafting courses In their sophomore year, all students are required to complete a microcomputer based course in CAE tools In that course, students learn basic tools such as operating systems (DOS®, Windows®, and UNIX®), spreadsheet programs (Excel®), symbolic equation solvers (Mathcad®) and technical document production (Word®) Other sophomore courses, such as Materials Science, Statics and Strength of Materials, require students to use those tools for homework and projects. In the junior year, students are introduced to applied finite element analysis (FEA) in machine design and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining in their CNC course In the senior year, students complete projects with all these tools and use more advanced FEA C-Mold®, a program to model injection molding processes, is also introduced and used in the senior year Students complete concurrent engineering design projects in the sophomore through senior year All the CAE tools at Western are microcomputer based (“486” based).

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.